Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Learning To Deal With Change... In Formula One - Meenanful Life

Let's start with Formula One.

For those who have never heard of this strange, mystical thing called Formula One, let me clear some stuff up. Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport racing. It's the largest series, the most expensive series, the most international series, and one of the most watched spectator sports on the planet, coming in just below soccer and NASCAR.

It's open wheel racing, and these cars are horrendously difficult to use. They're also extremely fragile. A team will go through anywhere from six to ten engines, gear boxes, wings, and other components throughout a season... and two to five sets of tires a RACE.

Imagine doing that to YOUR car. Can you imagine an entire engine replacement every few weeks? Can you fathom the sheer amount of money and time you'd loose if you had to replace your tires three times every time you commuted to work?

And then there's the money.

Richard Hammond can explain that even better than me. He drives for a living, but when he drove a Formula car, it was completely beyond his experience.

And I'm in love with the sport. 

I don't like most sports. I do occasionally visit the Angels and pray to the gods of baseball that they might actually hit something, but other than that my sport of F1.

My husband got me into the sport. I still remember the first race I ever watched, way back in 2010. Lewis Hamilton, my husband's favorite driver, was waaaay ahead of the rest of the pack. So far ahead, that there was almost a MINUTE between him and the racer in second place. In Formula One, where most race laps are less than two minutes, that's HUGE.

My husband and I have been watching ever since. My mother in law is always telling me how wonderful she thinks it is that we can have such a fun common interest. =)

Everyone has their team, and I'm a Red Bull fan girl.

Fancy (and expensive) Official Team Wear
I fell in love with the team back when Sebastian Vettel, my fav driver, won his first World Championship. The first of FOUR back to back championships.

Everything was happy in my world. Until this year.

This year, everything changed.

This year, Sebastian, frustrated with his continued losses at Red Bull for the past two years, jumped ship and ran for the biggest name in the business - Ferrari.

I hate Ferrari. Sure, their street cars are nice, but the F1 team is BRUTAL. They play favorites between their drivers and heartlessly fire anyone that doesn't meet up to their expectations. All teams have two drivers, but Ferrari sees their second driver as a way to protect their first driver, even if that means telling them to slow down and let the first driver go past. They are known for being rude, cruel, and endlessly frustrating.


Oh, if only Seb had gone to any other team. WHY FERARRI? Ugh.

To make matters worse, all my other favorite drivers are being shuffled around. Red Bull is talking about leaving the racing series. Mercedes, a team that has been in the rest of the teams' shadows for years, is suddenly winning EVERY SINGLE RACE.

UGH. Everything is CHANGING. And I hate change. 

But I can't stop it. I can't make the drivers stay in their normal spots. I can't stop teams from dropping slow drivers and keeping dangerous ones because of good sponsors.

But, that's why we have the Serenity Prayer.

My father made this. It took him years to perfect his skill in inked calligraphy. It took hours of tedious work to get the words just right on this paper. It took time and patience to burn the edges of the paper just right and to get the glue just perfect on the wood. Dad lived patience for this piece.

Whenever I think of change going on in my life that I'm not happy about, I think of this prayer. Specifically, I think of Dad's work on this piece.

I remember that dealing with change can be an exercise in patience.

Yes, Formula One change is not a huge change. It doesn't affect my day to day life. It doesn't change anything socially, psychologically, or financially about my life or my family. The only thing it REALLY does is give my husband an excuse to make fun of my choice in drivers.

This is one of those "Accept the things I cannot change" things.

But I can change my attitude about it. I can realize how much Formula One means to me. I can see that the sport is a great way for my husband and I to connect. I can use our common interest to get closer to him and reach a part of him that would otherwise be impossible to reach. I can benefit from enjoying my sport even when it's changing in ways I'm not happy about.

And if I can change my attitude about Formula One, I can change my attitude about anything.

I can choose to be less frustrated and more concerned for my students.

I can choose to spend less time whining and more time writing for my books and short stories.

I can choose not to let things I can't change bother me.

So yes, I can't change Formula One. But I can change a lot in my life and make things work out for the best.

What do you guys think about change? Have you ever had to make a big change in your life? Do you have any sports that you really enjoy that have changed dramatically in the past? How did you react to that change? Share in the comments below!

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