I made a realization a little while ago that might surprise you. I had found myself wide awake at 6 AM for probably the fourth time in a week, much earlier than I needed to get up, and I lay there writing articles in my head. The gut instinct to "keep sleeping, you idiot" was wrestling with my racing brain but, really the option to sleep doesn't stand a chance. I was at a computer screen earlier and earlier every day just so I could read, research, and write about football. That's when the epiphany had struck me, even though it seems so obvious:
People have literal reasons for getting out of bed. It's not just a metaphor.
This was my first literal reason to keep cutting short my time in bed, almost like I had some sort of purpose in life? Yet as I left the bar yesterday and the reality set in that the Seahawks really had no more games left, I couldn't help but think that sitting on a beach in Mexico with one of those coconut drinks and being miles away from cell service and the internet sounded like a pretty good life. Who needs purpose when it's going to punch you in the gut and remind you that there are feelings besides joy. The ones that hurt. The ones that make you sad, not just the ones that make you a winner for seven straight games. This one, the loss to the Falcons, in retrospect it's just about the only way they could have lost. A perfect microcosm of 2012, and not even close to being the strangest thing we've seen year long.
So, would I leave my laptop, get in the Volvo and just keep driving until I don't know where I am anymore or how to get back home? Maybe one final tweet, one short ominous Field Gulls post as I go off into the sunset and never to be heard from again? Of course not. Even when your motivation to get out of the bed in the morning turns into the opposite, you have to promise yourself one thing. That you will never, ever, ever, give up. Not when things don't go your way and not when you're losing by 20 points on the road in the fourth quarter. When I said had faith in this team down 27-7, I meant it. It really doesn't matter that they came back, it could have just the same ended 27-7, but the faith never wavers. I have it for Seattle and I'm never giving up. Even if the season is now starting all over again, even if we're a year and three weeks away from the next Super Bowl game.
Okay, I can deal with that.
I watched Zero Dark Thirty the other day. If you are completely unfamiliar with the movie, it's about the mission to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. There won't be any politics in this story, I promise you that. What's compelling about Zero Dark Thirty isn't the the target, it's the hunter. A woman recruited by the CIA out of high school and who has spent her entire adult life looking for Bin Laden, starting in 2003. Spoiler alert: She gets him!
But when I was watching the movie, all I could think about was this woman in real life. She spent every moment of every day for eight years looking for this guy and then eventually he is found and killed in May of 2011. And I am sitting here watching this story in January of 2013. I can't help but think about time and how it is fast, slow, relative, or perhaps not even a real thing. What if that women knew that it would take eight years to complete the mission, would she have still dedicated herself to it? What if day one was "Okay, we will get Bin Laden in 2011!" would she have cared as much about every day before that?
When the Seahawks were in the playoffs this year, every week felt like a month. When they lost, Sunday never ended. Except that every week was a week. Sunday was one day long. I am sitting here on January 14, 2013, writing for you fine folks, and there was also a time that on May 23, 1993, I was watching the series finale of Life Goes On. If you had told me then that I would have to wait 20 years to get to this moment, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed any of the journey in between. Instead, I enjoyed like 35% of it, which is okay. We don't wait for things, we don't think about how long it's going to take for the Seahawks to win a Super Bowl, we don't make chalk marks on the prison wall. We just enjoy the good times and cope with the bad times.
Yesterday I shed a few tears for the Seattle Seahawks. And those tears were good. We had just come back from a 20-point 4th quarter deficit on the road to probably beat Atlanta and move on in the playoffs. I cried a little bit at that moment, because I was so relieved and so happy. That didn't get to last very long, but I still got to have it and I am grateful for that. I won't ever forget that.
I'm not counting the days until the next game. I'm not taking the good for granted. I'm not moving to Mexico- well I could move to Mexico- but no matter where I am I will be on the internet. Because for the first time in my life, I feel motivated. And I will never, ever, ever, give up.