They say that teamwork makes the dream work and that’s been something that’s proven to be truer than ever around me these days in so many ways. The girls are playing in their sectional playoffs tomorrow after a winless season last year to go undefeated in their league this year. That didn’t happen without teamwork, and that teamwork came with hard work, but a lot more than that, too.

It took coaching and encouragement. It took communication – good and bad, easy and hard – that lead to improvements on how they work together. It took learning about each other. Their strengths and weaknesses as a team, as individuals, in each position, and what they can do together to make each other stronger. It was learning about the stuff they like and dislike, learning to speak up about what bothers them, and what makes them happy. It was also about learning to put personal differences aside for the greater good and, in the simplest of terms, scoring goals.

It’s not that different than life if you think about it and it amazes me how many people, even adults – no especially adults – can’t see beyond their immediate situation to see what’s really going on, what their goal really is, and how their actions impact more than anyone else around them, their own wellbeing. It screams to a lack of understanding of the long game, the ability to grow, and above all else what being a part of a team really is.

I guess in some cases, people don’t look at things that way and I’m well aware I look at things differently than most. But then again, I’ve lived a life different than most. I spent years single to learn about myself, what makes me tick, what makes me happy, what makes me sad, and learning how to rise above my past and be a better person not just for myself but for those around me. The better of a person I am, the better of a life I can offer to those I care about and the more positivity I can bring to the world and that’s something it definitely needs.

There’s something to be said for personal responsibility, self-awareness, and looking at every experience as a learning opportunity and a way to grow rather than something that happens to us that we need to overcome. Sure, we all have shit to overcome. These girls had a shit season last year to overcome and they did that with hard work and communication and dedication. Not by blaming each other for why they didn’t win, but working together to be better. Now that’s pretty cool to see.

I think what’s really interesting too is when you take a step back and remove immediate emotion from things, how you are able to truly and calmly understand what’s going on around you without the coloring of rose glasses or tinted windows or jaded dreams. Instead you can see the reality of the situation, understand with compassion, and realize that perhaps acting out in hurt or anger doesn’t actually benefit anyone and that it hurts the people you claim to care about and even more so, it destroys you, yourself.

I don’t really get mad or angry or yell. It used to really freak my kids out because it was the opposite of what they grew up with but when things went wrong especially as we’ve all grown together and closer, that we look at arguments as disagreements which are really opportunities to learn more about each other and talk through to a resolution. It doesn’t always mean agreeing, nor does it mean that we see eye to eye on everything or that things are always black and white or one of us is right and the other is wrong. It means freedom to make our own choices and the responsibility to accept our actions and the repurcussions, the knowledge that every action is a choice and even inaction is a choice and whatever happens to us is a direct response of what we allow in our lives. We write our own story. It’s up to us to choose what we want and what we will accept in our lives and up to you to be true to yourselves. Blaming someone else for the actions you accepted is like running a red light and then being mad you got a ticket. You made that choice, so what if it was okay in the past or you settled for the risk in the past that means it would keep working out in your favor?

Write your own future. Stop looking outside for the answers, you already have them. You just have to learn how to be honest with yourself first – and I mean truly completely honest – before you can ever be a part of a great team.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork. Just ask these girls. Just ask any solid family or friend group that has each other’s backs. It’s not because they’re perfect, it’s because they’re in it together. They know their own shortcomings and rather than look to each other to fix the other, they work on fixing themselves so they can better contribute to the goal. What’s your long game? What are you hoping to accomplish? Take out the other team or win the championship together? Because let’s be honest, playing dirty and taking out the other team doesn’t mean you’re better than them, and it certainly doesn’t mean you win. Usually you get hurt – or even more so – in the process and often there’s a ton of collateral damage and let’s be real here. Saying you didn’t mean to, or you did it in the line of the game or honesty or truth or reality or what’s right really doesn’t mean shit because we’re all responsible for our own actions. But it also means that no one has to live with those actions but you. It’s funny how the truth has a way of bringing out the best in people.

It makes teams closer. It makes people play better. It makes people who maybe were struggling come together in a way they hadn’t thought to before. It makes teams and friends and families shift perspectives. It makes people soften a little, learn a little, listen a little, and in some cases, love a lot. And, when you take off all of your armor and stop being a warrior and be truly vulnerable and let someone in, that’s when being a part of a team becomes truly powerful.

Let’s go, Wildcats! Tomorrow is just another chapter in an incredible part of this #DreamTeam. Whatever happens, I’m proud of you! ❤️