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Pluck the Day

One of my favourite pieces of life advice comes from a (perhaps) unexpected source.

A baseball player.

Look, I do have some inner tension about loving baseball –– especially around how much money is thrown around for what is, or at least should be, just a game. How is it, for example, that someone can be paid $20 million (US!) (or more!) for playing a game?

And is that even healthy –– I mean, wouldn’t that put a lot of pressure on a person to perform?

Wouldn’t that kind of take the fun out of it?

If you were being paid $20 million dollars wouldn’t you feel like you better come through?

And you know what? More than half the time, they don’t.

They don’t come through.

So, ya, a little tension here around taking advice from anyone who is more likely to fail than succeed. Regardless of their salary.

Of course, we all know that there is lots to be learned from failure. But that’s not where I’m going.

We’re talking about what’s going on when they do come through.


When asked, after a particularly close game, with his team down by a couple of runs in the bottom of the ninth (classic, right?) how was he able to come through with the hit that ensured the win, Blue Jays outfielder George Springer said,

“I don’t try to do too much.”


$20 million and you don’t try to do too much?

And yet. It seems to work.

And it makes me think about when things are not working for me, when I am off-kilter and yup, when I am doing too much.

Time to back off a little. Time to stop trying so hard.

It connects to a quote I read from writer Nicholson Baker, that instead of seizing the day, we should pluck it, pluck it as gently as we would a wildflower.

In fact, he tells us, carpe (as in carpe diem), doesn’t mean seize, it means pluck.

I don’t know if that’s true, but I like it.

Pluck the day.

Especially now, when the sky is blue, the air is soft, and the birds are celebrating summer’s return to the northern hemisphere.

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We are settlers on Treaty 13 Land, the traditional territories of many Indigenous Nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples from across Turtle Island. We are committed to honouring the history this land bears witness to, responding to the 94 Calls to Action of the  Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and walking lightly on the Earth. A portion of proceeds from all our offerings are sent to:  The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and The Nii’kinaaganaa Foundation.

The Inside Outside Retreat Centre, Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), 720 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON, M5S2R4