“Mommy, you really do love soccer.” #clevercolette shares her realization from the back seat. “Remember when you played with other adults at the park? Did you like that?”
“Yeah. I did. But I sprained my ankle so badly before I could do the next season. Having the sprain made me realize that maybe I shouldn’t do soccer at this phase in life. It was so hard for me to be unable to do so many things as a mom. I don’t want to take that risk again.”
“Yeah. And if you sprain your ankle again, you’ll have major problems for the rest of your life.”
“True. It’s mostly about life stage.”
“So you could play when I’m like 20.”
“Sure, I’ll be 50. I could maybe find a 40+ league.”
Cut to me watching the Australia v Argentina game this morning. Recalling our conversation thinking, “gosh, I really do love soccer. I wonder if there is a 40+ league around here.”
Now the internal dialogue: You are in no shape to play soccer. Maybe you can condition until a Spring season. Wait, what about Covid? Soccer players get on top of each other. Maybe not as much in an older adult league? Just send an email that you’d like to be informed about upcoming seasons so you can decide then. Who are you kidding? You’re not going to play. You’re too worried about too many things. Ok fine, not soccer, but what are you giving up that could bring you joy? Maybe there is something you haven’t tried that could be as enticing yet not as worrisome as soccer. You know what. Writing on my blog is currently bringing me joy. Is it enough to do it in a way that you have no feedback from any sort of audience? Is writing for yourself enough? Do you actually want the feedback? Is it better just to live in the world of putting stuff out there and not knowing what is or isn’t being picked up? Maybe you should go back to some of your writings for children’s books and figure out a way to push them along. Sure, but you always get to a certain point then have no idea how to move forward. So, what’s the point?
It always comes back to soccer. Is it a romanticized connection to the past? Could I really play again? Do I just need to accept that those days are over? Or maybe soccer and I are on a break and we’ll get back together when the time is right. Is this how soccer felt when I felt like I didn’t need her in college? Or when we had a quick reunion after Colette was born, but then I moved across the country? Maybe our relationship is one that comes and goes? Will we outgrow each other? Have we already?