It may be bittersweet, but sometimes change opens up a whole new happiness for you that you weren’t anticipating.
That’s the beautiful thing about dreams and plans.
God knows our hearts, and he knows what is best for us. He knows that while some of us thrive in structure, our lists can also create false permission to establish boundaries and limit ourselves where more significant opportunities are possible.
I have loved him through the perfect, undefeated, state championship seasons, the heartbreak of great competitive losses, and the fickleness of high school athletics. After years of learning how to accept that he’s perfectly alright with doing NOTHING for literally H O U R S at a time except watching game after game, he began more than one morning of this holiday break with something like, “Babe, which of your projects would you like me to help you with today?”
“In track, there are all types of runners. There are sprinters. There are middle-distance runners. And, there are long-distance runners. Brother Roger was a middle-distance runner. His job was to do well in the time that he was given. And he did.”
But the truth is, no one bad play, no one unexpected loss, not even one loud heckler in the stands will be able to close a door that is Divinely yours. Along that same line, no clawing, scratching, or forcing will open one that isn’t meant for you.
But, I have come out of my typical “moving funk” years ahead of normal. All because I kept moving forward, doing the next right thing, even when I didn’t want to or didn’t feel like it. Unpack that box. Accept that invitation from a new neighbor. Decorate that room. Explore your new surroundings. Ask for (or accept) help.
I pride myself in the fact that I can take care of everything, but sometimes it’s nice to know you don’t have to do it all; and it’s a great way to make memories with your friends and loved ones before you leave town.
We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the done. We cannot sacrifice our sanity by trying to run plays that just don’t work with our current personnel, life stage or needs. So don’t try. Sometimes you just have to wad those things up, toss them away and draw up something new.
Once I heard a parent fussing that “these coaches only work with these boys for 3-4 months out of the year…” I laughed out loud at the time. But the other day, it got me thinking. Every career, every position, every role in this life has its seasons. I’m a teacher. August and September are …
The rye grass on the baseball field has just started to turn green, and every day I ride by the field and think to myself, “Man, what a field! That Coach is killing it this year.” This is coming from a woman who has zero flowers planted in her yard. Don’t get me wrong, Coach has our yard looking great but it’s nothing compared to what that man can do to a ballfield. Not to mention I actually called it “rye grass.” Who am I?
So, each year as the season is winding down or over for good, and that feeling starts to creep in, I remind myself no matter how much I worry or even how confident I feel, it will not make a difference. I try to remind myself that whatever happens, it will all work out for our favor in the end.
You, my friend, are in the company of thousands of wives who have thought that very thing. It doesn’t mean you aren’t loyal. It doesn’t mean you aren’t supportive and it definitely, definitely does not mean you are a “bad” coach’s wife.
It means you are normal. And human. And loved … by the rest of us here in this strange little community of coaching.
It just means this life is really hard, so hard sometimes that the compassion in you wants to protect your little piece of the world from the crazy.
Transition is never easy. We’ve been the family that leaves, and we’ve been the family that is left behind. In my experience, staying behind is as hard of an adjustment as moving.
The truth is that coaches’ wives do need to be motivated, inspired, and championed. The seasons are challenging both physically and mentally, not just for the coach and the athletes, but for the coaches’ family too – but, coaches’ wives often need more than a locker room speech. We need radical paradigm shifts.
I had parked myself right in front of a broken cistern. I'd fill it up, but all my joy and peace and compassion still seeped through the crevices and cracks, until it was once again empty. I would fill my tank up and only get a mile down the road before I was out of gas again. I wasn't filling it with living water; I was filling it with muck, sludge, and junk. It was broken. I was broken.
What I love about “new team, new routine” is that it eliminates the obligation to do something based on the rationale that it’s a tradition. It gives me time to re-evaluate my coach’s wife resume as well as permission to determine the best path forward for our family in the year ahead.