What I learned this week: The momentum has shifted

female soccer keeper

When my youngest daughter, Andrea, was in high school, she joined the soccer team. She'd never played before, not in earlier grades in school, not on club or park & rec teams. But in true Andie fashion, she chose the soccer team over the track team because her sisters ran track, and she was determined to do her own thing. Plus, she figured there'd be less running in soccer than in track.

Andrea was wrong about the running, but she was right about choosing soccer anyway, as that girl rocked the soccer field. She even chose to be goal keeper when no other girls on the team wanted the position, a position that eventually garnered her a spot — and a scholarship — on her college soccer team.

During her high-school stint on the soccer field, Andie's coach for the first few years was a young male teacher, not long out of college. His youth and enthusiasm for his job, for his team, for the game were a boon for the girls he coached. They absolutely adored Coach D. (His good looks had a wee bit to do with that, too, I assure you.)

Now, Andrea's high-school soccer team was not the best in the district. In fact, they were pretty far from it. But they had grit, they had dedication, and they had Coach D cheering them on.

Jim and I were fortunate to be able to attend the majority of Andrea's high-school soccer games. Many times, her team struggled to keep up with their opponents, often ending up on the losing end of the match. Sometimes, though, they'd manage to pull ahead.

It was during those initial moments of pulling ahead that Coach D's enthusiasm spilled over. "THE MOMENTUM HAS SHIFTED!" he'd shout to the sky, to those around him, but most importantly, to the girls. To which the girls would then run harder, faster, as they heard the sound of hope ringing across the field.

In every game, no matter how bad the beating seemed it might be, there would be at least one point where the exclamation would be made.


Every once in a while, the momentum would shift fully in the girls' favor, and Andie's team would come out the victors. Always a sweet victory indeed.

Ever since those days of watching high-school soccer games, hearing Coach D exclaim the moment of change indicating hope on the horizon, I've often heard his words ring out in my head — sometimes even spoken the phrase aloud or chuckled when Jim would say it at just the moment I thought it. I've heard it in my head at Andie's college games, while watching live or televised sporting events, when my daughters have overcome a challenge, when most anything in my life warrants the exclamation.

Well, this week, I learned this: The momentum has shifted... in my favor!

You see, the years since I lost my full-time job at the newspaper have been a heart-crushing struggle in a variety of ways, from trying to get books published — with my agent quitting the business midstream — to trying to keep my bank account filled with at least enough money to turn around and send it right back out again to pay the bills.

Many people have similar stories to tell, all beginning about the same time my financial woes began. The year 2008 and most since have sucked for a lot of us. I'm not unique in the challenges I've faced, I know. That hasn't really made it any easier, and I've wondered again and again when things would start trending up instead of continuing the downward slide.

Finally, though, it seems the downward slide has ended. In one small but significant way, the momentum has indeed shifted. Thanks to the copy-editing position I recently started — with much thanks to my online friend Carol — I'm finally able to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, finally see hope on the horizon.

I must admit that this new position is not a high-profile one by any means, and it doesn't pay huge amounts. But it's enough to make a difference.

It's enough to give me hope.

It's enough to make me feel things are on their way up.

It's enough to make me say, with all the conviction of Coach D:


photo: stock.xchng

Today's question:

What have you learned this week?