Finding Joy in the Mediocre

I’m not sure if I’m the only one on the Lacrosse bench that takes some of the coaches words as deep life lessons that make for great blog posts?!?  In the midst of a few expletives (that shouldn’t be repeated), were scattered the words “focus on what is in front of you”.  In the context of the game, it was referring to the quick ball movement the opposing team was using to distract our defense from the pics and slides that were taking place inside.  Now I’m not a lacrosse player, I have actually never played the game, but I have been the Head Athletic Trainer for the Peterborough Lakers for the past seven seasons.  I have been a part of  two Mann Cup Canadian Championships and have the rings to prove it!  So even though my eight year old son can cradle me under the table, I’ve picked up a couple of things along the way!

Focusing on what is in front of you allows you to see the plays develop, gives confidence to your teammates around you that you will pick up your assignment and can also provide clear direction when communicating with your defensive team.  When players buy into that mentality, they are unstoppable.  It is quite amazing to watch from the bench when things come together and a team begins to listen to the wise words of the coach.  Sure there will be the occasional time when a player looses focus and the defense falls apart, goals are scored, players are ticked…but with a simple regroup and reminder, one can refocus for the next shift.

I have this cycle that I go through that is incredibly hard to break.  Lately I have struggled finding any joy in my world. When I think I’ve found it, something happens and I loose it, blame myself and cycle into my depression and panic.  I have a massive amount of guilt that I feel about this lack of joy as I have five beautiful kids, a great job and amazing coworkers and great friends.

I just can’t seem to focus long enough on those things that should bring me joy and am distracted by the negative, destructive and hurtful things that happen or that I feel daily.  Or I get myself entangled in my past mistakes, become discouraged and feel like I should be kicked out of the game because I’m just not good enough to compete with what this life is throwing my way.  The guilt I feel is the hardest emotion to deal with.

My kids mean the world to me, when I am with them I feel so much contentment, then I begin my negative cycle because I realize that I have let myself loose focus and distracted away from them, and this is a crushing feeling that I’ve let my kids down somehow and am not a good dad, so on, and so on…  I do this with my job, friends, relationships…. and much like the defense on the team, need to take time to settle, regroup, refocus and try again.   Just like at the end of a game, I know how exhausting it can be…blood, sweat and many tears later, either we’ve won the game or we’ve lost it.  If you win, celebrate and try and do it again the next day….but if you loose (and this is where I find myself now), we still have a chance the next time to do it again.  To regroup, refocus, maybe watch some game tape, learn from the mistakes the game before, talk to a coach and focus on what is in front of you.

So why the title of this blog…

I think we sometimes get lost in the excitement of the destruction.  If you’ve ever watched the collapse of a team when the opposition begins to exploit the weaknesses and goes on a goal scoring run that deflates even a powerhouse team…you’ll know what I’m talking about.  But that doesn’t mean positives can’t be drawn from the horrendous defeats.  Joy can be found in the mediocre, in our daily seemingly mundane or difficult situations.  The difficult part is being able to focus on what could bring us joy in the midst of these struggles.   A good coach will always be able to point out where things went right, even in the midst of a blowout lose.  They won’t focus all the attention on the mistakes of the previous game, but will take the opportunity to educate on what went wrong, what can be learned, and move forward focusing on what went right, fixing the small or large details.  And when things start to turn around, that’s where we can focus on the joy of the win, even the small mediocre victories of each day.  Maybe its as simple as a good night sleep, waking up in the morning, the cup of coffee crafted and beginning the day.  Remind yourself of the little things that can bring joy in the midst of collapse, it doesn’t make a lose easier but it might not hurt as much….its a long season, there is a lot of game left, so take some time to regroup, remind yourself of what should bring you joy, focus and get back to the game…Your next shift is about to begin!

I’ll be the first one to admit this is easier said then done….I spend a lot of time at Starbucks…..not only because I am highly addicted to coffee, but it is my place to come, write, refocus, regroup and try to find the joy again.  I am here today because I feel like I lost it this week…. and I know I’m not alone!

if you need someone, don’t forget to text 7058682616….I’m no life coach, but maybe an ear or an outside view can help!

Also, I’m almost ready to release a snippet of the book I’m working on…hopefully soon!  keep an eye out for “The 30,000ft View” or ” What is Next”….still working on titles!

One comment on “Finding Joy in the Mediocre

  • Lynda Humphries says:

    I feel your blog today.
    I feel(my own)lack of joy,
    I feel (my own)guilt as a parent that never feels like I have done enough.
    I can see (my own) joys,
    I can see in my children(my own) success as a parent.
    What a horrible illness depression is,
    to rob us of (our own) feelings. We work so hard to ‘focus on what’s ahead’, forcing our onward movements because we are unable to feel (our own) successes.
    I understand (so clearly) the struggle of being stuck in the never ending vicious cycle of fighting (my own) illnesses.
    Thank you for sharing your struggles, I have always thought of you as an amazing man.
    Keep on fighting the fight Josh, and I, offer my (somewhat limited and maybe even misguided) words of wisdom.

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