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Posts Tagged ‘leap’

Today I took a huge leap in my life. One I’m not quite prepared to discuss here. But, a leap that leaves me scared and excited and scared and hopeful and scared and refreshed, oh and scared.

I think that’s the thing about leaping — it can be scary and new and messy… leaping can be messy. But, what I’m learning is that stagnant can be worse. I think, like many people, I’ve secured my feet in the concrete solidness of stagnant — avoiding anything out of the ordinary. I’ve been afraid of messy for a while. I was afraid that my messy was too much, too messy. But, then I heard a very good definition of messy — one that I thought really defined what I was trying to say but, as so often occurs with me, I couldn’t locate all the right words and get them in the right order. Here’s what I heard (from a very reliable source), messy is:

…the willingness to make mistakes, risk your heart, connect with new people, be an imperfect mom, be someone different and new.

I liked this — a lot. I’ve kept it, like so many other things I read that strike a chord with me.

I always thought being the “new kid” in school had loads of advantages. The thought of starting over, fresh, a clean slate — it’s very appealing. I, like everyone else who went “away” to college, was the new kid for a while. I had several friends who, when they went away to college, started using their middle names or a nickname. They became someone new and better and it seemed fun. I was given a nickname in college as well — Punky (it was an easy choice for my new friends given my last name of Brewster). I think, however, it had more to do with my personality than my convenient last name. Many of my college friends still call me Punky, I like that. I can remember being on second or third dates and the boy would have no idea what my real name was — no one knew…I was Punky to all and still am to some. Lots of my friends I have met recently call me “b”. I like that too. Renewal. Starting over. Refreshed.

I’m sure I’ll be dealing with some messes along the way. But, better that than stagnant. Better to move on and breathe deeply then to wade in the shallow end and never know what it’s like to fill your lungs with the deep breath of renewal. So today, renewal. Today, I breathe in and breathe out. Today, I begin…again.

I searched for a video or a poem or something about happiness that I thought would make you smile, I ended up with this video I posted on Facebook a couple of months ago — it makes me smile, it helps me breathe… enjoy.

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I was on baseball duty with my son today. He’s been playing baseball since he was in kindergarten, he’s in the fifth grade now. He likes baseball. He always checks the local leagues website to make sure he doesn’t miss sign-ups each season — although, I’ve tried to talk him out of it the last couple of seasons.

I was worried it was making him sad. He sits the bench… a lot and he bats last in the order… a lot. Last season he stopped swinging the bat whenever his turn came up. His coach, his dad, his sister, his teammates, me — we all would tell him to swing the bat — just swing the bat…he never did. So, this year, I was hoping he might choose to leave baseball behind. But there he was, looking at the website, making sure I didn’t forget to sign him up. He chooses baseball.

In baseball, the universal phrase for coaches to say when they have confidence in a kid who is up to bat is, “give it a ride”. When my son got up to bat, the coaches would say, “just swing the bat.”

I was sad for him, as any mother would be. By the time the season was winding down last year, he would often leave the field, hiding his tears. I asked him on many occasions why he just wouldn’t swing. He said he was afraid he would do it the wrong way or at the wrong time and then everyone would be disappointed in him. It’s true, what he said. An elementary school kid with an understanding of human nature.

We get in ruts and it’s easier to stay there then to work your way out. Working your way out takes effort and time and patience. Often, it’s easier to just not attempt to leap for fear that you’ll do it wrong — fear that the net won’t appear. It’s easier to not try because if you do it wrong, someone is bound to point it out — sometimes our mistakes are easier to point out than the stuff we get right. It’s easier to hope for four balls, then to swing and risk the three strikes.

So, back to today. The first day of scrimmages for my son. The first game he had three at bats, no swings. After the game, I had my usual talk with him about why he should swing and why it was so important to do things that he was afraid of and if it didn’t work out then he would at least know what it felt like to swing — to take a chance… to leap.

The second game, his turn in the batting order finally came up. He looked at me long enough for me to motion to him to take a breath — and he swung the bat.

He missed — strike 1.

The next pitch — he swung, foul ball — strike 2.

The third pitch — he swung and it was the most beautiful bomb to center field ever. My elation was only second to his as he rested at second base.

That’s all it took, just an attempt. He hit the ball two more times after that. He wasn’t afraid to leap, he wasn’t afraid to strike out and risk people being disappointed or angry. He gave it a ride — and it was beautiful. But truthfully, I missed the bravest thing he was doing. I overlooked his leaping. He was leaping every year when he chose baseball. Swinging the bat was just an added bonus. So maybe, we overlook our own attempts to leap. Maybe we’re leaping… maybe I’m leaping. Maybe…

And now, go visit the absolute best blog on the webZebra Sounds, written by the hugely talented and lovely Judy Clement Wall, who gives us a beautiful reminder to take a breath and leap — a net will appear.


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