Play Until The Last Out

This morning I was reminded by one of the more helpful accounts on twitter that the year is really winding down.

At this time of year, it often feels like the mind wants to pack it in and wait for the calendar to turn (or at least it does to me), as if there’s no point in trying to accomplish much else, as if we’ve moved past the point of productivity and into a barren season, idea-wise.

As that thought crept into my head, I recalled a blog post from a few years ago by Austin Kleon in which he talks about this. He says that the temptation to lapse into retrospection betrays how much time we really have, time that could be used constructively.

Kleon asks, “What else am I missing by being prematurely retrospective?” He then relays a story that I think ties together the year-end conflict we feel rather nicely:

One time my coworker John Croslin and I came back from our lunch break and our building’s parking lot was completely full. We circled the sweltering lot with a few other cars for what seemed like ages, and just when we were about to give up, a spot opened and John pulled right in. As he shut off the car he said, “You gotta play till the ninth inning, man.

It’s natural at the end of the year to start looking back at what went right, what went wrong, and how to use those lessons to forge ahead, but at what cost? As of this writing, there are 48 days remaining in the year. That’s a lot of time!

Play ’til the ninth inning. That’s exactly what I was looking for. The year is a baseball game with twelve innings and I want to play until the last out.

According to the small seasons of the sekki that I’ve written about previously, we are smack in the middle of “Ritto” (the start of winter) right now, but there are still two more seasons yet to come before the new year. Two whole seasons to write, to read, to try new things, to explore whatever it is that stirs your soul.

If we can commit to playing until the last out, think of how much more we can discover, accomplish, and grow.