I sit here at the keyboard, hearing Take Me Out to the Ball Game playing in my mind.

This song has been showing up throughout the day; in particular, the lyrics:

For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out

At the old ball game.

Baseball was never a game I enjoyed playing.

As a kid at bat, I struck out a lot.

After striking out numerous times, I began to tell myself the story when stepping up to the plate with bat in my hands, I’m gonna strike out.

And sure enough . . . time and again and again and again I would prove the story true. I would strike out.

As a young kid, I was challenged to get the timing right as to when to swing the bat so that it would hit the ball.

In telling myself the story I’m gonna strike out, I’d get so uptight that I’d swing at anything.

Finally at age 9, I retired from baseball; the only problem was that every spring in gym class we played baseball.

And every spring, I told myself the same story, I’m gonna strike out.

And time after time after time that’s exactly what I did.

The I’m gonna strike out story also showed up in other scenes from my Act 1.

Even after all these years as I entertain some memories percolating from my adolescent years, I feel the pain generated from telling myself this same story at school dances.

Yeah, the very same story I’m gonna strike out I told myself as I stood against the wall, eying possible girls that I wanted to ask to dance.

Telling myself this story, I’d call strike 3 on myself even before I took a step and opened my mouth to ask.

Ah, yes, there I was this morning in a scene from my Act 3, doing my morning walk and hearing a familiar voice from my past.

It was an inner voice saying to me, Strike 3, Bob. You’re out!

My energy spiraled down, down, down. And in the down mood, hopelessness was at my side, ready to embrace me.

I saw a bench nearby. I looked at it, eying it and thinking to myself, Strike 3, Bob, you’re out. Go sit on the bench.

Instead of sitting, I kept on walking.

I kept on taking a step at a time; and with each step that I took, my steps became more empowered.

And with the cadence generated by an empowered gait, hopelessness was left behind as was the old-time story, I’m gonna strike out.

The new story I’m telling myself is: I know what I’m doing in following my heart.

I know what my heart’s encouraging me to create in Act 3 of my life.

With each step that I take, I simply know what I am doing .

Yes, I’m discovering in my Act 3 new stories to tell myself that enlighten and empower me in aging gracefully through the plus 50 years.

Loving you,

Robert, aka Bob