This is How I Fight the Anxiety of Job Season
It’s not a word most people think of in positive terms. You surrender in battle or surrender your authority, but it’s not usually used to mean something helpful or good. But I’ve come to learn over the course of our 15 years living this crazy coaching lifestyle, it’s the only way to stay sane.
We have had every kind of season you can imagine over those 15 years, the good, the bad, and the mediocre. And from our highest of highs and lowest of lows, one thing has always stayed the same—uncertainty.
At the end of one season early in his career, the coaching staff had been told they had one more year to get better. I can still feel that wave of anxiety wash over me when I think of the next season. Game after game, our future became more and more unclear. And even though the players and staff were working hard, it seemed that they hadn’t “fixed it” and we all ended up having to leave.
We recently just had a few years in a row where we did really well, too well. After each season was over, the worry started. Is the head coach leaving to go somewhere “better”, and will he take us with him or leave us to fend for ourselves? Will my coach finally get his chance somewhere else as a head coach? All options were at one time a very likely possibility.
I have learned that win or lose, there is never 100% certainty or guarantee that coach’s job (and our family’s livelihood) is safe. We’ve been warned and we’ve been blindsided. We’ve been forced to move after a great season, as well as after a subpar one.
And somewhere along the way, I developed an almost debilitating habit of preparing my heart to leave and my house to sell with the start of each new season.
I like to think that things I do might have an impact on the outcome of a game or a season (I am one of those superstitious wives.) In the same way, I used to think that I should plan ahead during the season, get the house ready for sale and do other tasks that on the surface made me seemed prepared for a transition.
Recently, I have found that every time I’ve interjected myself into the process, whether it’s something as simple as stalking realtor.com at the mere mention of an opening or as serious as tagging along for an official interview, it never works out.
But, the times where I’ve sat back and let the process unfold how it should, it’s been for the betterment of coach, of myself, of our lives and of our family.
So, I’ve been learning to surrender to what will be. Of course, I don’t just sit around waiting for what is to come. I do what I am supposed to, I live my coach’s wife life.
But just like the coaches and the players, the only things I can control are my actions, not the outcomes.
Worrying about tomorrow has never made tomorrow better. It’s only made today stressful.
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.
I choose to surrender … instead of choosing to worry.
Jess Gilardi is a lacrosse coach’s wife in the Baltimore area and has three kids, ages 6, 4, and 1. She was a mental health therapist in the school system before becoming the full time chaos coordinator for the family (a.k.a. stay at home mom). She does manage to fit in a little work here and there. Outside of lacrosse and family, she loves Jesus, the Tracy Anderson Method, and empowering others. You can follow her crazy adventures on social media: Instagram @jessgilardi and Facebook as Jessica Gilardi.