Let civility reign!

Civility ~ Let us consider this, before we speak or act.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

As an athlete you need to trust your coach..... your time will come.

I'm not sure when everything changed but everything did change at some point along the way.  Here is what I remember from my past in regards to sports.  I partook in sports from a very early age but then again most kids played sports.  My dad introduced me to basketball.  I started playing basketball in the third grade.  My dad was my coach.  He taught me all the rules, I knew basketball inside and out.  I loved basketball, I still love basketball.  I played basketball from 3rd grade through 12th grade.

My Junior year of high school I moved up to Varsity Basketball.  Exciting times for sure but with those exciting times came an amazing team that I'd be joining.  5 starters who rarely came off the court.  As a junior I sat the bench most of the season.  My parent's never called the coach to complain, never called to ask why their kid who'd been playing basketball for 9 years wasn't seeing any playing time on the court. You know why? Because they weren't the coach. They respected the coach and they expected me to do the same.  I wasn't always happy about my playing time but I knew my time was coming.  I'd be a senior next year and my turn to take the court was waiting. So I supported the team.

As a freshman I signed up to run track.  I remember loving my uniform.  I looked official.  I was on the team.  I attended practices and I did my best but when the list of those taking part in the next track meet came out my name wasn't always on the list.  I never got upset about it.  I was a freshman.  I knew my day was coming.  I loved cheering at the meets, I loved watching my friends run like the wind, I looked forward to the day I would find my name on the list for the next track meet.  My parents never called the coach to complain or inquire why I wasn't running the 400 meter?  Why I wasn't riding the bus to the meet?

Why? Because they weren't the coach.  They trusted the coach and if the coach didn't think I was ready my parents trusted the coach and their appraisal of my athletic abilities.  I trusted my coach.  I knew how it worked.  Each race had so many heats, each team was allowed so many runners per heat, we had a huge team therefore not all could participate in the track meets but we were still united.  It was still fun.  My coach wasn't going to put me in the meet and take a better athlete out.  My coach wasn't going to lose a track meet because he didn't want to hurt my feelings.  He was doing his job.

As a cheerleader my freshman year I was inexperienced but I wanted to be a cheerleader more than anything so I went to practice, studied the list of cheers and chants, tried my hardest and cheered at freshman games.  The uniform hung in my closet, pom-poms hung on the door knob in my room, just the sight of those made me smile from ear to ear.  I knew one day my day would come so I enjoyed where I was in the process.

As a senior in high school I did play more basketball.  Cheerleading continued to be fun.  I continued to run track.  I ended my high school career with success.  I qualified to go to the state track meet for class B in the 400 meter sprint and the mile relay.  I received a medal in both.  I won the State Title in the 400 meter dash that year for Class B with a time of 58.0.  I was awarded Female Athlete of the Year.  It was my time, I'd worked hard and my time had come.

Now I'm a coach.  I'm coaching a club sport.  I tend to hear from my freshman parents often but I think it's important they remember to trust me.  Keep a positive attitude. Help their athlete enjoy where they are in the process.  Find patience, look at the bigger picture, their time, their child's time will come. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but one day with hard work and perseverance it will come.

I'll never forget my first year running track at the collegiate level.  My coach said, "The most important award, the most impressive award I give out is the 4 year award.  If you'll look around you, take note how many came in with you, in 4 years you'll look around again and see who stuck it out through the good times and bad times, the hard times.  You'll see who persevered, who didn't quit when the going got tough or things didn't go their way.  Those are the true athletes.  Those are the athletes who deserve the highest of awards.  The ones who didn't quit, who didn't give up when the going got tough."  I never forgot that.  My 4 year award is the most valuable award I hold.

Trust me.  Keep a good attitude, treat your coaches well, take their corrections and instructions and put them to use and with those things in mind your time will come. When you get that medal awarded to you, when you win that championship game, when you know you worked hard and got the outcome you were hoping for, you'll know your time has come.

Humor - In conversation. LOL

Do you like conversing?  I can strike up a conversation with anyone.  I love to converse.  I'm not sure that's the case with all people. Contradictory to the fact that I can be viewed as anti-social, an introvert even, I suppose possibly I'm both.  I think you can be both.  There is nothing like the solitude of my home, my car, even my work.  However, I think you can loose the knack to mingle if you aren't careful.  In my line of business, I can go the entire day without opening my mouth, without speaking one word, which is weird because I often have music playing in my ears and while I'd love to belt out some songs, I hold my tongue because others are listening and I'd be terribly off key.  In fact, the ear buds work to my benefit if I truly don't want to be bothered with conversation because no one bothers me when I obviously can't hear what they're saying.  Not to say that sometimes someone won't come up to me and motion for me to remove the ear buds and I'm forced to converse, but in general they do work as a deterrent.

I tell my husband stories like this and he rolls his eyes.  He thinks I'm being rude wearing my ear buds as a conversation deterrent.  I have to laugh at his skepticism.  In fact, I'd bet there are plenty of days he wishes I wouldn't talk to him.  Haha!  The truth is, in certain instances I can't shut up and other instances, I'd prefer not to talk.  I like the fact that we as people have the right to choose.

Have you heard this expression.  "Better to hold your tongue and let people think you are stupid, than to speak and remove all doubt."  Haha!  I love that. Not that I think I'm stupid, I don't,  but sometimes we get in over our heads in certain instances and you may wish you could slowly back out of the conversation without anyone noticing.

I'm rather bull like, I'll charge right in with my opinions if I'm sure of the topic under discussion.  I'll charge right in if I'm feeling insulted or as if someone is trying to push me around. Oh yes, watch out, I'm a charger.  My kids often ask me why I'm so tough on the inside and so nice and kind on the outside?  I tell them I'm the best of both worlds.  Haha.  I truly think I am this way due to my folks. Now I'm sure I need to clarify this.  My mother and dad are and were both very patient people, always willing to hear someone's side of the story, very good listeners.  However, both will stand right up to anyone they feel is trying to do them wrong.  Tough as nails these two.  Kindhearted, patient, smart, empathetic, but, try to do them wrong, try to do one of their kids wrong, and watch out, they will charge.  I learned this tendency from watching them during my impressionable years.

So back to conversing.  My love for conversing.  I've prided myself on being very well-rounded, meaning, I've dabbled in a lot of different things.  I've expanded my interests, I've looked up things, read about things, inquired with experts on their expertise, I've listened to others, I've attended events, I followed through with school until I achieved a degree and through that I learned a lot.  I learned about diversity in society.  I learned the highs and lows of life.  I learned how to handle stress, how to accept loss, how to work through dilemmas and I even conquered my negative nature.  Yes, I had a negative nature about me for a long time.  Oh sure I could be happy as a clam but I would often, "Go to the negative," I would say.  My glass was half empty more often than half full.  It wasn't until I met my husband, he changed me for the better.  He commented once on my negative demeanor.  I thought, "What!  You're mistaken.  I'm not negative, I'm realistic."  He said, "No, you're negative."  I was insulted.  I scowled at him and his observation of me, his analysis of me.  I was actually ticked off if you want to know the truth.  I walked away from the conversation brooding that he in fact had me, all wrong.  In having this discussion, I started noting my reactions, my tendencies and you know what, he was dead on.  He was absolutely right about me.  I had to change, and I did.

My cup runeth over and I am a glass half full girl now and I have been for years.  A good adjustment.
Anyway, this conversing has come easy due to the desire to know as much about as much as possible.

In the mornings I sit and listen to these different morning shows and their interactions, their discussions, and I find myself laughing, or in agreement, or appreciating something someone has said.

Well, I guess I'd better go back to silence as I've talked way to long now.  Haha.  Have a great day and enjoy your conversations and those who provide you with insight, knowledge and humor.  Engage with others and reap the rewards.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Call me Coach. ☺️

It seems I'm always learning, which is a good thing. No good going stagnant after all.
But what I find is, the answers aren't always there. Even the words aren't always there.
Logical thinking typically is but even then I'm lost at times. Hands up in the air or hands resting on my forehead, I'm completely clueless how to react or respond.

Having a social work degree I knew a lot about people's thought processes. I knew why people might react the way they do or what a typical response might be. I knew the in's and outs of the human psyche. But recently, I became a coach. A head coach and while I'm loving it, it challenges me and all I remember about the human social interaction. I question, if good will win out and, my ability to instill good in others.

I'm a strong believer in lifting people up, not tearing people down. Compliments can make a persons day. Insults can break a person in two. I'm optimistic of course. I'm expecting the best from everyone on every level. Do expect to much? I don't think so but, I'm learning. Here is what I know now.

Not everyone gets a joke. Not everyone can take a joke and not everyone understands when something is a joke. (Kid to kid I'm referring.) I try to express to the wonderful individuals on our club team, that your joke may not seem a joke to someone else. Easily, you could hurt someone's feelings without knowing it or meaning to. You might hurt their feelings and know it, but not know how to express, that it was in fact, a joke. Unless you really know the person and they really know your personality and your sense of humor, it might be best to hold that joke.

Watch what you say and how you say it. Remember to be positive, uplifting, encouraging and supportive. I've learned that personalities clash, some don't blend well with others at all and while it might seem easy to say something negative or rude, it's okay not to blend with everyone so you don't have to be rude.  In fact, the ones who hold their tongues will ultimately come out much more respected than those who speak their minds freely.

Mostly though, I've learned kids are sensitive. They wear their hearts on their sleeve. They take everything so literally and why shouldn't they, they're kids. They've been on planet Earth what, 14-15-16-17 years is all. Not a very long time is my point, so they have a ways to go before they even partially master human relations.

They really do take things personally and they are easily scarred by others words and actions. This actually breaks my heart. So as a coach, what do I do? I often refer to past coaches in my memory. How did they do it? What did they say? How did they lead me? I refer to my experience as a mother. Not that these kids need me to be their mother, they don't, but the motherly instincts run strong inside of me. I'm the mother of two. My readiness to teach or give advise certainly sets in when thinking and dealing with strife or sadness among my club members. One member being my young daughter. ❤️

If I could give advise tonight, I'd say,....
1. Build up a tougher skin. A tougher exterior so things don't hurt you so easily. You are one amazing awesome person, don't let others bring you down or tarnish that smile.
2. There are always going to be people in your life that you don't necessarily blend with. All hope is not lost, just give yourself some space between you and them.
3. Be kind, be accepting, be patient and be tolerant. After all, you don't know who might be tolerating you right now. No one is perfect. (Whew! Thank goodness). ☺️
4. Don't let the turkeys get you down and believe me, there are a lot of turkeys out there.  Be willing to blow things off. Don't over think it. Let it go. Be more freeing of yourself. You don't need to get upset about someone else' opinion of you.  Hold yourself in high regard. A lightheartedness if you will.
5. Rise above it. Just because someone is being crappy doesn't mean you have to be crappy back. You don't have to match their crappiness. Rise above it! Be the better person. Don't gossip. Don't turn others against others. Don't aggravate or agitate the situation by keep the feud going with back and forth rants. Let it go, walk away, rise above, be the better human, the better person. ☺️
6. Remember I'm your coach and I care. I am expecting the best from you but I'm also wishing the best for you.
These are the things on my mind tonight. So as I say goodnight to a very busy world, a very long day, I'm sending out good wishes and good energy to my entire club. I'm excited to watch them grow, excel and find a good path to walk, and stay on. I'm so proud of them all. Their futures are bright, even if they don't yet know it, I see it and I do know, their futures are bright. ☺️

Saturday, July 2, 2016

"Someday I hope you have a child Just Like YOU!"

Did your parents ever put the curse on you, that they wished one day, you would have a child just like You! Remember that? I do. At the time I knew it was an empty threat. "Who cares!" I thought. 34 years later, that statement actually makes me tear up. It isn't an empty threat anymore but I must admit, I never would have dreamt in a thousand years, that it would ever actually come true. It sure would be nice not to have to revisit who I must have been at 10 years old every time I scold my son.   When I watch my ten year old misbehave because he's so full of energy, that he seems to bug everyone, he seems to disregard anyone's correction, request, or pleading even. At those moments I have instant flashbacks. It's as if time stands still. I am instantly transported back in time to ten years old being scolded. I am hearing the same words repeated back to me, the same words that used to be said to me, that I am now saying to my son. I remember and recall conversations as an adult, where my mom reminds me how much I tested the boundaries. How irritating I was. How often she defended me because I had completely driven my dad up one wall and down another. If my son is me, only 34 years later, if my son is me, only in male form, then I feel so sad that I've passed me, onto he. 😔

I just can't help but tear up over it.

When I tell my kids I love them, it's more than love, in fact, it's no different than loving myself purely and at an even deeper level. I was taught to love myself and I always have. These two individuals I have in my life, my daughter and son, came through me, developed within me, grew inside of me. I was so careful. I made every effort to care for them, through the caring of me. I love them as much as I love myself, more than I love myself. God let these two Angels, grow and come through me, therefore, they are miracles I helped bring forth into the world. The point being, I love my kids, I love them so much, that I don't need them following in every footstep I took.

So, again today I corrected, scolded, felt irritation by me, or... the child that my parents wished on me. The child that I would have, who would be, "Just Like Me" and I feel sad. I believe he inherited my unfavorable ways. If only I had been a good kid more of the time, he wouldn't have been cursed to be, Just Like Me. 😔 One thing I realize is I didn't have the ability to correct when I was being this way, therefore, I don't know that my son can correct either. In fact, as much as I do remember, I also don't remember, about my irritating ways.

I've thought of this curse before, and I've even thought of using it on my two but I won't.
Now I know, that that curse can come true and the real tragedy IN that, is the self reflection that results from such a curse.

Sorry Dad and mom, if I could go back and change it... change me.... I would.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Is Heaven for Real? Here's what I think, and here's what I know.....

What I think and what I know are two completely different things.  What I think is, Heaven is for real.  That was a movie, remember?  "Heaven is for real."  Why do you think that movie drew so many people's attention?  Because it was what we think?  Or because it was what we know?  We don't know.  We watch it so we'll think we know.

The other day, three days ago to be exact, I started thinking about my dad who passed away 15 months ago.  I started thinking about, how distant he felt.  How far away.  I've tried meditation to communicate with him, so far nothing.  He was so good at keeping connected with those who'd passed. I always believed he had a gift because he would tell me very interesting things that I had never heard before.  Things I found interesting that I couldn't figure out where he would have come up with those ideas or thoughts.  I weighed out the decision to believe or not believe what he was telling me and I decided, who was I to judge what he was saying?  After all, he was my dad.  In my mind, he was all knowing.  He was so smart.  Even today, with all the amazing people I have met in my life, I hold him with such high regard.  He and my husband both.

So three days ago, I made the decision that he and I were truly fading from each others lives.  Our distance, from his death, was separating us farther and farther apart.  I have read so much literature about death, grief, sadness, loneliness and loss that I decided to put something I'd read to good use.  I decided to ask my dad to come to me in a dream.  According to what I'd read, you ask and you should receive, so I asked.  The next day, after waking, I wondered about my dreams.  Had my dad come to me in my dreams?  After moments of deep thought I realized, he actually had.  I couldn't believe it and due to the fact that I question most things, I debated about it.  I debated whether or not I should believe it and smile about it or discard it and believe it was nothing.  I retraced the dream in my mind, in its entirety and realized my dream was very specific.  It seemed to obvious not to believe.  So, here is the dream...

 I was standing in a long hallway.  It seemed like a hospital hallway or maybe a dormitory hallway.  It was a nice hallway.  Friendly.  I saw my dad from a distance and we walked up to each other.  We hugged.  It was one of those hugs you actually felt. It was as though, it weren't a dream at all. It was so real, it felt as if I'd opened my eyes, he and I would have been standing there hugging.  I could actually feel his warmth.  When I stepped back from him to look at his face, a man I didn't know, stood further down the hall.  He was at a distance and he was watching us.  My dad said to him, "I can actually feel her hug.  It isn't like, she's reaching through me like a ghost, I can feel her hug."  The man took a step toward us and I put my hand out with my index finger held up, as if to say, "Wait."  I said, "No.  Stop!  I don't want you to change anything.  I want to be able to feel his hugs.  Don't change a thing."  The man stopped walking and stood there.  I showed my dad something of his I was holding in my hand and I said, "Look at all the dust on this.  This is how long you have been gone.  Do you see how much dust has accumulated on this?" He took it and held it in his hand and looked at the dust.  Then I said, "Dad, I just have to ask you this one question, and whatever you say, I will believe.  I won't question it ever again.  Do you like heaven?"  He said, "I love it.  There are so many people here I love."  I said, "Okay dad, I won't ever question it again."

That's all I remember.  That was the dream.  I cry just thinking about it.  I have to believe it was real.  I have to believe it was him.  I asked him to come to me in a dream that night and he did.  If it were just any old dream I may have questioned its validity and let it go as though it meant nothing, but to ask him to come to me in a dream and to have us specifically talk about where he is..... well, that just seems to obvious to ignore.

You know, I never did see that movie, "Heaven is for real"  I don't know that I ever will, but I do know one thing, something felt very real about that dream.

Missing you dad.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Let's talk about the fishing trip on January first....it's only 6 short months away.

So it's late.  I should probably be in bed since I'm exhausted.  Life is busy.  Too busy.  My husband is off and gone on his annual fishing trip.  It's funny because I tease him about this fishing trip often.  There are a lot of things to tease him about when it comes to this trip.  Let me fill you in. Oh but first, I should tell you, I love to fish too.  I do.  I know you don't believe it but my dad had me fishing as soon as I was old enough to hold a fishing pole.  I still have it.  It's white, it's old and it is still hanging on the wall in the back closet at our family cottage.

Yep, I love to fish.  It kind of shocked my husband when I told him this.  The first time he took me fishing I put my worm on the hook, got out my red and white bobber, hooked that on my line, cast like a pro, possibly further than he did, and waited.  He looked at me like he'd just seen a fish pop straight up out of the water, wave and dive back in again, he was in a trance, he just stared at me.  Knowing me, I probably waved at him with my cute little grin, gave him a wink and told him to toss me a beer from the cooler.  Here I was, his girl, fishing like a pro.  My dad taught me well I'd say. Yep, I love to fish and my patience is on the brink of annoying.  I'm definitely the last to say, "Let's pull in our lines and go home."  I just wait and wait.  Anyway, back to my husband's fishing trip.  He heads out on this trip each year around this time.  Sometimes a large group congregates for the event, other times it's a small one, either way I get stuck shooting the group shot.  Discussions of this trip begin in January which I would say is odd but men have to have something to talk about and once deer season comes to a close, the obvious choice for a fisherman, is to start talking about fish.

The dreams begin, he hums the song in his sleep, "Oh Canada! Our home and native land......"
Yes, he's off to Canada, about 10 or 11 hours north of where we live and I must say, we live up in the middle of nowhere in Michigan so where he is I suppose is considered, "Off and gone." 

What I don't understand, is why guys put themselves through living $#@$ all in the name of a walleye, or a pike.  The stories I hear involve snow storms, rain, hail, lightening, sun burns, wind burns, cold temperatures, hot temperatures, bugs, bugs and more bugs all in a 48 hour period.  But even with all of that, the excitement about the upcoming fishing trip, is constantly being discussed by he and his friends, his brother, his dad, ... I have to think to myself on January 1st, "Honestly, it's six months away, can't you discuss it later?"  I guess not.

You know, I have passions, hobbies, but nothing like these fools. This is beyond anything I've ever experienced.  One time as we sat together, sharing in conversation, my husband mentioned how much he'd love to show me this special fishing place in Canada and how pretty it is.  I asked him if he thought I enjoyed sleeping.  Having been married for probably 13 years when this discussion took place I asked him, "Do you think I enjoy sleeping?"  He looked at me with an expression that clearly said, "What kind of stupid question is that?"
He shook his head and said, "Like no one I've ever met before in my life. Yes, you love your sleep."  I said, "Why would I want to go up to Canada, wake up at 5:00 a.m. so I can fish until 10:00 p.m. just because you say fishing is awesome and there's daylight.  Is that all you can think about?  Is there nothing more important than fish?! Oh yes, I know the schedule they keep.  They go, go, go! From just before the sun is up to just after sun goes down, they fish! If they come in any sooner they will be harassed for days after.

And the final kicker,... I would not want to be in a room with a bunch of sleep deprived, slightly over weight men who are exhausted.  Why?  Because I've heard my husband snore when he's well rested and it is loud.  Sleep deprivation will rattle a room and I don't mind when my husband is lying beside me snoring but staying with an entire group of room rattlers, well that's not my idea of fun night.

So here I sit.  My kids are sound asleep, I'm munching on Tostitos loaded with Jacks Special gourmet salsa.  I'm a smidge lonely for my main squeeze, because after all, my room is way too quiet.  Only 4 days to go, so I suppose I'll make the best of it.  I do love the quiet time with my kids. Have a good night, good week, good month, oh and if you're a fisherman, a good fishing season.