Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday has changed

At first glance, this post probably won't seem to be very relevant to the topic of this blog, but please bear with me.

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday, practically a national holiday. For the last 9 years (this will be my tenth), I've played in a friendly football game known as the "Not-So-Super Bowl". This game is played early enough to allow everyone to get home and shower and make it to wherever they're going to watch the big game, assuming they can still move afterwards. You see, this game is played full-contact tackle, and without pads. And since most of us don't play football any other time (except maybe on Thanksgiving), there are more than a few sore bodies by the end of it. And every year I have LOVED playing in this game.

I've been lucky enough to have some friends who will watch Rowan while I go play again this year. But I'm not looking forward to it like I have every year before. It's not because I'm getting too old to play in this game, because although at 41 it's a LOT harder for me to recover from it than it used to be, the fact is I can still play, and I'm not the oldest one who still does (most guys are younger, though). No, it's just that like a lot of other things I used to love, I just don't seem to care that much about it anymore.

This game isn't the only place I've seen this. I play basketball every Tuesday and Thursday. In addition to being the only scheduled exercise I get, it's also a much-needed stress reliever. And I have loved playing basketball since the age of 14, and have played my whole life since then. In fact, in some of the worst times in my life up to this point, I have turned to basketball as a refuge.

But there again, I've lost the real joy I get from it. For now I'm still going, because I need the exercise and the stress relief, but I don't love the game like I used to. I can just feel the difference when I'm on the court.

There are other places I've felt this, many of the outside the arena of recreational sports. I'm hoping it's temporary, especially where sports are concerned. I love playing sports of all types (it feeds my intensely competitive nature), so I don't want to lose that in my life. Some of the other things I've let go the last month or so are probably OK, but I hope I get my love of sports back eventually. Or it may be that this becomes part of the new normal I've talked about. If so, it's just another way that life will have lost some of its luster.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I see a pattern of losing some of the joy in my life, and it makes me sad. Not sure what, is anything, I can do about it. Maybe it will come back, maybe it won't. And I certainly still delight in my little Rowan. But outside of that, I'm hard pressed to find too many things I really enjoy anymore.


  1. Joy will come back for some things quietly and gradually. A dear friend of mine stayed in her house for 9 months after her daughter was tragically killed. She was understandably consumed with grief and even though i visited her frequently, i did not see her beautiful smile for a long, long time. The smiles later returned as did true joy in her life.
    It would be difficult to imagine you enjoying much of anything given the tremendous loss you so recently experienced. As it has for others, I hope time will help ease this for you too.

  2. Joni is right on Pat. You will be surprised by joy again some day. This is a time of sorrow and perhaps, finding joy welling up when you least expect it. You may be unpredictable for awhile until your systems regain their equilibrium.
    You are LOVED by the God who created all things for His children's pleasure and perfection. Think upon those things.

  3. I had forgotten this, but after my mother died of cancer in August 2001, I was so grieved and shocked by this sudden change in my life, that I struggled just to make it through the daily routine. It was six months before I woke up one morning, and suddenly heard the birds chirping and playing outside my window. I was shocked. Where had they been? I had listened to them for years every morning. Yet I hadn't heard them for months. But they were there the whole time. My heart was so broken that I couldn't hear them. Those bird calls were the first signs to me that I was getting past the grieving and I was going to make it after all. It’s been over 10 years and I still miss my mom. Wish I could talk to her every day. But I found myself again and those same old passions I loved before the tragedy. You will find them, too. Just give yourself lots of patience and time.