I’m going to level with you all. I was going to sit on this post given I’m a little more emotional than usual but I guess I’ve become rather fearless when it comes to putting myself out there. For me, honesty is the best policy and while I happen to love my life, it isn’t always peaches and cream. This blog is basically my innermost thoughts – no reservations – so here goes. I think we can all agree that life has its struggles. I also happen to believe that anything worth having is worth waiting for and, not to mention, fighting for. The old saying, “if it were easy, everyone would do it” is also relevant here. Any similar cliché you could think of, well, it fits.
Getting to my point, this baseball lifestyle is anything but easy. It’s good to remind yourself that the grass isn’t greener on the other side and while I wouldn’t change my life for anything, it surely isn’t without challenges. This past year was probably one of the most eye-opening for me. I learned invaluable lessons and with it, I grew as a woman and as a wife. I can also say with certainty that I have matured tenfold. And while I will only continue to grow and mature as years pass, there’s one thing I can’t deny, baseball makes you grow up – fast.
Every time I meet someone new or I catch up with old friends, I am asked 21 questions about how my life has been. No matter how many times I have answered the same questions over and over, I can always bet that the questions will come, I will answer them, and still leave most perplexed. This is my life. It is daunting to most and it is absolutely draining for those who actually live it.
Sometimes I look at my beloved husband and I wonder how he does it. I have actually asked him whether playing baseball gets old right around game 100, or if the long and uncomfortable bus rides become unbearable half way through the season. When this question actually escaped me, his honest answer was no. He reminded me just how much he loves what he does and how he could easily play baseball every single day for years to come.
So then my mind circles back around to where that leaves me. It is really easy while living this lifestyle to lose your sense of self. I remind myself every day why I am here. The simple answer is, my husband. When I think I can no longer attend another baseball game this year or I’m drained from the hectic schedule, I seek consolation in the fact that this makes the man I married as happy as a child. I also remind myself that this Minor League lifestyle will only last so long. The big paycheck will come one day, and with it more security, although, probably not more stability.
This is the first off-season that I haven’t been employed and aside from my freelance work, my only job is to take care of my household. I was beyond ready for the 2012 season to come to an end right around the halfway point, but now that it’s here, I am stir-crazy. I think the hardest part about the off-season is the wait. There really is no job security in baseball and every fall we have to wait it out and see what job offer will come.
This is the harsh reality of baseball that the fans don’t really see. Imagine – everyone is anxiously waiting to see what unfolds with the 2013 New York Yankees, well now imagine you are part of the organization. Imagine wondering if the Yankees are going to include you on the 40-Man roster or if another team will pick you up. Will there be a trade that sends you cross-country or is this the end of the road? This is what it’s like as a baseball player and his wife/gf.
The uncertainty can drive anyone mad. All a baseball player can do in the off-season is work hard, get in shape and be ready to perform when the call is made. Sure, you have the A-rods of the world who have long-term deals, but that is the minority and it doesn’t come with any less pressure. When you sign on the dotted line and you receive a big contract, there are expectations you want to meet and, when possible, exceed.
It never really gets easier. I’m excited to head back to Arizona in a week, but I know what my routine will be: wake up, make breakfast for David, drop him off at the field, go back home, shower, get ready for the game, attend the game, wait for David to shower, do rehab and come out, head home, eat, go to sleep – then do it all over again. This is what day-to-day is like when I’m with David during baseball season. I’m not saying it’s a HARD life; please don’t misconstrue what I mean. This life has myriad blessings and we are ever grateful that God chose it for us, but it is emotionally draining.
OK, so I guess I’m just experiencing the off-season blues. Is that a thing? Truthfully, I think I just miss David. Although I’m not excited to get back on that big bulky metal contraption that defies gravity at 50,000 ft in the air, I’m beyond ready to get back out to Arizona and be with my man. After what felt like a million years of long distance angst, we are finally two hearts that are one, forever more, and I love it. I think David would say the same. I know he misses me and is eager for me to get back out there and be by his side. I may complain that attending a million baseball games a year gets old, but at the end of the day, I love it. I love my husband and I love baseball and ultimately, I love my life. So while this life doesn’t get any less exhausting or any more stable, it is part of who David and I are and the people we have become. I may need a full time nanny when I have babies, but if that’s as bad as it gets, I’ll take it any day of the week. 😉