I fought it a bit, this notion I needed to step away.
Bloggers drop like Rockies relief pitchers. We’re too busy. Life gets in the way. Motivation runs dry. Thus, the walkabout.
I have 215 Go Ask Daddy questions to answer and 23 idea prompts in the hopper. I have guest posts scheduled deep into spring 2015 and 6 Words posts every month. Busy, yes, but it’s because this blog has taken on a life of its own. And it’s not a bad one.
Life gets in the way, but it often ends up in posts.
Motivation rarely runs dry. It’ll get a little parched by lack of sleep, but it stays pliable.
I stepped away for a week simply because I didn’t like the way my own light shone today as compared to a year ago. Even if I took into consideration expected wear and tear, there shouldn’t have been this dulling. There shouldn’t have been this aging. Things shouldn’t have depreciated in value this much.
I sought to find that shine again, and found myself doing everything. I dropped. I failed. I fought. I swung. I focused. I stewed. I reasoned. I listened. I saw clarity in murky answers. I learned. I lost a little. I won more. I smiled, but I also scowled.
I rowed, for hours and hours. A gave the power behind a canoe while I let the girls who mean the most to me in this life steer. I saw what they saw. I saw them seeing what they saw. And I saw so much more. I heard less. And I loved it more.
“You can have Zen for only so long,” Yoga Jones said on “Orange is the New Black” once.
“After a while, you have to feel something.”
I’m the coach who doesn’t call out the referee. I rarely toss my clipboard. I’m that happy-go-lucky dude who says, “It’s OK!” when I’m slighted. I won’t pick a fight with the other coach. I’ll stand my ground. But standing your ground sometimes isn’t enough. Sometimes, you have to stand up and stare down.
You have to believe in who you are and what you do. Pull down your cap, cross your arms, and stand and deliver.
You have to admit your wrong and stand up for your right and dig in and show what you’ve got. You can’t stop being who you are, but you can better recognize the moment for defiance, and the moment for compassion.
So much happened here last week, and I intended to comment. I told the wonderful women who stepped up for me to consider themselves hosts on my radio show. It was theirs to run. Maybe I’d check in and leave a comment or two.
But, I didn’t. I didn’t really comment on other blogs, either. I checked out. It allowed me to appreciate the love and effort Sandy, Janine and Tamara put in. How bloggers busy as any I know wouldn’t just show up, but would show up as if it was their own space, their own readers, their own love.
I tried to express the gratitude I felt not only in their attention, but the quality of posts and engagement. I failed miserably most likely at expressing it! Not because I’m lousy at it – because they were incredible.
And Robin Williams …
I was misfit who had to attend PEAK once a week (a program for ‘gifted’ kids) and felt like the pot without a lid most of his life. To watch Robin Williams make goofy a trait you wanted your friends to have … that meant the world.
It meant, somehow, there was some hope for us. Hope for the goofy, the off-the-wall thinkers. Hope for the kids who kept a foot in the margins and a foot in the mainstream and wondered which way the wind would blow.
We heard excerpts of his work and hilarious interviews in the wake of his suicide. It brought to light just how contradictory life on this earth can be. The man who made us laugh so hard on the outside was sad beyond repair on the inside.
If only we could see both in a person.
Lastly, I found light in a familiar place – the soccer field.
Bethany is one half of two twins pairs on my team. Soft-spoken, hard worker. She stopped a shot – with her stomach. She walked toward me slowly, and I asked if she was ok. She nodded ‘no.’
The wind wasn’t knocked out of her, but she said, ‘it hurts so bad!”
I told her she could sit out. And she said, “I just want to stay here with you,” and put her head on my shoulder and cried! “I don’t want them to see me cry!” I told her she had nothing to be ashamed about, that tears don’t take a bit away from toughness.
I told her to stay as long as she needed.
Then I said, “I’m glad it didn’t hit you in the face. It would be no fun to have to help you find your teeth in the grass.” She laughed, wiped her tears, and said, “Thanks, coach.”
The light is back. I found it in struggle and support. I found it in loss and love. I found it in paddle strokes and NPR interviews and the rhetoric as a coach I’ve missed so much. It’s where tactical meets goofy, where inspiration meets compassion.
It’s where there’s caution and hope, and always a little more hope.
And I found it in the space my blog left in me. Not because of what I write – but because of what you do. Whether it’s in your comments or email or 6 Words or when I give you access to this stew pot and you make it your own and make it like me.