If I’m just being honest, I had a bad week. That’s rare for me to say, I typically remain optimistic about things. But, this past week, mainly the past 48 hours have just been bad.
I have never claimed to have control over my life. I’m an unorganized person. I procrastinate like no other. I rarely seem to make the right decision when trying to direct my own life. I have accepted that this is the way I am and I’m, quite honestly, okay with that.
One thing that has always given me peace of mind is that I have always been good at helping others. I can’t solve a problem in my own life for whatever reason, but I’m not too shabby at listening to others and giving out direction. (Maybe I should be gunning for a job in management.) I pride myself on being a good friend, brother and son.
But, this past week I lost control and the circumstances that were presented left me out of control of helping people in the way I’m used to doing.
To be clear about something, this was just one of those weeks where everything decides to go wrong. Everyone has them, I’m not the only one by any means. But, I do have access to a website so I get to write about bad weeks when I so choose.
*Sticks tongue out at disgruntled readers*
Among other things that happened in the past few days:
- I was unable to purchase several Christmas gifts because they sold out. That’s fine, I just need to be quicker with my online shopping.
- I received not one, but two friendly reminders about crippling student loan debt. Because, hey, it’s the holidays! Again, it’s fine. Everybody deals with bills and debt. This camel’s back is fine.
- A friend that I and some others have been helping through some issues did a 180 and basically negated all progress that was made. Not okay, but we can just keep working with her. After all, it’s a process.
- A loved one found out some discouraging and depressing news about her pregnancy. Nope, can’t fix that. That one is out of my hands. The camel’s starting to feel the weight.
- Parents got in a car wreck Thursday evening. They’re fine, the car is most definitely not. Second car in a month that’s been totaled in our family. Because everyone has extra money around the holidays, right? Let’s see if the camel can’t just carry a little more.
With all of this happening over the course of two days, it was more than enough for anyone to deal with. Thursday night, as it turns out, also happened to be the time that another acquaintance of mine decided to air out some grievances with me though we had not spoken in several weeks. I was reminded of what an awful human being I am and why I am far from a good friend. So, yeah, the camel is basically buried at this point.
Now, some of you reading this are thinking, “Oh wow, what a bad couple of days. Glad that’s not me.”
While others of you are reading this thinking, “Suck it up. I’ll show you a bad week.”
I fully respect both sides. Stress, pain and anger are relative. A bad week for me might be an improvement for some.
Regardless, this past week took a toll on me. Every night I would pray and the next day something else stressful would happen. The news on the pregnancy was definitely what hit the hardest. The guy who prides himself on helping others was found with literally nothing to provide, no words to offer as solace. Just a clinched fist and a whole lot of disdain for God.
After all, God is the one to blame, right? All of these things happening in succession had to be a sign that I, or my family, deserved the stress. That’s how I chose to rationalize the situation at the time, anyhow.
Monday night I was trying to clear the snow off my car but I couldn’t find the snow brush. I went to look in the storage compartment in the back of my car. As I said, it was night. It was dark, I couldn’t see. So, I pulled out my phone to use the flashlight in hopes of finding my snow brush.
The handy flashlight app has a feature where, if you shake the phone, the phone vibrates and light turns on automatically. So, I stood in bitter cold shaking my phone. No light. I switched up the motion of the shake. Still no light. At this point I started hitting my phone on the side of the car. Alas, no light. I gave up and just started feeling around. The brush wasn’t there anyway.
I got into the car to start it so it could warm up while I ran inside to look for the brush. Upon getting into driver’s seat, my coat pocket where I put my phone hit the center console. I hear a faint vibration…The flashlight had turned on. A subtle reminder that it still worked.
Perhaps it was an odd foreshadowing for my week to come.
After all the shaking and rocking of the boat my family had experienced this past week, there was certainly a doubt as to whether or not our faith even worked. Thursday night, after the pregnancy news, after the car wreck, after wanting to just cash it all in, the light came on in the oddest of manors.
Family friends had heard about our ridiculously rough day and decided to buy us dinner. They sent pizza to my parent’s house. A simple yet significant act of kindness.
It was Pizza Hut pizza. We’d had it numerous times before, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t one of the most enjoyable pieces of pizza that I had ever eaten. It’s like the stress of the past few days just melted away because somebody bought us pizza.
That one act of kindness reminded me to put things into perspective and count my blessings. Life was going to be okay. I have great friends, a great family and the ability to vent all of my issues to a sea of readers who may or may not be cursing my name.
I chose to write about my messed up week and the pizza that saved it all for a reason. I highly doubt my issues are as bad as some of the people reading this article. I’m blessed for that, it sucks that free pizza had to remind me to put things into perspective.
I hope everyone remembers to put things into perspective this holiday season. We all have crosses to bear, bad weeks to dig out from under. But, what are we thankful for? What have we been blessed by? Sometimes we get lost in the shopping and the hectic holiday plans. When we do that, we forget about being thankful for the money we’re blowing on holiday shopping or the hectic family we have.
I wish everyone a happy holiday season filled with plenty of gifts, delicious food, ugly sweaters, family time and eggnog. I also wish that your holidays are completely void of fruit cake, dry turkey, dry ham and political talk of any kind!
I’ll be back with more picks after the break, so have fun popping the champagne and Welch’s sparkling white grape juice (my drink of choice) on New Year’s Eve as well.
Last Week: 7-1
High School Boys Basketball
Warsaw (4-2) at Wawasee (4-1), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Conference play gets underway tonight at the Hardwood Teepee. The Warriors roll in at 4-1 for only the second time this decade while Warsaw comes in with a rare two-loss record early in the year. I know I’ve said this in the past, but I think this will be a good game. Anytime I say that, I am not-so-subtly reminded by Coach Ogle and company as they run off to win this annual rivalry by a bunch of points. Over the past six seasons the Tigers have beat the Warriors by margins of 45, 21, 18, 20, 20 and eight.
The Warriors are much improved this season and are doing a solid job at holding big-time scorers to average games. Kyle Mangas will be the best all-around player Wawasee has seen to date. Mangas has a big impact at both ends of the court and he will disrupt a lot of what Wawasee wants to do. Keeping players like Ross Johnson and Jeremy David from having big nights will probably be the biggest key for Wawasee on defense. Wawasee has done a great job at spreading things around and picking up true team wins. Trevon Coleman has been the most consistent scorer for the Green and Gold. If Warsaw keeps him in check, this game becomes easier to control.
Warsaw has won the last seven meetings in this series. No reason not to pick the Tigers until the Warriors can at least keep things within 20. I like Mangas for a double-double tonight.
Nick’s Pick: Warsaw 48, Wawasee 34.
Whitko (4-2, 1-0) at Tippecanoe Valley (2-4, 0-1), 7:45 p.m.
The Scoop: Another conference rivalry tips tonight as the Wildcats travel to Death Valley to take on the Vikings. Valley enters the game riding a three game skid while the Wildcats come in losers of their last two after starting the season at 4-0. I look for this game to be close throughout, but I think this is a game that Whitko should ultimately win.Valley’s defense is currently giving up 64 points per game, that’s where I think Whitko gets an advantage. Yes, the ‘Cats are surrendering 56 on defense, but that eight points can make all the difference. Alec Craig has been outstanding for the Vikings this year, but they’ve yet to have a consistent scorer step up alongside of him. Whitko, meanwhile, has a three-headed scoring monster in Nate Walpole, River West and Spencer Sroufe. I like Sroufe to be the biggest difference maker tonight as the ‘Cats look to remain undefeated in the TRC.
Nick’s Pick: Whitko 68, Valley 59.
Winamac (4-1, 2-0) at Triton (3-3, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Grant Johnson and the Trojans welcome in Winamac for a conference tilt at The Trench. The Trojans come in on a three-game winning streak while Winamac has won four in a row. I like the home court advantage for Triton in this one and the better defensive average that the Trojans have going for them, Triton surrenders 47 while Winamac gives up 54.
Triton is always one of my favorite teams to watch play and when they’re on a winning streak, they’re that much harder to stop. I like Triton tonight in a close game.
Nick’s Pick: Triton 50, Winamac 40.
High School Girls Basketball
Tippecanoe Valley (10-2, 3-0) at Whitko (11-1, 3-0), 3:45 p.m.*
The Scoop: Please note the start time of this game has been moved up from 7:45 p.m. The JV game will now start at 2:30 p.m. due to Saturday’s weather forecast.
It’s a TRC clash in South Whitley as Aly Reiff and the Wildcats welcome in Anne Secrest and the Vikings. Let’s cut right to the chase, I’m picking Valley in this game. I like Whitko a lot. I like Valley a lot. I think both are incredibly talented teams that will make deep runs in their respective tournaments. But, last year I got on the Whitko hype train and picked them to upset Valley on the road. Big mistake. The Vikes rolled Whitko 56-32. I vowed that following week to never doubt Valley again. I certainly do not expect that same type of result this time, but this has been Valley’s conference the past two years so the Wildcats need to show up in a big “prove it” game.
I think this game will rely heavily on player outside of Secrest and Reiff, I’m looking at Brianna Cumberland and Meredith Brouyette. The two sharpshooters should play big roles Saturday night as should Kennedy Krull and Hannah Dunn. This should be a great conference clash. I look for Valley to pull this one out on the road.
Nick’s Pick: Valley 58, Whitko 50.
Wawasee (5-7, 1-1) at Warsaw (10-1, 1-0), 5:30 p.m. at Hoosier Gym
The Scoop: 30 combined sectional titles, six combined state finals appearances and two deep histories. These two storied programs meet in one of the most storied gyms in the state, Hoosier Gym. (It’s the place where they filmed Hoosiers.)
Warsaw comes in with one blemish, a 40-37 loss to Whitko, While Wawasee enters winners of its past two contests. These two rivals have played close games in most of their recent meetings with Wawasee last winning in 2013. The Lady Tigers are very talented and have a lot more weapons than Wawasee does. When Wawasee is hitting on offense and playing sound defense, it can play with anybody, as shown in its 50-41 loss to Northridge and its 56-34 beat down of Goshen. Regardless of the positive signs Wawasee has shown this season, Warsaw is my pick to win the NLC, which means it will need this game. Look for this to be close for a while but go in favor of the Tigers late.
Nick’s Pick: Warsaw 54, Wawasee 38.