Man – sometimes the shots just don’t fall.
I mean the shots, tactically (as in soccer) and philosophically (as in life) – and this is coming from a dude who sometimes sits and thinks. It can be a bombed test you studied for or the girl who says no (even when you stand up straight and comb your hair).
You might not get that handful of Skittles or promotion at work or the C- to raise you GPA (was that just me?), but in the building those chances, well, there’s a Zen to be found.
Zen (the term) gets as much overuse as Beethoven’s music in TV ads for toilet paper. It’s in those perfect moments, with full bellies and full beer mugs, in 70-degree bliss, bills paid and the trash out at the curb. It’s a good book and a better glass of wine, right? Zen.
What about those times it’s good but tenuous when one false step changes everything?
Sometimes life sends us to a bad neighborhood in uncomfortable shoes, or to places where dreams and disaster are each an arms-length away. Or maybe you’re further from either, safe from danger but far from your goals. Is it too early for happiness then?
The shiny things we chase
Where do you find happiness?
It’s easy when you’re surrounded by loved ones, maybe in the midst of spoonful #37 of a hot fudge sundae. They’re the shiny things we chase, and often we catch them only fleetingly. Then, we’re chasing again, looking for better and more for happiness.
What if we could arrive at that place, already happy?
It’s contentment, for the sake of being. Before, during, and after we chase down the things we covet: an ideal partner, the dream job, a new car, all-you-can-eat crab legs. Rather than attach our happiness to fleeting things, what if we lead with it?
That’s where an appreciation of the process of building chances comes in.
Even if we leave the bases loaded or miss 13 shots. When the car needs brakes, or you’re fresh out of donuts. When the score stays tied in a match we should win in a landslide, it’s difficult to relax for the journey, isn’t it? It’s too close for comfort.
If we can take the crosshairs off the target, look up from the scope – peace can arrive during the journey, rather than wait, boxed up and elusive, as the destination.
A platform for gratitude
The more time teams spend in one-goal games, the better. Some might find the pressure unbearable, but it’s under this fire that players and the team become galvanized, shaped and influenced by what they do and what they learn with everything on the line.
That progress – that life experience we get when we live paycheck to paycheck, or battle illness, or otherwise thrash against the odds – not only provides experience and strength and confidence but also a platform for gratitude.
Gratitude, for getting strung out and forced to struggle a bit? Absolutely. I have the Rockies-Diamondbacks game on another screen. My Rockies rallied with three in the ninth to take a 7-6 lead, but Arizona has the winning run at the plate with two out.
Elise just went to bed after toiling on a paper due next week, and Grace’s team has a morning soccer match for a spot in the state quarterfinals.
Tension! (Colorado just closed out the win. That’s the only thing that will be resolved before I hit publish.) Elise’s struggle might look less daunting after a night’s sleep. Maybe today’s close matches will serve Grace’s team well in such a big game tomorrow.
The moment we build chances for ourselves, enrichment begins.
The journey and the halfway there and the endeavors we find ourselves embroiled in on the way is often the actual prize. It’s the experience and value and what life teaches us. Work in progress is positive, except for maybe for your taxes or for the Death Star.
Even if the shots don’t fall.
The rest of the A to Z to this point:
A is for Addiction to Devices
C is for Interview with a Cat
D is for Do What I Do and Eat What I Eat
E is for Eight Things I’ve Left Behind
F is for Foods That Bring Me Comfort
H is for Halfway There
I is for Ice Cream
J is for Justification for the Blog Life
K is for 7 Women I’d Sing Karaoke With
M is for Men I Forgot to Be
N is for the New Plan
Q is for Quote Challenge
R is for Blogger Recognition
S is for Six Words
T is for Teenagers
U is for Unconventional Loves
W is for What Fatherhood Did
X is for Xenogenous
Y is for You Deserve a Break Today