Sometimes in life, we get in funks…and I was in a small one late yesterday evening. I got home from work and just let my mind go to some low places. I retreated back to a bad habit I have been trying to kick…which made me feel even worse. I went to bed, hoping and praying for some way to shake this off. As I write this, I can’t help but smile because I asked and God listened….as he usually does. He sent me the sign and kick I needed. Today was one of the busiest days for our office and the staff spent the entire day at Lloyd Noble Center. LNC, as it’s most commonly known, is home to the OU men’s and women’s basketball teams. During one of my trips up the ramp to greet students, I passed by the entrance to the women’s basketball practice facility. On my way back down toward the tunnel, I glanced inside and saw Jan Ross, one of the assistant coaches for the women’s basketball team. Jan is going through treatment for breast cancer. When I waived, she gave her trademark smile and continued on with her conversation. Seeing Jan made me think, “What in the world do I have to be in a funk about? My issues aren’t nearly as bad as what she is going through…” She’s going through treatments, still coaching and carrying on with her typical positive attitude. I saw Jan a few more times before we left LNC for the day and knew it was time for me to shift gears in my thinking and dealing with things. I have plenty of reminders around me of people who are going through way more really crappy situations than me. Anytime I think about retreating, I simply need to think of Jan…or the person back in San Antonio who is practically my second mother having her last surgery tomorrow for breast cancer….or her daughter who is 2 years older than me (34) who just got the dreaded diagnosis herself.
So tonight, when I choose to put today to rest, I will do so with a clearer and refocused mind. I have the choice to make the right, healthy decision and say no to the habit. In a way, I can deal my own set of cards….but some aren’t as lucky.
De-funked in Norman
Facebook can be a blessing and a curse. Most days I glance at it but don’t post very much personally, just occasionally on behalf of the OU Softball Diamond Club. This past Wednesday, however, I was grateful for a posting by a friend and colleague, Debbie Copp. She posted a tribute to someone who meant a lot to the University of Oklahoma, David Maloney. I was so sad to hear of Mr. Maloney’s passing. As Debbie and I both shared via e-mail, he and his wife are such classy people and make an immediate impression on anyone they meet. I have just returned from attending his prayer service. Many of the memories people shared about him were of no surprise to me and only reiterated what I already knew. One particular story shared was by his brother, Tom. He spoke of how Dave taught him to “stand up every time a woman walks into a room.” He didn’t think much of it at the time (he was only 10 years old) but said that to this day, approximately 57 years later, he still stands up when a woman enters the room.
I first met Dave Maloney when I was taking graduate courses at OU. He taught my Sports Marketing course and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing of how he was successful at getting people to donate money to the university. Simply put, he would have a conversation with them, get to know the potential donors and basically invite them to take part in a project with OU. Though I only had him for one course, his methods have stuck with me and think of him every time I meet with a student who wants to go into sales or development.
The past few years, I had the pleasure of seeing Dave and his wife Roberta at almost every home football game. I couldn’t help but smile when I would see them walking, hand-in-hand, into the Santee Lounge. He’d greet me with that sweet, genuine smile and put his arm around me for a hug. When he asked how I was doing, I knew he was sincere. Being an avid basketball fan as well, once football was over, I could count on seeing the Maloneys walk to their seats to attend basketball games at Lloyd Noble Center.
I consider myself blessed for knowing David Maloney. My home football and basketball games will not be the same without him but I know he’s with us in spirit. I was once again reminded this week of how precious life is and how we need to appreciate every day we have.
College Football. It’s the time of year people plan their social lives around and a time of year no one wants to end. When the last bowl game is played in January, a heavy depression settles in over the country. Fans immediately begin to count down until September when it all can start again. I hesitate admitting this, but I’m more of a college basketball fan myself. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy football….but the sport of basketball is what brings out a different, more competitive side. But, it’s September….and that means football. September means waking up on Saturdays and turning on ESPN GameDay after my morning news. A mere few weeks ago, I laughed when I asked Jenny how many days until football season started and she spit out almost an exact number and then broke into a huge smile. Being from Texas, this is the time of year classmates from high school and friends from Texas give me hell because I now “bleed crimson and cream.” I now cheer for the University of Oklahoma, the coveted rival of the Longhorns. I will always have ties to Texas….I was born there….my family still lives in San Antonio. But I chose to receive my graduate degree from OU and am proud I am now alum of a great university who happens to have one of the top-rated football programs in the country. Plus, I look better in crimson than I do orange…..
So grab a beverage and snack of your choice and enjoy today and every Saturday to come until January. They go by fast…..