Sunday, January 9, 2011

Celebrate the Ordinary

As most of you know, I am a sports fan.  I especially love football, and I especially love the Seattle Seahawks.  As I write, my favorite football team is in the process of making history.  The first team with a losing record to win in the playoffs.  But this is not so much about them as it is about what they taught me yesterday as I watched them play in the Wild Card game. 

Now I love to celebrate like everyone else does, but I tend to cringe at some of the celebrations that I see on the field.  Early into the game, I was watching along with my husband and kids when one of our Seahawk tight ends caught a short pass and got enough yards to make a first down.  At that point, he got up from the pile, stopped and posed for a first down.  That is when both my husband and myself began to berate him, telling him to get back to the huddle and not to celebrate until there were points on the board.  (Yes, we realize the odds that he actually heard us as we yelled at our TV is very large). Then we really began to spout off our frustration in seeing so many of them celebrating just because they are doing what they are being paid to do, in this case- move the ball down the field.  Right in mid-complaint, the epiphany came...

What if we all celebrate whenever we complete the ordinary everyday things that are expected of us?  What if my husband performed an end zone dance whenever he sent a work email?  What if I spiked a ball whenever I get done sorting laundry? Paying the bills? Feeding the cat?  What if we celebrated more of the smaller victories and not just the large ones that showed up on a scoreboard someplace?   As Matt Hasselbeck and Cameron Morrah showed me on that first down play, it takes a few small victories to make the bigger ones. And so we tried that last night.  As I graded papers, my kids began to chant my name.  When someone got done in the bathroom and they washed their hands, I gave them fist bumps and a yell.  As Phillip put to dogs out for a five minute visit to the dog run, we chest bumped and yelled.  Of course we had to do it quietly since we found out earlier during the game that our puppy still pees when there are unexpectedly loud noises.

The results of the small case study we performed last night was mixed.  There is always the typical awkwardness that comes from over-the-top displays of excitement.  Also a large amount of time is consumed in celebrating after every completed activity.  On the flip side, we haven't laughed that hard since our Seahawks made it to the playoffs with a losing record.  Oh, well, I guess we laugh often. 

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