Baseball is one of the most relaxing games to watch because it is one of the slowest games played. You can go buy your hot dog and peanuts, and be back in your seat during the same inning. Because of baseball's slow pace, great plays are very exciting and jolt fans awake. Grand slams are the ultimate play, but I think nothing beats the wow factor of a triple play. Triple plays require a team to be finely tuned and alert to all possibilities. This is true in baseball, and it is true in the rest of life, too. The number three has been good to me, starting with my birth on the third day of the third month. Folk wisdom tells us that events, good and bad, happen in groups of three. This was proven to me again when I recently won the trifecta of days. My 22nd Mother's Day, my 29th wedding anniversary, and a trip to Danielle's, our daughter's, college graduation occurred on May 10. There we were, driving to Danielle's beautiful campus on a sunny spring day, with much to celebrate and even more about which to "kvell," to be proud to the point of tears.
Not all days are as glorious as that day, but each day has its own moments of inspiration. May 10 was a single day that came and went, but I am choosing to extend the joy I felt during that twenty-four hour period. After all, I am still the mother of two wonderful young adults, so every day is Mother's Day. I am still married to the same terrific man, so every day is cause for celebration. Danielle is still the same bright, accomplished daughter, so every day is a reason to kvell. I don't need a calendar to remind me to celebrate. Neither do you.
We all have days when triple plays feel remote, when a Hallmark card seems unavailable. On those days, I suggest an exercise I call "On The Other Hand." You begin by thinking about what is bugging or worrying you and, instead of obsessing on the negative, you say "on the other hand...." As soon as you say those four little words to yourself, you have taken the first step toward opening new ways of thinking, of at least considering a more positive perspective. Here is an example from my life:
1. Current thought: I am frustrated with my health insurance company, whose premiums seemingly increase by the hour, about the inconsistent reasons they give for not paying for certain medical procedures, or the impossibly low "usual and customary" payment they make to doctors and hospitals, leaving us to pay the remainder.
2. On the other hand, my family is among the fortunate households that can afford private health insurance, and we have excellent doctors and medical care.
3. New thought: the health insurance company is difficult to deal with, but I am grateful that we are able to obtain and afford the best possible health care.
This exercise isn't a panacea, but it at least shakes you out of broken record thinking, away from the incessant loop that keeps you stuck. Some days you will have to keep "switching" hands, as in "on the other hand," "but on the other hand," etc. Do it as many times as needed--it can only help.
The easy triple play days, such as the one I recently experienced, are infrequent. Thankfully, such days sustain us long after the sun sets. In between those special days, we can learn to appreciate the less obvious triple plays. So go grab a hot dog, settle into your seat, and enjoy your game of life.