Sunday, April 03, 2011

lessons from a Cats loss

My husband had a dream of seeing the Cats wins this year's NCAA championship. He was there in San Antonio the last time the CATS brought home the trophy. Andy, his dad, and his sister made that trek from KY to TX thirteen years ago. He still talks of that day with deep love. And during March and April I hear more stories about that trip, that win, that moment in time.

I (half) jokingly tell others that witnessing that win was more exciting to him than our wedding day. Honestly I know that it was one of the single most special experiences of his entire life.

Kentuckians take their basketball very seriously. No doubt about that. I grew up watching both college and NBA ball games (the good ol' days when Bird, Barkley, and Magic were there). Andy's enthusiasm over the course of our 13 plus year relationship has made me even more of a fan. His love and passion for the Cats is pretty remarkable. And while I can't totally get it. I so admire it. And am inspired by it.

Today we wake up to a Cats loss in the final four. It was a tough game to watch. My heart kept going out to Andy, watching this unfold on the other side of the US, three time zones away. The clock ticking away. Each second shattering his dream of seeing the Cats win at the big dance.

To some this might seem silly. Dreams are made for going to the moon, winning the lottery, traveling the world, ending world hunger, and becoming a movie star (or marrying one). But winning the NCAA Championship?

Andy felt so strongly about his dream that he took a gamble. Last Sunday as soon as the Cats beat UNC he was online buying tickets. At 9:30 he was driving to Kinkos to send a fax. Any purchase over $500 required an authorization and when he couldn't do it by computer, away he went driving to get the job done. He had to meet a co-worker at 3:30 in the morning to get to Louisville for an early flight to San Diego. He was so excited he didn't sleep all night.

Let me say that my husband is a frugal, frugal man. Even I was shocked that he was taking this risk. He's not a fan of risks nor spending a big chunk o' money. I usually fit that bill.

For nearly an entire week all he thought about was a Cats win. Nearly every conversation we had and every text we shared was about how it would all go down. He had it all planned out. Neither one of us assumed that the Cats would win. We weren't overly confident. Andy's not that sort of fan. No, he was running on hope. A dream.

Not all dreams come to fruition. Not all risks pay off. This was one of them. Prior to today I thought I would be upset, thinking we spent all that money, all for nothing. Surprisingly I'm not feeling that way at all.

Instead I'm feeling grateful that Andy and I got to share in this excitement together. I'm usually the one in the relationship coming up the crazy plans and Andy usually supports them (like driving 10 hours on a"school night" to see Bon Jovi, sleeping one hour and going to work). I got to be on the receiving end of this one and it was refreshing, and fun.

Today even with a Cats loss I'm reminded of the power of our dreams. And how it's not for us to choose others dreams, but to support those. I'm reminded of the thrill of taking a risk. And that there is great joy and inspiration to be found in the space between making a wish and seeing it come true.. Surely that's worth a few hundred dollars. ;)

**photo is of Andy on his fave day of the year...selection sunday**

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