Monday, April 23, 2012

When There's No Time To Be Self-Conscious

I'm at my very first youth soccer game.

My husband--the reserved man who doesn't want any attention--watches my youngest daughter play.   I'm sitting beside him, trying to fit in. I have some things this culture requires, including my minivan, my folding camping chair, and my beverage.  I still need the rolling cooler, a better camera, energy drinks, granola bars, the over-sized purse with things like band-aids, and a smart phone to really fit in. 

I feel self-conscious in this new culture. 

Normally, I'm not the self-conscious one.

So there I sit, watching this game. Right before half-time, the coach comes over to the sidelines and tells my husband that he has a scheduling conflict during the second half of the game. 

"You need to coach for me.  Thanks!"  He gives my husband a manly punch on the arm and runs off the field. 

With no time to object, my quiet and unassuming husband has been thrust into the fray of a dozen little six year olds. 

And then he transforms into the best coach (he's never coached a game of soccer in his life) the world has ever seen.  After finding out the players' names, he's hustling down the field, organizing all the children, rotating players in, and shouting out encouragement. 

"You were awesome!" I tell him after the game. I'm amazed at the Inner Soccer Coach that just emerged on cue. 

"Well, I had no time to be self-conscious," he says.  "I'm glad I had to just do it." 

We've decided that sometimes you just have to do things and not give yourself time to think about being self-conscious.

I'm wondering what else resides in us that could come out if we let it.  I'm wondering what could happen today if we abandoned that self-consciousness that keeps us hidden.

Have you ever been forced to do something with no time to be self-conscious about it? 


Kathleen said...

Great Post. I love your blog.rnaved ppole

Ashley Holleman said...

Just so you know, the coach's scheduling conflict was coaching another soccer game.  He is incredibly devoted to youth soccer.  He is coaching 3 other teams because there aren't enough coaches, and he wants to make sure kids get to play.

Italian Mama said...

This is one of the great joys of middle age!  And the reason why  many women (at least) return to dreams they had as girls, before puberty took over and made the need to impress others (men either directly or indirectly) very important.  What a lovely narrative about abandoning our own perceptions of ourselves.  That's the power of Now! (See Eckhart Tolle.)