I rarely return home uninjured after a family get-together. Thanksgiving this year was no different. We had all the ingredients for disaster at our disposal: gorgeous weather, a large yard, a 4-foot tall inflatable ball and about 20 cousins with competitive streaks that border on the pathological. The “soccer” game included body checks into the abutting corn field, Braveheart-style charges toward the ball, and rugby-like scrums when the two sides collided.
I got caught in one of those scrums. And losing my footing I was slowly engulfed beneath a growing doggy-pile. Bones heal, but with no benefits to cover broken eyewear I frantically removed my glasses and held them above the crushing weight of my family. Thankfully Ria heard my cries of “GLASSES! GLASSES!” and snatched them away before they were destroyed.
With my glasses safe, I turned my attention to my next problem—namely, Jim Van Osch’s elbow lodged squarely in my crotch. The worst part was he was on my team. The scrum finally dissolved but not before my cousin, Nick Rawlings, stepped on my face with a muddy shoe. A minute later we were back in another scrum.
Moral of the Story: Too many cooks can spoil the broth. Having a lot of people working on a project can be a good thing. But like an elbow to the ol’ crotch it can really hurt you too. A great idea can be diluted to mediocrity with too much collaboration and consensus-building. Teamwork is really important. But there are times when protecting the integrity of an idea means fewer people in the scrum.
This has been a quick lesson learned from life’s absurd moments. Share your own in the comment section below! Loads more stories and advice can be found in my book “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments”.