Moving forward

For Linda, who requested I write on this subject –

When I was in jr. high and high school I looked forward to practices for every sport every day.  I was slightly lost without them.  I didn’t know what people did with all their free time.

I wasn’t a stereo-typical teen in the sense that I had no desire to sit in my room and brood about the fact that the world wasn’t fair, boys didn’t like me, or that I didn’t have the latest fashion.  I spent every single day talking to my parents and siblings.  I adored school and I adored sports practices.  The day of my last senior year volleyball game I remember sinking to the floor and sobbing.  The season was over and everything was going to change.  This is the first time I remember noticing the seasons of life.

Then, I became an adult.  I got a job.  My time available to play sports shrunk significantly.  Then, I got married.  My time shrunk again.  And, then I had kids.  I stopped playing all together.  I missed it, but seldom had time to think about it.  I had health issues that helped me gain a significant amount of weight and made losing it extremely difficult.  But, all along I LOVED sports.  I never stopped loving them just because I wasn’t able to play.

When the twins were born I heard about a volleyball league I could play in.  I decided I’d go try it out.  I was nervous.  I was 10 years older, overweight, and hadn’t played.  But, it was sorta like riding a bike.  When I got there it just came back.  I didn’t move as fast.  My minimal vertical had basically disappeared. But, I had the basics.  The fundamentals that I used to be annoyed my coaches were harping on – those were still there.  And, I’ve been playing volleyball ever since.  I found it difficult to play in the league with the people who were beginners.  They didn’t even know the rules and were laughing like the sport was just for fun!  And, the upper division were all young and fit.  The guys were giants and spiking it so hard that if it hit me in the face there was a good chance I’d be knocked out.  But, I’ve managed to play in both levels and figure out a balance.  I’m not the best.  But, I’m having fun and being active.

This year life has gotten in the way of our league.  But, I intend to change that.  I want to be able to play and enjoy my time.  I refuse to stop being active.  The good news is that I haven’t stopped completely.  I’ve been coaching.  When I leave practices I’m sweaty and disgusting.  The girls probably think I’m old and crazy, but I don’t care.  I love playing and I love being there teaching these girls to love it.  The important thing I keep reminding myself about is that I don’t have to be the best.  I don’t have to play at the level I did when I was 17 and 18.  I just have to keep going.  I have to keep myself moving.  Sometimes that means I take baby steps and do the easy stuff.  Sometimes that means I swallow my pride and do the hard stuff even though I’m positive everyone else around me thinks I’m ridiculous.  It’s not about what they think.  It’s about me doing something I love and trying my best to keep myself healthy despite health issues that make weight loss annoying, despite time crunches, despite french fries.  I’m still going and I’m going to keep going.

If you feel like you are too old, too fat, too slow, too whatever – stop labeling yourself with things that do not help you.  Start labeling yourself as things like tenacious, persistent, and hard working.  Don’t waste your life hiding until you’re perfect for what you want to do.  Do what you want until you’re the best you can be at it.



Deal with it

There are always days when I believe that I am doing well until the avalanche is actually over my head.  Generally my theme is something like “Just keep swimming….” because there is not much else we can do, right?  But, on rare occasions things get out of hand long before I notice and my ability to just keep on keeping on is diminished.

Today was one of the surprise attack days.  I woke up and got ready for work.  I checked my phone.  Already, a mountain of emails had come in.  Multiple people needing multiple things.  The one that jumped out to me was the person who had ordered flocking, but had said to do it the 8th.  I should have checked when they sent the original order, but assumed they knew how it worked.    Instead, she really wanted me to flock on the 7th so her victim would wake up to it on the 8th.  I called her to tell her I’d misunderstood.  She was nice and said that her victim was gone for a bit and I could do it right then if I hurried.  I woke up my oldest and made him  help me load the requested number of flamingos in the car.  Then, I tried to start the car.  It wouldn’t start.  So, I loaded the flamingos into the other car, and we were off.  Mission accomplished.  All is well that ends well, right?

I got to work and put out a few ‘fires’.  Things were moving quickly and working well.  I was busy, but happy to have work and to be keeping things going.  I was on track for leaving at 5 and getting everyone where they needed to go…

Then reality hit.  Someone was leaving so I needed to work small miracles to make sure their work got out of the building two days early.  Someone else decided that they were going to need their stuff a day or two early too.  It was amazing.  Once the emergencies started piling up I realized that getting anyone anywhere in the evening was just not going to work.

I called and got rides for all three kids (thank you to my MIL and to our friends who were willing and able to help!).   I managed to get out of the office just after the time that everyone needed to be in their respective locations.  The good news is I caught my youngest’s final baseball game of the season (thanks for the late start Murphy!).   Then I ran home to get my daughter and see my mom.  Finally, at 10pm I was finally home and ready for dinner.

Days like that are not that often.  But, when they happen I love to just take a few minutes and complain.  But, today my husband had a horrible day too.  So, I had to suck it up and just be a grown up.   There’s something that makes me feel even more old than usual when I have to be gracious about my crappy days because someone else’s day was even more crappy.

The worst part is I kept thinking I needed to text my very best friend to tell her happy birthday, but I kept having things interrupt me.  So, it was late in the day when I even got the chance.  I dislike being that busy.  I think I shall write a letter…surely there is someone somewhere who cares!