I was debating whether I would title this post “Lessons are for Learning” or “Look for the Good in Everything.” Both statements are true and they both fit the situation that I am about to describe. My thought was to use the first one that came to me, i.e. “Lessons are for Learning” but I decided instead to accept that “I Will Know When I Know.” I would decide on the title after I write the post!
As many of you know, I had been really looking forward to last Sunday’s divisional championship game between the Seahawks and the Packers. I was planning to watch it with my ex-husband Al. Due to jet lag, I only slept two hours Saturday night and attended a Sanskrit class Sunday morning. The game was at noon so I was going from the class to Al’s, with no time for a nap.
A variety of things had happened that day that triggered me and being so exhausted I was not at my best, to say the least. To top it off, on the way to Al’s apartment, I realized that he lived so close to the stadium that there was no way in the world I was going to be able to find a parking place. By then I was in a really bad mood, especially since it was raining and I did not have an umbrella or an appropriate coat in the car.
After dropping food off at Al’s apartment, I drove to a light rail station located about 4 miles from the International District where he lives. I parked the car and boarded the train. As I was walking back to the apartment, after having disembarked from the train, I noticed the strangest sound. It was loud and it sounded a bit like freeway traffic, but that wasn’t right either. What was it? Could the sound be the crowd cheering in the stadium? Unbelievably, it was!
By the time I made it back to the apartment, my bad mood had shifted and I was eager to watch the game with him. As the Seahawks made error after error, however, my excitement withered.
I knew that taking the light rail home was going to be a very overwhelming experience. Tens of thousands of fans descending on that station when I was so exhausted would be incredibly difficult. Al and I agreed that if the game ever got to the point where it couldn’t be salvaged, I would leave. When the Seahawk’s pass was intercepted with less than four minutes on the game clock, and a score of Packers 19 – Seahawks 7, l decided that time had come.
I left feeling fine about my decision. When a few minutes later I had the opportunity to give money to a panhandler, which is something that has been difficult for me in the past (Judgment or Compassion), I was even more confident that my choice had been correct.
Seconds later, there was loud cheering from the stadium followed by fireworks. What was going on? Al called me and Whats App texts started flying between my son Sreejit, who lives in India, and me. The Seahawks had scored a touchdown!
Soon I reached the light rail tunnel. In less than a minute’s time, the Seahawks recovered an onside kick and scored another touchdown, followed by a two point conversion, the combination of which put them ahead by a field goal. (I can’t believe I’m saying all of this, and even have a bit of a clue what I am talking about. Me, who until last year had NO interest in football!)
The tunnel was filled with fans who, like me, had left early. They were following the game on their phones and when the news that we were winning came through, the whole place erupted with cheers. I felt so much a part of this community experience.
With 14 seconds left, the Packers kicked a field goal that tied the game and sent it into overtime. The game was still going on when I reached my station. The elevator that took me from the tunnel to the surface street was full of people who had left the stadium early. One man said “I’m not here. If anyone asks, I’m still at the game. What happens in this elevator stays in this elevator.” Everyone laughed, and once again I had an experience of community.
I walked to my car and listened to the game as I drove home. Between the time I got out of my car and the time I turned on the television, the Seahawks had scored yet another touchdown and we had won. We were going to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row! And instead of facing tens of thousands of people in the light rail station, I was already in the quiet of my home. All was well.
Over the next few days there were times when I felt sad that I had missed all the excitement, but at the same time I knew I hadn’t; I had just experienced it in a different form. And I watched the game highlights that day, and in the days that followed, so that I could actually see what had happened.
I felt a nick of sadness again when I received pictures from friends who had been together when the big moments came.
But while I hadn’t been with Al, Sreejit or friends in those moments, I was definitely not alone. I was with Al and Sreejit via media and had had Seahawks fans all around me. I had felt connected and a part of all the excitement. It was just in a different way than I had expected.
I feel thankful for all that I experienced. As I reviewed the day in writing this post, I saw that I had an opportunity to work on the following lessons:
- Lessons are for Learning
- Look for the good in all situations
- Be here now
- Be willing to let go of plans
- Let go of expectations
- Lighten Up
- There are no accidents
- Don’t overthink
- Learn from my mistakes.
- What I (or others) think are mistakes may not be
- Community comes in many forms
- I belong
- Choices are not good or bad.
- I can learn from any choice I make
- I will know when I know
- What is right for one person may not be right for everyone else
- Be compassionate and kind with yourself and others.
- Never say never
So what will the name of this post be? I will go with “Lessons are for Learning.” And while I know it is important to never say never, I think it is safe to say I will never intentionally leave a Seahawks game less than four minutes before it is over, no matter how far behind they are!