Thoughts: Public Pools

It has clearly become the ‘Summer’ season and my kids (and I’m sure those of pretty much every parent alive) have decided that there is a compulsive need for me to take them swimming every weekend they’re with me.

My closest pool is Pt Erin in Herne Bay, but for some reason it’s not opened yet. So Mt Albert Aquatic Centre has been the best option.

If you’ve never been there, it’s quite a cool place. Multiple pools, sprays, a wave generator, and a decent water slide.

My kids LOVE IT and charge in all guns a-blazin’, and today I reluctantly decided to join them. I’m not big on swimming but more importantly to me, getting amongst a seething mass of humanity in a bowl filled with a liquid of dubious composition really isn’t my thing.

The children pressed me to pony up the cash to hire tubes for them to play with for an hour. Naturally, they ran out of things to do with said tubes after about 25 minutes and wanted me to hold on to them for them. Yeah… nah.

The people-watching dynamic is always interesting. But you’re not allowed to watch too closely as that may be construed as slightly creepy. It’s interesting listening too – the screeches of happy from kids, the cries of torment from kids, the words of encouragement from parents “suck it up, it’s only a bit of water” etc. etc.

It’s when clients of yours bob past that you realise you’re really not looking your best and suck in your stomach. Talking shop and generally being wary of the amount of eye contact your’re engaging in is a tricky balance. You don’t usually have business meetings with little clothing on.

I also found it disconcerting when my kids deserted me to go down the waterslide. There usually is a bit of a wait so I was left there floating in the main pool having to watch them. So… Mid-40’s male, bobbing, alone, surrounded by hordes of children, trying to act nonchalant… Uh oh…

Happily they swum themselves out and I was released from my overthinking.

And once dried and dressed and walking out of the place, I released my stomach muscles. I am after all, just a little bit vain.

God I hate Public Pools.

Resolutions vs Goals

I’ve been thinking about what I want to achieve this year. But also what defines a New Years Resolution as opposed to setting personal goals.

I think, for me, a Resolution is more about resolving to effect change in aspects of one’s life whereas a Goal is a specified, achievable, tangible thing that you aspire to do.

As I really don’t feel the need to change aspects of my life, despite the fact I probably should consume less wine, I think for 2014, I’ll set goals. Here’s my thinking, category by category, in no particular order of priority.

Technology:

I’d like to update my trusty iPad. I still have a version 1 model. It has served me well but it’s time.

I’d also like to acquire a decent DSLR camera because I do take photos, and I am getting frustrated with not being able to capture what I’m seeing.

I’d also quite like to obtain a new iMac or MacPro – I want to get back into writing/recording music and a decent spec’d machine will help.

Personal Development:

I definitely want to get off my backside and learn Japanese. I’ve made a broad start in 2013 but it fell by the wayside when time constraints bit. I have the materials needed, I just need to book regular conversational classes.

Study? Not sure. The idea is there, but the reality is that it takes time that I can’t commit to just yet. This requires more research on my part.

It is time I played bass in public again. It’s been years. Easy goal: get my calluses back and head up to the Portland Public House on ‘jam night’.

Reading: one book at least per week. Can be Fiction or non-Fiction. Achievable.

Exercise/Sports:

I need to re-establish my gym regimen. I did quite well for 9 months of 2013 then got distracted by life. I shall set a goal of 3 weight sessions each week, and then add cardio – whether it’s bike or a walk 2x each week. This is of course achievable.

My sporting nemesis is Snowboarding. I have intent to learn – and have had for nearly 5 years. My snowboard and clothing mock me.

Travel:

This is a biggie. I love to travel and haven’t for two years. So, in 2014 I want to travel to 5 overseas destinations. On my list of possibles is Cambodia, Thailand, Cuba, Australia (of course), Pacific Islands (take your pick). I also need to get back to the UK for family reasons, possibly Germany and I’d love to get back to the USA.

I’m sure there are more goals to set. I’m not thinking about house purchasing. I may update my vehicle, but it’s not costing me much to run at present so I may as well hold on to it for now. I’m still processing my Business goals. It should be an interesting year.

What are your goals?