“Choose to be young at heart; choose to live life filled with laughter and playfulness. Then watch. Watch how your soul smiles.”
Over the weekend, my fiancé and I took a spontaneous trip to New York City. We wanted to see our family because it had been a while and we were missing our niece and nephews like crazy. We also thought to take in the Big East finals since we had last year at this time.
Our team didn’t make it to the finals (it was close, though!) so there was no pressure. We would just go and enjoy a good basketball game of Villanova versus Seton Hall.
A few minutes after we sat down, an older couple took their seats a few rows ahead of us. The woman drew my attention immediately.
As soon as she sat, she pulled out pom-poms from her purse and starting shaking them up and down, cheering on her team—Seton Hall. It was a sight to see.
When she finally put down her blue and white pom-poms, it was only to pick up her big beer and take a teeny-weeny-lady-like sip.
I had to laugh. I loved everything about this. I loved her spirit.
Her energy maintained a high all through the first half. It was working. Seton Hall was ahead.
At halftime, my fiancé and I decided to stretch and take a walk. On our way back to our seats, I ran into the woman I had been admiring for the last hour or so.
There she was, standing by her husband, smiling wide, holding those pom-poms. Excitement bubbled up in me. I had to say something.
And so I did.
We approached the couple and I explained we were sitting a few rows behind them. I asked if they knew anyone on the team. She told me that two of their four children had attended Seton Hall and they had become big fans. But no, they didn’t know anyone on the team. And yes, her kids had long since graduated.
I was a bit surprised that all that hoopla was just because they simply enjoyed watching the team. It made me like her even more.
When I told her how much I loved her spirit and her pom-poms, she came back with the best reply imaginable.
“Honey, you’re never too old for pom-poms!”
She gave them a little shimmy to emphasize her point.
I laughed out loud. Yes! Why had I never thought of it before? At that moment, I wanted pom-poms too. I wanted to stand there in the middle of Madison Square Garden and shake my pom-poms like I just didn’t care or like I cared with all my might.
We returned to our seats and as the game continued, this woman’s level of enthusiasm never dwindled. The game took on a crazy energy with Villanova catching up. In the end though, Seton Hall had the victory.
As the buzzer went off, all eyes were on the court where the players were rushing out in celebration, but I couldn’t help but look elsewhere. There they were.
The pom-poms went a little crazier, dashing this way, dashing that way.
My heart felt happy for the couple.
What if we all felt this excited about something in our lives? What if we kept pom-poms nearby pulling them out for a friend who needs uplifting? Or for when our favorite team is playing?
What if in our darkest of moments, we took our pom-poms out and cheered ourselves on?
And what if we didn’t need a reason to cheer, but rattled our pom-poms and hooted and hollered just for the sheer fun of it, because life is the biggest celebration of all?
What if we all decide today that we aren’t too old for pom-poms?