Behold, the 2011 Boomers of the Fermilab Softball League! We played our final game of the season on Aug. 25. All of the teams in the league make it to the playoffs, which are a double-elimination tournament. We lost both of our playoff games, all but one game (out of 12) of the regular season and all but 2 games of the previous season. Given those records, you might be able to see why being on this team reminds me of an article that my wife sent me: “Why You Need To Fail.“
This might prompt you to ask why I am smiling in the photograph above, something that my wife will confirm is too rare for me. It is because, in addition to the lessons of humility, reliance on God, resilience, compassion, humility, wisdom, and simplicity, failure has helped me “learn what really matters” and what doesn’t. God has used it to teach me that being a “successful” softball player is far less important than doing my job well, which is less important than loving my wife well.
Also, I have learned that success and failure are not always as easily defined as one might think, and they are often defined by one’s goals. I am certainly a much better softball player and in better physical shape than when I began playing; that can be considered a success. If the Boomers’ goal was to win the most games, we were certainly not successful. However, if we our goal was to follow my wife’s motto for our team, “we lose the most games, but we have the most fun,” I think we were a success.