Yesterday, a newscaster referred to Super Bowl Sunday as “America’s Unofficial National Holiday.” Most of us know that the game is coming soon, even those who don’t care much for sports. There will be a lot of discussion, a lot of analysis, a lot of speculation, and a lot of guacamole dip on game day. Non-fans will be ready for the spectacle to be over, and the press will cover everything about the event. Some will watch only for the halftime entertainment, Justin Timberlake!
Sports can be a pleasant pastime for enthusiasts: a distraction from stress, a topic of casual conversation, and a contest to be anticipated. We need diversion and entertainment, and some fans come from families with a long tradition of support for a team. Some people like a sport because they play it themselves, or did when they were younger, anyway.
Playing is different from watching. The same is true for the way we conduct our lives—we can get in the game, or we can watch the days go by, almost living as observers rather than participants. We can choose to look for ways to improve our relationships, and our abilities, or we can let one year melt into another without stopping to ask ourselves what it is we are playing for.
We’re not really competing against loved ones and friends, although positive, open competition can be good motivation (and fun, too). We’re not here to compare our value to others; each of us is valuable, just because we’re here. We’re competing against ourselves. Am I as honest with myself as I can be? Have I learned anything worthwhile this week? Do I have goals, and am I making any progress toward them? We can accept ourselves just as we are, and still evaluate our efforts toward a better way of living.
There are no losers among those who put forth effort, and there are no positive actions that are a waste of time. You can win every day by staying positive and staying grateful. That’s your championship.
For those that suffer from addiction and feel like they are playing a losing game, discouragement is a real threat. Ball players, musicians, and actors talk about being “in the zone,” a state of mind in which they know the next thing to do, time seems to pass without notice, and goals are met with a sense of flow. Recovery from addiction is like that—instead of playing a deadly game with drugs and alcohol, recovering people find themselves in the zone of problem-solving, improving finances, less stress, and more appreciation of meaningful relationships.
If you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, or you know someone who does, we can help. Call Sobriety Matters at 713-904-4699. You can get back to the real you!