“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Having just returned from another cycle race (me and my daughter drove just over 800 miles in three days), I realise the immense commitment to help a child move through the ranks of amateur sport to the very top. That said nothing beats raw talent.
However, as much I would like to devote my entire life to my daughter’s sport, it’s not something I can contemplate if only because there’s life outside of the sport -- my two other children, my wife and all the other things that I’ve got to do to keep the Good-Ship-Dad afloat.
When I look on my early childhood -- yes, I realise it was a different era (1970s-80s) -- I can’t imagine my parents giving up the amount of time that seems commonplace nowadays with our children and their various needs and wants. It would be easy to label this ‘over-indulgence’, but it doesn’t feel like that. Rather, it feels like there are more opportunities available now, and for me at least, I feel I owe it to them to give them the best possible start, if only because that’s what I would have liked if my parents had been able to do so.
For me holding on to my beingness is hard when wrapped up in the world that: (a) I enjoy, and (b) seems at odds often with my non-materialistic self. (It may sound a bit cliched but even listening to a bird sing in yet another car park whilst waiting for yet another cycle race to start can snap me out of my egoic trance.) I suppose what I’m really getting at is that life is so much bigger than catering to our children’s every want and need. This doesn’t mean that we are any more important than them or vice versa, it simply means that we too have to have something in our lives to make sense of our lives.
Right now I’m looking to get a balance back in my work that allows me the creative freedom, space and time to carry on where I left off a few months ago. I know it’s only been six months since I started a new contract, but I can already see how it’s dented my creative energies and brought me back into a world of (paid) work that often seems too comfortable by dint of the fact that I’m not being challenged to grow. Believe it or not, working for yourself is the best teacher, even if at times it’s difficult to know where to start -- it’s quite easy to have too many plates spinning at any one time.
But, in the final analysis, I know there will always be another day (at least for another few years I hope) where I’ll be able to invest my energies in trying to come alive to my true Self.