Monday, April 23, 2012

Passion: Good or bad?

Good morning! Another overcast day and my flowers are loving the attention from Mother Nature. Actually, the weeds love it too.

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the pitchers threw a no-hitter on Saturday and was featured on the Top Ten Best Plays countdown on ESPN. When he returned to campus early this morning, he tweeted about the airline losing his luggage and his car was towed. So much for a hero's welcome. And this, my friends, is the reason why life is so amazing. One minute we are feeling as high as a kite and the next minute, we are looking for our underwear in an airport terminal.

Which leads me to consider the phenomenon of emotions. Think about it...emotions are what drives us to set goals. We accomplish the aforesaid goals because we need to or are driven to....In other words, the feelings or emotions that we have are the reason why we get out of bed in the morning, put on our pants, make coffee, and walk up the stairs to work.

 Let's consider the following: why do I write this blog? The answer is complicated, however, what I can divulge is purely the emotion of satisfaction and the need to set the record straight. Why do I have to be accurate in my stories and descriptions? Well, over the years, I have watched my son be misunderstood and had the need to share the real experiences with the world (or the five people who read this blog). Mostly, I have observed and felt a strong maternal angst as he is snarled at, ridiculed, and criticized by his coaches, team mates, and peers. In other words, it is the emotion of a parent standing by who cannot do more than watch....or can she?

Hence, the tell-all, and oh so accurate blog about the little kid who is now growing up and desperately wants to play big league baseball from his mother's perspective. The next point is why is my son so driven to be the best and play a sport that only a few truly succeed in attaining the highest level of play? I honestly cannot answer it, but my sense is that he has a passion for pitching and the sport. And because of this strong emotional attachment to his craft, he will do anything to achieve this goal. When you look at it from a distance, it may seem a bit over the top, yet when you surround yourself by people who have a passion for something, you can see why they work so hard to actualize their life's work.

It seems that the emotions that they have while playing their sport cannot be eclipsed by anything else in life. The drive to make it is far more powerful than anything else in their life including friendships and school work.  To quote California: "Off the field, you are my friend. On the field, I will do anything to take your place in the line up. It is not personal." I believe it. However, this guy can separate competition on and off the field and I wonder if my kid has that capacity right now.  He is incredibly emotional which can be a positive and negative. On the one hand, emotions drive behaviors. On the other hand, emotions can halt behaviors. A person can out think and feel themselves out of competition.

For example (another tennis story, sorry)....when I played tennis, I could sense when a person would be tightening up and their fear of losing would take over. They either worked harder or folded like a cheap suit and I was able to pull out a win or lose because I became overly tense. Why is winning so important? Well, as dad puts it: "Winning would not feel so good if losing didn't feel so bad." This time, he is right. The feeling or fear when a person loses can almost be incapacitating. This can be evident in the work place, card game, or baseball diamond. No true competitor likes to lose, but it is a real emotion that one grapples with on a regular basis.

Why would a person want to put themselves out there in the public day after day with their successes and failures publicized? At this point, I am not sure. Perhaps it is the emotion felt when winning. Maybe it is a passion for the sport and a feeling of accomplishment that cannot be achieved any other way. After all, winning at pinocle does not feel the same as winning a tournament or the World Series. And so it goes....I will continue to chronicle the good, bad, and ugly as well as the emotions that accompany a seemingly endless journey of success and failures, ups and downs, highs and lows, and the drive to pursue a personal and long held goal.

Whew...enough said. Time for work....have a great day.

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