Being Number One

I am chagrind to report that my state is number one in the country for per capita Covid cases. I remember how important it was in high school and college for our teams and ensembles to be “number one.”  I don’t want to be number one any more.

I want to be last right now.  Didn’t someone a long time ago say that “the first will be last and the last will be first?”

What are you the best at? What are you the worst at?

47 thoughts on “Being Number One”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I have never been a hyper competitive person, which some people
    count as a flaw. As a very young child I was at an Easter egg hunt where the hordes of children around me were gathering the most eggs ever. I was standing there in my pink dress, pondering a blue egg, when a boy knocked me over, took the egg out of my hand, making off with my
    Egg basket. I sat on the ground, wailing because I was knocked over. That was my first lesson in one mindfulness—don’t be one mindful in the middle of competitive boys. I learned this again 20 years later while trying to play volley ball in a mixed league—same experience, bigger boys.

    I am good at many things, but I doubt I am “best” at anything. I have no gift for accounting/bookkeeping practices. A learning disability interferes with accuracy rendering any attempted transfer of figures, incorrect. For verification you can talk to Jodie, who worked for me for 10 years, and whose paycheck I messed up many times due to this problem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And a hearty congratulations to N. Dakota on its #1 status. It appears that the governor and many residents worked hard on this. Yesterday, I learned that a polymer clay friend, age 78, in S Dakota, has contracted Covid.


  2. morning-
    I was uncomfortable saying what I was best at either. I like how Jacque phrased it; I’m good at some things, probably not ‘best’ at any.
    Or if I am, it’s a pretty small pond I’m comparing it too. Like Lighting design; I am pretty good at that. In the Rochester Area. There’s only 4 of us doing it here at a professional level.
    Way to go North Dakota!
    I just don’t understand what’s so hard to figure out with all of this. My sister has caught it too. She was going out to play poker and eat and all that. Again, why?? She’s a supporter of his Orangness so there’s one reason.

    I am the worst at finish carpentry and wood work. I’ve got 4 little pieces of baseboard to finish. I’m frozen with fear and I will probably never finish it. At least not until I put my big boy pants on and just do it. Next month. Maybe. Stupid trim, stupid corners, stupid coping corners to fit. Oh, I’ve tried it; I’ve done a lot of it. It’s not pretty.

    This is Ben

    Liked by 3 people

    1. As the saying goes in the recovery community, “Da Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt.” People thought it would not happen “here”, where ever “here” might be. Small towns and rural areas are especially adept at believing this.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Colleague and I had a race to see who would be the last to put a couple or so small pieces of trim in our kitchen. I am not sure we ever resolved it.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Orangeness.
      On October 31 The Great Orange Pumpkin will arise from the White House Pharmacy Vaccine Patch and deliver vaccine to all the good little Trumpists around the world.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I’ve been trying to think if I’ve ever won a trophy or anything for being first place. And I can’t think of a single thing. So I think I’m gonna have to go down the same path as a lot of baboons when I say I’m really good at some stuff but best? Not sure I can claim that. In terms of worst that’s pretty easy. I am extremely directionally challenged, even having trouble with GPS sometimes. And I’m really bad at cars. I don’t know anybody’s car and a lot of times I come out and stand in the parking lot for a little bit trying to remember where I parked my own!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so interesting, isn’t it. I can drive a road once and 10 years later remember I’d been on this road before. I don’t always know where I am, but I am never lost.
      But I hate taking the wrong road if I have a general idea of where we’re going. Did that just last Saturday. We picked up something and then it should have been just a quick 6 miles to visit someone. But I turned the wrong way because I didn’t exactly know. And GPS had us making a giant 20 mile “U” and that just aggravated the heck out of me. If I had CHOSEN that route it would have been a cool rural road / scenic route. But I was there by accident and that just annoyed me.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Winona was right up there several weeks ago, as the students came back. Not sure where we are lately – I should keep better track.

    I am (well, was) sometimes the person in a Song Circle who remembers the most tunes to the songs (our book features mostly just lyrics). At our house, I’m the one who gets the dishes most consistently clean. I’ll keep thinking…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Interesting topic mainly because “the best” and “the worst” are subjective to a degree. The subjective comes when “someone” decides on the criteria to measure best or worst. Then there’s the question of best in the world, in the country, in the state, in your town, in your group of friends, in your household. But as long as the criteria and parameters for measuring the outcomes are set, deciding best and worst at something is always fun.

    For a while earlier this season, my golf handicap was lower than average for me and stayed there for longer than normal. So when the inevitable happened and my golf game began reverting to the mean in spectacular fashion, I was telling my golf buddies almost daily, “I am the world’s WORST 4-handicap golfer!” Go figure that one out. 🙂

    Paradoxically, I’ve won a couple of local senior golfer tournament events over the past few years so I can also claim that for those particular moments, I was “the BEST 4-handicap golfer.” . . . in town, among the field of entrants, and on those particular days.

    Outside of that, I consider myself to be Lake Wobegonish (even though I’m not a child, I grew up in MN) because I’m pretty much above average in much of what I do. I’d call that confirmation bias since most of us agree we tend to do things we like and are good at more than things we suck at.

    Chris in Owatonna– (watching a tiny snow shower outside my office window right now while the sun strains mightily to break through the cloud cover.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Years ago when I was still working as a stagehand, the ‘Moody Blues’ were in town. I was assigned to run a spot light that night (which was one of my common jobs) So us four spot operators were having the pre-show meeting with their lighting guy and he says “Which of you is the best spot light operator?” Well, I was pretty good. So was Pete, I don’t remember the other two guys; I think they were new.
    And so I said ‘Well, probably me’ (I’d like to think I said “Or Pete” but I honestly don’t remember) and so I got a special spot cue.
    In their song “Question” 2/3rds of the way in, the music all fades out and slams back in with a guitar riff. I spotted just his guitar as the lights and music all faded out then me and my spot faded out too. The crowd screams. Then bumped back open on the lighting guys cue when the guitar starts again. Everytime I hear that song I remember that bit.
    I guess I was the best that night. For those few seconds.
    The next night it was someone else. The previous night it was someone else too.

    Liked by 7 people

  7. I am/was best at flooring installation.
    I am now worst at using my time. Computer games. Old movies I’ve seen many times. Reading half a dozen books by fits and starts. Can’t visit people. Can’t travel. Trying to figure out Medicare plans.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. In sixth grade I was the elementary school spelling champ (in a very small school in a very small town). The winning word was hygiene. I’m still pretty good at spelling. But I can’t claim to be the best in anything. There are a number of things I am pretty good at and an equal number of things I am not good at. I am not athletically inclined, especially team sports. I do enjoy golf although I am not even close to a 4 handicap – more like 24! I am good at piano although I am handicapped by small hands – can barely reach an octave – so that limits what I can play. That forced me to get quite good at “fudging” accompaniments that contained octave runs or really difficult passages.

    Because of COVID, all of my choir accompanist commitments are suspended. And, of course, international travel is a no-no and domestic travel is iffy. So like Wes, right now I am the worst at using my time. It was pretty easy during spring and summer – lots of walks, socially distanced outdoor activities with friends, some golf, gardening, etc. But now with colder weather (and snow showers right now), outdoor gatherings become problematic. And with infection/death rates surging pretty much nationwide, I plan to stick very close to home.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I’m actually thinking now that the weather is cooler and not as much dog walking and not as much gardening, I might actually break out a jigsaw puzzle. I have to hassle with the cat if I do this but I might do it anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I take the question to ask not what I am best at compared to others but one one thing to I do the best compared to other things I do. My single one best thing was preaching. My worst was social interactions of many kinds in a tie with consulting.
    I quit teaching 29 years ago, which seems impossible it was that long. Now I have placed my teaching skills all over the continuum at various times. I now have former students approaching 70 and have many at 65 or older.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. A shock to me: my best for the last four years has been money management. I took over the job from sandy. at her request and made sense of our assets and debts and paid off a few thousands of dollars of debt, eliminated all but one credit card, and build up a few thousand in savings. I remain amazed.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I say this on the day we spent $1400. Much of it to help Sandy with her bad arthritis. She can barely get up from our kitchen chairs. So we are giving the nice set to our daughter and replacing it with the gate leg counter height 42 inch square table I made 15 years ago but we have not used much. She can get off a 24 inch stool quite well, but we had to buy the stools. And many other things for and to support our grand daughter on her last sales to support FFA.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I’ve been engaged all day with other things—watching the grandkids until noon and then working on the back steps/minideck project I started a week or two ago.
    When I first read the post, I understood the question to allow interpretation as “what are your best and worst abilities within the range of your abilities” as well as “ what are you best at in comparison to everyone else you are aware of”.
    As a person who eschews competition, I would favor the former interpretation. But as a person who dislikes making claims about myself, I demur about the latter.
    As Sam Patch, the famous jumper liked to say,
    “Some things can be done as well as others”.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m certainly not number one in any competition. In junior high and high school if teams were chosen for sports I was always very near the end of the selection process. It was usually me and maybe the class heavy girl left standing at the very end.

    I like to think I’m good at some tasks that require precision and math skills. At the organization for which I do the volunteer tax work, I was named Reviewer of the Year, mostly because I’m dependable and show up regularly, but also for having a keen eye for spotting other people’s errors. Part of the deal when you are a reviewer is not only spotting the error, but having reasonably good interpersonal skills so you can correct it without embarrassing or belittling the person who made the error. I hope I am reasonably good at that.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Gosh, you guys just made me remember. Kind of embarrassing that I forgot this. But I was actually valedictorian of my college graduation class. Back then metro state didn’t publish student ranking like they do now so it was a surprise to me but I guess it does mean I was the first at something that year??

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I was on the Dean’s List pretty much my entire time at SIU. I thought everyone was, so never really thought of it as a big deal. I’m still not sure that it was.

      Looking back, I’ve really had extraordinary success at some things, but I’ve also failed miserably at others. It says something about my upbringing that the failures have always been the markers that stayed with me. I’ve always been reluctant to acknowledge the prizes I’ve won. A false sense of modesty? I don’t know.

      I do know that I’ve arrived at a point in my life where other people’s opinion of me are a lot less important. If you like me, fine. If you don’t, that’s fine too.

      Liked by 5 people

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