Humans....we are quite the interesting character at times. We can get wound up about the smallest of things. In hindsight, most of it is just a tiny dot in our timeline of life. In fact, I would be willing to bet the things we let get under our skin are things that won't even matter in a week, month or year.
Our booster club held their annual sports banquet the other night. It's a night when we recognize the high school athletes for their accomplishments. We hold it in one of our gyms, everyone dresses up, has a meal and a good time...well...not always so much of a good time. I've spent the last few days asking myself how in the world you would not have a good time at an event that celebrates your kids.
I've come to one conclusion...we are spoiled...we live in a society where we feel entitled and where "everyone" wins. Humm, that's three conclusions, but you get my point.
I am proud to proclaim I heard more good than bad about the banquet. However, it's the bad I heard that has just gnawed at me for days. I replay events in my head over and over and take them way too personally. As President of our organization, I take great pride in what I do and beat myself up way too much over my mistakes. I, am sweating the small stuff! Why? Does it really matter? Do the complaints I received make me less of an involved mom or not a good booster President? Of course not!
So, I am going to offer my advice (*Disclaimer - stop here if you don't want my advice...otherwise, keep reading). Stop sweating the small stuff people! By small stuff, I mean...
Decorations - If you don't like the way something is done, don't complain...volunteer! How about going up to the people who did all the decorating and proclaiming, "THIS LOOKS GREAT!" and keep your belittling thoughts to yourself.
Food - "I'm sick of chicken fried steak...they serve it all the time." How about changing your thoughts to, "Wow, I get a great meal today. There are millions of people who would change places with me!" Maybe a little, "Thank you."
Programs, balloons, seating, tickets - When typing in 150 athletes' names, there is possibly going to be a misspelled name. Please know it is not intentional. Once it is printed, it's difficult to change so launching into a WWIII type attack isn't really necessary. Helium is a non-renewable resource and there is a WORLD WIDE shortage. I'm quite sure not having helium balloons at your child's banquet will not cause long term mental anguish. Don't sweat it! Seating - Back to the crowd, at the back of the room, something in your way, etc. Does it really matter? You are sitting in an air-conditioned gym and not outside in the wind, heat, rain, snow, hail; whatever mother nature is sending at the moment. Not only are you in a nice, air-conditioned gym...you are sitting in a nice chair surrounded by great people, eating a great meal. Priorities, people!
Awards - This is the big one that creates heartache and hard feelings that last for years upon years. We all have our own ideas who we think will receive/deserves the award. It's fun to try and guess who it will be right before the coach announces it. Personally, I would never want the task of selecting the recipient of the award. There are always numerous young men and women who are deserving of the award.
Not everyone can receive an award. That's right, I said it. I know it breaks the code of how society expects us to raise our kids now. Everyone should win so they don't get their feelings hurt. As high schoolers, it's time to gut it up and know in life, you won't always win. You won't always land the job you want, the boy/girl you want, the house, the car, the parking spot in front of the mall....deal with it now so you don't act a fool later!
If you do happen to win an award, accept it with humility; which I'm proud to say every single athlete did when their name was called. You might be a "star" now, but you never know when life will change. Humility, class and character will get you far in life. Parents, take notes from your kids in this area. If they do win an award, be proud! Don't be mad if they shared the award with someone. Don't be mad if they didn't get every award for every sport they played. An athlete who excels beyond every other athlete in every single sport is rare.
If you don't win an award, you are still the same person you were before the banquet began! Don't think it's because the coaches don't like you, have favorites, are white, brown or black. Know they have a very difficult decision to make and guess what...the sun will rise the next day. Be the best you on/off the field or court all the time. Don't change who you are or the way you play because you didn't win. There are hundreds of amazing young men who never won the Heisman, who still had stellar careers in the NFL. Parents, once again, take a lesson from your kid. Don't think the coach hates your kid, plays favorites or doesn't like them because they are white, brown, black, blond hair, brown hair, too tall, too short, not rich enough, etc. Disappointments are a part of life. Be thankful you have a healthy kid who is able to complete in the sports they love. Be thankful they are a competitor, a team player and have learned life lessons during their time as an athlete. Character builders are good!
Coaches - If you took the hours a coach spent into practicing, driving to games, coaching games, planning for games, and all the other tasks they have, I'm sure their wage per hour would be very low. I have yet to meet a coach who was in it for the money. They are in it because they have a passion. A passion for helping young kids. Sometimes we are blinded by what we think our kid deserves and what they get. I'm speaking from experience here. There's nothing worse than speaking your mind to a coach in the heat of the moment only to regret it later. Trust me...one day you will regret it. Luckily, putting my pride aside and offering a sincere apology made it all better, but I still remember my words. In fact, one coach gave me the best advice when he said, "Let them fight their own battles." Tough words to hear and I needed to hear them.
The coaching staff is not against your child. They are not rooting for your child to fail and they don't mistreat them because of who their parent is; perhaps they treat them better in spite of who their parent is....(a little humor, don't sweat it!)
In closing, stop and take a good look at the things you let get to you. We only have a finite amount of hours on this earth. Do you really want to waste precious minutes being angry and mad about things you cannot change? Start practicing today (myself included) trying to let the "little" things go. Your future self will thank you for it!