Guilt for a Missed High School Basketball Game Assuaged: Finding Balance Today

September 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m sitting outside in the sun actually enjoying beautiful Montana. I’m reading, thinking, reading, watching. I’ve begun a new chapter in my life (I’m finding a career), a good chapter, but with each step I take in this new direction I’m experiencing a heightened sense of personal claustrophobia. I feel like I’m sitting in a cubicle and the cement truck has backed up and started dumping fresh quick dry cement over my head. Like, this is make or break time, I’ll only have a few hours before it dries or I’m stuck forever.  All I see is work and responsibility, and more work, and then a husband and children yielding more work and responsibility, basically the end any moment to myself as I know it. Some of you probably think, hell you’re being dramatic and others, why don’t you grow up already? Both opinions are equally valid, but it’s not responsibility or having to work hard that I’m afraid of. What I fear is my own inability to find balance. If I dive in now, will it be 30 years before I submerge and I’m left with a thought of where my life went?

Yesterday, I had to take the trash out at work prematurely, while it was still light out. Thank god that happened! The clouds were thick and thunderous, the light golden and rich, my first thought was, “I’m missing this. I’m missing Montana.” This is my biggest fear, that my loyalty to work and responsibility will cause me to miss out on my own life. There is a never ending all consuming list of things to do, many of which are necessary, but all of us, and I mean all, need to learn that we have to stop sometimes, we have to balance things out.

I thought of an experience I had in high school where until today hind sight has led me to believe that I acted selfishly and stupidly. I’m reconsidering those notions now. It was my senior year, and I liked a boy and there was a formal dance party at a friend’s house. I wanted to go so badly because my school being private and Christian didn’t allow such unChristian behavior. But I had a basketball game. It was my last year on the team, I was the captain, a key member. Somehow I just decided to ask my coach if I could miss the unimportant pre-season game, and I did. I was penalized the rest of the season, losing my starting spot, and I don’t even recall the party being all that memorable, but after four years of not so much as a missed practice let alone a game, was it really so wrong for me to want to go to a party? It’s not like I was even that good at basketball or hoping to play in college. High school was about more than sports, more than AP exams, more than friends, it was about a balance of all those things regardless if I my coaches thought so or not. Until now, I’ve felt like that was such an irresponsible decision, but really I was a 17 year old girl wanting to do 17 year old girl things, that isn’t so bad.  I hope for the rest of my life I am brave enough to sometimes just choose myself regardless of what a coach, boss, husband, parent, friend etc. thinks. Don’t we all owe ourselves at least that?

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