When so much time has passed, when any time has passed, a refresh is a good idea. An opportunity to review and reflect on the stories we tell and see what details need changing.
In many ways, our life stories stay on a narrow, defined path and we repeat the details and the good quick quips that make our stories compelling.
But in many ways, the story changes every day. Last Sunday, I coached a losing soccer game and my assistant coach remarked in private about how disappointing the play was.
They’re just kids, but we can be honest about what we see on the field, right? So Thursday’s practice last week was remarkable. The kids had fun, we focused on one continuous drill to hammer home the point of what was missed in the prior week’s game.
So yesterday’s game was a different story altogether. Same field. Same players. Same burgundy-colored jerseys.
Very different outcome.
If I had a website sharing the story of the team, wouldn’t it behoove me, and the players, to update the content after every interaction?
Yesterday, I taught the kids the geometry of a soccer kick. How the angle of your foot against the particular part of the ball go together to direct the angle of the journey the ball takes.
Was there every really a chance that the ball would go in the net? Once you understand the factors that must align for a perfect sail into the goal, you realize that sometimes the answer is flat-out NO.
And sometimes it is a deliberate YES.
The story is always changing. In a way, perhaps we should stop telling stories altogether. Because the moment we finish this sentence, the story has changed and we must begin again.
Yesterday, my ex sat at the soccer game with his new girlfriend. My husband was a few feet away. The players on the sidelines changed, and all was well, all these kind people supporting my son with love.
That’s a different story from the last time we all sat on the sidelines. Today, I pulled on my silver and pink striped socks and realized my ex-husband bought them for me while we were still married, on a date night when we separated for a half-hour to find special little gifts for one another at the mall.
Clearly, I need to update my sock drawer. But also, I was reminded of the many stories we tell of the people we know. Good, bad, indifferent, ugly, beautiful, and then some.
My eldest son laughed as I told him where I got the socks, on our drive to school this morning. We go the same way to school every day, but every day the story changes. Today, no one else was in the car with us. My daughter was just waking back at home, having felt under the weather yesterday. My younger son was off to school with his step-dad.
We’ve been driving to the high school for more than a month now, but my son balked when I didn’t turn left to head toward the middle school. “Oh yeah,” he said. “I don’t start the day there anymore.”
Same story, different day. The details always change. And so do we.