"If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" ~Vince Lombardi
Here is one of many reasons why I love my son. For the past couple of years he has been playing a team sport in college where his team has won only one time each year (they play about 95 games each season). Tonight, when he called, I asked him who they were playing and I asked him if there was a potential for a win tonight, and he replied without hesitation, "There's potential for a win every time we go out and play."
I honestly don't know where he comes from because we are a family of mostly sore losers here and I say that with the utmost kindness and love because, well, they are my family and I guess I have to. My husband was an athlete growing up and no one loses nastier than he does except, perhaps, my youngest daughter who is a carbon copy of him only cuter. Losing for them is personal and it is painful and it is a reminder that they cannot control everything. I think if I was an outsider looking in, and I saw how they react when they lose, I would probably tsk, tsk and get up on a high horse to tell them to please get a life. But since I live with them, I see that their mentality is focused on winning because they do not see the point in playing if they are not playing to win and so they see losing as a waste of their time. They lose a little love for the game they are playing because winning is always the goal. Playing well doesn't seem to make them feel any better about losing. Ever. Both my husband and my daughter are very difficult personalities, they are driven and self motivated and they are both very successful in everything they do because they do things to do them THE BEST. Their approach to life makes me love them all the more because they will not concede that losing is something that will happen to them. It's just not an option they consider.
But my son? Well, we could all learn a thing or two from him about losing with grace because that is what he does. He goes to practice every day of the week and works alongside his team and he prepares himself for the next game always with the thought in mind that he has a chance of winning even when reality suggests he should probably prepare for another loss. I can't tell you how proud he makes me, how it humbles me and makes me want to be a better loser myself because I have picked up some bad habits hanging around with the rest of the crew here. My son will tell you that you cannot win everything and he finds contentment in doing his very best, in giving his all regardless of winning or losing. He doesn't think he is a loser because of the many losses his team has suffered. He always looks ahead and believes there is chance that at the end of the next game there will be a big W beside his team's name.
"It's a mean town, but I don't care. Try and steal this. You can't steal happiness."~The Weepies
Except you can.
I like the idea of The Weepies song, "Happiness." The song basically says that if you're really happy, no one can steal that happiness from you, but I have to say that it's been my experience that people can and do steal happiness away from each other. I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, but I do know that there are certain people in my life who don't seem to like it if I am happy and it's almost as though they want to knock it out of me so I can't have it if they're not having it. Misery loves company but I guess happiness should just shut up and stay in a corner somewhere. I don't get that about people. I am always happy when/if other people are happy. I'm not jealous of them. I don't want to knock their happiness out of them just because I might not be happy in that same moment or if they have something I don't have.
As a for instance, the other day I had made a cake for my daughter's birthday. Her father wasn't going to be home the day of her birthday so we went into her room with the candles all blazing and we started to sing to her. Well, she had the ceiling fan on and all the candles blew out so I stopped to relight them and as I was relighting them she motioned with her hands to "speed up the process" so I asked her if she had a problem with us singing to her and she said, "well, my birthday's tomorrow, not today." Um...no kidding. I'm the one who gave birth.
Me and her father were just happy and being silly and all of the sudden it was like...STOP!!! You cannot be happy because I'm not in the mood for it right now. So then I asked her if she wanted some cake and ice cream and she curtly told me NO and reminded me AGAIN that it wasn't her birthday. OKAY! I hustled out of her room and got my husband some cake and ice cream because the reason he wanted to sing early was so that he wouldn't miss out on the cake. I know. He's like 2 years old on a good day.
But my point is that I was feeling happy about her birthday and WHAM!!!, then I was in a bad mood because I started to think how I went out of my way to do something nice and how it was unappreciated and how I am sick of having to tip toe around all these moody people who want to steal my happiness away from me.
So even though I like that Weepies song, I'm afraid it's just a bunch of nice sounding words, set to a catchy tune, that sadly don't ring true in my world.
There are important events in my life that I do not remember. I do not remember the last time I held each of my children before they were too big to pick up, but there was a day when I no longer could pick each of them up and it seems to me that I should remember this. My world should have halted for a second so that I could savor those moments, but I think what happened was that I picked each one of them up for the very last time and I simply went on with my day not even knowing that something important was ending.
"The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives."-Anthony Robbins
You should be a fly on the wall when I am on the phone with one of my children and my husband happens to be in the same room. Complete chaos takes over as I try to have a one on one conversation with one of them while my husband is interjecting questions and comments. I cannot complete a thought or a sentence without him trying to take over the conversation, but if I offer to hand the phone over to him in an attempt to end the madness, he waves me off like I am bothering him. I don't know what to say about this except that I hate it. I tell him before, during and after these phone calls that I do not appreciate being the mediator or being interrupted, but this never registers in a way that brings about a satisfactory behavioral change on his part. I'm going to start going into the bathroom and locking the door from now on when I want to talk in peace because I don't see this changing any time soon.
This is what happens, though, if I bring up to him that I've spoken to one of the kids (and he wasn't around to hijack the conversation). He'll start bombarding me with questions that he feels I should have asked them and if I haven't asked them those questions he tells me that I've neglected to find out/ask about the most important things! WTF? Yep. He does that every damn time as though I have somehow mysteriously developed telekinetic powers and can read his mind to know what he wants me to ask them. This is what I live with!
Sometimes I want to slam my cell phone to the ground and stamp the shit out of it. I know this would make me feel better about the lack of phone conversation etiquette in this house.
I was craving something sweet and we had nothing in the house so I took a little trip to the grocery store and picked up the following: pound cake, vanilla ice cream, strawberries, chocolate chip cookies, Dots, Jujyfruits, a frosted apple coffee cake, and a bag of pretzels in case I feel like something crunchy and salty.
“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” - James M. Barrie
"I have one small drop of knowing in my soul. Let it dissolve in your ocean."~Rumi
"When I grow up, I want to remember that I always wanted to be about a thousand different things & one lifetime didn't seem nearly enough. When I grow up, I hope it's at the very end when it doesn't matter anymore anyway."~Story People
"There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person."~Anis Nin
"Writing it all down was purging. Putting those stories on paper took them out of the nightmare realm and made me almost love myself for being able to finally face them. More subtly, it gave me a way to love the people I wrote about– even the ones I had fought with or hated. … I was not the kind of person who could imagine asking for help or talking about my personal business. Nor was I fool enough to think that could be done without risking what little I’d gained. … I was writing for myself, trying to shape my life outside my terrors and helplessness, to make it visible and real in a tangible way, in the way other people’s lives seemed real…"~Dorothy Allison
"There are significant moments in everyone’s day that can make literature. That’s what you ought to write about." ~ Raymond Carver
"Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all." ~Emily Dickinson
"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." --Walker Evans
"Nothing will sustain you more potently than the power to recognize in your humdrum routine, as perhaps it may be thought, the true poetry of life."-- Sir William Osler
"The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for. Everyone's life really consists of small things. Greatness is a mental abstraction and a favorite fantasy of the ego. The paradox is that the foundation for greatness is honoring the small things of the present moment instead of pursuing the idea of greatness. The present moment is always small in the sense that it is always simple, but concealed within it lies the greatest power...Only when you align yourself with the present moment do you have access to that power."~Eckhart Tolle
here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart) ~e.e. cummings
"If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad." ~Lord Byron
then the voice in my head said
WHETHER YOU LOVE WHAT YOU LOVE
OR LIVE IN DIVIDED CEASELESS REVOLT AGAINST IT
WHAT YOU LOVE IS YOUR FATE~Frank Bidart
"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."-fully alive ~ Dawna Markova
"I hope that my achievements in life shall be these - that I will have fought for what was right and fair, that I will have risked for that which mattered, and that I will have given help to those who were in need that I will have left the earth a better place for what I've done and who I've been." ~C. Hoppe
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The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.~Robert Frost
"I used to wait for a sign, she said, before I did anything. Then one night I had a dream & an angel in black tights came to me & said, you can start any time now, & then I asked is this a sign? & the angel started laughing & I woke up. Now, I think the whole world is filled with signs, but if there's no laughter, I know they're not for me." ~B. Andreas
"This is a special container for keeping lies that you tell yourself & it doesn't let in any light or air otherwise they start to go bad & there's nothing else you can do but throw them out."~B. Andreas
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."~ a return to love - marianne williamson
“People who don't Think probably don't have Brains; rather, they have grey fluff that's blown into their heads by mistake.”~Winnie the Pooh
"I try to leave out the parts that people skip." ~Elmore Leonard