Are you ready for a new show? Fall is when the new television programming starts. Before I was a crazy busy homeschooling mom of six, I looked forward to this. Now I watch a couple of shows that start in January and that’s it. Even so, I get tired of reruns.
This morning I watched a rerun while playing tennis for the first time on a league. I haven’t taken lessons or played regularly in 11 years! I’m not particularly talented, but I enjoy playing and have looked forward to the day that I could join a league. My life circumstances (and my hubby) finally permitted it, so I signed up.
You wouldn’t think a woman who feels comfortable speaking to large groups of people would be anxious playing tennis with three older ladies, but yep. I was. I kept trying to turn off the reruns in my head, but they kept playing. Like it or not (I didn’t), I was ten years old again. I had messed something up in my P.E. class and was then ridiculed mercilessly. I was a kid again, standing there shaking as I waited endlessly for one of the team captains to choose me.
I wasn’t a horrible athlete growing up. That wasn’t what provoked the anxiety all those years ago and that wasn’t what provoked it this morning. My classmates’ critical voices brought on the fear. This morning I could hear them again, flowing from my fellow tennis players’ heads. “Why does she have to be my partner?” “What is she doing playing in a league if she can’t even serve?” “Who does she think she is?”
The more I listened to this imaginary broadcast, the worse I played. The worse I played, the more anxious I got. After a while, I couldn’t hear the kid voices anymore. All I heard was me. “You’re such an idiot.” “Why didn’t you practice more?” “You’re not league material.” My voice was so loud in my head that it drowned out the ladies encouragement of “good shot” and their own apologies for missing the ball.
As I walked to my car, I decided I was really tired of this rerun. I have the dialogue memorized. Tennis isn’t the only place I watch reruns. So often we automatically play the part we played as a child or in a past relationship without even thinking. We assign our friends and loved ones the roles of the nemesis of the past and then act surprised when the resolution of our life story is the same.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a new show. Next week’s tennis league will be the premiere! I’ll let you know how it rates.