We are nearing the fourth quarter of our Optimist Year. Merely by mentioning that we know that many of us are already looking back at the year rather than ahead to the remainder. It is natural, I’m sure, nearly all of us are prone to it.
When I look back at the previous three quarters, frankly I stand here just a little disappointed. It is not a situation where there is any blame to be placed and I have included myself in that boat of those where the disappointment lies.
I am not one of those guys that tends to live by excuses. It is not excuses that I offer at this time. There comes a time in all of our lives when things just don’t work out the way we planned. Well, this has been one of those years.
Amongst my Optimist friends and teammates many unexpected trials took place. We must not have been aligned with the right stars. Of the four Lt. Governors, three spent time in the hospital with a couple of them more than once. Unexpected surgeries and even day long treatments often cost enormous amounts of time for recovery when you know you need to be at your best to go out and represent Optimist International. Many of you know that I fell while on my way to a zone meeting with the injury requiring surgery. I had already had one surgery planned so that one was put on hold and may be taking place even before my year is over.
Beyond those things just handed to us by fate, Mother Nature may have handed us the worse one. Many of us managed to struggle through what was to many of us the winter storm of the century. To others, it was only the worst winter in thirty-five years. The end result was many of us were unable to get out and visit those clubs we had intended on visiting. The roads were impassable in many cases, often lasting for days or at the very least becoming so unpredictable you didn’t dare get too far from home and loved ones. That type of disappointment led to the possibility of getting down and then the depression or just the downs kept many of us from being our true optimistic selves as we so frequently are.
Now, all I hear is it is so darn hot we just can’t go outside and enjoy ourselves. But that version is quite different than the previous one. I recognize we might not like to travel or get involved in club activities when it is warm, but nevertheless we manage to get it done. Much more so in the summer than in the depth of the winter.
While we have looked back at our sources of disappointment let’s not give it all up and sound like Cubs fans used to, “there is always next year.” No, there is still this year. There is at least a quarter of it left for us to really make an impact. I’m not trying to sound like a cheerleader at a pep rally, but realistically we are still in a situation where we could have two distinguished Lt. Governors this year. Membership had been down but has really shown a change just in the past few weeks. We are still working toward the goal of two new clubs. That work, though not a totally polished effort appears to be able to provide fruit in the long run. Clubs are following through with their NOW events at a rate I have not seen in years. Our district has shown strong results in getting our Club Foundation Representatives on board and doing their work. While not yelling Honor Club out loud so very many clubs are within reach of this goal.
Let us spend just a moment to get our heads turned around from looking back so that we are looking forward to a road that is not nearly as bumpy as we all were led to believe. Notable progress and worthwhile accomplishment is well within the reach of anyone reading my note. So let’s go out there and show everyone we are really Optimists.