Disclaimer: This is going to be one of my venting posts. Maybe I’m not venting as much as I’m just thinking “out loud” because its 9 p.m. in Goodyear, Arizona, both my husband and my pooch are already passed out (sawing logs) and I’ve had some stuff on my mind for the past few weeks…
As my close friends who are all currently pretty far away know, I’ve been doing a good amount of whining this spring training. I’m not proud but I’m not perfect and I’m sure in the hell not content 24/7 so it is what it is. Every time I complain, I feel some kind of guilty. Maybe I consider how fortunate I am. Maybe I realize that things could be worse. Maybe I think of all of the people who would be quick to call me names if I expressed my current feelings on social media. Maybe… Just maybe I know that I have nothing serious to complain about but that still doesn’t change the fact that I just don’t feel like a ray of sunshine all of the time.
There are many baseball ladies who do not accompany their significant others to spring training. Some have children who are in school, some have other responsibilities at home, and for some, it’s not even a possibility due to financial restrictions or job schedules. You will find many MLB and MiLB ladies out there as we speak who are bummed because their favorite dude left for spring and they won’t see him for a few weeks or even months. That’s not me. Like every other season, I packed my junk and made the temporary move to Arizona because that’s just how we do it.
In the past, spring training was always a temporary move leading to another temporary move. There were seasons where we didn’t even know where we would end up at the end of it and others where we drove over from San Diego and then back to an apartment with a ton of unpacked boxes for decorations because I knew we wouldn’t be there long anyway and it was just inefficient to unpack things we didn’t really need just to pack them up again. Last season, we flew back to Cincinnati and stayed at the Westin, living out of suitcases for a while. Looking back, I guess my jokes about being a gypsy were never a joke at all.
The difference this spring training is that we actually have a home to miss (an even bigger reason to feel ridiculous for not putting my super happy Stepford wife face on every day). Granted, I have no actual desire to be home without my guy yet I can’t help but miss waking up to foot warmers in the form of cats sleeping on my feet and 3 huge dogs slobbering all over the place. I just want to drink coffee in my own kitchen while I plan out my errands for the day. I miss my gym. My routine. My friends. My sister. I might even miss the lady down the street who always thinks we’re speeding because our cars are loud. The thermostat in our bedroom that always makes it either too hot or too cold- I kinda miss that too.
I refuse to believe that these feelings make me ungrateful or unaware of my blessings. I’m thankful to wake up every day in sunny Arizona to my husband’s 6 am alarm (okay, I hate the alarm). It’s nice that he gets home from work at a decent hour and aside from a knee injury, there’s been nothing serious to stress about.
When I get back home, there will be a ton of chaos and I will no longer have afternoons to spend with Mat. He’ll be working 10 hours a day IF he’s even in town. I’ll be holding the fort (read: the zoo) down and trying not to miss him or my flights every other week. I’ll probably even get a little frustrated every now and then. As the months progress, I may even start looking forward to a little off-season peace. Who knows. I might just be a human with real human feelings and everything! (crazy, right?)
It doesn’t take any deep reflection to know that one of the greatest challenges is learning to appreciate the present no matter how blue the past, how bright the future or how screwed up things might get at any given moment. But I don’t think that looking back, looking forward or appreciating your current situation has to be a mutually exclusive mindset. What I’m saying here is- don’t do what I do and feel bad about feeling bad from time to time. (I’ve almost decided that it’s okay to stop beating myself up about this. almost.)
I’m no authority to tell you what to do but I’m pretty certain that feelings are feelings and they are valid no matter how silly or irrational they might seem to others or even yourself when you really step back and think about it. As much as I keep expressing that I want to be home, I know that being in Cincinnati right now would have its own set of challenges.
What I’m trying to say here is that the grass may seem greener but it’s never, ever easy and all we can really do is try our best to make what we can out of what we have at any given time. And you know what- if you want to feel grumpy despite the number of things you have to be grateful for, feel grumpy. (Just try not to do it too often because that’s no fun.)
After all, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right? Right. It’s only then that you can choose to fix the things that don’t bring you happiness or you can learn to be at peace with them.
Happy happy hunting.