Bouncing with Style: Play Your Position

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  • First of all, let me clarify that after playing grade-school and high school soccer, it was shocking to me as to how little I retained about the sport other than keep your feet behind the line when throwing in the ball. But as in all things, God has a reason for what we need to know.

    I have become an avid sport’s mom for a couple of reasons. I like to watch the kids grow and learn. I like the competition and formation of character through team sports. And sports gives me a chance to see my kids when they are on the custodial day with their father and I feel less like that time has been taken away from me. No, I do not excel at sharing. I had children because I wanted to raise them, teach them, enjoy them and experience all the facets parenthood has to offer, not fob them off on others.

    A funny thing happened on the soccer field the other day. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I went to see my son at practice and I didn’t have books to read, articles to edit or a grocery list to write, and I could actually just sit and enjoy practice. One of the little boys was gassed after about 15 minutes of hard practice. The other kids were showing signs of fatigue, but this kid was wiped out. I had been watching this little boy because he was so fast and there appeared to be three of him on the field at any given moment because he was always, always, always wherever the ball was.

    “Do you know why you’re exhausted?” Coach Rex asked this little dynamo. “Because you are covering the entire field. You are trying to do everything for everyone and you are not playing your position. If you stay in your position and do your part to the best of your ability and be responsible for just what you are responsible for, you will have enough energy to play the game. Everyone on the team needs to play their part and let others do that as well.”

    I nearly fell out of my canvas chair. I felt that in that single moment the angels played the harps, the sun shined brighter than ever and a bolt of lightening hit me right in the center of my being. That was me. Coach was talking to that little boy, but the message was for me.

    I was the person who was running all over my life trying to be all things to all people and in my helpful desirous ignorance was exhausting myself in the process. Not wanting to be post-40 with one foot in the grave pulling dirt over my head, I decided at this random Thursday practice to set firmer guidelines with myself as to what is my responsibility and what belongs to others.

    This manifested in very simple ways in my household. My kids could fold laundry and put it away. They could clear the dinner table and feed the dogs.

    This manifested in very simple ways in my business. My day was to be set according to my schedule as much as possible and my clients would have to work around me. My clients would be chosen because they fulfill me, and not just my wallet.

    Well, wonders never cease and we all became happier. My kids were happier because they felt they could help me and, as every single mother knows, her sons worry about her despite her best efforts. My clients were happier because though they had to wait, I was worth waiting for and did a far better job for them. Finally, I became happier because I could navigate through my life like a ship to shore on a rocky coastline rather than feeling every day I was battered by the rocks that scraped my hull and dinged my paint.

    This took some consideration and I started with athletic fundamental basics. What were my positions in life (mom, radio host, daughter, company owner)? What were my roles on my teams (family, work, friends)? Being the adorable Type-A compulsive list-maker and organizer that I am, I set forth to put all of this on a spreadsheet. You know what? It worked.

    Now you don’t have to go all crazy and make a mind map (I made one of those also), but you do need to take some time and sort yourself out. Everyone, including you, will thank you for it.  Life then becomes better and brighter. You become all the things you want to be instead of always reacting.

    The life lesson I took away from this, from my clients, my ex husband and my family, was, “Your anxiety cannot become my anxiety.” I found that out by sticking to playing my position.

    Bouncing with Style is all about learning on the fly, taking advice and information from unlikely places and chewing it up and making it your own. Good ideas are out there. It’s up to you to ricochet all over the map or Bounce with Style.

    Sandra Beck

    Empowerment is the through-line in of all Sandra Beck’s work. Whether she is coaching a company owner to a million dollar commission goal, training a stay-at-home mom to perform SEO on web sites, or speaking to a group of women who are in recovery, Sandra's message is about what is possible and how to create the circumstances of your choosing.

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