Life Lesson: “You can’t just play defense!”

Silhouette of a Teen Boy shooting a BasketballLast week my dad came to watch my 12 year old son’s basketball game. The opposing team was really aggressive but our team was maintaining a fat lead (around 15 points). I turned to my dad and said, “They just have to keep them from shooting right? Just hold them off to win this thing.” My dad’s gaze shifted from the court straight to me and with exasperation, he exclaimed, “What? No, that’s not how you win. You can’t just play defense!”

Immediately I personalized this comment. With a chuckle, I affirmed, “yeah dad, I get it, you’re right.” His focus was back on the game when I muttered, “hmm, this could explain a lot. I’ve been playing defense. It might be time for me to play offense.” I hadn’t even intended for him to hear that part but he swung his head, looked me dead in the eyes and said, “yeah, it is time for you to play offense. Get moving.”

The game turned into a nail biter with both teams playing hard and giving 100%. My son’s team won by only a few points. No doubt, if they had let up at all, it would have been a loss.

Ever since, I just haven’t been able to get my dad’s message out of my head. Only a month ago I wrote about feeling like a fighter on the ropes needing to stay in the ring. I’m tough. I’m ready. On alert. I’m playing defense. All the time. No wonder I’m exhausted. No wonder it’s hard to muster, not just energy, but enthusiasm.

We all take hits in life and get thrown off our game. It’s so interesting to me to suddenly become aware that ever since my husband left my approach to life has been one of warding off trauma and difficulties—protecting myself, protecting my kids and doing a great job of it for sure. But not fully directing my own life, not really living 100%.

Dad’s wisdom was so simple and so universal. Now, I’m contemplating how I can translate my awareness into action. I know for one thing, I’m going to have to start taking more risks.

This was my son’s first season playing basketball and he had the guts to take shots when he wasn’t sure he could make it. It looked like fun and it worked. His whole team took and missed a lot of shots but ended the season undefeated. I’m going take a nod from those champs and start doing the same.

 

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Single on Valentine’s Day? Don’t Sweat it…

loveI’m single and I don’t really give a fuck about Valentine’s Day. I mean, I’m digging my life and the people who are in it. Romance is fun too. I’ve had it before and I’ll have it again.

If you’re single or in a bummer of a relationship, don’t fret. Love the shit  out of everyone around you. It’s fun. Love your friends, your relatives, your neighbors, your kids, and for cryin out loud, please, love yourself.

We know we’ve got to love ourselves in order to be loved; it’s a cliché at this point. But like many clichés it’s based on some truth.

You should always treat yourself well, but Valentine’s Day is a perfect occasion to really appreciate yourself and the unique value you bring to this world and the people around you. And if you doubt you are valuable, just go ahead and be nice to some people, even strangers, and observe the effects of that. You can make people smile, feel good and cared about and I promise, in turn, you will smile and feel good yourself.

I love to analyze and dissect everything but this is really simple—Valentine’s Day does not have to be about roses and romance, it doesn’t really have to be about anything at all. But if you’re looking for love and a hit of oxytocin, you don’t have to procure a romantic partner, you can hug anyone for 20 seconds and be good to go. How cool is that?

So, this Valentine’s Day (and how about every day?) be kind, be loving and give lots of hugs! XO