You Can’t Win Them All


Love of the Game

On Monday I wrote about the fact that my household has been consumed with World Cup and it is partially because my hubby is a big fan, but also because my son is a big soccer fan, in fact, other than playing Mine Craft, it is one of his big passions in life. My hubby and I encouraged his love of the sport when he discovered it in Kindergarten, although, I have to be honest that I was bummed that he gave up gymnastics for soccer. I had visions of a future Bart Conner and the promise of all of the possible scholarships out there for male gymnasts. Alas, he found soccer and a passion was born.

Over the years, and with lots of practice, my son has developed some real skills in soccer, and I am frequently amazed when I sit on the sidelines and hear other parents marvel at his skills that I gave birth to him. I was never known for my athleticism and enjoyed ballet more than basketball when I was younger. I mentioned on my blog a few weeks ago that my son was going to try out for the travel team in our town, and based on his skills and enthusiasm, we encouraged it.

Life is Full of Surprises

Arriving at the high school fields, we were shocked to find out that only four boys from my son’s grade were trying out for the travel team (it is comprised of 3rd and 4th graders). We were all thrown for a loop given this realization, and I proceeded to watch from the sidelines for an hour and wonder what result would come from this experience. I worried the entire time that it was just an exercise in futility and as a parent; I should have protected my son from the possible disappointment that seemed inevitable.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing…”

Well, sure enough, a week later we received the email telling us that our son did not make the team. Even as I write this, I have tears in my eyes, not for me, but for my son. See, this is the awful thing about being a parent; you feel your children’s highs and especially lows so much more than they do. It makes for an even more emotional rollercoaster ride, and I hate rollercoasters. I was in a client meeting at the time of the receipt of the email, but my hubby shared the news. And surprisingly my son took it well; he only asked if his good friend made it. I sent an email to the friend’s mom that night in the hopes that I could prepare my son before school.

Well, sure enough, the friend made the team and my son didn’t. We broke the news to my son before he got out of bed and he immediately began to cry, which just made me cry more. And I let him cry, I let him go through the emotion and the disappointment and process it, despite the fact that it tore me up inside. Then I did the only thing I knew to do, I told him we were going to Dunkin Donuts before school (which is something that he loves), and he sniffled a little, looked up at me with tear filled eyes and said “Okay.”

“…but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

On the drive to Dunkin Donuts, I began what I felt was the most important task I have as a parent and that is to help him move through this disappointment. I told him that I was so proud of him for pushing himself to try out when no one else did, and that unfortunately, life is sometimes filled with disappointments no matter how hard we try.

I shared with him the painful reality that “you can’t win them all.” But it is not important to focus on the loss, rather it is important for us to move forward from each disappointment, learning and growing from it. Of course, I said all of this while crying to the point that he said, “Mommy, you can stop crying now. I will be okay.”

We Won’t Always Win

If you are someone who is reading this and you have suffered from a disappointment whether it is financial or otherwise, I think it is so important to remember that despite the pain and heartbreak of missing out on our hopes, our dreams, and our goals, they are not the only hopes, dreams or goals we will have in life.

And usually, it is through the disappointment that we are led to something better. The only way that we can turn the bad into the good is by moving forward, learning from it and embracing the possibility of something better down the road. In my experience, there is always something better down the road; we just don’t know when we will find it.

But that Doesn’t Mean that We Are Not Winners

you can't win them all 2


My son got back on the field that next day after finding out he didn’t make the team and he scored 6 goals and led his team to a big victory. I watched from the sideline in wonder and awe at his resiliency and determination to move forward. He inspires me everyday, and I hope he will inspire you too.

Have you ever suffered from a loss or heartbreak? What helped you move forward?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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