My baseball is in the creek….with the leeches.
When I was 7
When I was 7 all the boys in the neighbourhood would come to play baseball in my yard.
When I was 7 we didn’t have the best yard for baseball. We had the tallest fences.
When I was 7 we lived next to a creek full of leeches.
So we would play ball.
At least once a game someone would hit a homerun…
over the fence…
…down the hillside…
…and right into the creek.
There was only one thing to do: go get the ball.
Funny thing about being a kid, the leeches didn’t really bother us. 25 years later I recoil at the thought of them.
But back then picking them off was just part of life as we knew it.
Eventually it became a game to see who could come back with the most – or biggest – suckers stuck to their legs.
The leeches weren’t important, as long as we got our ball back.
Problems come from anywhere, even success.
As kids we loved celebrating the homerun.
And yet we all knew as soon as we crossed the plate, arms raised in triumph, it was time to go back in the creek.
One of us would grab the salt and the pail, and we would all wade in up to our knees until we got our ball back.
The Cost of Success
That was our cost of success.
You can’t ignore your problems.
Well, you can but….
Nobody wanted to go back into the creek.
But the alternate was unthinkable: the game would be over. The ball would be washed away.
How many times in life do we want to pretend that everything is okay? And in the end we just have to forfeit the game prematurely because our ball got washed away.
Problems in the rear-view mirror are smaller than they appeared in the windshield.
Nobody really wanted leeches on their legs, but no matter how gross the leeches always came off.
Nobody got hurt.
We got our ball back.
In minutes our feet were dry again.
And the game went on.
I remember the leeches being way bigger in my mind than they were on my legs. So it is with all problems: they scale faster in our heads than they do in real life.
Don’t let them grow. Just start.
Problems build teams…if you let them
We may have been on opposite teams in the backyard, but the idea of our ball being washed away unified us.
We strategized the best our little 7-year old minds could.
And on those times the ball disappeared into the storm culvert under the road, we all went in together. We all came out together.
With the ball.
What problems are looming for you?
What ball do you need to get back?
Go get it.
Simple as that.