Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”

– Jackie Robinson

This post was submitted by our friend Joelle Wisnieski, a graduate of Akron University whose laughter lights up the room.


As a first basemen myself, Jackie is one of my role models. A wonderful ball player and a passionate civil rights activist, he continued to play his hand when anyone would have understood if he folded, but more than that he really PLAYED. Not only was he the first African-American to play in major league baseball, but he was then named rookie of the year. I mean who has the courage to steal home 19 times! And I’m not talking about 19 attempts… that is 19 runs that Robinson scored by stealing home base during his baseball career. I think that this quote by Jackie pretty much sums up his attitude toward baseball and toward life. Life is NOT a spectator sport. Unfortunately, still sometimes find myself living as if it is one… letting my life pass before my eyes with minimal involvement, challenge, passion.  I don’t want to live that way – and I’m guessing neither do you.  Recently I found that I had all these dreams and aspirations for my life. I want to help people. I want to teach, and travel, and love. I want to enjoy the little things but experience the big things… but most importantly I want to make a difference. But then I took stock of my life and I was very upset at what I found. I’ve been wasting time, precious time. When I could have been making an effort to help someone, be a friend to someone, or maybe even to learn something new – what was I doing instead? – watching the latest episode of “The Bachelor” or rereading “The Hobbit.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some TV drama and I enjoy an excellent literary story, but what else was I doing.  At that moment I realized that I was sitting in the grandstand with my feet resting on the railing in front of me, but I also looked at the field and realized that they had been calling for a first basemen to come play.  I refuse to take a seat when there is one amazing life to be lived! We all have moments in life when we look around and don’t understand how we fell into a ditch. But don’t forget it is never too late to get your hands dirty and climb out.  Don’t live your life as a spectator (because I agree with Jackie on this topic) – it would be a waste. Instead, go out and play. Learn something new, go somewhere you have never been, challenge yourself and the people around you. I promise you won’t regret grabbing your glove and taking the field.

Leave a comment »

“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”

— Lee Iacocca

Uncertainty sucks, and I’m sure as many of you can attest, it is more than disheartening. But until the uncertain becomes a little more concrete, do something. Live your life is a positive way. Make yourself content in that moment and live within it as the most genuine version of yourself.

Do_Something_Productive_by_thegreatspoo.jpg (900×1391)

Leave a comment »

“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”

— Lewis Carroll

Today, accept the adventure that is placed before you. The promise of a new day is not one given freely or easily to everyone.

Don’t try to rationalize what’s happening or explain to yourself why it’s okay to let yourself live.

Just be here. And while you’re at it, enjoy the ride.

Leave a comment »

“All we can do is try and live like we’re still alive.”

— Chasing the Sun, Sara Bareilles

It should come as NO surprise to you that I am posting yet another Sara Bareilles lyric. Take note that this will be the last one for a while to save you from becoming overloaded.

I’m a sucker for any song that starts with piano. You should know that from the get-go. I knew from the start I would like this song. I couldn’t imagine that the lyrics would have such a profound effect on me each and every time I hear it. It reminds all of us that we need to savor each day we are given. It reminds me that in an everyday, simple moment we can be reminded just how lucky we are to be HERE, right NOW. I sat back, loving the highs and lows of the melody and then it hit me– my favorite line.

“And the gift of my heartbeat sounds like a symphony…”

Find a tune to sing or the song in your heart and dance with life. Live your life embracing each note, each rest, each beat of your own heart.

1 Comment »

“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.”

— Lao Tzu

I love the sentiment expressed by this quote.

I would add one more thing at the end if I had the chance…

In ALL things, be grateful.


Leave a comment »

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Albert Einstein

Leave a comment »

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”

— Les Brown

1 Comment »

If You’re Reading This…

“If you’re reading this… Congratulations, you’re alive. If that’s not something to smile about, then I don’t know what is.”  

Chad Sugg, Monsters Under Your Head

I hope Ray doesn’t mind me taking a stab at the Monday Morning Message.

I thought I would start with something seemingly simple. Living.

It’s a good thing to realize… being alive. But there are so many people who merely exist. Philosophers have forever made a point of pointing out the obvious. Why do think they STILL have to say it in so many different ways. Realize that this day has been given to you while so many others have not made it this far. You were chosen for this day and the day after that and the day after that.

So LIVE. Make the most of it. Take this week and make it spectacular. Dazzle yourself. Notice something you haven’t noticed before. Make it your mission to make the place you are in better than when you arrived.

You are lucky. You get TWO quotes today. The second is from one of my favorite books, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It reminds us that existing is not enough. Take notice and be grateful. “The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.” While I can leave the defining of heroes for another post, be that different kind of hero. Notice. Pay attention. Soak it all in, and give it all you’ve got. Tie on that cape, you’ve got some work to do.

Happy Monday, everyone. Thanks for stopping by on your way to being active in your own life. Now, get out there and LIVE!


“Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can’t get any better, it can.”

— Nicholas Sparks

As the official sponsor of weep-a-thons, this guy knows what he’s talking about. Above all that, though, he has a very valid point.

When you’re at a low point, it can always get worse. Cherish the moment regardless. When you think you can’t possibly be any happier, you can be. Cherish the moment regardless. When you’re having an average day, it can take a turn either way. Be present in every moment of your life and be thankful you have it, good or bad, ecstatic or unbearably miserable. It is yours to make. Make up your mind and live your life that way.

Keep a good thought. It can only get better from here… and that’s MY opinion.

Love and Light,


Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: