I’ve written before about the importance of finding your tribe. Your people. My tribe has changed over the years. People have come into my life for different reasons and for varying periods of time. Some have played a major role in my story. Others were more like extras, though their impact sometimes just as meaningful. There are my obvious tribes – my family, my friends, my neighbours, my colleagues. Though some of the people change within those tribes they consistently make up the fabric of my everyday life.
More recently I’ve come to lean in to one particular tribe – or as I call them, my home team.
I first heard about the home team concept from author Shauna Niequist who writes about cultivating relationships and diving honestly and openly into a supportive community. If you know me well, you know the importance of my relationships. And something more recently that I’ve been focusing on, my intentionality when it comes to my relationships. I think this is just something you come to realize as you get older – we only have a certain amount of time and we become more likely to choose quality over quantity when it comes to who we spend our energy on.
Niequist writes, “Everybody has a home team. It’s the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people who, near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they’re at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.”
If you’re like me, you may be making a list of your own home team members in your head as you read this. Niequist also writes that it’s as important to define the members of your home team as it is to define those who aren’t. She writes that reciprocation is so vital to a home team. That you’d do the same for the members of your home team that they do for you, without hesitation.
For me, my home team has become my lifeline this year. They have gotten me through some of my most difficult days and have been part of some of the best ones.
They are the people who offer to help before I even realize how badly I need it.
They are the people who can take my boys with a moments notice without me having to worry about them.
They are the people who come into my house without having to knock and never feel like they are overstaying their welcome.
They are the people who ask if I need anything at the grocery store because they know I’m likely days past when I should have gone myself.
They are the people I don’t have to tell that my house is a mess because theirs likely looks the same and neither of us care.
They are the people who don’t judge me for being weird because they are equally if not weirder than I am.
They are the people who see me in my worst parenting moments, without placing judgement or offering unsolicited advice.
They are the people who I can be laughing with one minute and be in tears with the next without it being awkward.
They are the people who can make me feel better without saying a word.
They are the people who I can spend more amount of time with than most without getting sick of one another.
They are the people who my boys run to with hugs and stories of their day.
They are the people who love my kids and treat them like their own but don’t hesitate to discipline them when needed.
They are the people who started off as friends but effortlessly became family.
They are the people who don’t pretend to be perfect and are just as vulnerable with their struggles.
They are the people who take a vested interest in how therapy is going and how I’m doing.
They are the people who you can sit around a table or camp fire with for hours and not get bored.
They are the people who embrace my light but sit just as comfortably with me when things get dark.
They are the people that I couldn’t live without but had no idea I needed.
They are the people that I would reciprocate any of the above for in a heartbeat.
They are my people, my middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.
They may not realize they are my home team, and chances are, they may not be part of it forever.
Niequist writes that “life may change in a way that they remain an adored comrade but not necessarily a member of our home teams. This is more than okay.”
And it’s true, seasons change, relationships shift and life happens. But today, at this current moment in time, there’s absolutely no one I’d rather have on my team.
Everyone has a home team, you just might not have realized it. But when you do, you’ll know it because you won’t be able to imagine walking through your everyday life without them.