Saturday night I play hockey.
And by "play hockey" I mean I put on thirty seven pounds of bubble wrap and skates and spend an hour trying to stay vertical. Luckily I'm not totally out of my league out there - it's a shinny game with other 'hockey moms' who want to try to play too. There are several lessons to be learned from the game. The first is I have no business yelling from the stands to tell my 11 and 10 year old hockey stars how to play the game. Geez it's harder than it looks and they're amazing at it.
The lesson I learned on Saturday was a harder one to swallow. When I was in high school I played competitive sports; basketball and baseball mostly. It fit my competitive spirit, b/c everything is more fun if there's a winner and a loser. When we went to China to adopt our daughter my bestie and I declared a Utensil Challenge. I won. You do not want to attend a baby or wedding shower with me.
So what happens when I find myself on the ice?
I have to talk to myself down. Literally. I have to change the script in my head. The voice that is telling me 'go faster', 'get that' and then 'why can't you...' The same voice berated me for taking a break 'so often'. The voice isn't very nice.
I had to rethink everything. What was the point of being there? To have fun, to do some exercise. Neither of those goals required me to be the best on the ice and who cares if I sat twice before some other skater sat at all? What did it matter if someone else had better wind? Perhaps their feet didn't feel like they were walking on swords instead of gliding on ice.
There's nothing wrong with being competitive... my competitive drive has pushed me to accomplish many goals and won many jars of gummy bears. But I'm starting to figure out the whole concept of "time and place" and trying to be more gentle and forgiving with myself when I'm not quite up to snuff.
Now if I could let that wisdom trickle into other parts of my existence...