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Don’t knock second best

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” 

This is one of my favorite quotes. Most trees grow slowly, so you have to start now. But if you don’t, there’s always a new now. 

Robert put up some solar lights in the backyard. It didn’t take very long, and I’m happy to have them in place, having made the solstice turn and the slow march to shorter days. 

“You’re the best,” I told him. 

“If I were the best, I would have done it before now,” he replied. 

Thinking about the tree quote and my good-ish mantra, I immediately thought that the second best time was now. 

“You’re second best!” I amended.

I’ve heard that silver medalists are frequently the unhappiest person on the podium at the Olympics. The gold medalist is happy to have come in; first, the bronze medalist is thrilled to be on the podium; and the silver medalist wishes they had come in first. Second place represents a significant effort despite everything. Second best is good. Ish.