Life is a game to be played, not a fight to be won. 

Swinging at curve balls is part of the fun.

If you’re willing, you learn a lot before you’re done.

I discovered a love of baseball when my stepson, James Michael, started playing Little League and wanted to go watch the Houston Astros. The game’s pace fits mine. Baseball is amazingly strategic. And, every player is required to step up to the plate to have a chance to score.

Life is like that. We step up to the plate in countless ways as we go through each day. Then, life throws us a curve ball and suddenly we’re aware. I’m at the plate. It’s the bottom of 9th inning and the outcome rests on my shoulders. Do I tense up, feel the burden, the responsibility of solving the problem at hand? So, often that’s our habit, developed with years of unconscious practice. Or, do I take a breath, see an opportunity to loosen up, adjust my approach and confidently swing away?

I had the chance to make such a choice this week as I rounded third base moving toward closing on the purchase of a home. Two curve balls back to back were pitched my way. I took a breath (several actually!), relaxed and stepped in to swing.

The first challenged me to quickly get a repair done, including negotiating with the seller who would pay. The second required me to explain (yet again) self-employment income in a way that corporate folks who receive a paycheck regularly could understand and accept that really I can make the payments.

I put aside the idea that ‘if I don’t do this right I’ll lose the home’ along with the stress of that story. I stepped into curiosity about what I might learn and discover in the process of being at bat. I got clear about how I would approach each, starting with my attitude. This was not a fight to be won, but a learning opportunity to be embraced.

That foundation served me well. I quickly found a talented construction guy who was available immediately (unusual here in the summer) and we were able to purchase the needed materials right here in town (a year ago, getting them required a 120 mile round trip drive or waiting a few days for a delivery). The repair was done within hours and, best of all, I discovered an inventive, economical approach to another project that I need to do on the house when the purchase is complete, and I added another competent resource to my network.

Explaining my finances deepened my confidence and conviction that buying this home is the right move for me on many levels.

In every curve life throws our way is opportunity and possibility. When we are willing to let go of the drama and look beyond the pitch and within ourselves to discover just what that can be, I trust that it will always be there.

Reflection for the Week:  How do you swing at life's curve balls?