Thursday, November 3, 2011

How watching football reminds me how to handle my life.

I've been impressed recently by professional athletes and their response to errors and mistakes. I've watched a few football games this season on TV. The Seattle Seahawks have won two games and lost five. They haven't scored a touchdown in the past two games. I watch the quarterback, whichever one they try for a game. He makes big errors. And, I watch his face after the error. He looks upset for a few seconds, then he gathers the team gives them the next play, and continues on with a positive outlook. Had I made such an error as the last play I would kick myself and be discouraged at my mistake, and with thousands of people watching me, I would want to leave the field, leave the locker room and escape from it all. I see in football quarterbacks, and others, an attitude that they have learned. It goes something like this, "That mistake that I just made is behind me. There is nothing that I can do about it. I have a team counting on me to get it right this next time. I'm putting out of my mind my errors and expect the best with this next play." I marvel that they can do that, repeatedly. It is a learned response. I try to do that in my life too. I don't want to forget my failures because that will allow me to make them again, but I try to not dwell on them. One image that I use is that a mistake that I have made, an error in judgment, a bad decision, or a harm that another has done to me.  I put it in a package, like a cardboard box, then I mentally place it on the ground, next to the path that I'm walking on. I walk on. I remember where that package with the loss, failure, or whatever, is located, but I do not carry it on my back with the other baggage of my life going forward.

I don't mourn the loss of some organs that have been removed from my body to keep me alive in years gone by. I also don't forget what I did, the stress that I had put on myself, prior to the time that those surgeries occurred. I don't worry about how long or how short my remaining life may be. I simply try each day to do the best that I can, to help others, to stay healthy, to enjoy the gifts of life each day. Watching the football quarterbacks of a team with a losing record reminds me and encourages me to stay positive, look ahead, take care of my health, find happy moments and relish them, a enjoy whatever each day brings.

No comments: