"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Week

I haven't written for a week.  I sat down to write on Friday, but I realized that it was just a grumpy post and decided to delete it instead of post it.  Working through one's feelings is healthy, but complaining for the sake of complaining doesn't help anything.  Not for me, anyway.  So, I held my tongue (actually, my typing fingers) and decided to do something other than grumble about things that are annoying me.  Now, that being said, addressing those things can most certainly be done without grumbling.  I'm not always good at that, so making the conscious decision to not rant was a good thing for me.

The truth is that I wanted to give commentary on Daylight Saving Time (and the associated sunset at 5:30 each evening), Drew's long work hours and my generally sour mood.  I'm not exactly chipper this morning, but we did have a nice weekend and I don't feel the need to grumble about anything.  

Drew's friends Stacey & Brian stayed with us this weekend for the first weekend of deer hunting.  Their banter always interests me.  They were all together at Ft. Sill not so many years ago and the relationships that are forged in the military can't really be understood by anyone outside of that circle.  It's pretty great and I'm so glad they can all hang out as if no time has passed.  Brian got a buck on Saturday morning, but the rest of the weekend was uneventful in the deer woods.  Proof that they were all three more interested in hanging out than killing deer?  They all three sat in the same deer blind and even took a selfie.  Love it.

One more thing about having all these guys in my house?  They eat.  A lot.  I mean, a lot.  If I had to buy food to feed them all on a regular basis then Drew would have to get a second job to foot the grocery bill.  Haha!  

I watched Kayla play basketball on Saturday.  She played last year, but this was my first time to go watch.  It brought back lots of memories of my own basketball days.  Kayla looked a lot like I did all those years ago... smaller than most of the girls and timid.  In her second game she scored a basket and the look in her eyes was pretty great.  It was a look of accomplishment, but also showed a glimmer of confidence.  After that shot she gained a little bit of aggression, took a few more shots and got a few rebounds.  Yeah!  With Kayla (and all the other 8 year old girls on the court) as my inspiration, I would like to share a few things from my own time playing basketball.  
-I played basketball through the 9th grade and I loved it.  Loved it.  
-I've never been naturally athletic, big, strong or aggressive.  I had to work really hard all of the time to be good enough to play.  I was never the star, but I still loved it.
-I must have been about 10 years old the year that we showed up at the the Youth Center to be split into teams.  I didn't get on the team where the girls' main thrill was picking a cute color for their jerseys and wearing matching bows on game day.  I was put on the team with the coach that wasn't warm and fuzzy, actually knew a thing or two about basketball and expected our participation and hustle.  I'm so very thankful for that.  So much.  I learned a lot about basketball, but that's not all.  I could tell you any number of things that I learned about the sport, but I'd rather tell you one thing that was taught to me in the context of the sport and that I've carried with me since then. Poise.  What a thing for a 10 year old girl to learn.  I don't know why, but I have always remembered the time that Coach Steve talked to us after practice, asked us to look up the word "poise" and come to the next practice ready to share what it meant.  I did just that (because I always did my homework, y'all) and the application of that principle is still in me today.  To have poise (without quoting the dictionary) is to possess a manner of self control & self confidence with balance, steadiness and composure.  Isn't that fabulous?  It is such a great way to approach any team sport.  Any sport (or situation in life) has the potential to become frenzied & disorganized or lackluster & boring.  Poise.  Balance.  Composure.  Something that Coach Steve taught me as a 10 year old basketball player that helped me in the following years of the sport and for the last 20+ years in life.  
-Channeled aggression is very effective.  Being timid on the court means that you will A) Get run over or B) Quickly find yourself as a bench warmer.  On the court, aggression doesn't mean violence or meant spirit, it means drive.  My dad realized, early on, that I played so much better if I was a little bit angry or frustrated.  If I was a little bit riled up, then I could channel that energy into playing aggressively on the court.  Not so different from today, is it?  20 years ago he would rile me up so I would play harder on the court.  Today, when life riles me up, I find relief & power in exercising harder.  

Okay, I could probably talk about how much I loved and appreciated those years, but I'll leave it at this.  I think there is value in team sport and competition, but I know that not everyone finds passion in the same place.  My advice for whatever road you find yourself on... soak it up.  You don't have to like the same things that other people like, but I do believe that if you start something then you should finish it.  If it's not for you then you move on.  You don't always get to pick your team, but you do have an obligation to be committed to the team you are on and you just might find that that was where you were meant to be all along.  Don't assume that everything you learn is exclusive to the context in which is was acquired.  Don't be timid.  Always, always, have poise.  

One final thing.  Books.  I recently read The Maze Runner series.  It's very popular, but I didn't like it.  Some compare it to The Hunger Games or Divergent, but I think that's only true in a very general post-apocalyptic sense.  Why, you ask, did I bother to read the whole series?  I don't know.  Probably because I bought the entire series thinking I would like it.  After the first book I knew that it just wasn't my thing, but I felt like it might get better.  It didn't.  Maybe that's unfair.  It just wasn't my thing.  For one, The Hunger Games series and the Divergent series were written by women and The Maze Runner series was written by a man.  I felt like I could have told you that even if I didn't already know.  In my opinion, The Maze Runner series spent a lot of time (a LOT) on the drawn out details of action scenes and less time developing characters and plot.  Just not my style, but obviously does it for a lot of other people.  Now I'm reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  I'm only half way through, but the writing style is pretty great.  

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