It is easy to get caught up in the excitement and promise of a new year. Many of us set intentions and make resolutions, and we set out with high hopes and grand plans. Some of us work tirelessly to make our dreams become realities, and some of us are content to wait for our ship to come in, without going out to meet it. No matter what approach we take to reach our goals, we tend to engage in a waiting game that is not much fun to play and never has a clear winner. We wait to reach our goal, make our dream come true, and fulfill our resolution before we allow ourselves to be happy, to feel proud, to celebrate, and so forth. And that very act of delayed gratification can sabotage our progress. Tom Petty was not kidding when he said that the waiting is the hardest part!
By mid-January, we are either still in hot pursuit of our goals or in various stages of throwing in towel. I continue to be in the former group, but there have been times since ringing in the new year when I have considered joining the latter group and trying again at another time. After last year’s unprecedented number of losses, though, I know that another time may never come. The only time is right now. So, I eliminated the latter option and searched for how to stay committed to my daily intentions and life’s dreams. Yesterday, I had help in my search from an unexpected source.
My youngest daughter’s basketball team kept their streak intact. They have yet to win a game this season. Every week, they practice and prepare, and every weekend, another team ends up with more points on the scoreboard. A lot more points. Yet, my daughter and her teammates won big yesterday, despite the 27-10 score when the final buzzer sounded. They lost the game, but they won tacos.
My daughter and her teammates may have a losing record, but these seven elementary school girls find a way to celebrate every game, no matter what the scoreboard reflects. They get so excited when a teammate scores a basket or makes a good play, even when their goal of winning a game continues to elude them. A couple of games ago, they scored a season high of 8 points, and the dad of one of the players said that if they scored ten points in a game that he would treat them to tacos.
With less than a minute to go in yesterday’s game, and the scoreboard stuck on 8 points, talk of tacos could be heard among the crowd and on the bench. Word of the “ten points for tacos” goal reached the opposing coach, who made sure that with less than 15 seconds left on the clock, my daughter’s team had the ball and had a shot at tacos. They had their shot, they took it, they made it, and they got tacos!!!
As the team, coaches, and fans went crazy over reaching this goal, you could see the confused looks on the faces of those spectators who did not know about this goal. I am fairly certain that they thought we were crazy for celebrating a 17 point loss as if we had just won a championship game, but to our team, we kind of did. They lost their first game 41-0, so, two months later, to lose 27-10 showed that their hard work, good sportsmanship, and positive attitudes were helping them to improve, slowly but surely.
They could have delayed celebrating until they secured a victory, but instead, they chose to celebrate a smaller goal along the way. It would have been fun to win, but I have to say that the taco celebration that took place after the game was a lot of fun in and of itself. As they left the restaurant, they were already talking about what they would do to commemorate 12 points.
They have not abandoned their goal of winning one of their final games of the season, but they also have not given up on having fun and recognizing their progress along the way. Had they chosen to focus only on their record, they may have given up early on and had a miserable time this season. Instead, they end each game with smiles, high fives, and a rousing team cheer, and they come back the following seek to try again.
As I continue to look ahead to 2016 and remain committed to my intentions, I also am making sure that I take time to have my own fiesta along the way. Winning or reaching a goal is fun and feels good, but what’s the point if we are completely miserable along the way?! We need to acknowledge our progress, and maybe, have a taco or two along the way. Go, team, go!
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day