Friday, February 27, 2015

Seeing Both Sides as a Basketball Mom

You know what I consider a big positive about this 24-hour news cycle?

What may seem like the end of the world one minute, will be quickly replaced by the next earth-shattering story.

A big negative? The scary reality of video, the replay button, and the need to feed the beast.

You've likely seen by now what happened after the Vanderbilt-Tennessee basketball game last night. After a tremendous win, Vandy Coach Kevin Stallings ran straight into that media fire. Today he profusely apologized for the obscenity-laden correction of his player's reported unsportsmanlike behavior. Hopefully, it's a learning lesson for everyone. Heck, watch any episode of Dr. Phil, and you'll see that losing it--for whatever reason--never looks good on tape.

Some of you reading this remain shocked to see a coach yell like that.

I know I used to be. And I stayed that way for years. (For the record, I still believe coaches can rise above dropping F bombs and taking God's name in vain.)

But then my kids got seriously into sports.

And now, I get it.

Boy, is it a good thing I married Frank. He's helped me understand the other side. That people are different.

If I had raised my kids on my own, I may have encouraged them to quit when the going got tough.
I may have over-reacted when I heard an adult use bad language or even raise their voice at someone's child.
I would have likely scheduled dozens of meetings with school administrators and teachers, admonishing them for destroying my child's self-esteem.

Basically, my sensitivity and need to protect their psyches may have really screwed them up!

What I have learned as the mother of athletes is that compassion does not fly in the heat of battle.
Military folks know this too. They're used to this kind of coaching/leadership style.

So for all of you who struggle with a coach yelling at your kid, whether in high school, the YMCA, or college athletics, I certainly get it. I wish they would only encourage, hug our kids, and treat them kindly!

But I have also learned there is a place for the opposite. I've learned our children are smarter and tougher than we think. And experiencing different personality styles may prepare them well for some difficult situations--and people--down the road of life.

Which brings us back to the 24-hour news cycle and how similar it is to sports.

Both require you to move on quickly from the last breaking news story or big game.

It happens, you accept it, and you either suffer the consequences or delight in victory and celebrity.

And then you move forward.

If only heartbreak could be so speedy!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lunch with Reba

Here's something cool about living in Nashville: Reba pops in and sings at your Saturday fundraising luncheon.

Before this ridiculous ice storm rolled into town, a long-lost college friend invited me to her inaugural Valentine's Day luncheon.

It was Cheryl Davis' first major event since joining the Nashville Rescue Mission, a non-profit doing a tremendous job helping and rehabilitating the homeless and others in need.

Sure enough, Reba McEntire marched out on stage, sang a few songs, and held the whole room in the palm of her hand--all to honor the tables full of female graduates of the Mission's Life Recovery program.

It was a most meaningful way to celebrate Valentine's Day and brought many of us to tears.

I especially enjoyed a conversation with one of the young women seated at my table.

She was a Vanderbilt graduate and a co-believer in the liberal arts education our university (and others like it) provides students.

We both shared appreciation of the extensive, core class requirements. Sure, they may have been a pain in the butt at the time, but exposure to such fascinating and brain-expanding subjects is what education should be all about in the first place.

The conversation reminded me of this one below, which my former Dallas colleague and I taped long before I ever considered returning to Nashville. (Gina Miller, how this makes me miss our Real Botox Diaries!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mean Girls Suck

First, this post is NOT about me. Yes, I've experienced mean girls several times in my past. Just not in this particular season.

I am posting this amended version of some past thoughts, because several conversations with others in recent months have inspired me to do so.

So whomever this is meant for, I hope it helps. 

Have a "mean girl" in your life? Get to know her story. Or cut your losses and leave.

Empathy is the great equalizer. It is hard to be jealous of or angry with someone who is struggling, hurting, or being treated unfairly. You will understand how to love mean girls (and boys) and overcome their ugliness when you seek out the "why" behind their actions.

With that said, mean girls can sometimes grow up to become mean women. When you encounter a mean woman--and especially if she is in charge--one of you may have to leave. And unless God or karma intervenes first, it will likely be you. The nice girl. 

This is extremely painful, and it may require that you leave something you absolutely love and/or people you adore. But unless mean girl gets fired or does something to completely tarnish her reputation, you may be absolutely stuck and suffer deeply and intensely trying to take the high road tolerating the mean girl. It may chip away at your self-worth. It may take you down a dark and dangerous path of being victimized in other areas of your life. It can cause PTSD or other life-long, emotional effects. 

Girl, it's not worth it. 

Sometimes you need to cut your losses, take your ball, and go play on someone else's court. Give yourself a fresh start. A clean slate. Embrace a new leader or boss who believes in you and allows you to shine. Some of us, especially us nice girls, are emboldened, strengthened by and flourish around people who believe in us. Their faith in us makes us stronger. It's like new, romantic love--it makes you feel invincible. The sky becomes the limit. Our confidence soars through the roof. Success follows.

Remember, mean girls are usually jealous; somehow, some way you make them feel inferior. Or perhaps you represent their unrealized goals and dreams. Or you've been given a greater gift or talent in an area they deeply desire and/or envy. So they choose to punish you for it, for as long as you choose to work with/for them.

Life is not fair. 

But I'm not sure it ever feels *more* unfair then when you're forced to exist for an extended period of time alongside a mean girl.

Monday, February 2, 2015

"Live from Nashville, It's..."

When's the last time you printed actual photos that you can touch, feel, and retrieve in 10  years when you can't find a thing in your phone or on Facebook?

With only two short years left of college basketball memories, I realized I had better go old-school and get some pictures printed, enlarged, and framed before this precious phase is all over. 

I also decided to get off my derriere and save a few clips of my first day on-air here in Nashville.

Check out this warm welcome from my classy co-workers, whom I've grown quite fond of over these last four months, I might add:

You know what else is cool?  This beautiful blonde Jennifer, is also my neighbor! We literally moved next door to each other, unbeknownst to us both at the time.

I am still in transition, but I'm trying to count my blessings and focus on all of the *good* change can bring. Bought this for my cute cubicle, in fact. Hope it helps you focus, too.

5 Days to Learn Spanish: Day 5

Can a person learn a foreign language in just 5 days? After one week in Spanish immersion school in Valencia, Spain, I can officially tell...