Whale of a time.

Someone told Charlie Brown once, “You win some, and you lose some.” And he responded, “That would be nice.”

Charlie, oh Charlie. It seemed like he was losing most of the time. Always the odd man out. The bonk on the head in the outfield. The gag,  where Lucy pulled the football away, just before he kicked.

More often than not, his days were filled with something, certainly, unpleasant.

But Charlie. They tell us it is all relative.

Nicolas Chamfort once said, “Swallow a toad in the morning if you want to encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day.”

That is one way of doing it, I suppose.

We’d be like, “Tracy, I just gulped down my toad for the day. I’m good to go from here on out.”

Yes. There are things.

About five years ago, we were in Hawaii and we did all sorts of amazing and wild things, from zip lining in the highest of highs, to zipping around volcanoes in helicopters.

One of those days, we boarded a whale watching boat, early in the morning. They warned us before we got on. We might see a whole big bunch of whales, or we might not see a single one. And, out we went on the Pacific Ocean.

For much of the morning, we saw a lot of water. And horizon.  I managed a fair amount of coffee before I boarded the boat. And once we were sailing along, I tumbled back a Diet Coke. So as we were approaching the noonish mark, I had to pee so bad that I could barely stand it. But I didn’t want to go beneath deck to the restroom, for fear of missing something. Finally, it was too much. I navigated my way down below, to the head, and carefully found my place of relief. Just as soon as I started peeing, the entire boat cheered wildly. My first reactionary thought was, “Gawd. I hope I’m not being telecast on a Jumbotron somewhere.” And then it hit me. Whale sighting.

Yes it was. A sighting a major proportions. The boat rocked wildly a second later. Not only were they seeing whales, those whales were jumping up and out of the water. And here I am, in an indoor outhouse staring at a plastic white wall.

Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown. You will win some, and you will lose some. “Oh. That would be nice.”

It might seem like I was losing that one. But in fact, it was all relative. I had so many wins at that very moment, it was crazy. The first and obvious thing of that minute was that I had the ability to pee. There are a lot of people in the world who no longer have that miracle of life. Two, I had been sailing, all morning long, on the beautiful ocean. With my family. And we had seen some remarkable things, like birds flying through the air, and birds flying every now and again, and a couple of birds here and there. And lots of water. Three, we were still sailing. We hadn’t wrecked or gone down with the ship. And four, we were in the Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii.

Those are a bunch of wins.

Of course, once I got back up top, I heard it all around. “Oh, Polly! You missed it! You should have seen them. They were magnificent.” And on.

I can’t deny that I was disappointed. Just a bit. But the January sun was beaming down on the deck, the mist of the ocean filled the air, and I was with some of my favorite people in the world. Win, win.

Today, we might win some, or we might lose some. But if we pay attention, and look in the right direction, we just might be surprised by what we can see.  Thar she blows.


“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.”
― Tim Fargo


“Sometimes not getting what you want is a brilliant stroke of luck.”
― Lorii Myers


“More powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin.”
― Orrin Woodward