Football Rules

I played Mighty Might football during the pre-season of 5th grade. I have always felt proud of that. As we head into Super Bowl season, I offer you some life lessons from a girl who played football:

1) Stay nimble. Keep moving. A moving target is harder to hit.

2) Pass the ball. Remember, you play on a team. Give someone else a chance to shine or do that little touchdown dance. I did not play football long enough to dance in the end zone, but I think, for me, as for most people (women?), that is the highlight of watching the game.

3) Look good in your uniform. This, too, is a highlight for spectators (women?). Stay in shape.

4) Behave. You may be creating a fan for life by the way you play and represent your team.

5) Remember you play for a place. I played for the Minnesota Vikings with my Uncle Tom Nierman as my coach. I learned life lessons from him. I still like the Vikings. I like the Chicago Bears better, because I am from Chicago and that is my birth right.

Greg Olsen, permission from creative commons

5) Listen to the coach. At my high school reunion last October, my classmate Joe told me that Uncle Tom was the best coach bar none. Uncle Tom gave pointers to Joe that he remembered throughout his long football career. He gave better advice than Joe’s college football coach. Don’t dis the little league coach.

6) Call time out. Regroup. Recharge. Take all of the time necessary to debrief and plan.

7) Wear protection. Pads, helmet, etc.

I am following my own advice — staying nimble, looking good, recharging.

I am returning this blog to its previous incarnation about my 7 Rules for Living. Last summer and fall, this blog was a place for me to report on my daily visits to random churches. My Church a Day blog was by far my most popular. I received between 70 and 18o readers every time I posted. I loved that.

I began visiting a church a day when my kids were in summer camp. But now that they’re not in camp, I’m finding visiting a church a day a challenge. I may go back to visiting a church a day. I don’t know. The game’s still on.

I still blog daily. If not on this blog —  My 7 Rules site — then I post about:

health and fitness:  http://runningaground.wordpress.com/

my beautiful city: http://mybeautifulnewyork.wordpress.com/

my hopping off the grid: http://gettingmyessayspublished.wordpress.com/

Family Screen Time

Sometimes I like staring at a screen with my kids, instead of staring at our own individual screens. Tonite the darlings and I played wii. We were yelling at the screen instead of each other. I played horribly in every single wii game, especially wii Fishing and wii Ping Pong. The kids enjoyed how bad I was. They bonded over my ineptitude. That was nice that they bonded.

We were all fairly exhausted. One of my daughters had been to the Met, the other to the Natural History, my son to the basketball court and me? I played games with my colleagues in the 3rd floor conference room at the Leadership Academy. Yes, the workplace academy was a big success. As I’ve mentioned, I love this kind of thing — a chance to deepen friendships, share positive ideas, strategize, commit to change, help other people become leaders. What’s not to love! 

One highlight for our group was learning about and applying the three levels of listening.

1) Listen to yourself. Your thoughts, feelings. (And yes, insecurity lives here.)

2) Listen to the other. With focus, as if to a lover.

3) Listen to the global environment. The vibe.

It made sense. Often I’m stuck in a personal, reflective space when there is a bigger mood I could be aware of.

I would pay (and I have paid) to experience this kind of personal growth — to learn how better I can understand and use my gifts. Instead, I get paid to learn. I love that my job involves so much learning — about myself, about the other, and about the global environment.

Okay, so given that I am competitive and I have to face the reality that I may never beat the darlings at any wii games, I can console myself that I am good at other types of games. Like the game of personal growth. I am curious about the world and what makes other people tick. I love encouraging others. I hope to continue to share this openness and positivity and teach my kids to value learning and their own unique skills.

I hope that the kids and I do not lose ourselves in screens, but if we do, at times, I hope that we can always stop our individual games and learn to play together. Even if we are not gifted with the necessary hand-eye coordination.

When work becomes play — be it the work of parenting or paid work — it really rocks.