I’m feeling rather empty today.
I am a Head JV girl’s basketball coach and assistant to varsity in the school district I teach in.
Last night, we played our third playoff game, the game to go to state, and lost.
I am no stranger to this feeling. I have lived it many times before.
I lived it when my parents were coaches and their seasons ended. I lived it when I played for my mom. I lived it when I played in college.
Because I am so familiar to this feeling, because I know how it eats away at you, I don’t only feel it for myself, I feel it for everyone. I feel it when my sister’s season comes to an end. I feel it when my cousin’s season comes to an end. I feel it for the teams that WE beat. I shed small, quiet tears for them on our sideline, somewhat hidden by my mask. I feel it for all the student athletes I watch play in the NCAA tournament. I can see the emptiness on their faces, and feel the hole in their stomach.
I wrote about this once in high school.
It’s the suddenness of it; the finality. There is no tapering of a season. You go 100% during a season, and during playoffs, it’s amped up even more than that. And then, you are done. Left with a gaping hole of what was, what could’ve been, and questions of what is to come the next year.
We are creatures of habit. It is not only our minds that don’t deal with change overly well, it is our bodies. Our bones. Our cells. Our heart.
So today, that is how I feel. What do I now?
The feeling will fade, I know that. It always does. And I eventually come to actually enjoy those three extra hours a night. But for right now, it’s numbness and emptiness.
I have to let myself sit with it.
Every year, I wonder, if I’ll get used to the feeling, and I just don’t think that’s possible.
Humans forget. Every year, we forget how long it takes to scrape snow and ice off our cars in the morning. We forget just how cold it gets in the dead of winter. It takes a slip or two on the ice to remember how to walk like a penguin. We forget that winter in the Midwest isn’t really over until April, even when March surprises us with a week of 60 degree weather.
How can we know what’s coming, and still not be prepared for it? What a strange thought.
love always, caitlin