I may look like I am sitting in my living room in Bakersfield, but I am truly I looking down at my feet as I walk down Carteret Street in Glen Ridge, New Jersey in 1972 0r 1973 with my siblings and my father. We are on the way to the park to play softball.
The dread filled my body from the soles of my navy blue canvas sneakered feet to my chest because I knew in moments we were going to become teams with winners and losers and my little ten-or-eleven-year-old self couldn’t deal with the thought of once again being the weakest link and the cause of my teammates losing simply because they were cursed to have me on the team.
My optimistic little self was worried about being the cause of “my team’s loss” due to my ineptitude.
“Can we play with no teams, no winners, no losers, no scoring game?” little optimistic Julie asked hopefully?
I not only heard the gasp and the laughter, I can feel the inevitable rise of red from my chest to my face in my nearly five decades later body.
The ridiculousness of this assertion was quoted back to me for years. “No points, no winners, no losers” would be enough to make my siblings laugh for years.
Today, I am reading “The Practice: Shipping Creative Work” by Seth Godin.
In this book he talks about Simon Sinek, James Carse and “The Infinite Game.”
Two quotes stand out. “Play to keep playing,” is directly from Seth Godin. He is standing in the infinite game which isn’t about the winner’s triumph over the loser. Winner and loser doesn’t compute.
A second quote echoes what I had said so many years ago:
“The infinite game has no winners or losers, no clock or scoreboard. It is simply a chance to trust ourselves enough to participate.”
I remember walking back toward Hawthorne Avenue after the game ended. My little, optimistic self had indeed lived up to my self fulfilling prophecy of the weakest link on whatever team was stuck with me. My head was down, looking at my sneakers again as I fought tears.
Little did I know there were people who are on the team, like me, who I had no idea existed.
Listen as these bits and pieces of life experience from 2021 weave together in a cosmic time warp that makes perfect sense.
Recently I heard Quilen Blackwell on Simon Sinek’s podcast, “A Bit of Optimism” In the midst of conversation Quilen said, “Life is not a solo sport.” He had been telling his story of showing up and trusting the way would find him, complete with collaborators who would offer solutions he might not have considered.
Simon walked him back saying, “I think you may have offered the best definition of faith I’ve ever heard: you’re on a team and you don’t know who is on your team.”
Often we don’t know who our teammates are until we step up to receive our assignment – whether that day it is hugging a tree or going for an MRI or teaching your first webinar or starting a business that seems completely wacky to the rest of the world.
My teammates are my collaborative partners in this wild adventure I call my life in all its ups and downs, dark corners and crevices.
I would say our teammates even appreciate and value us just because we’re collaborating in this infinite game of life we all dedicate ourselves to continue to play. They don’t mind the cracks, dark corners and crevices because they are smart enough to know they have their own, too.
These people who make up our infinite game team. This is why I keep showing up both out in the “real world” 2021 style or here, on the page with you.
I’ve had bits and pieces of this written since the middle of last week, before I listened to the “A bit of optimism” podcast, proving more teammates will show up precisely when you are at your most needy.
I sat back in my chair just now to feel the mass growing in my chest. It is larger than it was when I had my CT Scan. It will probably be larger when I have the MRI that is scheduled for 2 weeks and 6 days from now. My team is assembling.
I am choosing to show up and trust, every day, over and over again.
You who are reading are on my team now. I welcome you.
Julie Jordan Scott is the Creator of the Radical Joy of Consistency Course which helps people practice consistency and completion daily in order to experience a more incredible life experience. She came to this conclusion after almost dying and coming back to true healing by writing 377 consecutive haiku… and a lot more along her way to building that streak! To find out more about this program, visit this link, here.