Yesterday, I played basketball with some of my male and female friends. It was a thrill-of-a-game that got all of us players pumped up and hyped up. To top it all, I played a triple role: a player, the coach, and the team manager.
Me and my friends were having a good time. We were winning. I felt the adrenaline rushed all over my sweaty body. The crowd was crazy and ecstatic. It was the kind of happy crazy. I was feeling high and happy myself too.
Few minutes before the end game, the other team got ahead of us by hitting an open 3-pointer. There was a mad scramble and my teammate got hold of the ball. I supposed he must be feeling the pressure as he threw the ball to our teammate in the other court instead of passing it to someone close to him. The opponent intercepted the pass and we lost our turn.
It was crunch time and the ball was on our side now. Just one sure 3-point shot in those last seconds will make us win the game.
We only had 3 seconds left when my teammate passed the ball to me. The crowd went crazier and the screams were all over. I felt the need to throw the ball to the ring, no matter. From the 3-point line and with the opponent guards trying to block the shot, I threw the ball to the ring.
The basketball got into the basket, the buzzer rang while the ball continued to dance inside it. We stopped what we were doing and stared at the ring. The ball danced for a few seconds more, bumping the sides of the rim. Then it got out of the basket instead of making the score.
We lost the game.
“We could have made it if that ball got in!” I can hear frustrated voices and sighs of disbelief. I felt down. I know I could have made us win if that ball got in. Depression started to creep in. The thought of the what ifs were overwhelming.
I looked at my teammates and they were not too happy either. All their hard work are gone in that one moment that I could have made that winning shot.
I felt accountable and responsible not just for my emotions but for the feelings of my friends and teammates too. As a player, coach, and manager, I am frustrated and depressed about the results too. But looking at my teammates looking all too sad and upset, I know I have to do something. This is no longer about what I feel now. This is already about what everybody feels.
I had to get out of my own frustrations and help my team feel better.
I approached my team and smiled a happy and sincere smile. I felt light actually when I smiled.
“Good job everyone. You guys did a good job today. We did good today. See we almost made it. That means, we can make it the next time. I am happy to have played the game with you. You guys are awesome!”
I felt even better when I talked to them in that manner and I saw their faces lightened up and saw them smiling and cheering. “Oh what a game!” I thought to myself. That was fun.
Then I felt like I needed to go to the ladies room. And I woke up.
I dreamed about basketball the night after I played badminton.
Yes it was a dream. A vivid and lucid dream and all in colors. It was a dream that gave me a feeling of happiness, calm, and peace.
When I make a goal for myself and circumstances make me take a different turn for the moment, it is just like that ball which danced around the rim for a while and then bounced out of basket. It isn’t just me whose emotions are affected by the ball getting out of the goal. The people around me are affected to.
It is my responsibility to improve on my mark and practice throwing the ball right. Those misses are a good chance to learn and to make it right the next time. It is my responsibility to get up and not allow life’s little detours to determine what tomorrow will be.
Yesterday’s game is over. And tomorrow is another day. We will play again. And we will be better. And I will see my friends and family feeling lighter and happier because we are all in this together.
We are a team. And this is how teamwork, works. 🙂