FOURTH QUARTER! FOURTH QUARTER!

The year I started high school, our football team got a new coach. No, don’t be silly, I did not play football.

I did, however, march in the band, and I wish I’d kept that up. But that’s another post. Or perhaps another song.

Our team didn’t always have the greatest record in my high school years. Not long after I graduated, they started winning championships and have been a pretty strong team off an on over the years. Not the point of today’s post.

At the pep rally before the season opener that year, the coach got up and said that games were won or lost in the fourth quarter.

He encouraged the crowd that when the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter, we all jump up and start shouting “Fourth Quarter! Fourth Quarter!”

We did. The team. The cheerleaders. The band. The crowd. It was pretty exciting.

I can’t recall if we actually won the game. I think we might have. But that was fifty-one years ago.

Excuse me. I need a moment.

Tomorrow, October 1st, begins the fourth quarter of 2022.

I’m sitting here reflecting on the last nine months, remembering that my Three Words for 2022 are Recover, Read, and Rise, and wondering whether I’m actually going to “win” the year.

Have I accomplished everything I wanted? Not even close.

I did publish my first children’s book. It’s still available and you need to get it before the next one comes out (soon, very soon).

I’ve returned to the stage with my show opening on October 7.

I returned to the office after 2 ½ years and promptly got COVID, but I’ve already written about that.

My reality though is that I’ve not fully recovered physically. I had to give up the weekend job and some other opportunities because of it. Then COVID kicked my Aunt Fanny. I’m working on it, but it’s still a struggle some days. But I’m still fighting. And still getting stronger every day.

I haven’t read as much as I might have liked. My Goodreads challenge is woefully far behind. I’m still reading, just not quickly.

Have I risen to the occasion? Perhaps that remains to be seen.

I’m not going to get worked up over three words. They’re more like guidelines, or words of inspiration.

What they are not is resolutions. I gave up on those many years ago. For a while I’d post my “More or Less” items at the end of the year. Then I started going with the Three Words.

It really does help to say that I’m going to focus on something and not list something I have to accomplish.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have my to do list. That’s not quite the same as resolutions.

Where was I going with this?

Right.

This is the fourth quarter. Seventy-five percent of the year is behind us. What’s left of the year are also three words.

Spooky. Turkey. Santa.

I don’t know about you but this is my busiest time of the year.

While I will be publishing another book in October (it’s almost complete), and while tomorrow I’m starting another drawing project, I’ve also got a lot of my time already spoken for.

The production I’m in runs through the 15th. I’ve got work obligations the next weekend. The Mrs. and I are making one more trip to haul crap to Atlanta at the end of the month and then it’s November and I start Christmas rehearsals.

Yeah, I’m busy, and you are as well. We’re all switching into survival mode. That means adjusting some priorities.

I’m being kind to myself and looking for a lawn service to deal with the leaves.

I’m putting off the renovation of the elder son’s bedroom until January.

There’s more, but you get the idea. You’re likely facing some of the same realities and asking what really needs to be done before the end of the year.

It’s okay.

It’s the fourth quarter.

We’re all looking at what we need to do to finish 2022 strong.

Based on the crap sandwiches that were 2020 and 2021, that’s not a bad thing.

Best wishes to you and your team.

Unless you’re playing my Spartans.

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