Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories.

Polybius (205 BC - 118 BC)

It's not very often that I'll blog on something that has some rudimentary basis in philosophy, but my Plato is beckoning to me from my bookshelf and I'm feeling kind of sassy. So today, this thought has been bouncing back and forth in my head, on the pages I've written and throughout my life's journey.
You know what *those* strange single days are like? The ones where everything changes and you didn't know it? Didn't see it coming? I had a day like that yesterday.  It was a normal day, save for being a national holiday. My husband was at home.  We spent the weekend just spending time together--and I don't mean in the physical *together in the same room* kind of together.  I mean together--talking, learning about each other again, having fun, enjoying each other's company. For some people, that might involve sitting in a cabin high atop a lonely mountain, or perched on a pier overlooking the ocean.  Not us.
For us, that means a pretty vicious Mario Party tournament.
Yes, we're corny. At any rate--
While we played our marathon video game battle out on the screen, we were talking.  We managed to hash out a lot of issues that we've just let slide for months now--issues that crept in between us at points and brought us closer together at others. We just...had fun. No pressure.  That lack of pressure enabled us, I think, to talk freely about things that we've either been putting off or just not wanting to deal with.,  And, as a result, we're both much happier people today than we were on Sunday.
Okay. I know what you're thinking.
Celina, you're whacked. What in the HELL does this have to do with victories?
Well, let me tell you.
Aside from me stomping him into the dirt during our Mario Party war, there were other victories won over the course of the day.  Victories over fear.  Victories over procrastination.  Victories over getting into a rut. Victories over the machinations of petty people around us.  Victories over pain and its lasting and daily effects upon our personal lives.  Victories over expectations and pressures.  Victories over suspicions and mistrust.  Victories over loneliness, or neediness.
We won victories over the societal need for instant gratification, over the dread that responsibilities can bring.  We won victories over anger and lies and manipulations.  We won victories over those who would like to destroy us.
We won victories over ourselves.
Yep. That's an awful lot of victories over the course of 120 rounds of Mario Party 8.
You see, Polybius' words are general: Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories. But the application of those words can be very specific.  We all attain victories every day of our lives--most of them small; some of them huge.  But what do we do with those victories? Is it enough merely to have won?
Or, do we have an obligation to take those victories big and small and make them into something else?  Are they tools we can use to gain further victories? Or building blocks, perhaps, to set up a new game?
So take a moment and think about that.  What victory have you won lately? What did you do with it?  When I managed to get my first novel down on paper, I won a huge victory at a daunting task.  Lots of people start books; few finish them.  I did. And then I took that victory and used it to win another, and another, and another--to the tune of what now? Seventeen completed manuscripts? Nine published already? Three to be published in the next couple of months? The rest in various places at various stages?  That's a lot of victories built from the original basis of one.
So knowing how to win is important, but knowing what to do once you have won is, in many cases, even more so. Especially at three in the morning when you're getting ready to do a battle mini game and there are eighty coins on the line.
Yes. I won. I won it all.