Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Friendship versus Competition

Last Fall, I didn't get to attend any out-of-town Women's Tourneys.  One event in November, I *could* have attended, knowing my Mom was being taken care of in the hospital and was in good condition. 

'Good condition' means she is awake, doing well, and just still not 100% back on her feet from her emphysema.

A few friends told me, "I know your Mom is still in the hospital, but we want to see you and she is doing okay.  AND, it will be good for you." 

While I completely agreed, I knew in my heart I wouldn't compete well.  Then it dawned on me:  I didn't really care about how I would finish in the tourney (even though I did care about how my year ranking would end), but I also knew deep down in my heart seeing friends might be a good thing for my mind and soul.  It had been a tough few months and seeing friends would have been awesome, and I wouldn't have cared how I finished in the tourney to be honest.

I didn't go to that tourney, though.  Out of town, almost 6 hours away from Mom.. ugh.  I didn't want to not see her even one day while she was in the hospital, even though she was doing okay.  Her next step would be physical rehabilitation to get walking again (being in bed for 8 weeks at her age, leads to legs not wanting to work properly).

But I still didn't go.

Then in Prevention Magazine I read in the section "Smart health habits can extend active, joyful midlife indefinitely."  Specifically, one piece says:  ""Friends Save Lives."

"(snip).... Surrounding yourself with cheerful companions can be especially beneficial.  In a surprising report last year, James H. Fowler, PhD, an associate professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, (gotta put his credentials) showed that happiness spreads though social networks, affecting not only friends but also friend of friends.  "Our research showed that a person is 15% more likely to be happy if a close contact is happy and well, " he explains.""

I think I already knew that.  I knew a weekend away from stress would be good for me,  but I *just* *couldn't* *leave* *Mom* no matter how many of my friends, my gut, and (and Dr. Fowler) said I should.

But... if you can get away from stress and get near your friends.... then be like Nike and JUST DO IT!

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