Patching Things Up and Holding Them Together

Daily Prompt I Have Confidence in Me Are you good at what you do? What would you like to be better at?

“Wow. How does anyone know that?”

“What, Lamont?”

“If they’re good at something?”

“They succeed or someone tells them, ‘Good job’. I guess that’s how.”

“The question then is ‘So what?'”

“Isn’t it positive to aspire and achieve?”

“I don’t know about ‘positive’. It’s what humans do. It’s part of our DNA, I think, but people aspire to all kinds of things and achievement is relative.”

“You said something is RELATIVE? YOU???? Lamont, are you OK?”

“Ha ha, Dude. Last night my friend’s son, who’s developmentally disabled (allegedly — I happen to think he’s profoundly wise in ways most people aren’t) hit a baseball. He’s not a kid; he’s 30, but it was the first time his bat connected with a ball and he hit the ball such that if it had been in a field, it would have been a home run. THAT’S an achievement. I had tears in my eyes when I heard of it. I know how hitting home runs made me feel when I was a kid, and I was SO happy he got to have that feeling.”

“You loved playing baseball, didn’t you, Lamont.”

“Yeah. I wanted to play pro-ball.”

“No way. That wasn’t going to happen.”

“I figured that out, Dude, thanks. But I practiced hard and constantly for many years. I really wanted to be better at it and I got better at it. I was better than any kid in my age group in the town of Bellevue, Nebraska at that point in time, including boys. I ran faster, hit and threw farther, and caught anything that came my way in center field — or anywhere out there if no one else was running for the ball.

“Where did that get you?”

“I learned that it’s not about being good at something. You can be the fastest runner but you might not win. There are other factors; I’ve learned through the course of my life that there are always other factors.”

“OK, so let’s get back to the prompt, shall we?”

“You patronizing imaginary entity you…”

“Yeah, right, so what are you good at?”

“I’m good at holding things together and patching them up and I’m proud of it.”


“Years and years ago — somewhere between baseball and now — I was feeling really crappy about my life. I was supposed to have been great. I was smart and talented and attractive. I should have taken the world by storm, but I didn’t. I couldn’t even get a full time job. My marriage was lack-luster, to say the least. I lived in a tract house in a bad neighborhood and my life was going no where. All I did was patch things up and hold them together. Money went from one end of the month to the other, that was it. My mom was a POA and I couldn’t fix our relationship. The big excitement for the week was mowing the lawn, but the lawnmower didn’t always work. I was talking to my brother on the phone — now he was a guy with a very fucked up life (his own “fault” but still). He said, ‘You sound down.’ I said, ‘I am. My life isn’t going anywhere. All I do is patch things up and hold them together.’ He said, ‘You can do that? That’s amazing. I can’t do that’. I realized then that patching things up and holding them together is no small feat.”

“So because your drunken brother said that’s an achievement you feel like you’re all that?”

“No, Dude. I’m trying to explain that I’m good at persevering, at hope, at not giving up. My baseball career turned out to be a good lesson, a good metaphor, for what my life has required. I played center-field with a first baseman’s mit. I was a girl who wanted to go pro and I practiced toward that end. That is what I’m good at. I patch things up and hold them together so that I have the chance to pursue impossible dreams.”

8 thoughts on “Patching Things Up and Holding Them Together

  1. You are good at moving across the states with three dogs in a van and settling in somewhere else, so you are a good organiser. Sorry your family was a problem family, but you managed to sort it. My family is a problem family, but they never realised it, so I just left them to it.

    • Wise. My family knew it was a problem family and thought it was my job to make it work for them. Thank you, too. You’re right. I must be a good organizer because I am here now!

    • I think so too, Marilyn. I learned to value it (though I already had it) when I was hanging out with the boys in my neighborhood who rode BMX bikes. The kid who never stopped riding and never gave up (not the most gifted) ended up riding pro and did not fall into the snares so many “at risk” kids do.

  2. I like that a lot. Will think more deeply and see if I can’t come up with something.
    You really are a good writer, Martha.

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