Monday, May 4, 2015

Good Bye, Memories

So sad....

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hug The Loser

I hate the word "loser."

I can't even say "losers side."  I prefer "one-loss side" when I talk about the left side of the brackets.

But I want to express how heartbreaking it is to lose.  And how you can help.

Two of my friends were playing each other at BCAPL Texas State in the women's singles division in the match for 4th place.  As I walked by several times, each player was playing good and smart.  It was a tight match.  One player is seasoned, the other kinda new and shy about competing.  But the shy player was playing her little heart out, as the seasoned player was playing her heart out, too. 

Eventually, the match would go hill-hill! 

I saw the seasoned girl win, and everyone was happy for her and congratulating her.

Then I did something kind of on instinct:  I walked right into the playing area and made a bee-line to the shy girl. 

I know how it feels to lose.  I know how it feels when everyone is talking to and congratulating your opponent while you are trying to hold it together and not feel worthless.

I walked right up to her, and gave her a HUGE hug.  It was literally only minutes after the match.  I held her tight and whispered, "I am SOOOO proud of you."

I didn't know how she would react, as we only see each other twice a year at state tourneys, but she held me back tightly fighting tears, and she confided and whispered in my ear, "I wanted that win so badly."

Even as I type this, I'm emotional. 

I could hear in her voice how heartbreaking the loss was for her; how much she wanted the win.  

I am glad I gave her that hug.  I am glad I recognized her for what she DID accomplish - getting to 4th in a really tough tournament.  Why?  Because she really did play her heart out and wanted the win badly, and it HURT that she lost.

Sometimes I feel like my biggest gift to pool is empathy and understanding.

I can't begin to express how horrible it feels to lose.  Sure, we've all been there and have experienced it.  But, it's more than we can put into words sometimes.  So, if you see someone who just lost in a big event, hug them or tell them how proud you are of them.  Sure they feel defeated, but I can guarantee you that you will be taking part of the sting away. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

How to Watch Live Pool

Funny, really. 

While watching the finals at BCAPL Texas State tourney, that was being streamed LIVE on the Internet, someone next to me was watching the match, also.  In front of him, AND on his tablet!


I HAD to take a pic and share this with you all!  Funny!

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Change A Coming?

Sometimes in life, it's time for a change.

You don't know when that time will come, or if it will.

You actually never even think about change, until it's time for one.

Until it stares you in the face.

Back in January, I was blessed to see a public speaker, a Buddhist.  His bottom line take-away (for me) was:   the way to achieve happiness is by having true inner peace. 

Everyone wants either happiness, or not to be unhappy.  The way to achieve true happiness is with inner peace. 

Things that make us temporarily happy, lead to temporary pain afterwards (think of shopping, binge eating, drinking, and/or gambling, for example).

The goal is to get true inner peace, which is NOT temporary happiness.

Winning my recent pool titles has been a huge gift for me in my life!  But, even I'll be the first to admit that not having someone to share them with leads to much sadness.  Not happiness at all, actually.

I lost myself the last 4 years due to depression and unhappiness because of what life dealt me.  I wouldn't change a thing because I'm stronger for it, and more understanding for my friends because of what I've been through, so I can relate more for them.  But, I can tell I'm just not happy anymore competing in pool.

And I am just as surprised as anyone else that I accomplished so much in pool competition while depressed.  I finally "mastered" my fundamentals, and it just coincidentally happened during a tough time in my life.

I am 45 years old.  Will I be playing pool at this level the rest of my life?  Am I really going to be competing in pool into my 50s?   Do I really WANT to??  I would rather be experiencing the outdoors and making memories.   And helping people.  Those things are my inner peace. 

And that's what I would rather be doing with my life now.  I don't want temporary happiness; I want true inner peace.  I want more experiences out of the life I have remaining.  And I want to help others more.  

I don't need or want anymore pool experiences.  I'm very bored.  Very unhappy.  Wishing I was NOT in a pool room.  Rather be doing outdoor things, or helping people.  Making new memories.  It's time for a change in my life.  Tired of being around smoke, tired of being around drama, tired of using my vacation for pool, etc.  I'd so much rather be enjoying the beauty of Mother Nature; finding inner peace. 

I've played pool for over 25 years (that's over half my life!).  I have accomplished A LOT in the last 2-3 years.  If I hadn't, I'd prolly want to continue to compete, for sure!  But, I'd rather leave competition on a high note.  Rather than when my skills start to go down.

No one thinks I can leave (the very few I mentioned this to), but I would only miss two things:  blogging and my friends.

I'm sure I'll stay around it.  Keep running the Omega Tour, maybe give back in some other ways.  But right now, my heart isn't in to competing at all. 

I think what I'm going to do is stop playing in leagues, as the first step.  Maybe I'll change my mind by the end of the year (when the league session ends), but right now I am looking forward to having all my week nights off.  Kinda excited about it, actually!

Since I feel I have accomplished so much already in pool (I'm extremely fortunate!), I feel like it's okay to step away from competing and focus on other areas.  Writing more, helping more, etc. 

I'm not sure if I will feel this way in a few months, but I actually felt like this DURING the BCAPL Texas State tourney.  And then afterwards.  Just not into competing right now for some reason.  Doesn't make sense to me - placing 1st in scotch doubles and 2nd in singles, and I still feel this way?? 

But if my heart isn't in it anymore....