Thursday, August 27, 2015

Getting Closer

Well, I had league again last night.  Still debating whether to play next season or not.

I broke and ran the first rack.  Again everyone was like, "You can't quit!  See?  You're playing great!"

Uh, that's not the point.

The loudest thing I'm hearing that is making me second guess this is this one fact:  After you step away, your game is never as good as it was if you come back.

But yet I don't want to come back.

At least right now I have no desire to come back to league play.

Then they say, "I thought I didn't want to either."  Or, "You may never know."

Well, deep in my heart, I know I would rather not pick up my cue ever again.

Someone said last night, "What, are you going to stay at home and make babies?"  Uh, no.

People seem to think I will be staying at home every single night if I don't play pool anymore.  How about doing more outdoor things?  How about taking classes?  Or reading (which I do NOT do at all).  Things that improve myself so I can be a better friend and coworker, and to be happier?  I WANT to come to work refreshed after a good nights' sleep.  Not up late b/c of league. 

I tried to express that there is too much drama in pool.  Someone pointed out, "Well, there's drama with the Omega Tour (that you run)."  Well, that is different.  That drama is not against me personally.  There is drama between players that I like to handle with my leadership skills.  That doesn't bother me and I welcome those challenges.

But drama on league, or in the pool room, or at tournaments, THAT I'm tired of.  And I simply feel like I don't have to be around it anymore.  It's a choice.  Just last night someone got mad at me for playing a safe.  Literally said something to me about it during the game and raised his voice at me because he was mad at me.  I want to be around people who make me feel good, who make me laugh, who provide me peace when I'm around them.  I'm not feeling that at tournaments anymore or in league, either.

I reached out to a friend of mine that I look up to as I noticed through facebook that she no longer plays pool.  She said, "I found that the unhealthier affects of competition on my personality were bringing me down and that I was sacrificing other parts of my life in pursuit of something that was no longer making me happy.  I also felt like most of the people in the competitive pool crowd weren't that upstanding to be around."

She understands.  And boy can I relate!  (And damn she has an amazing way with words!)

The bottom line for me is this:   I have been very successful the last few years and feel very proud to have accomplished all that I did in a short time period.  And, I feel very lucky and also very fulfilled!  It's now time to focus on other aspects of my life than a smokey pool room that I have lived in for 20-25 years.  Not one person has said to me, "I support you."  All I get is, "you can't step away"  or "don't go, you are playing too good," or "we need you on the team" or "you will be back."  So it was VERY refreshing when I reached out to my friend who has already gone through this "retirement" (successfully, I might add).  And I spoke with another friend today who said, "Of all of the reasons someone could have to step away from pool for a time, that sounds like the best one. "

Maybe I will or maybe I wont play again, but there is more to this life than to come home late smelling like smoke.  How about hiking?  Golfing?  Visiting new beautiful outdoor locations?  Going out to dinner and having a great convo with successful girlfriends?  Making those type of memories.  I am chalk full of GREAT pool memories, moments, trips, locations, and friends of pool that I will NEVER take for granted and will always appreciate.  AND I wouldn't change A THING!  But it's time to move on now.  And playing pool even twice a week limits doing other more productive and successful things in my life, currently.

My friend also said, "the last goal that I set was to hit the top 16 in the WPBA. I played a bit without a new goal and wasn't focused. I knew it was time to quit when I no longer had any desire to set new goals."  I hadn't really thought of the feelings I'm having about retiring related to my goals, but after reading her comments, she made me realize that indeed once I achieved my overarching goal for the last 11 years or so to win BCA Texas State (which I did last year), my heart seemed "fulfilled."  And then after winning ACS Nationals 9-ball Singles just a month later, I felt shocked.  And I didn't set any new goals or can even think of any I WANT to set.  Been a great ride!

I will be very honest and say it takes A LOT to have mental toughness and focus for an entire tournament.  It's also very emotional dealing with all that can come with competition.  Not competing all the time will provide more peace in my life.  I know I sound extremely selfish, but it's actually NOT easy to be selfish, so I hope others can appreciate that this really is not a very easy decision for me at all. 

As I said before I will still be around pool because of the Omega Tour.  And I will actually be writing more in the future (for other pool-related opportunities).  I will still find items to write about in my blog, too, which I dearly love - my little heart-to-heart online diary!

But it's time for a change - a positive change that brings more peace in my life!

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