Thursday, October 23, 2014
   
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Hey batter, batter ... swing

Feet set, weight back, elbow up, eyes on the ball.

Life is full of surprises.

Know the strike zone. Don’t commit too early.

We are all pitched a few curves.

Watch the ball all the way in. Don’t back down.

Although some pitches are intimidating and prove difficult to hit, they can still result in a game-winning home run.

Don’t be afraid to swing.

Our only path to true happiness is found when we’re open to receiving what life throws our way.

Sometimes life comes at you straight down the middle, so you dig in and find the comfort zone, hitting deep with every swing.

Other times you get smacked with the unexpected, limping away with a lasting bruise.

And then there’s the curve.

We’ve all had them. Some come as struggles, forcing us to choke up and try again. Others appear as opportunities, begging us to take a swing.

After getting beaned pretty hard about a decade ago, I stepped up to the plate at The Times. It hasn’t been all fastballs and home runs, but I’d say my batting average here hangs well above .500.

Along the way, I’ve learned a few things from the home team, not the least of which are: Take pride in your teammates, reach for those who need a hand up and never quit trying to make yourself better.

I’ve also learned that life rarely pitches straight for nine whole innings. Whenever I think I have some sort of grasp on what it’s all about, it throws me a curve.

My latest pitch came as an unexpected opportunity, offering a shift in my life direction.

I could have ducked, hoping to avoid it, or I might have watched as it sailed past me.

What I did instead is squared up, took a deep breath and let ’er rip.

I’ve been drafted to another team. It’s not exactly the major league, more like Triple-A, but it’s still a chance for player development and advancement.

Before I go, I want to thank the fans. Whether you cheered for me or against me, you’ve made me the player I am today.

Life throws you a curve ball now and then. To succeed, you’ve got to know when to swing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: After nearly 10 years with The Times, reporter Deb Egenberger has accepted a position as assistant managing editor at the North Platte Telegraph. She begins her new adventure there on April 8.