Eureka! I’ve STRUCK JOY!

I didn’t strike gold…but close to it!  I WON a game of bowling, and feel like I could conquer the world!

Now, maybe you are one of those lucky people who are naturally good at things and win all the time…but I’m NOT!  In elementary school, I was usually last picked for kickball; my first time playing soccer, my team was called the Strikers.  We lost every game.  After another humiliating loss as I was walking away listening to my mom’s upbeat enthusiasm of how WELL I had done, I overheard another parent from the opposing team chuckle and tell his child that our team should be called the STRIKE-OUTS because we were so bad.  Boo!

[sidenote:  if you are a parent of a child who is on a winning team, please do not ridicule the player of the teams you annihilate.  We already feel bad enough.  Thank you]

That leads me right into this post!  I STRUCK-OUT once again.  Only this time, it was good (we weren’t playing baseball)!

My husband and I took our kids bowling this week for Christmas break.  This is maybe our third time taking the whole family bowling.  So that being said, we usually embarrass ourselves quite well in front of other bowlers who have fancy personalized balls and pretty swings with spins on them.

My goals aren’t set high when I go bowling!  I’m usually pumped if I can break 100, and I don’t always do that.  My swing and stance is awkward and probably causes true bowlers to snicker into their hand.  But I’ve learned a few things over the years.

Well, strike that (get it?).  I’ve learned ONE thing…and that is to keep your eyes on the middle pin.  If I do that, no matter how clumsy and awkward I might feel (and for sure look), my mind tells my hand where to drop that ball and it usually goes pretty dead center.

That’s all I’ve learned, but I think it’s enough (I have a score sheet showing I got 137 to prove my STRIKING POWER).  I focus on that center pin and don’t worry about the rest.  I hope my brain sends the signal at the right time to drop the ball so it stays on the lane and not in those horrible gutters which drain my self-esteem.

I focus…drop (and I mean drop HARD)…and then watch my ball with no pretty spin glide slowly down the lane.  And I feel JOY as it hits those taunting pins!

I never hit the gutters anymore since I learned this fancy trick.  Bowling is full of simple JOYS now—an order of greasy fries, seeing my kids make an occasional strike, and watching my ball hit the floor and roll down the middle!  Whee!  It gives me a sense of power to drop that ball and see how many pins I can destroy (almost the same rush I used to get playing Asteroids as a teenager).

I think life is like that too.  It’s not overly complex, unless we make it that way.   If we set our focus on what is truly important and don’t worry about the rest, we somehow just naturally follow what we are focused on.  When I used to focus on the gutter, worrying that I would land my ball there, I somehow always did!  Weird!  What a difference FOCUS makes!

So if life is getting you down in the gutters, change your FOCUS.  Stop looking at the gutters and set your sights on something better.  Focus on the good in life and JOY will follow.  I hope you STRIKE JOY!

Char

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