One for the Team

Sipping a cup of small batch, dark roast coffee with almond milk out of a hand thrown mug, luxuriating in the fact that my morning offered me the simple pleasures of warmth and artisanal local honey over thick and creamy, cultured greek yogurt, I overheard a conversation between two suits.

“..that’s the bottom line. If we can get the team to on-board at the apex, we’ll monetize our assets while cross-pollinating our verticals with this call-to-action.”


The din of clicking forks diving into roasted-vegetable frittatas paired with indie alt-rock muffled the remainder of the conversation that was saying nothing, but I had heard everything I needed to hear. Shakespeare, and his 1700 words created through his works would’ve been out of our league with the amount of business lingo and L33T-speak that’s common in our verbiage today.

And, yet, we are saying nothing.

How do we find the words to express the pain, fear, desperation, doubt, shame, anger, and loss from which we struggle to free ourselves during a divorce? “R U OK” and “I’m G8” doesn’t come close to tapping the surface of feelings that distort our rational thought. We’re broken and need much more from our support system than a 🙂 .

The one word that bore a hole in the enjoyment of my slow-food morning was the word team. Team, according to Merriam-Webster is

:a group of people who compete in a sport, game, etc., against another group

: a group of people who work together
: a group of two or more animals used to pull a wagon, cart, etc.

Since the last thing I want to do in my new and much healthier life is create more conflict and competition, I’ll conscientiously object from the first definition and while I feel like a work-horse when hauling 2 kids, a bike and lacrosse gear to bi-weekly practices, I refuse to define myself with farm animals.

That leaves me with one option: a group of people who work together. When I was going thought the most challenging part of my separation and divorce, I didn’t really think of the people and professionals surrounding me as “MY TEAM”, but maybe they were. Maybe we were all working together toward a common goal: To get me healthy and stable.

Unlike a sports team, my “teammates” didn’t work with each other directly, but what if they had. What if my therapist had sat down with my personal trainer and shared that my fitness road block wasn’t related to lack of endurance but to a loss of appetite, and subsequent anorexia, due to grief? What if my personal stylist had been able to say “Stop wearing black. You need color and vibrancy right now. Dress for the role you want, not the one you have”?

There should be a TEAM surrounding each of us, helping us get where we want to go. In the exhaustion of a failed relationship, we can’t see what we need most. We need other, invested people to observe us, guide us and send us an encouraging cheer when we are running out of steam.

Who is on your team? Who has stepped up in a surprising way that gave you something you didn’t know you needed?


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