Losing well, is an art form...
That is my great revelation of the day. I just got home from having dinner at my in laws house. After dinner we played dominoes, a game called chicken foot. This is not a new thing. It is not uncommon for us to have a big meal and play a game over there every once in a while, however tonight was different. I don't know if everyone was tired or what, but instead of being fun, the two rounds of dominoes ended up being very stressful. Why? Because everyone in my dear, sweet family is a VERY sore loser, except for myself and my father-in-law.
The truth is I'm not a competitive person at all. However, I have to wonder is it by nature or a learned art form? The reason I asked this, is simply this... If my children are doing something, playing a sport or involved in a contest, I find myself being the true sports mom. I'm screaming on the sidelines, trying not to badmouth the referee or judge, cheering as loud as I can, making up excuses when they lose. When "I'm" playing, deep down I would love to win, but the need doesn't control me. Is that maturity or simply a learned response?
Part of me thinks it is maturity, the reason being my husband has changed a lot 19 years I've known him. When I first met him, he couldn't stand to lose, it would frustrate him to where he would make the game not fun for anyone else. In fact I use to not be able to even enjoy a good win. Yet, today he may still make some noise, but he is more calm and as a dad is willing to take second place.
That being said, he is still very competitive. He wants to win, needs to win or come close, to have what he considers a good time. That is where we differ. I like to win, in fact I enjoy beating him a lot, yet I don't have that same drive. Did I learn this as a defense mechanism, so that when I couldn't hit the ball in softball or came in last when running the track, that it wouldn't hurt so much? Did I develop this laid back attitude after many years of being "picked last?"
Whatever the reason, I've become pretty good at the art of losing. I'm not saying I lose all the time. I do pretty well at some games. What I am saying is I have discovered something I really like about myself... I know how to lose with grace. I can enjoy a good game even when I don't come out on top. Tonight, while Jordan was crying (he was not winning the first hand), Kayla was sitting in unhappy silence (if she is quiet you know something is wrong!), my mother-in-law was huffing and snapping (it was definitely not her night!), Kevin's voice was raised an octave (he was very frustrated at Jordan!) and my father-in-law was defending his win (like I said Grandma was losing!); I was sitting there, losing, with a smile on my face, even cheating so my son and husband could win a few rounds!!! Doesn't it make you wish you were with me tonight?
Art form or not, who cares?! I'm waiting till the day I see how many jewels I really have earned in my crown... didn't Jesus say something about the "first shall be last and the last shall be first?" I wonder if that applies to the world of dominoes! :)