Today rain-delays at the baseball park are my altared space. Baseball is a place I’ve learned to have fun as a grown up. I’ve surrendered control, basked in the afternoon, and lolled away evening after evening.
My little family drove 4 hours to go to the Rockies game with my husband’s big family. The weather looked dicey. But you don’t put 19 people into seats on a whim. It took planning and we weren’t turning back when we had the tickets in hand.
I, however, had nothing to do with the planning for this fun time. This is new for me. Typically, if our little family organizes a big family event (like this one) it is me who sends out the parade of emails or advance calls and orders the tickets. Not this time.
Husband managed this one. I was along for the ride.
It’s different when he does it. He’d asked me for advice about planning and I recommended setting a response date, which he did. But several people added their request for a seat after the deadline and after he’d already purchased the tickets.
He handled things differently than I have in the past. Without complaint he simply called the Rockies box office three additional times adding seats to our order. And it worked. He was happy and relieved we’d all be together.
I wanted to punish the late-comers.
This is not my husband’s style and it is exactly why I married him. He is accepting about lateness and shoes scattered throughout the house and grilled cheese for dinner even though he’s worked a 16 hour shift.
He expects life to be nothing short of happy because he brings happiness to every moment he meets.
This is what I’ve learned living with him and watching baseball with him. The moments between fast plays can be slow and stress free.
When we arrived at the game the in-field was covered with the tarp, which was about the time the rain returned; in buckets. We stood under pseudo-cover and laughed and chatted as big families do who haven’t been together for some time. We told stories. We ate ice cream. We were working on baseball time. No big hurry.
One of the things I love about baseball is that the game pauses whenever the pitcher needs a pep talk. All these other players are on the field, but they simply stand and wait while one guy and his catcher talk about things that will help him throw the ball straight and true.
I haven’t allowed myself lots of pitcher pep talks or tarp-covered rain delays in my life. I press on, sometimes getting muddy and ruining the infield of my life.
But something is changing.
Here’s what makes me think I’m changing: there was a time in my life that I would have ordered the tickets. I would have organized this big family and talked to group sales and …. I would have been in charge. Not anymore. I’m no longer interested in being in charge. Control is no longer so seductive.
I pay more attention to my own happiness than to whether things are going according to the big plan. I was sitting there in the third inning at 10:00pm thinking, “I’m cold. I’m wet. My throat is getting sore and I’m no longer having fun. I was having fun until now. Now the fun is gone. Maybe I’ll leave.”
That’s when my daughter reminded me we had two cars and she and I could leave without disturbing anyone else’s plans. So I left. And the baseball night was a huge success.
I got to see the rain tarp, which I adore. I got to witness two homeruns: one for the Rockies, one for the Blue Jays (fairness feels better to my system than winning). And then, as soon as the fun evaporated, I noticed and went home.
This is new for me too. I tend to stick it out. I am married to the plan. Going forward in life I’d like to be married to my happiness.
As I looked around the ball park people were deliriously happy, even as they sat in the rain. Those that weren’t had gone home. Traditionally I have tried to control things beyond my control; like rain and when people respond to emails.
I’m just going to get muddy this way.
It’s better to enjoy the rain and the crowd whenever they arrive.