Victories of 2011

‘Cause I can see the shadows at the foot of my door

I can see the faces that don’t doubt us anymore

I can see it coming, I pray I don’t go blind

In the middle of our reckoning time.”

Needtobreathe, The Reckoning

“Why do you root for San Diego State?”

That was the first question out of an old friend’s mouth when we ran into him at a bar this past March, and it caught me a little off guard. I’d been so busy preparing for the night, ready to cheer on a school that had never won an NCAA Tournament basketball game before, that I’d hardly thought about how others might find it a little weird that I rooted so hard for them. Sure, my dream school’s team didn’t play until the following night, so I didn’t need to wear a shirt representing their logo (shirts that make up approximately 70% of my wardrobe), but what was with the red and black long sleeve shirt with the letters SDSU across the front?

This friend wanted to know.

“Um….” If only my book were published, I thought, then I could just point him to that, but who knows when on earth that will be.  I nervously glanced at the TV — tipoff was less than five minutes away. I smiled. “You know what, it’s a long story.”

“Oh,” he smiled back, leaving me to find a seat in front of the monitor and get on with my cheering.

“Come on, San Diego State, let’s get a victory!”

Eight months later, there have been a lot of victories.

Some downs, some tough moments, but when I look back at this year and everything that’s happened, it’s about the victories; the small — the basketball games (yes, SDSU did secure their first-ever tournament win that night); the big — the fact that I can now point friends to that published “long story;” and all of those in between, from a relationship with my dad again, to welcoming a new brother-in-law into the family, to introducing my college roommate to my home state during one of the most fun weekends I’ve ever had.

As I continue to build on those moments from 2011, I’m reminded to celebrate all of the victories, no matter how big or small. It’s not always about winning the National Championship, or even getting to the Final Four. Sometimes it’s about just getting that first win, and using it as a catalyst, a building block for many others.

What will 2012 bring? I can only hope more of the same.

What were your best moments of this year? Your favorite memories?  And yes, you too will have to check out And Then it Rained: Lessons for Life to find out why I cheer for two schools every March :).

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