FOMO: Holiday Edition
By: Sadie Newell | Engaged to Michael Winger, Front Office for Los Angeles Clippers
I live in a community that is filled with young families. On our block alone, we had a baby born each month January through May! It has been such a wonderful experience raising our baby alongside other first-time moms, and I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world. Because of our social-media driven society, I often find myself playing the comparison game. Not when it comes to body image or how I feed my child, but one very specific niche: holidays.
I love to celebrate. Our master calendar at home is filled with silly life “anniversaries” that I like to comment on or recognize. No, not every one comes with a gift, but most the time a “wow, its already been a year since we ________!” Case in point: did you know that July 5, 2016 was the day I became a realtor? Did you also know that I am positive my license has lapsed since I haven’t paid fees in ages? Don’t worry. Still celebrating.
As time passes in the NBA, I mark it by important dates – July two is free agency, Halloween means the regular season is underway, Valentine’s day indicates the trade deadline is looming, and Easter? Easter = playoffs. This is obviously not an inclusive list, but you see what I’m getting at, don’t you? Premier teams (teams that consistently go to the playoffs or get great ratings on national television) generally play on holidays. I remember one year we spent every. single. holiday. in the arena, birthdays included. Halloween, Christmas, New Years Day, Valentines, our anniversary, Easter, Passover, you name it. It is just the way it worked that year and I found myself not wanting to be alone on a holiday at home drowning in misery, so I would cart myself (and now my mini) to the arena.
It is really hard to not feel some sort of way about spending a “special day” in a truly regular way. You know those people that say their birthday is just another day? I feel like in basketball, no matter what, EVERY day is just another day. I find myself scrolling through instastories looking at family photos in matching jammies for Christmas, or babies on an easter egg hunt or thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving. These family holidays where people are actually spending time WITH their families? It's my dream. I would love to have a big family gathering not put off by a game schedule. I’d love to commit to holiday get-togethers or parties without consulting a game calendar…but I can’t. Oftentimes, it's me with the kid at a jammie party, or on a solo trip home. You know what? After 6 years, it works for us. The game schedule is our life right now and once I embraced it, my whole world changed. Our Thanksgiving was 25 people deep this year with the team out of town and families not with each other, and I felt so happy to host not only our family but also our Clipper family right alongside.
I hate writing this because it makes me sound ungrateful for the opportunity the league actually gives us. It gives us the opportunity to spend time (wherever that time happens to be) with our families and when certain teams come to town, our friends. It allows us a front-row seat to one of America’s favorite pastimes. It allows us freedom to vacation (for two weeks in August) and for me, an opportunity to stay at home and raise my family. I think of my girlfriend I recently saw on a trip home – her husband had just deployed and is missing the whole holiday season. They have two young kids and she managed to pull off a pre-deployment Thanksgiving right after Halloween and then Christmas shortly after. That mom? That mom is my hero (and a very good friend). On those days I feel like crying because I don’t feel the “holiday spirit” or I don’t think I can handle one more dirty diaper, I remind myself that time is fleeting, we can cultivate our own happiness and most importantly: its okay to lean on your community. Some of mine is online with other moms in the NBA with toddlers, some of mine is in my backyard. What I’ve learned is there’s always another person feeling the same way as you – sometimes it just takes some vulnerability to find it.
Happy holidays, my friends. And if you are feeling a little grinchy, that’s okay…just come find me on Instagram!