I was looking at a few of my bank accounts the other day. Closing one down, moving some things around. And there it was… the big decision I had to make. Eighty-six cents. Hardly worth keeping the account open for. I can transfer it to another one, or just… well, it IS eighty-six cents. That buys….. ummmm I don’t know… besides nothing? Perhaps a half of a cup of coffee? However, I am not quite sure where you could actually buy a half a cup of coffee.
What is that worth? I transferred it into another account, closed it and moved on. But to someone who has nothing, eighty-six cents is a lot. It’s half way to a hot beverage to keep them warm in the 19 degree weather. It’s a lot. Maybe I should reevaluate.
I just got back on Sunday morning from my trip to San Diego for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Annual Convention where I got to spend some time with some pretty amazing people. The best coaches and players to have ever been a part of the game. And I sat among them. Like eighty-six cents. I don’t mean much to them, but It felt like a lot to me. Listening to people like Sue Enquist, Dr. Dot Richardson, Carol Hutchins, the coaches and players I have grown to love and respect because of the worth they have given the game of softball. This time was a little different for me. All the coaches clinics and conventions I have attended over my past 8 years involved in coaching softball, this time I was among the best, taking the same notes, feeling the same passion, wanting the same things for a game we all love. Friday night was the Hall of Fame Banquet, and in honoring the game’s best, three new coaches were inducted. Listening to their stories, hearing their passion, understanding their value, I felt a sense of belonging. I felt a new drive and desire to carry on a legacy. I spent some time reflecting that evening, reevaluating what I am worth. Maybe it’s about being a part of something bigger than me. It’s so much bigger than eighty-six cents. When it’s all counted together… it’s a lot. And no one cares whose pennies are whose.
So often it feels like I sell myself short. Like I am not good enough to be in the presence of the best. I bow my head down and feel inadequate. I surround myself with all of those who have gone where I want to go, and I still sometimes feel like that eighty-six cents. Not enough to stand on it’s own… but maybe could add to something else. I think it’s a choice. I think it depends on who’s hands those eighty-six cents fall into.
I question myself. I wonder if I am on the path to be able to give back as much as I want to. I fall down, I get up. I think that maybe sometimes, I don’t know what I am doing. Sound familiar? This is my realization of being human. Of being eighty-six cents. And it feels good. I have made some tough decisions lately. Closing the doors of a facility, reevaluating why I have done everything I have done up until now. Laying it all out and asking what is best for the people I serve. I have asked the hard questions, and taken time to hear the sometimes hard answers. I have sat with the thank you’s and the praise and the phone calls and emails, and sometimes have forgotten about those while being fixated on the one negative someone feels or says. I forget sometimes it’s about the sum of ALL of it, not just some of it. And because I can’t please everyone, I need to focus on doing the best I can to give what I promise to give to the world. And that doing this, always, is enough.
I don’t sleep well on planes. I spent my 5+ hours out west last Tuesday writing my goals and plans for the next six months. I spent my time reading over my notes from the week on my way back. I saw something interesting at 3 in the morning, when the whole plane was sleeping. I was the only light on. I was taking the time to digest what I just learned. I was thinking about how some of these things fit into my plans and my life. I started to understand how I live and how coaching isn’t just a career, it’s a lifestyle. I felt a sense of pride to do what I do. It’s an honor. It’s a privilege. It’s always been a part of me. I get it now. And in that moment, I realized that eighty-six cents is a lot when you are counting pennies.