Do you watch The Voice or American Idol, or dare I say it, both? Do you set your DVR for Project Runway or The Amazing Race? Did you cry (or at least cheer) for Susan Lucci when she finally got her Daytime Emmy or for Peyton when he won his first Super Bowl?
My husband laughs at me, but I’m a sucker for an underdog winning, or for that matter, anyone deserving and humble winning. I know why I watch all those shows. I’m a cheerleader. (Okay, so none of us ever thought they’d see that day, did they?) No, I’m not going to look very good in one of those skirts or be able to control my pom-poms, but I like to see people win. I like to see people who are passionate about something get what they want if it’s for the right reasons. I want to see people be happy. I, myself, want to be happy. I know that a lot of us struggle to focus on the good stuff and remember to be happy (when the house is on fire, the kids need another ride to practice, or there’s a snake in your basement – just sayin’).
Last night, as I was watching The Voice finale, I realized I screwed up. Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of going to my hometown to watch the 2013 state qualifying boys’ basketball team (Riverside Bulldogs) take on the last b-ball team to qualify for state: the 1986 Oakland Yellow-Jackets (pre-consolidation of schools). It was a fundraiser and the vision of a 1986 player whose wife made it happen. I went for a few reasons. One: my brother-in-law was one of those 1986 players. Two: Sometimes, I like thinking about the old days (and whoever said you can’t go home again needs to listen a little closer to Jon Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles). Three: curiosity. I wanted to see how it all would play out.
So what did I get wrong? I didn’t go and say thank you for my happiness. Yes, I posted my pictures on Facebook and made sure to note some thanks with those posts, but I didn’t go say it in person. After all these years, I was still too shy to think they knew who I was or cared who I was and that my opinion might matter to them. And who knows? Maybe they wouldn’t have known who I was or even cared, but I should have said thank you because for the last week I have been blabbing on about how cool it was to watch a bunch of guys with families, jobs, and a million other things to do reunite to raise money for a charity and hang out together on a basketball court again because it’s what they were really good at 27 years ago and because they had each other’s backs.
I listened to Mac (that’s how we all referred to him whether we knew him or not) talk about calling up his former teammates to play and saying he “needed” to play one last time with them. He said they each answered the call of duty. – I want that. I want that for myself and for all of you. I want something or someone to be so important that you can’t say no and I want you to shine when you answer the call. (I realize that sounds sappy, and I’m okay with that. Better take this rare greeting card moment from me and go with it.)
Twenty-seven years ago I went to every basketball game to watch a group of guys I hardly knew win and defeat the odds against them. Last week, I watched them do it again by 1 little point. Heart and passion should always triumph. And should we get a little sappy about that? Yes. Should we go home and admit we miss that home? Hell yes. Should we cheer for those around us to find happiness? Yes. Should we want to be asked to come back and share in it with them? Hell yes. Should we hope for more events like this? Hell to the Yeah! (Did I laugh at my brother-in-law who probably couldn’t get off the couch Monday morning? Well, of course, I did, but I also love that he did what he did.)
Will I always be cheering on the sidelines for someone singing, dancing, baking, showing cattle, or playing a sport? Hell yes. Why? It makes me happy. And if you’re looking to be happy, too, I recommend it as a pretty good place to start.