I’m not a huge college basketball fan until March Madness hits and then it becomes a centerpiece as I get together with old friends and we have some beers and wings, and talk smart rooting for our brackets and Alma maters. It’s a tradition. Anyway, one thing I love about these games is the runs that are made on a microcosmic and macrocosmic scale. What I mean is teams will make big point runs in a game (10-0, 15-2) to blow it open. But then they’ll go cold, and the other team will come roaring back. Very exciting. On the bigger scale, you have teams that go on runs through the tournament, making those smaller runs in games to pull ahead for the win, and stacking wins on top of wins.
Life is like that too. You may have long stretches of grinding (lead changes, ties, staying even – that is, things are steady, not much excitement) and then maybe things go south and life runs on you – a job loss, miscarriage, bankruptcy, death in the family. But then your team goes on a run – lots of excitement in short time frames, making positive moves that you hope will set you up for a big winning streak.
When you find yourself in one of those runs, you have to stay strong and not flinch. It’s easy to lay back and your haunches and not keep attacking your opponents or stop trying to keep catching lighting in a bottle. That is, I think, what makes people successful, versus those that get complacent. It’s not easy to keep the pedal on the medal and not sit back the fruits of your labors, but it is the accelerant to continue that propel winners forward.
We’ve had both kind of runs this year already, but the few months have been runs of various sorts and the last week or so things are roaring:
- Several job interviews starting in December where you have soaring hopes and crushing losses when you just miss the position you were hoping to land
- News of another hip surgery for Holly coming in April
- Grandfather died
- Starting officially coaching a few folks, which is exciting and brings positive energy, but certainly takes some time out of my other obligations
- My mother-in-law’s mental health issues have reared their ugly head again, making Holly and her brothers somewhat miserable
- Working through yet another interview and then dealing with the stress of negotiating an offer that is worthwhile
- Giving notice and quitting a job, stressful as well for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is changing insurance just before a surgery.
- My wife finally decided to pull a trigger on a minivan, which meant the stress of trying to sell her car that as Captain I took care of (and made nearly $2,000 more than trade-in price) – which happened yesterday. Smooth transaction but still, on top of the job change was something to pile on- plus the whole purchase a new car deal. On the plus side, we’re gonna “break in” the minivan this weekend if you know what I mean (wink! It was my wife’s idea, believe it or not. Love that woman)
- After we talked about our Sexcation (edited of course) with family and friends, my brother-in-law and his wife couldn’t sign up fast enough for a resort trip of their own. The plan was to have their kids stay with my MIL, but since she’s gone off the reservation recently, they are staying with us that week (while they’re on spring break). It ends up working out well since I’m officially between jobs that week, but will add a fun, yet crazy, dynamic at our house.
At the end of the jig-jag line that resembles the stock market, all signs are pointing up. Since the end of 2014 to now, our household gross W-2 income has increased about $10,000 , we received annual bonuses for 2014 which were another 4% of our salaries, I’ll be moving out a job that has been a major life drain for awhile and into one with great potential (and is a known commodity), Holly’s hip will get repaired and won’t be in pain, and in general things are on the upswing with the weather improving and outside time increasing. Everyone is happier these days, which propagates even more positive energy.
It would have been easy to extend some of this stuff out, to not try and compact so much stuff in a short time, in some instances to keep making excuses into the future, but why not keep shooting if you’re feeling it? We’re stacking years upon years of small improvements and when we look back, we can barely remember how we began our journey together – dumpster diving for furniture and boxes to set my 13″ television on as we slept on an air mattress on the floor. Remembering to have gratitude for all you have and celebrating your runs (no matter how small they are) is one of the important keys to happiness.
Hope you have your own winning runs this spring season and start to stack successes in preparation for the rest of the year, and the rest of your life. Now, I’m off to watch some upsets and buzzer beaters with some old friends. Peace!