I learned three important lessons recently: details are often important, it’s necessary to adapt to change, and coming in last isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Apparently I need to pay more attention to details. In my job, I have to, otherwise bad things could happen—like typos or facts that aren’t actually factual. I don’t know if it’s because of this that I sometimes let the details in other areas of my life simply fly over my head. I’m sure they’re important (I know they’re important), but my mind tends to wander and daydream, so there are certainly times when those needed details escape me.
Like last weekend.
I normally attend the 9 a.m. service at my church, and I typically don’t get there super early, but I figured since it was Easter weekend, there would probably be a lot of people there who usually aren’t there, so I thought 8:30 seemed like a good time. Plus, I’m on the safety team and wanted to check in to see if there were any special instructions for the holiday services.
I was walking by one of the doors, and a volunteer woman asked me if I was going into service. I said, “Oh, are you already letting people in?” (Usually they don’t open the doors until 15 minutes before the service starts.) She said, “Well, not for the 9:30 service, but if you still want to go into the 8 o’clock service, they just finished worship and haven’t started the sermon yet.”
As it turns out, they had changed things up (and I’m sure there had been multiple announcements, posts and emails about this that I somehow didn’t let soak in), and I was either 30 minutes late to the first service or an hour early to the second. I decided to be late, even though I hate being late to things. It actually turned out to be a good thing because I got out of church in time to meet my parents and my sister and her fiancé for brunch that I thought I wouldn’t be able to attend. I still didn’t like that I had missed the beginning worship and whatnot, but at least I know for next year. Note to self: Pay more attention.
It also turns out that I need to be better about adapting to change.
Like, a lot better.
I was in a company bowling league, and last Thursday was our last night of the season. We’ve been sitting in last place for a while now, and there was pretty much zero chance of us getting out of that spot (more on this to come). One of my teammates thought it would be good to change up the lineup for our last three-game series of the year. Normally I am lead-off bowler, which I had gotten used to, but I was moved to last. I’m pretty sure it threw me off—I bowled my absolute worst game of the season.
We changed the lineup back to the original for the final two games, and I bowled my normal average.
There are some changes in life I can handle. After all, I made a huge career change last year, and it’s turned out to be something I’m very comfortable with and happy about. But there are definitely some changes I need to learn to be better about handling—you know, like a bowling lineup change. Or moving. I am fine with where I live now, but lately I’ve had feelings of regret for leaving where I used to live. I miss so many things about it and am having a more difficult time than I would prefer adjusting to my new area.
Change is hard. I know it can be good sometimes, and there are other situations in which it’s not so great, but we still have to learn to get through it somehow. Things could change again soon, but we have to live in the moments we have—even if it throws us off for a little bit.
I don’t like losing. I mean, I don’t know many people who would claim to like it, but I really am not a fan. So, it was a challenge to accept that the Spare Bears were in last place for most of the bowling season and had no hope of climbing anywhere else. We’re not even that bad, and I still don’t understand the scoring system, but somehow, someway, we sat in last. Dead last.
Oddly enough, though, I didn’t walk away from that season feeling like a loser. It was more the opposite, actually, because of the people I got to spend my Thursday nights with each week. Fred, Green, Zeppy and Beanes are definitely the type of friends you want in your life. There was a lot of ridiculousness that went on at our table each week, and it made the losing much more Spare Bearable.
Thursday night bowling taught me about humility, boldness, friendships, trust and so many more concepts. And it taught me that you can lose and win at the exact same time.
Life is full of details, and it’s full of change, and it’s full of losing—but it’s the people you experience all of these things with that make it all worth while.