Welcome to Saturday Morning Flashback! I really want to incorporate some of my mashtead posts from the past five years into my new blog, and the weekend is a great time to do that. Saturday mornings I’ll be having a flashback. This post was originally published on I Still Hate Pickles just over a year ago (May 12) after playing against the Brawlers–exactly who my team is playing tomorrow when I’ll be coaching. The point of this post–living life like it’s the last jam–is something I really needed to read.
This weekend we had our third bout. It’s been a tough season for my team and this was our third loss. Third and most painful, perhaps, because it took us out of contention for first or second place. This will be the first time in (I believe) seven years that our team has not been in the fight for first place. Ugh!
On a personal note, though, I am really seeing it all come together for me as a skater. I skated basically almost every other jam, sometimes two to three in a row. While I had no luck jamming (thanks to that amazing four-wall of Brawl!), I felt comfortable and effective in my blocking, and in communicating and working with my team. I am still sore from all the hard hits and maybe still need to catch up on some sleep. But during the game I was reminded of something really important that relates to real life and especially parenting.
During halftime, one of our teammates who wasn’t skating gave me some amazing constructive criticism. (Thanks, Chainsaw!) She said that I looked tired, like I had given up the fight.
I was surprised, because I didn’t FEEL like I had given up. I didn’t realize that my face showed weariness. While I was exhausted in some ways from going in so much, I WANTED to be in that much. I relish every jam that I get to skate. Every one. So the fact that it might look to people watching like I wasn’t having a blast out there–it really struck me. Every time I came off the track and immediately went back on the hot bench, right behind me were faces of girls on the team who maybe weren’t getting as much play time.
While we all want to win and skaters generally understand that tough games may mean we don’t all get equal play, it still stinks to sit on the bench. I’ve been there on that bench my rookie season and I remember. We practice three times a week (or more). We pay money every month in dues and for our gear. No one wants to sacrifice that much and not skate. I would hate for anyone to see me playing so much and think that I didn’t want to skate, or that I was too tired. That’s even more of a slap in the face–to have someone who is playing a lot seem ungrateful for that time.
So in the second half I made sure that every time I went out I had a great time and showed it, even while fighting my hardest for our team. I really do love every jam. EVEN my least favorite, when I’m being batted around as a jammer. I love this sport, and I know I can’t do it forever. To really enjoy it, I need to sometimes have that slap-in-the-face mental reminder like Chainsaw’s words to me, where I wake up and realize that I am living my life every moment. Every moment is one I can’t get back. I want to live in that moment–THIS moment–and have every person who looks at me knowing that I am glad to be alive.
The same lesson is true in parenting. Remember my favorite phrase: Embrace the Chaos?
Same principle. Yesterday I woke up at 5:50 with two little boys itching to start the day, when all I wanted was a few more hours of sleep. I was cranky all day long, with them and with everyone. It was a total case of the Mondays. In the afternoon, I realized that I was living my day just like it seemed I was playing the first half of my game Saturday: just wishing for the next thing to come along.
Every moment we don’t embrace our life is a moment gone. I don’t know about you, but I see these moments just flying by these days. I don’t want to lose a one! Being ungrateful or wishing away even the hardest times (and believe me, there are some hard ones) means that I have in some ways wasted those moments. That’s not how I want to live!
Now I will say that on the flip side, there are real challenges and hurts and heartaches in life, and I don’t want to seem flippant about them. I have been in some myself, and the last thing I felt like doing or felt able to do was embrace those moments. Don’t feel like I’m downplaying that–in some of those moments, you may not be able to embrace anything. (Except maybe Jesus, who definitely can carry you through.) Please don’t feel that I’m adding some kind of pressure to your hard day with your toddlers or with your husband or with your joblessness or singleness or sickness.
I do hope in my own life I can live like it’s the last jam. Carpe diem. Who knows how long our lives will be or what might come tomorrow? There may only be this moment, this day, and I certainly don’t want people looking at my life to think that I’m not grateful for everything I have.
So thanks to derby (and Chainsaw) for a big reminder about how I want to be living this day, this moment, this SECOND.
This is your life, your day, your moment–do you need a slap-in-the-face reminder to really live it? If nothing else, I’m good for a slap in the face. Just ask my teammates.