Tag Archives: togetherness

Good Idea! Poor Execution…

My favorite farmer and I played racquetball on Saturday morning. Temperatures were hovering around zero outside, so we headed for the indoor court after I got farm chores finished.  We both enjoy athletics as well as doing things together, so it’s a good fit on a cold day.

I’ve loved Matt since I was eighteen and we’ve been married more than half of my life. One of our strengths as a couple is our dedication to the concept of team. We both place a priority on the realization that together we are stronger, just as we also acknowledge that the key to this is using our blend of strengths and weaknesses to continuously work to make the team better.

Matt is, hands down, a better racquetball player than I am. He’s bigger – He’s stronger –He’s faster. In fact, he’s also ambidextrous so he doesn’t have a “weak side”. Playing the game could be frustrating for me with him acing the serve and never giving me the ability to participate; but that isn’t the case because of our unwritten rule of always working to build the team.

As we play racquetball, I have lots of good ideas with poor execution. I’d never played the sport before I met Matt, and our games are pretty infrequent with the responsibilities of family and farm chores. I know enough that I can envision what I need to do, but my body doesn’t always move with the precision needed to make the play. However, each time that we play, I get better. This happens for two reasons:

  1. I bring a positive and passionate attitude to the games.
  2. Matt holds strong to the goal of helping the team to get stronger.

There is a reason that there is no “I” in TEAM. The lack of “I” keeps the team going with universal hope for the future.

Life is full of times when we work to build different skills. It is also full of moments when a fresh set of eyes allows for the development of good ideas. I believe that the secret to success is in the team mentality.  It creates a culture which nurtures the teammates. New ideas are created and embraced, and a level of support exists to inspire the work needed to improve execution.

  • It takes good ideas to inspire continuous improvement.
  • It takes practice to develop good execution.

Common acceptance of the goal, good communication, an underlying level of respect, and a dedication to finding group success makes each individual teammate stronger just as it builds the team. The score board said that I lost all three racquetball games, but I had moments of success and lots of improvement over the two hour period. Matt broke a sweat and I only lost the last game by two points. We finished with smiles on our faces – looking forward to the next time.

Sometimes, that’s the biggest victory of all 🙂

How do you build the concept of “team” in your life?

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Filed under Coaching / Personal Growth, General

The Gift of Togetherness…

Today I attain the milestone of 39 years.  Over the past four decades I have received many gifts; but none have been more precious than the gift of togetherness that I have been blessed with each day for the last twenty one years.

I met my favorite farmer on Halloween night, 1993, at a fraternity party on the Dartmouth College campus.  He was in the middle of his senior year football season and I was a freshman newbie on the swim team.  We had our first date Thanksgiving weekend when we were both required to be on campus for athletic practice.

A younger Anne and Matt...

A younger Anne and Matt…

It didn’t take long for us to become basically inseparable.  We got engaged on my twentieth birthday and were married a little over a year later.  Our first baby was a black Labrador retriever named Taylor who ended up going to class with Matt and attaining her master’s degree in engineering business.

Just a few years ago with Taylor...


When Matt completed his master’s and I attained my undergraduate degree in June of 1997, we moved back to the farm in Nebraska.  Our lives were no longer filled with classes and college life, but the togetherness remained constant as we transitioned to life on the prairie.annemattsdakota

There is a tremendous sense of security that comes from the knowledge that you are never alone. 

Although I do not spend every hour of every day with Matt, I take a piece of him with me wherever I go.  Both my heart and my mind know that I have his unconditional love and support — this gives me confidence and motivation as I make my way through life.

Our 10 year wedding anniversary...

Our 10 year wedding anniversary — June 2006

Although I am proud of many things that I have done in my first 39 years, I am most proud of what Matt and I have accomplished together.  From our three beautiful daughters to the farm that we tend to with love and dedication — I know that no matter what we could likely accomplish alone, we are better together.  DSC06166

There is tremendous joy to be found in the act of sharing.

There is tremendous strength to be found in the act of loving.

Today, as I count my blessings, my favorite farmer tops the list.  I remember the look on his face the night that we first met.  I picture in my mind the twinkle in his eye when he held each of our girls for the first time.  I think of the smile that he gets on his face each morning as he tells me that he loves me.

I recognize the infinite beauty of this gift of togetherness…


Filed under Family, General