Friday, December 17, 2010


I woke up this morning thinking about goalies. Christine wrote a post about being a goalie several months ago. I spent some time trying to remember exactly what she said about it and failed. So, I diverted myself with what I knew about the position of goalie. I could think of two sports off the top of my head that needed a goalie: soccer and hockey. In both cases, the goalie's job, near as I could figure, remained the same: keep the ball or puck from making it into the net.

For the sake of this hypothetical, I need to pick a sport and stick with it. Let's go with soccer (or futball) and use a ball, instead of a puck. Unlike any other person on the team, the goalie needs to know where that ball is at all times. Other players can lose sight of the ball, pick it up again, and that be okay. Not so for the goalie. If the goalie loses line of sight on the ball, that could be the shot that makes it into the net. That net doesn't seem all that big, but that is deceptive. It is huge, and the goalie needs to be everywhere. Or poised to be everywhere. The more I considered it, the hardest part about being the goalie would be having all that adrenalin coursing through you, and having nowhere to go. You are waiting. The ball will come. Eventually. You don't know when, where, or who will kick it. But it will come. And you don't know if you need to be down low, up high, in the middle, on the right, on the left. So, the adrenalin is blitzing your system and you wait. And wait. And watch. Because you can't lose line of sight on the ball. And you have to be balanced perfectly to dive right, left, jump, or open face block. In other words, you have to be ready for anything. Anytime. Over and over.

We all play certain positions in life well. We excel at specific things. It clicked for me this morning that being married to my ex-husband was like playing goalie. That became more obvious when his kids moved in, because the outcome of the game became more important. Had they not moved in, I would have figured out I was playing goalie and quit. I wouldn't have known I was playing goalie; I would have just realized I was playing the wrong position. However, the stakes went up when his kids moved in, and I couldn't take my eyes off the ball. All that adrenalin and not being able to move. Too much stress. Chronic stress. Chronic migraines. I was playing the wrong position.

Right now I am still playing goalie. I am still focused onto the ball. Different ball. It is the SSDI ball. I have little to no control over it. In fact, there is very little activity on the field these days. Still lots of stress. I am watching the government and the doctors do their thing and am trying to anticipate and block. And I still have some stuff going on in my personal life that causes me to dive and jump, too. In fact, there are multiple balls on the field.

My mother worries about my Big Idea. She worries that starting a non-profit organization is too much stress. It is when you try to play the position that you have no business playing (i.e. designing a web page) that you get into trouble. However, when you focus on what you are good at, then it is good stress. I do believe that I will get better. There will be a time in the future when my migraines will not be my daily life. However, migraines are a disease. That means that when I get overly stressed I am likely to get a migraine. People who have diseases have to modify their lives in order to live healthily. This is just common sense. For instance, diabetics should cut out the carbs and sugar. It doesn't mean their lives are over. It just means that they have to pay attention to their bodies.

Modify their life to meet the demands of their disease(s). Yeah, for me we don't know what all that means yet. I have migraines and probably other stuff. It means that I have to modify my life. There will be pills and vitamins and a special diet, most likely. Eventually, I am hoping for yoga, or some sort of exercise, that works within the boundaries of what my body will allow, and expands its capabilities. I am really hoping that when it is all said and done that some of the traditional migraine meds that shut a migraine down when it is starting work for me. That would be freaking awesome. If not, I will at least be at the start of a migraine that going to an out-patient clinic, and getting hooked up to a drip to stop it will still be effective. Again, we do what we have to in order to make it work.

However, there is good stress. In high school, I was at my best when I was doing a play, had a report, and a test or two. I actually work well under pressure. I was in commission sales for ten years. That is a career where if you don't work, you don't get paid. I don't know how many people I met who said, "I couldn't do that." I loved that. They paid me to drive around, talk to people (who I eventually got to know pretty well and become good friends with), show them stuff they needed, and then do it again. How awesome is that? Every day.

So, who am I? I am the captain. I could also be the co-captain. And I would play one of the forward positions. They are the people who are actively trying to make the goals. They don't get chronic migraines because they are on the move. Their adrenalin isn't just surging while they stand around and block. I don't play defense. And if that doesn't sound right to your ear yet, I am a proactive person.

“There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.”
~James A. Lovell


  1. I agree. I also think the Big Idea is terrific. Consider, however, if the end game is to benefit the public in a non-profit business, then you don't necessarily have to run it yourself. Just find others who love the concept and let them run with it. That's win-win because the goal is met, and there is no stress for you because there was no profit in it to protect. However, if there is profit to be made, please ignore my comments.

  2. The "bottom line" with a non-profit with a non-profit is always a changed human being. However, money is always an issue. Fundraising is always part of it. As the person who is the driving force behind the Big Idea, I will always be a part of it. The idea is to eventually find enough people who care about it as much as I do. Teach them what I know. You don't want a non-profit to die when you do. It is key to teach enough people the things that you know that it goes on. Even more important, it is critical to have people who share the level of commitment that you have. You don't find those people overnight. However, a time does come that a core group of committed people form to fill out the organization. It is in beginning that the stress will be highest, the number of people involved will be smallest, and the person most committed will be me. In other words, I am going to have to sell a whole bunch of people on me. People never buy a product or an idea. They always buy a person. If they don't buy me, they won't buy my idea. And the world needs my idea. So, yeah there is some stress. Like I said, good thing I work best under pressure.

  3. hmmm....I am a very good goalie. I keep my eye on whatever ball I am focusing on. The thing is, I suck at multiple sounds wrong...but will leave it.
    You are right. You have to figure out what you are good at and do it.
    Good post.


You can now add YouTube videos in your comments by copy/pasting the link. AND/OR you can insert an image by surrounding the code with this: [im]code[/im]. In the case of images, make sure that your code is short and simple ending with something like .jpg. If you want to use a pic from someplace like Google Images, click on the image, then click on View Image. That is the code you want!

Dazzle Me!