belong in bowling alleyWe all want to belong. We long for that place where everybody knows our name and they are glad we came. Thanks, Cheers.(I know, now you’ve got the Cheers song running through your head too. Thanks, Beth.) We were born to live in connection with others and you do not need to see the remake of The Lion King to know this.

Growing up in small town America, connecting with others was woven into the fabric of everyday existence. And into everyday fun. I often tell people that I grew up in a gas station and in a bowling alley. Sort of a combo of Gomer at Wally’s Filling Station in The Andy Griffith Show and Laverne and Shirley and their Shotz bowling team. True connection. Competitive fun!

Spared from Boredom

While my mom and her Elk Oil Company bowling team practiced and competed on Wednesday mornings, preschooler me would play with a “star” bowling ball in the seating area away from the lanes. I’d try to fit my dinky fingers and thumb in those imposing bowling ball holes. I’d play with the mini pencils and scorecards and try to walk in a pair of slick, oversized bowling shoes.

I loved those trips to Tecumseh to hang out with the girls. We all want to belong. We long for that place where everybody knows our name and they are glad we came. As adults, we may not verbalize this need well, but we all need the camaraderie of a bowling team. We need this social connection especially when life roughs us up and we feel like we might break from the never-ending decisions and disappointments.

Gutter Balls Keep You Humble

In tribute to Mom and her teammates’ 1965 championship win, I recently posed with some of my girlfriends after we bowled a couple of games with the guys. What a fun way to get some exercise and laugh at yourself for a gutter ball or two (or three)!belong in bowling alley

Did you know that the earliest forms of bowling date back to ancient Egypt around 5200 B.C.? Maybe even then they were onto something with combining sport with socializing. Burn some calories and shoot the breeze.

What time shall I meet you at Lane 7?