Happy Spring Training! As of today, all major league baseball teams are in gear at their spring training camps. Pitchers start first, then position players come back. Tune up the pitches, get the bat in the groove, gets the joints oiled and the limbs limber. Most of all, crank up the clichés and the flow of optimism.
Every team is optimistic at spring training. Every team expects to do better than last year. Every player has his mind in the right place and his body in good shape from a winter of focused training. The stumbles and weaknesses of last year fade into the past. Managers voice their excitement (in the straight-faced, low-key affect that appears to be mandatory); players channel their inner 10-year-old. Spring training is a font of positive expectation.
Of course we know that some teams will win and some teams will lose; that big-salaried players may disappoint us; that last year’s heroes may or may not have another banner year. In our hearts we may fear that our team is going to have another weary year at the bottom of the standings, but for a brief time we push that fear to the side and enjoy what spring training offers: a chance for a fresh start and a belief in potential.
We think about January as the time for resolution, but perhaps right now is an even better time for refreshing ourselves. With the Chinese New Year, the beginning of the Jewish month Adar (a month of “increased joy” that leads to Purim), and Mardi Gras all in this week, we find energy, joy, and boisterous pleasure. After some riotous celebration and released energy, might we find ourselves ready for renewal and recommitment to our goals, our well-being, and our balance?
In fact, the Year of the Snake offers us advice that will serve us well:
“This 2013 year of Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve what you set out to create.” (from HanBan.com)
Sounds like all those baseball players in spring training should take note. Optimism is terrific, but focus and discipline will last longer than cliches.
Questions for Reflection: What is the meaning to you of this week’s events–from spring training to Chinese New Year? How might this week give you the opportunity for recharged energy? What are the ways you have of releasing energy and creating new space for creative pursuits?
Writing Prompts: “This time of year is important to me because ______” (then keep writing); “This is a good time for me to recharge myself by ______” (then keep writing); “I would benefit now by releasing energy through ______” (then keep writing); “In find focus and discipline by ______” (then keep writing).