Thoughts: Soccer Dad

Being the parent of a child who loves soccer (football for the purists) is hard.

In fact, it can be quite traumatic.

As another season draws to a close, I feel reflective. My son’s team really isn’t very good. 

It’s his seventh year of playing. The first few years were challenging as there weren’t any coaches available so well-meaning parents took the role. And the kids, including my son, didn’t really learn anything about the game. Over the seasons the better players were selected for better teams leaving the average. Other players left for other clubs or school teams, so cohesion and continuity hasn’t been possible. 

Happily though, these boys are no longer chasing the ball as a bunch. Today, despite a heavy loss, saw them play as a team. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

This year another parent stood up to coach, and all credit to him as he is passionate. He’s given up his time to have two practice sessions each week.

The only problem is that he is South African of Indian descent. And NO ONE understands a word he says when he’s agitated. It’s actually pretty funny.

Watching a game goes like this:

The boys aren’t getting forward quick enough… 

“Flurgle splutter blug something something DEEPER!!”

The Defenders are too far up and the opposition get through…

“Oh Jesus F**king Christ” – apparently this needs no translation.

A perfect attacking cross occurs and there are no Forwards to pick it up…

“Splutter mumble yell something something HENRY!!!!”

There is only one game left in the season. We do have one win under our belts. We’ve learned to score goals in the last few weeks. Just a bit late.

My boy has improved. He enjoys playing. I’m happy I don’t have to provide counseling after their losses any more. 

And he’s outside running around.

No downside really.

Thoughts: Finding My Passion

I’ve been feeling a little off-balance in recent months and I’m trying to put my finger on what is causing this.

I think I have reached a turning point. A fork in the road. They don’t come along all that often, so to recognise one when you see it is fairly important.

I’m examining most (if not all) aspects of my life. 

Some things are set in stone: my kids, what I do with them, how they see me and my existence. It’s a tricky balance as I’m very careful not to disrupt their worldview at this point in time. It is something that I determined to do six years ago, and I’m not about to change.

Being immovable brings issues.

It means I can’t consider, until they’re older, major changes. For example, moving to another town, another country. Not being around and present for them. 

It means that my monthly expenses are higher than they could be. I live alone because I want them to feel that they come ‘home’ when they stay with me. I don’t want them to ever feel like they’re visitors.

It means that other people’s expectations and hopes aren’t met.

I do feel I’ve found balance in work, having made necessary changes a couple of months ago which removed stress and gained a little more flexibility, and therefore time to ponder life.

I’m still trying to determine what it is I’m passionate about. What is it that would energise me, that appears front-and-centre when I remove the dross and distractions of day-to-day? I have many hobbies that I could immerse myself in, but they’re not passions. 

I’ve learned that I’m happiest when I’m engaging with people. Meeting them, hearing their life stories. Listening to their journeys. I actually love people (Caveat: not the dicks. Please don’t be a dick). I don’t like casual shallow conversations. I love to get beneath the surface. To find out who they really are. 

The last couple of years I’ve not been that free to meet and greet but these last couple of months have seen me being able to get back into this and it’s been great. 

This is a passion I need to explore. 

There is another side to me which commands that I have ‘me’ time. Isolation. Being at home, by myself, doing ‘stuff’. If I don’t get this isolation, I don’t recharge. And I get unhappy. Understanding this is key to the above.

I hate getting trapped into a routine, getting stuck in a rut. Sometimes they’re necessary I guess, but it is important that they’re finite. I sense that some of my routines are coming to a close (yay).

Once I’ve worked out what my passion is, I’ll need to work out how to make it happen. What would the cost be (not just financial of course). That could be the tough scary and challenging bit. 

I’m up for it.

What about you guys? Are you living your dreams? Do you know what your passion is? How’d you find it and make it work? 

Thoughts: More About the NZ Flag Debate

So. Our well-constructed panel has whittled the submissions down to 40. 40 flag options, of which the most popular 4 go up against the current flag.

This is actually complete bullshit.

A Nation’s flag is created out of an Historical need. An event of importance, requiring marking and establishment.

We do not yet have this pre-condition.

So, what is the play? 

I do not believe that John Key wants a flag change as his legacy. I think it is much much bigger than that.

My read is that we will get to the end of the flag exercise, and then we will be told “We can’t change the flag unless we become a Republic and sever our ties to England, once and for all”. 

We will then collectively say “oh OK, we’ve chosen a flag, let’s become a Republic.” 

Key’s desired legacy is NZ becoming a Republic. New flag. New currency imagery. No Governor-General. New everything. Independence. 

We are being herded to an Historical Event of some significance.

In my humble opinion of course.

Thoughts: Winter Colds

it had to happen I suppose. It’s my annual foray into being under the weather.

It’s bloody annoying. It’s bloody frustrating.

I was susceptible to catching the cold. I’ve jut come through a period of pretty intense workload, and from 1 July I reduced the hours I was working, recognizing that my health and my sense of humour were both suffering.

But with that reduction in hours, there was a corresponding reduction in adrenalin. Leaving me wide open. It’s why Executives get sick when they go on holiday.

Two weeks. Loss of energy, loss of voice. Coughing, spluttering. Awful. 

The loss of voice is the worst. I rely on my voice for income. And not being able to talk is brutal.

So, sleep, ginger, sleep, garlic, sleep, panadol has been my routine. It seems to have worked. 

All things going well, next week is back to mostly normal. 

Crossing everything.