11 January, 2012

sometimes it's a gutter ball

But sometimes it's a strike. So, do you stop and beat yourself up? Take off your shoes and walk away? Well, maybe, and then maybe you just don't. Maybe you stop, and breathe, and wait for your ball to come back to you, and try again. Or you get a different ball. One more suited to your strengths. 
I recently crossed paths with an acquaintance who has a passion for hockey which I can only imagine in my wildest dreams. I am passionate about ice skating, hockey?  Skating backwards? Dodging a hard, flying-at-your head? Thank you very much, but probably not in this lifetime. While we waited for the elevator I smiled at him. He said hi, began to fiddle with his equipment and appeared to be reluctant to make eye contact. Finally, I asked if he was a finesse player. He looked at me blankly, and there was a long pause similar to the one as I am waiting for something to load on my laptop. 
"What do you mean?" he finally asked with a puzzled expression. 
"As opposed to a power player," I explained, as my elevator door opened to carry me up to the fifth floor. 
He said, "I'm all about slapping it in the net, as hard and fast as possible, so definitely, I'm a strength and speed skater." His elevator opened to take him down to the basement garage. We turned in unison, and wished each other a great evening. 
It's important to identify your skills, goals and areas for improvement. Start young, have realistic expectations, and learn not to beat yourself up when you realize how far you can go and how growing changes your skill set. I wonder when "growing" with it's implication that you have so much more time left to develop, turns into "aging" with the suggestion that you are going downhill, with only a few more chances left. "Aging," with your opportunities diminishing like the returns on your investments. All the negative connotations: washed up, over the hill, swan song. 
What could we do if we lived like someone left the gate open and the whole world was open to us for this one precious moment, this one precious day?

1 comment:

Denise Emanuel Clemen said...

Picturing that open gate. In fact open gates figured into my day. Every time I opened a kennel gate today, dogs came pouring out (everyone one was captured in the end.) It was scary and funny and full of energy and risk.