I needed to get myself back to writing on the blog again. And with everything negative happening with us right now in regards to our current rental home in Cincinnati, I thought it best to focus completely on something positive- this is my positive always in life, no matter what. I did a post like this about a year ago, hence the 'Part 2.'
10 Things I'm Loving About Mo Right Now
10) His groundedness. Almost every day I am reminded why I married such a good man. Of the thousands of other athletes out there, I have found one who's feet have remained on the ground through the ups and downs of his career. Never does he feel too good to choose the cheaper brand at the grocery, to carry his own bag up to the hotel room, to wash his own car, to sit in coach on a plane ride... he respects where he has come from, how far he's come, and the idea that just because you're making more money, doesn't mean you have to spend carelessly and/or frivolously. This, I adore him for.
9) His mind. Matt didn't always put full effort into his schoolwork back in the days of high school and college. Chalk it up to being distracted by his dream of playing pro-ball, whatever the case I never quite thought of him as the "smart one" in the bunch. But as he gets older and continues to mature, I see clearer and clearer that he has such a greater mind than I, or HE even, gave him credit for. He's clever, he's a great problem solver, he's a critical thinker... he makes sense of things that often times I have trouble making sense of. I am proud of him for this. I think he recognizes his full potential not only as an athlete now, but as an intelligent human being.
8) His calm. Always. So. Calm. And I'M the one doing all the yoga. But somehow, he carries this strong calm with him wherever he goes. I admire it. I envy it. I can't comprehend how he can shut the mind-chatter off so effortlessly and quickly- but he does. In any situation that arises, and we've been tested plenty this past couple months, he remains calm and collected. And the beautiful thing about it is that it radiates into me (former type-A personality still working to relax)-- the incredible feeling of lightness, contentedness, ease. I am grateful for this.
7) His loyalty. To his friends, to his teammates, to his team, to me. There have been times when I was ready to give up on someone/something, throw in the towel, call 'em an ass-hole and end of friendship/relationship. And I would look at Matt, who usually was taking the brunt of the mistreatment, and there he would be, telling me to have faith in the person/group, reminding me that they'd figure it out on their own time, things would be right in the end, but not to give up on people. This quality is unmatchable. It is Divine. And from him I learn so much.
6) His eagerness and willingness to evolve. In the span of a year, my husband has grown SO MUCH. As a person, as a player, as a son, a brother, a husband... He has opened his mind and heart up to so many different experiences, reaching out, ready to learn something new about himSELF. Particularly with the start of his consistent practice of Bikram Yoga have I seen a whole new beautiful side to Mo. He's outgrown old habits that were not serving him, he's gotten rid of any close-mindedness and judgments from the past, he's learned to let go of anger and any attachments to the outcome of situations. He's accepting- of others and of himself. He knows he's not perfect but he also knows that every day, we work to be better. To learn more, to love more, to give more, to serve more, to participate in the moment. Its been incredible to watch his evolution- I tell him this all the time.
5) His appreciation for the people in his life. In a life of constant movement and much uncertainty, where the only people you can get close to much of the time are the guys you see in the clubhouse every single day, Matt has acquired this strong appreciation for the people in his life outside of the field. As much as he loves his teammates, baseball friendships are many times circumstantial, you definitely get lucky if you can make and keep a truly strong friendship with another player with all the moving and different living situations that goes on. Spending the off-season in a place where we had no friends necessarily tied to baseball, forced us to build other friendships; friendships based on commonalities and true connection. Friends made before they ever knew Matt played ball, friendships started on a level of interest in Matt as a PERSON, not a ball player. I see how important this has become to Matt in having them in his life. I see how much he adores just kicking it like a normal guy, listening to records with them, going to shows, having meals, bull-shitting about music-- no concern for his occupation. I know how grateful he is to have people in his life like this and I know how much they mean to him. I love this.
4) His ability to let go. We've been living baseball long enough now to know that most of the moves that happen, the situations that arise are mostly out of our control. The only thing he can do as a player is go out there every day and do the best he can at his job. It may not be his ideal job or role but he is accepting and content with it, appreciating the opportunity to get established and absolutely knowing and trusting that everything will work out just right. All he has to do is love what he's doing now, do his very best, and let the rest go.
3) His complete support in my own endeavors. This year, I expressed a strong interest and calling to get certified as a Bikram Yoga Instructor. I have been itching to get back to working since I stopped in 2009 but recognized how important it was for me to be here with Matt 100% the past couple of years. We are at a place now where we both feel comfortable with me working again. Bikram Yoga Teacher Training is a pretty big deal because the training is 9 weeks long, in Los Angeles, only offered twice a year and quite expensive. I had mentioned it to Matt a while back and before spring training started, he sat me down and told me not to worry, that he would, no matter what, send me to teacher training in the fall. He expressed how much it meant to him because he knew how happy I would be doing something I loved, even if it meant not spending as much time together when I begin to work and giving up a good bit of our off-season together this year for the training. He is my biggest supporter, always encouraging me, telling people about my plans and how proud he is of me. This means more to me than I could ever express to him.
2) His drive. Matt has always been pretty motivated. But the past 6 months I have seen a change in his drive to be the absolute best he can be at all times, to really fulfill his potential. I see it in the way he treats his body- what he eats, what he doesn't, what he does in the gym, how hard he pushes, how disciplined he is with his throwing routine- never allowing himself to miss a day (specifically in the off-season), how much he goes out and how much he rests. Its like a maturity light switch has been turned on and now nothing gets in his way of making himself better-- as a pitcher AND a person. He takes good care of himself at all times now. He is conscious of what goes into his body and his mind, aware of the impact of each choice he makes. He talks a lot about taking care of us (Lucy, Gus, and I- heehee)- his family, and how important that is to him. Its endearing.
1) His desire to be more connected to me. We've always had a good relationship. We've been blessed in terms of not having to go through anything too traumatic or dramatic in our 10+ years together. But in the past year, I've noticed him doing things a little differently, trying things a little more frequently, opening himself up to a lot of the things I hold close to my heart, things that are of great importance to me. His desire for spiritual growth and learning have been growing. He's reading books I've read, practicing things I do, talking about different ideas/ideals I've always had, disciplining himself with routine and a whole-living approach. It not only makes me so proud, it touches me that he would make efforts to shift himself to align with me so that we can both not only remain happy with one another, but so that we can both GROW together. Not to say that he's lost his sense of individuality, because he definitely has not, but the things that he knows matter to me and matter as a couple, he has picked up. He told me the other day that he's been drinking a few cups of green tea at the field every day-- when I asked him why, he said, "Because you do. And I want to be like you." It brought tears to my eyes. I gave him a big hug and silently thanked the Divine for blessing me with this man.