george steinbrenner and quilting

Okay, maybe this is a stretch. Still, The Boss’s death gave me a moment to reminisce. It’s just about three years since we left New York for Colorado. And I love it here. And I keep insisting there’s nothing I miss about back East.

But is that true? Reading through all the obits and op eds about Steinbrenner, I found myself smiling. Gleeful over all the rude things he and other Yorkers had said or done. New York – the place where the ruder you are, the more you are respected.

And I miss this?? Honestly yes and  no. I like living here in the Southwest because I can drive without constant fear that someone is going to run a stop sign or refuse to pull over for an emergency vehicle or pass me in the right hand shoulder going 70 mph. It happens, yes. But not as a rule.

People are pleasant here. It’s a whole different way of negotiating life. Here blustering is mostly considered bad manners. In New York, you either bluster back or roll your eyes. But you don’t give ground. Here you compromise or agree to disagree. For the most part.

Of course there are times when you agree to be disagreeable at each other. But I can go to the store here fairly confident that I will not come home with my blood pressure higher than it was when I left.

There is a kind of live and let live functioning here. Not about everything. There are certain areas where temperatures run high. But often I notice people prefer to back away from an issue, rather than discuss it. There are issues I insist on discussing. But for the most part we have agreed somehow, non-verbally, to disagree, my neighbors and me about politics, say.

Do I miss a good ole New York verbal brawl? I find I don’t. It’s nice not to have to engage over every little thing. I know in New York I was always loaded for bear, as they say. Ready and willing to pick a fight with all other people. Here, I have let my guard down.

This has had an interesting effect on my quilts. I feel freer than I did – and I always felt free – to do what I want. I am seeing things differently. My designs seem more about possibilities and less about defending what I’m doing. That’s very liberating.

I still think a lot of people don’t understand what I’m doing but out here they are giving me room to do it anyway.

Some say Steinbrenner changed baseball forever for the worst. I think he was just in the vanguard of the inevitable change that was coming. He did what he thought was best to create a winning team. And although I was a Mets fan and a Cubs fan and a BoSox fan, and am now a total Rockies fan, I have to admit that watching the Yankees play was a real pleasure. Baseball at its best.

Consequently I am going to take a page from George’s playbook and decide to continue to do what’s best for my quilting – ignoring the old rules, and honoring my inner voice. Steinbrenner said it was all about winning. I think actually it was all about bringing out the very best in each person. And that’s what I’ll take with me. Ignore the critics. Figure out what’s wrong with your failures and fix it. Revel in your successes. Embrace who you are.