Smiling Hope

“Hope smiles on the threshold of the year to come, whispering that it will be happier.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

There are only two days till 2016 and that thought terrifies me.

Not because of the reasons you may think though. I am not looking backwards at things that have happened in 2015. The event isn’t what determines the outcome, but the combination of the event plus the response. Although there are things I feel directly responsible for, things that have led to the events that happened in 2015, I cannot dwell on them. That is not what this post is about.

This post is about a reflection period and then an overwhelming feeling that 2016 is about to be huge.

All of my posts have been about Ohio State football so far and it makes sense. OSU football is one of my passions that I feel very strongly about. The unadulterated joy that I feel while watching my Buckeyes play on Saturdays in the horseshoe is incomparable. This post won’t be fully about Ohio State football but the theme does have some parallels with our tilt against the Fighting Irish on January 1st.

This bowl game is a celebration, and not just because it has the word party in the name (It will always be the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to me, what even is a Battlefrog?)  Some will say it does not matter because it is not one the playoff games but I will counter with the fact that celebrations always matter. Celebrations can sometimes mean more than “the one that matters.” Celebrating the small things like a delicious coffee, or all green lights on the way to work matter. Celebrating the big things like birthdays and promotions matter too. Without celebrations we are a rolling ball down a white canvas that never ends.

On January 1st we are celebrating the end of quite a few Ohio State Football careers that have defined the program for the last couple years. On January 2nd Braxton Miller will no longer have a chance at another spin move that shakes up the entire college football world. Guys like Bosa, Thomas, and many others will be gone after this win. But are we going to sit around and cry about it and worry that we won’t be a good football team next year??

Hell No!

We are going to celebrate all that they have done in a Buckeye uniform and hope they can consolidate everything they have done into one game against the Fighting Irish. Then after that, hopefully we can celebrate another Buckeye victory. Ringing in 2016 with a rousing rendition of Carmen Ohio is not a bad way to start the new year. After we send our proper goodbyes to some of the best gridiron talent Columbus has seen, we begin to celebrate the unknown. We celebrate the guys that will get the chance of a lifetime next year. Buckeye Grove is always looking to grow a little bit more.

With that, the theme of the post follows the same timeline as the above couple paragraphs. December 31st is not a day to worry about what did or didn’t happen in 2015. It is a day to look back, accept all that has happened as a part of you, and embrace it. People went through some tough times this past year, had phenomenal personal achievements in 2015,  learned more about themselves than they ever knew. You know what we do with all that? The tough times, the great times, and the times when laying on the couch was the only thing we wanted/ could do?

We celebrate.

That is what the combination of December 31st and January 1st is about.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is part of a book/speech by Randy Pausch. Randy was a professor at Carnegie Mellon and gave one of the best speeches I have ever heard as his “Last Lecture.” Randy was suffering from Pancreatic Cancer and did not have much time to live. He gave this last lecture at Carnegie Mellon and by the Grace of God survived long enough to write a book titled “The Last Lecture” which encapsulated all he talked about in his speech.

“We cannot change the cards you are dealt, just how we play the hand.”

December 31st is about making sure that in 2016, we play the hand as best we can.

Now January 1st is about celebration.

We have reflected back on 2015 and hopefully not had the thoughts of “What if?” or “If I just did this differently…” because that is just like sitting in a rocking chair. Gives you something to think about but doesn’t get you anywhere.

We celebrate everything that we have been, are currently, and wish to be in the future. 2015 was a chapter in our book of life, it didn’t make the story but certainly added to it. Without our experiences in the past year(s) we would not be the people we are today…and I for one have not met one person who’s story is not worth telling, or worth celebrating.

The quote at the  beginning of this post is one that I just found from Tennyson. Alfred Lord Tennyson has been my favorite poet ever since I had to write a paper on him back in High School I believe. I did the research and realized he had some really great things to say; that his perspective on life is one I wish to mirror in my own life. We are on the threshold of 2016 and that hope that 2016 will be better is already smiling down on us. Let’s get to a higher place this coming year, moving forward with the purpose of a better year while bringing with us the past that has helped shape who we are today.


Happy New Year everyone, and as always GO BUCKS!! BEAT ND!!