Monday, August 22, 2011

How to bowl in a new season

New glasses. New contacts. New fish. New landscaping. New bed. New dresser. New office. New kids. New coaches. New workouts. New schedule. This seems to be the season of new.

Why, then, does it all seem so old? So overwhelming?

Not sure about you guys out in BloggerLand but I'm feeling a little bit like a warmed-up meal on the fifth go-around: hard, dried-out, flavorless and flat.

Ever wonder why "new" is even possible? Well, I think it's because something was old. Take me, for instance. I needed new glasses and contacts because my eyes aren't what they used to be. The "new" bed and dresser are new in name only. I made the bed out of left-over wood and took a whirling sander and a couple layers of paint to a ragged $2.00 dresser bought at auction. I have new kids on my cross country team because some of my old ones moved on to bigger and better college life. And the "new" team office? The old one was swallowed up in a university remodel project. Our "new" office is a windowless closet given a few adaptations to make it habitable.

No mistake about it; new can be good, very good. New can be embraced just as a long awaited walk on a moonlit beach, a gentle breeze carrying the scent of the sea. But new can overwhelm. Just imagine that same walk on the same beach when a tsumani decides to roll on in. Hardly the place to be.

I have to admit it. New projects, a new team, a new book, new online students, and new curriculum are bowling me over. Just as soon as I think things are under control, frame completed, someone else steps into the lane and rolls that big, rock-hard ball right at my scrawny, puny neck. I cringe, knowing how bad the collision of masses will feel. I want to jump out of the way but alas, pins in this game just have to stand there and take it. I close my eyes and brace for the impact.

Ugh. Hit straight on. I catapult into the air, twirling wildly. Then, crash. I experience gravity pulling me back down to the wooden floor. The landing is brutal. I feel sorry for myself as I lay there on my side. I mope, feeling alienated down to the last splinter of my hardened, wooden soul. But not for long.

The pin picker-upper swoops down from above, pushes me out of the way, and then has the audacity to set me up again, this time front and center. I know what's coming when I see a bowler, dastardly smirk contorting her face, reach toward the ball return. "Noooooooo...." I scream.

I don't like this feeling. So many things to do. So little time. My focus is off. It's like I'm wearing glasses with the wrong lens. But just when I need it, a dear friend writes, "It is not practical to think you can stay focused on everything. It is ok. . .You get back to work. Yes-you are human. Your discouragement comes only from within. Lighten the mental load and let a little bit go."

Ok. I get it. Change my perspective.

I see another ball speeding down the lane. But this time, I look around and see nine other pins standing there with me. "Come on. Hit me. Wheeeeeee," I cry in delight, as the ball glances off my right side. I knock into a buddy who, in turn, knocks over his neighbor. Before long, all ten of us are scattered at the end of the lane. "Haha," I exclaim, laughing and out of breath. "We scored big that time. Come on, Pin-Picker. Stand us up and let's do it again."  

Sure. It stings when you get hit... over and over and over again. But accepting the challenge draws others into the fray. It can be fun. It can be rewarding as well as frustrating. Smile. See the big picture. Laugh. Don't get freaked out. Just stay in the game.

4 comments:

Rick Gray said...

I just love your post. Rebekah the bowling pin. You are still very much in the game.

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

You inspired it...:)

cgperry1 said...

Have to say - I definitely needed this this week. :-)

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Good. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

Hope things settle out for you!