T is for To-Go (and 300)

Screenshot 2015-03-31 21.10.53

It’s the bane of every sports parent – the 6:00 game/practice/class that makes it virtually impossible to feed people on a normal schedule. At those times, the lure of the golden arches and its equally unhealthy brethren can loom pretty large.

Well, I decided to compromise on those nights where a family meal is not in the cards. Yes, we eat in the car. But we eat what I was going to serve them anyway.

Granted, this is not my preferred way to deliver the evening meal. But there are nights I just have to admit that I cannot feed my family in one room, at the table, and still get where we have to go.

On these nights, I send my kids to the car where they buckle up, and then I hand them a plate full of food to eat on the way.

It’s not beautiful, but some nights it’s the best I can do. And at least I’m not super-sizing anything.

(Oh, and the 300? Turns out this is my 300th post. Sounds impressive until I realize how long I’ve been blogging and do the math.)

Tomorrow…U is for Underwear

Read the series at A is for About

Carting your kids to spring sports? This poem’s for you.

Little Leaguer TM
Well, it’s that time of year again – spring league sports. And just as I’m hauling out, dusting off, and tweaking the sports gear, I’m doing the same with my tribute to those of us with bleacher butt.

Here, with a few revisions because I can’t leave well-enough alone, is my:

Ode to a Sports Mom (or Dad)

I log many hours at the wheel of my car,
I drive you to games that are near and are far,
I lend you some comfort when you are in pain,
I sit through your games in the cold, driving rain.

I follow the rules of inscrutable sports,
I pre-treat the stains that you get on your shorts,
I empty the checking account for your fees,
And patch up your pants when you go through the knees.

I moan your despairs and I cheer for your feats,
I vacuum up crud you track in on your cleats,
I sit in the parking lot during your drills,
Bite my tongue during dust-ups and bruises and spills.

I doctor your wounds to avoid their infection,
Then I’m off to the sporting goods store for “protection”,
For all that I do, I merely exhort you,
To remember the numerous ways I “support” you.

______________

So there it is, my song for spring. If you ever feel like singing it and you can’t remember the words, just turn around in your seat on the bleachers and ask – I’m sitting right behind you.

Logo created by Fat Cat Art Studio

An ode to the sports mom (or dad)

I log many hours at the wheel of my car,
I drive you to games that are near and are far,
I lend you some comfort when you are in pain,
I sit through your games in the cold, driving rain.
 
I follow the rules of inscrutable sports,
I pre-treat the stains that you get on your shorts,
I empty the checking account for your fees,
And patch up your pants when you go through the knees.
 
I moan your despairs and I cheer for your feats,
I vacuum up crud you track in on your cleats,
I sit in the parking lot during your drills,
Bite my tongue during dust-ups and bruises and spills.
 
I doctor your wounds to avoid their infection,
Then I’m off to the sporting goods store for “protection”,
For all that I do, I merely exhort you,
To remember the numerous ways I “support” you.

Learning to win and lose (a disclosure: I hate to lose)

After watching my young sons lose yet another lacrosse game, I worried that they were not going to be too enthusiastic about the upcoming summer season. But I was wrong. Thanks to a good coach and healthy attitudes, they were able to celebrate the fact that they’ve improved greatly as a team, even if the win-loss record doesn’t reflect it.

Maybe I was projecting because I hate to lose. I can’t even let my kids win in Scrabble. I’ll happily beat them by 200 points and sleep soundly after I do. Not a nurturing attitude, is it?

It’s sometimes hard to shake the feeling that winning isn’t everything, but people who must win at all costs sometimes do dumb things – cheat, bend ethical guidelines, hurt others. I can honestly say I’ve never stooped that low, but I have been known to stay away from certain pursuits (think golf) solely because I’m not any good at them. It’s not that I’m ashamed or embarrassed by it. I just don’t find it any fun.

But there’s no doubt losing can teach you a few things:

  • It can show you areas and skills you need to improve
  • It can steer you away from things you’re not good at, and toward things you are good at
  • It can remind you that you’re human – and that others are, too

The lesson I try to convey to my kids about winning is to celebrate, but be gracious about it. Don’t be arrogant, don’t talk trash, and don’t take success for granted. The difference between winning and losing is often one goal, and you can easily wind up on the other side of the equation.

Of course, winning feels better. I’m not denying that. But if you’re going to have a rich human experience,  prepare to lose. But maybe only once in a while. And not at Scrabble.

What have winning and losing taught you? Post your comments or send them to sarah@dayonebusinessservices.com – if I use them, I’ll feature  your business.

How do you measure change?

Here’s how I keep track of the seasons:

  • Fall – beach bag comes out of the back of the van
  • Winter – ski bags go in the van
  • Early spring – ski gear comes out of the van; lacrosse gear goes in the van
  • Late spring – baseball gear is piled on top of the lacrosse gear
  • Early summer – lacrosse gear comes out; beach bag goes in…

And so the seasons pass. We’re in the midst of lacrosse right now which means I measure the weeks by games, practices, and when I need to have all the gear washed and ready for its next defilement. If I didn’t keep track, I wouldn’t know where I was most of the time.

In your business, you need  reminders to track how you’re playing the game that is change. Like a  parent carpool, change starts with knowing where you are, where you want to go, and when you need to be there. My suggestions for keeping yourself sane?

  1. Get a seat with a good view. In lacrosse, particularly, it’s the only way I have a hope of knowing what’s going on. Get a set of data – numbers and facts – that represent where you’re starting, that is, what your business situation is right now. Make sure they will be easily and regularly accessible.
  2. Keep your eye on the goal. Have a clear vision of where you want to be. Share it with those who will be participating with you so you’re all working toward the same outcome.
  3. Watch the score. You don’t want to get to the end of the game and realize you were behind the whole time. Periodically measure yourself against the data you gathered in step 1 to see if you’re making progress. If you’re not, find out why not and change your gameplan.
  4. Move at the proper pace. OK, I’m mixing my analogies here, but you wouldn’t ask a kid to go down a ski hill that is clearly too steep. Their inability to control their movement  as they pick up speed could be a disaster. Same in business – move too fast and your vulnerabilities may become liabilities.

And finally, make sure others who will feel the impact of change have the tools and skills they need to foster your success and theirs. You wouldn’t ask your growing kids to play in last year’s gear, would you? (At least not for very long.)

What’s the hardest thing about change?  Post your comments or send them to sarah@dayonebusinessservices.com – if I use them, I’ll feature your business.