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Friday, May 31, 2013

Addictions We Can't Escape

I was reading through some tweets during the NASCAR Truck race tonight and thinking to myself how much I agreed. There were several people stating they were tired of seeing a particular Cup racer compete and dominate so many Truck and NNS events. I feel like I can see multiple sides to it...

There are the people who say they're going to stop watching NASCAR all together, or certain series within it because they are fed up with the same old boring winner week in and week out. I've been there, I said I was done watching Cup myself if Jimmie didn't stop winning Championships! (Thank you Stewart & Kesolowski and sorry Laura!) The more drivers who are competitive, the more unpredictable each race is...the more unpredictable each race is the more people want to watch to see what's going to happen, right?

A handful of people just complain. They don't offer a solution, they don't say they're going to change their actions...they just moan and whine and see who else will join in. I'm not a fan of this. If you don't like something it is up to you to help find a solution or to walk away - don't just sit and sulk. Life is way too short to spend valuable moments doing something or watching something you don't love. Period.

I understand the logistics that tell me that those Cup drivers, while annoying as all get out when they win week in and week out in the Truck (and NNS) series, are bringing in sponsors, fans and advertisers. I get it. In the spirit of not being the person who complains without offering solutions I am going to hop up on my soapbox and use my blog for what it's meant: a place for me to share MY opinions...if you're easily offended you should probably proceed with caution because I honestly have no idea how abrasive this is going to get.

Shame on the fans. Shame on those who won't go see a Truck race because they have no idea who any of the drivers are. Shame on those who won't go see a Truck race unless there's a big name driver like Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick or Brad Kesolowski wheeling around the track. Where do you think these drivers made a name for themselves? There would be no Cup level talent without the skill building series like Trucks, and while we're at it, K&N, ARCA, NNS, Whelen and so on down the line. Wouldn't it be amazing to watch a driver work his way up the ranks and be able to say you cheered for him/her before he/she made it to the big time? 

Shame on the tracks. You want to really pack the seats for your lower series events? Lower your ticket rates! Ignore what the mainstream, ignorant media are saying about the recession being over or getting better! There are still thousands of people (like me!) losing their houses, struggling to find work that will provide for their families, pinching pennies just to feed their families that simply cannot afford to attend as many races as they want to. Try it for a season or two and if it doesn't increase attendance then you go back to the drawing board. But, don't just drop prices a few dollars, slash them! A family of four cannot afford $35 a ticket when they are barely making ends meet. Can you imagine a Truck race having more fans in the stands than a Cup event? With the right marketing program and slashed prices it could and would happen!

Shame on NASCAR. You have created a developmental series that could bring in amazing talent that one day will have sponsors drooling over the possibility of special paint schemes and incredible ad campaigns but you fail to highlight and advertise these young drivers and their talent to the full potential that you could. You are a very influential organization that has the power to promote the Truck (and other lower) series in a way that would get more fans excited to watch... Instead, because it's easy and it's "working" you allow Cup drivers to dominate races that are supposed to be set aside for drivers who are learning and growing and trying like hell to make a name for themselves. Guess what...it's not really working...fans are disgusted, attendance sucks and the people who want to cheer for up and coming drivers like Kyle Larson and Bubba Wallace are turning off their TVs and heading to local tracks for non-NASCAR events.

Shame on sponsors for having no vision. Imagine finding the next Jimmie Johnson or Kyle Busch (with less attitude maybe?) and getting in with them before they became so popular that everyone wants a piece of them? Imagine being the one company that took a chance and propelled a superstar to multiple championships? Wouldn't that be a branding and legacy phenomenon that not only gains long term ROI but creates a reputation for excellence? Why aren't more of you jumping at the chance to tap into a sport that has more fans than any other?

If I haven't lost you yet then let me challenge you this: if you don't already have a favorite driver in the Truck series, go get one! Read up on who's out there, pick a favorite or two and then for the rest of 2013 cheer for no one else! If you're a Kyle Busch fan and he runs a truck too bad, stick to your guns! Love Brad Kesolowski? Better save it for Sunday because on Truck day you are hereby DARED...no double...wait, TRIPLE DOG DARED to ONLY cheer for a NCWTS Driver. What are you waiting for? Get to it!

*Hops off soapbox* For now...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Time To Mourn

It's crunch time. I have no business 'wasting' time on the computer and yet when the inspiration to writes hits me I will lose it if I don't run with it. I've tried notebooks, there has been a time or two that I have been able to salvage a thought from scribbles jotted down but usually my luck is that I get hit with an idea while I am driving and there is no where to pull over. So today...I write.

In three weeks' time I am simultaneously losing my house to auction (unless they accept this short sale by some miracle!). Before you ask, I am still looking for a job, applying new places daily and no, I have no idea where the kids and I will be living. I am clinging to God's promises that He will provide all our needs. Oh, so if that's not enough, the same day they auction the house I have to sit across from my estranged husband for the first time since he left back in the middle of December.

My ex. That is how I refer to him because there is no more us. The only thing standing between that being a legal term and the awkward place we are now is a law in the great state of North Carolina that requires we wait. A year. One year. I was packing up some trinkets in my dining room today, Precious Moments to be exact, and came across a figurine that my ex gave me on our first anniversary. The first thought I had was sell it on eBay, make some money. Too much hassle with the busy few weeks I have ahead of me. Maybe I could dump it on Listia, gain some credits towards that video camera I want. Again, I don't really have time to auction anything at the moment.

I thought back to a conversation I had with a very wise man who told me that I had to remember to give myself time to mourn my marriage. The same you do when you lose a person who is close to you because in essence my marriage is dead. I have struggled with this, on several levels. Here's the biggest one: I have been extremely blessed so far in my life, I have never mourned anyone that I was so close to that I needed the true grieving process. So I don't know how to grieve. I don't know how to let things go to the point that I can look back and smile about the good times without being sad that they are over.

So as I stood in my dining room, alone in the house because my youngest is playing out back with our furbaby, tempted to smash it into a million pieces, I stopped to remember the road of grief. I thought to myself that if this had been a gift from a loved one who had died would I really throw it away? No. I would save it to remember the happy times we had. I am moving forward, one step, one breath at a time by saving this...right? Time will tell, but I think the momentos, the pictures, the trinkets; they are all linked to happier times and someday I will look back on them and smile at the journey that made me who I am today. A stronger, smarter woman.

So I will find my way, my way to mourn what I have lost and I will learn to let go, truly and completely. I owe that to myself. I owe that to my kids, to be able to show them that is it alright to be sad for a moment...but then show them that we pick up the pieces and move forward. We cherish the happy memories and we let go of the rest. We will survive together and we will ultimately have a kinder, gentler understanding of those around us going through hard times because we have walked through our own fire and came out heads held high, smiles on our faces and tears erased from our eyes.