It came in 2017.
I can still picture Kris Bryant's foot slipping as he released the potential last out of Game 7 toward Anthony Rizzo. I remember thinking, "Oh, crap! He just over threw first base!" History and years upon years of badly played baseball taught me to expect and fear the worst from my team.
When Rizzo pocketed the baseball I started my own mini celebration in the living room with my cat, Gus, who has since passed. I was so happy being in that moment.
I felt a void shortly thereafter. And although it has lessened to a degree, it's still with me a year later.
Recently our high school administration had the faculty watch Lou Holtz' commencement speech for Franciscan University's 2015 graduating ceremony. If you've never listened to his speech I would suggest taking the time. This speech helped diagnose what was causing my void.
- Everyone needs something do.
- Everyone needs someone to love.
- Everyone needs someone to believe in.
- Everyone needs something to hope for.
I wouldn't say my void is tremendous, but losing my best four legged friend and the Cubs winning a much sought after World Series hurt two of the four categories above. I know, I know... I have a great job, a loving wife, a terrific family, wonderful friends (including this cardboard community), and a solid belief system. The first three numbered items are pretty stout and I have it far better than many in this world.
But, long ago I promised I would be happy if the Cubs would win just one during my time on this earth. And I believed it to my core, I only needed for them to come through just once. "No need to get greedy," I told myself. My something to hope for, something which I had clung tightly to since I was in primary school, was achieved last November. It was great, it really was, but it has left me wondering, "Now what?"
I went through the 2017 season being a "casual" fan, because I thought I only needed one. But if anything has caused my bit of emptiness I feel to persist... well, it's been my newly adopted laissez-faire attitude I have tried to employ toward baseball and the Chicago Cubs. ... Incidentally, those closest to me know baseball is part of what makes me tick. I'm still not sure what made me think I could relax my passion and excitement for the game.
I was much happier and content during the build up and anticipation of potentially winning a World Series than I have been after the fact. So, I'm going to attempt to fill this void by hoping for another championship. I'm going back to what made me happy before the the 2016 post season... I'll start reading my favorite Cubs blogs again and I'll listen to and watch more of the games next season. I suppose re-immersion in baseball is the best way to describe my rehabilitation.
Not so coincidentally, I'm abandoning Eamus Catuli! and returning the blog's name to Waiting 'til Next Year... It never felt right. Waiting 'til next year gives me something to something to look forward to. Something to invest my time in. Something to dream on. Something to hope for.
Perhaps this re-immersion will also push me to get back into cardboard a little more. I used to average around 175 posts a year, but I've barely cleared the century mark since the Cubs won the World Series. Maybe not. We'll have to see.
Sometimes putting thoughts on a page is the first step. Thanks for reading mine.