The Generosity Gap
THE DOG ATE MY BLOG!!
Two weeks ago, while escaping our routine for a few days, hubby and I flew south for a warm, relaxing weekend. Happily, I drafted about 1000 words, getting ready to share Week 46, Generous With YOU. Thinking I had masterfully connected my last post to seamlessly build upon last weeks concept of Balance, I sat proudly in the front row of the airplane….laptop and spectacles out….tapping away at the keyboard, while the rest of the passengers boarded. I imagined they would wonder if I had a chief role in a mega corporate empire, or maybe they assumed I was a famous writer, daring not to ask what body of work I was currently authoring….or so the movie reel plays in my fanciful head…
Sadly, no one will ever read those particular words. They were somehow lost in the +30,000 feet high airwaves….so I have chosen to blame ‘the dog’ and begin again from scratch.
Several years ago I did a passions workshop….NOT those kind of passions….it was an exercise in how to determine one’s greatest interests and moments that exude ultimate joy. Not surprisingly, my top 5 interests had a mix of relational, creative, and social activities that serve up heaps of fulfillment in my life. The workshop helped me see, how passions can grow or fade, and that what was important years ago, may not be presently significant. My most shocking example of this, was my love for singing. It used to keep me up at night….envisioning my life….touring, recording….which I have actually done, but on a much smaller scale than what my entire dream comprises. Through a process of elimination, where tough choices are made between all the things that cause my whole body to smile, singing landed behind a brand new love….WRITING!
Since I am on the topic of Generosity this Week, I will go ahead and share what my #1 passion was at the time of that workshop:
Watching my children thrive and shine in their passions.
Too many times in my tumultuous past, that passion was used as a punishment to keep me in line, when things got heated between me and the ex. He would deny our kids access to their activity or cancel plans to go out somewhere, to make me pay for whatever he felt were my sins in that particular moment. It broke my heart to see their upset little faces, sometimes already suited up in hand-me-down sports gear, knowing it was their weekly chance to be normal and have fun with other kids….a colossal, highly treasured treat for homeschooled children.
Now that there is only one teen left in our house pursuing a passion, she gets my fullcourt press attention! She has played competitive soccer for many years, a sport I did not play growing up. When turning 40, I decided to lace up some cleats, and finally learn the game. A few years later, my team was making appearances at the Over 35 provincial finals, and I thought….maybe I could re-live some of my unrealized, glorified sport dreams….play in the BIG arenas….my fantasies are an epidemic….however, after splitting my eye lid open and getting 2, closely timed concussions, the Emergency nurses were quite certain I should hang up my grassy shin guards, and learn to crochet. 😉
My daughter joined a team with mostly younger girls last season, so I was preparing for a drama filled summer. To my surprise, the girls got long quite nicely. Instead, she found it hard to crack their already tightly formed playing style. She struggled with position and felt ineffective when she was on the pitch.
Since I played soccer for a minute, I thought I could offer some advice.
Model your work ethic!
Unfortunately, she went on to muck through a frustrating season. However, her team ended up going to Nationals, winning their first 2 games of the tournament, then losing the quarter final….meaning they would be playing for Bronze. When you play outdoor soccer….in late October, in a Canadian climate….snow carries a veto card. Both the Bronze and Gold matches were cancelled, without getting rescheduled. A frustrating season ended in a thwarted result, leaving a disheartened little soccer player, in a passionless state.
Her situation reminded me of a phrase I have heard on the soccer pitch, over and over during games.
This lovely word takes on different meanings, depending on the circumstance.
If a player has made an obvious error in play and teammates want it fixed without blame….reset.
If the team has lost control of the ball or momentum of the play….reset.
If the other team scores….reset.
Anytime a player drifts off….disengages from the play, their teammates, the sound of coaches voices….reset.
Every player needs this instruction at one time or another. Every player can give it at anytime without criticism or judgment. It is a neutral reminder to take things back to the start; A place where all manner of potential and developments are possible. All there is to do, is be ready for what is coming next.
For Week 47, Generous with YOU, I have been challenged by this concept of resetting my mind and heart for a few different reasons. I recently disappointed a dear friend, who had deliberately made plans a month in advance, to ensure we had enough time together to connect and unwind, but I cancelled at the last minute. It brought me no pleasure to give that news to her. I regretted not being able to keep my commitment. It felt like I should run and hide for a while, until her hurt was lessened, then maybe I could reach out again when it felt more comfortable.
This did not seem like the most Generous thing to do….in fact, it felt rather cowardly. I was quite certain in that moment what I could not do, act like it did not happen, but what would I do instead?
I am a player that made a mistake, misread the play, and lost a scoring opportunity. I will accept my error bravely, hoping another gutsy teammate calls out….reset.”
Then, there is arguing with your adult children….never a pleasant thing. For the most part, I attempt to stay out of their business, giving encouragement when I can, and looking for chances to transition into that sweet friendship zone. This week, when a clash of opinions became ‘the hill to die on’, I was the one disappointed in how quickly our trust eroded, breaking communication lines and emotional connection. When a ‘discussion’ ends without resolution, how does the relationship move forward? Some things do not have a resolution….Family Therapy 101.
We lost momentum, turned the play over to our opposing selves, used blame and hurt to guide our tongues….almost ready to hold a grudge….reset.”
…. forgiveness….in a way that is not begged for, not taken for granted, and not forgotten as possible.
May we all reset for ourselves, for each other, and may we reset Generously!