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Pay Attention to How You Feel About Change


Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

More and more, people call me “Sir” these days. No one seems to bat an eye when I sit up front on the 41 Bus (you know, in the old guy seats) when I head home from work. When did things change? When did this happen? Am I…old?

Where has the time gone? Another year has passed me by. The start of May brings a season of change for me. It marks the beginning of my birthday month. This year, my daughter Lola is off to the prom and college is on the horizon. My kids are growing fast, and soon my son will give up his crown as the shortest in the house to my wife. It’s weird seeing the kids taller than Ericka.

It’s supposed to be a time of joy and happiness, celebrating life and all the kids’ accomplishments. But wait, what about me?

I’m thinking about my age a lot more these days. I’m not as young as I used to be. And I’m not going to be around forever. There’s so much I haven’t done. Where is life going? Is this my midlife crisis?

We all want to be young, but don’t let this moment in your life be consumed with feeling that you haven’t lived up to your expectations of being in the perfect relationship, rich and having it all together.

Life can be a real grind. Sometimes I feel stuck, like I’m in a week full of Mondays. I struggle to wrap my mind around this feeling…like I’m standing in the same place time and time again.

These feelings can serve as a warning sign that something isn’t right. You don’t want your thoughts to have a negative impact on your performance and productivity at work and how you love in your relationships with your spouse and children.

I find myself paying attention to these feelings, these warning signs and it gets me focused. And I know I’m not alone, so let’s get focused!

We are no strangers to the power of following a gameplan. Identify where those feelings are originating. The boredom is simply saying you need to make some changes in your life.

Identify the problem. Can you fix it or do you need a change? What is creating your anxiety and can you change the course you’re on? Feelings will change over time.

Start to prepare. Ask yourself the tough questions. Are you in the right community? Have you saved enough money? Have you checked in on your relationships? Don’t ignore answers you don’t like and…

Embrace the things that are good and excite you. Do you have a good job? Are the kids bringing you joy? Are you mindful of your health? Do you look forward to the next vacation? Are weekends fun? Do more that makes you smile.

Sleep. Are you getting enough rest? Do you look tired? It all starts with sleep.

Positive Attitude. Your words and thoughts drive how you feel and act.

Giveback. Doing nice things for others can change your mood.

Life can be tough, but I’m also able. And at the end of the day I just want to be me.

I just checked in. Wife…good. Kids…good. God is great and the glass is still half full! Oh, and if you see me sitting in the “old guy” seat on the 41, feel free to ask me to move…just make sure to call me “Sir.”

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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