Must Be Present To Win



What does Luke Bryan have to do with “Must Be Present To Win?”   Those who know me won’t be surprised when I explain.   This post is obviously about winning.   Jan and I were in the car the other day and I mentioned that I was really getting tired of the song, “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.”

“I don’t think I know that song?  Who sings it?’  I was confused by her response since she is a county music fan and knows all the current songs.

I tried to sing a piece, but she still had no idea about the song.  I decided to Google it and let her listen to the chorus, so that she would be terribly embarrassed when she realized she knew the song.   I found it and played the snippet of the song I found.    I then discovered that the song is That’s My Kind of Night by Luke Bryan.  Here are the lyrics:
‘Floatin’ down the Flint River/catch us up a little catfish dinner/gonna sound like a winner, winner.”   So, I had it almost right.  And, she did know the song, of course.  I still haven’t lived that one down.

On a more serious note, two years ago I attended a day conference here in Charleston presented by Google.  As a surprise, they donated two newly released Samsung Galaxy Android Tablets.  The first was given away at noon and the second at the closing session of the day.  I had an appointment that couldn’t be changed, so I left just as the last half hour of the session started.

When I left my appointment I had several text messages and a couple of phone calls telling me that my name had been drawn to win the tablet.  HOWEVER, YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!   As you can see, I am not over it still.

You may know that it has been a rough few weeks.  Several things are going on, but primarily I am struggling because my car died.  Living in Charleston (very little public transportation), tying to go to school and work, and do all the other things I do is now a true challenge.  I have cried, screamed, and prayed a lot- trust me!

Yesterday, I received a call from the local pharmacy where I fill my prescriptions.   They announced that there had a been a drawing from all the people who used the online refill email last month, and I was the winner.  My prize is two tickets valued at $20.00 each to a trolley tour around Summerville on what is known as the Sweet Tea Trail.   While it isn’t a Samsung Tablet, I did win.  As odd as it many sound, that phone call changed my mood.  I didn’t do anything to earn this prize nor do I really deserve it.  I won simply because I did what I needed to do.

I began to think that life is like winning both of those prizes-you must be present to win.  If I choose to withdraw and be miserable or simply focus on the negative because I don’t have a car…or money…or my own home…you get the idea, then I lose.  I can’t enjoy those things that make life worth living…family…friends…laughter…you get the idea.

Being present simply means getting out of bed each day, doing the next right thing, being part of the lives of the people I love, laughing out loud, acting like a kid, working, going to school, helping where and when I can, having faith that God is present in my life no matter what the circumstances, and praying.   Some days I am going to be more present than others; we all have those days when we need to retreat and regroup. We might even need to cry sometimes.   A friend told me that everyone has a bad day; you just don’t want it turn into bad weeks and months.

Today, I have been present.  I got up early because I didn’t sleep well, but used the extra time to get a few things done.  I went to school with all of my assignments for the day complete.  I met my friends for lunch.  We talked and laughed and just enjoyed hanging out.  Right now I am supposed to be working on ten short summaries of essays for one class and critiquing three stories for another.  Instead, I decided to write this blog post, first.  (Please don’t tell on me!)   I doubt I will have chicken or catfish for supper today, but all in all, I would say I was a winner.




8 responses

  1. This was brilliant, and well-written. So much truth in the “Must Be Present to Win” statement. I love it when someone takes something familiar to us all, and puts a new spin on it. Very well played, Cathy. Absolutely brilliant.


    1. Thanks so much for your comment.


  2. […] Must Be Present To Win […]


  3. I’m happy you were able to change the focus! Like you, perspective makes a huge difference for me as well. For example, when I still lived in Heidelberg, I enjoyed the beauty of the city and the proximity of nature and took a lot of walks outside. Now I live in a big city and in a post-industrial quarter that is a little shabby and I really missed the opportunity to go for a walk in a beautiful, quiet surrounding. On the other hand, my husband and I have a beautiful apartment, much better than before, however the rather unappealing environment discouraged me to be outside much. Anyway, I’ve come to think that since I am here now I should make the best of it – and it turns out the place really offers a lot of possibilities I haven’t explored much yet. For example, there are a lot of community activities going in here, such as places where you can go and have breakfast or coffee in an informal manner and that organize small concerts with local bands, poetry slams, and art exhibitions. There’s a community garden not far away, the next quarter has a nice shopping area, and I can easily reach the Rhine or a close-by forest by public transportation. This all is very uplifting for me, and I feel much better now knowing that there is a lot to explore.


  4. Great post!
    I totally agree: You Must be Present to Win! Life is full of woe and struggles enough to not have to focus on them. I remind myself every day to try and find at least one moment of joy and inspiration. Eventually you get into a habit if feeling joyful and inspired just because that is where your focus lies.

    I love your blog.
    I have tagged you for a blog award here:

    You’re winning here! 😉

    – KK 🙂


  5. Boy, this post really hit home. Been waiting for biopsy results for over a week now. Trying to be positive about, go on with living, without thinking about the serious stuff. Just having faith it’s all going to work out. God is present in our lives, everywhere. Great message Cathy.


  6. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


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