If you’re feeling like the world seems dark and heavy, you have to play The Better Game! You can play it with your husband, your kids, and I would especially recommend that you play it with your friends. It has the power to bring you hope to even look forward to the future!
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Welcome, my Catholic mom friends. Today we’re going to be talking about the better game. And this is a pretty fun game, and I’ve been playing it with my friends and the kids. My husband has been out of town for a little while, so I haven’t played it with him yet. But the idea is that you pick a time frame and you ask your brain to help you find all the ways that your life is better than it was at the time frame ago that you chose. So let’s say it’s five years. You can look back and say, how is my life better than it was five years ago? And if you’re going through a difficult season, a hard season, a season of suffering, maybe somebody just recently passed away and you’re feeling really raw, we just talked about Miscarriage and Masters. You may not be feeling like your life is better than it was five years ago, and that’s totally fine, but there are parts of your life that are better than they were five years ago.
And so for me, five years ago, I was living in Boise. I was in bed. We still owned the fence company. I had not learned anything about life coaching or the model or stress responses or processing pain, just any of that awesome stuff that I use every day. Now, I was feeling pretty hopeless about ever going, like, two years without getting pregnant. And five years ago, I didn’t have a longing to move up north. I was pretty, pretty happy in Boise. I wasn’t even thinking about moving.
And I see the ways that I have grown as a mom, just the way I run my house so much more smoothly. And again, a lot of that is just because I’m so much better at managing my emotions, at regulating my emotions. And so I just watched all of my kids for four days and did everything, all the meals, all the nap times, all the bedtimes. And we even had some friends over. I took them to daily mass by myself. I took them to the actual mass by myself, and I just handled it. And I watched myself do that, thinking, wow, I didn’t have that capacity built up five years ago. And so here’s the thing about our brains.
Our brains have a negative bias. They’re programmed to think negatively and to look for danger. So we were also talking in Masters about the increasing costs of groceries. And when we allow our brains to just be really negative and fearful, we don’t solve problems to make our lives better. But when we pause and we think about how our life already is better, that feels good. It feels good, and you’ll want to keep it going, and it shows you, oh, life is probably going to keep getting better. My brain, definitely, without training or guidance, thinks life is very painful and hard, and it’s just going to get more painful and harder if I didn’t talk to my brain ever, that’s what it would think and think about the present and think about the future. And so I have to work really hard to tell it.
No, things are better. Things are better than they were five years ago. Things are better than they were two years ago. One year ago. One month ago. A month ago, my yard was covered in mud and the kids were trumping in and out of the house with gobs of mud. And the mud was so thick that their boots would get stuck in the mud, and then their feet would come out and then their socks would land in the mud. So much mud drop.
And now everything is dry and they’re outside and they’re running through the fields and they’re swinging and jumping on the trampoline. This is so much better. And I found my rhythm again with, like, salads and coleslaws. We went from eating warm food and then I wanted cold food and my brain was like, well, I just don’t even remember how to find that rhythm. And I have it again. And I’m so grateful for that. And I want you to think this is harder, but I think even more worth it. What is better about today than yesterday? And again, we’re not saying the whole day is better than yesterday, but there is something that is better today than yesterday.
Breakfast ran really smoothly with the kids today. There’s no crying. Much better than yesterday. I cleaned out the fridge. I take out each shelf and I kind of soak them for a little bit and then clean it off and put it back in and it’s just sparkly clean. Felt really proud of that. I’m washing all the sheets on our bed. I do that before my husband comes home from any trip.
And it’s just nice. And he comes home today. And so you can use your brain to play the better game you can do with your kids. But it’s important to me that I explain to the kids. It’s not that the previous things were bad or terrible and we need to force ourselves to be happy about today, but there is something better about today, and they usually find it. Kids are much better at this because their brain hasn’t had as much training to be fearful yet. I want you to introduce this game to your friends because right now when we get together with our friends, a lot of times we complain, which is good. It is good to have friends who can empathize with the challenges of motherhood.
We don’t have to be cheery all the time, but once we’ve allowed ourselves to kind of, okay, this is where we’re at. This is what’s going on. I want you to suggest the better game. Be like, I have a friend, her name is Sterling. She told me about this game called the Better Game. And then just pick a time frame, what is better. And the more I’ve been playing this game, the more my brain is starting to realize there will be better things in the future. There will be better things in the future.
We can count on it. And I’m going to show myself that this is who I am. I am a person who can always find the better, even in difficult seasons, even when it seems like things aren’t going well. If you spend any time scrolling on social media or reading any kind of news, it feels largely negative. So you have to force your brain to look for what’s better. And I think that you’re going to find this will make you look forward to the days, because if you know that you’re going to be playing the better game, then throughout the day you’ll be wondering, I wonder if this is one of those things that I want to think about and call better. I went to the store and bought a sprinkler attachment because we don’t really have sprinklers here on our five acres. So I just bought this, like one of those sprinkler attachments that moves back and forth, and we hooked it up to the hose and the kids just loved it.
It was $12 and it was so wonderful. And I love watching them play. They’re doing that right now when I’m recording this podcast. The boys are napping and the girls are running through the sprinklers, and I can hear them laughing. That’s better. So I want you to be brave. Takes bravery to talk about this. You will feel silly talking about it.
You feel silly asking your husband to play the better game or your kids or your friends. You will risk rejection. You will risk someone saying that’s dumb or nothing’s better. Why would you ask me that? I don’t want to make it sound like this. Exercise in doing new things is always easy. There is always risk involved in vulnerability with other people. But if you can get someone to play, it will make you closer. It will bring you together.
It will create connections. And I think we need more of that right now. We need more hope and more connection. And I think the better game is one way that we can do it. And it’s easy and it’s free. All right, ladies. I love you. I’m praying for you.
You were Made for Greatness.