Friday Wrap #16b – The going backward edition

Some days I aspire to move forward only to find I am treading water. Lately it feels like the current is stronger than my ability to swim – hence going backward.

I am in overload season, preparing for the beginning of soccer. Four hundred-plus youth, six leagues, 38 teams, lots of fun. Setting up isn’t fun, but the job must be done. It feels like I am spinning 38 plates like that guy in those old Johnny Carson Tonight Show shows. Most of the work remaining is preparing the fields, lining the fields, moving soccer goals on the fields. Physical work, but for a guy who doesn’t like physical work much, I enjoy this.

Years ago I would never have thought I’d put time in as a volunteer. Growing up, that wasn’t really a thing done – except for my grandmother who was involved with her church and Women’s Institute. Having my own family put a new perspective on things. I was asked to volunteer following the death of my daughter’s soccer coach a couple weeks before the start of the season. The organization called the parents on the team looking for help, so I did. First I was an assistant, then coach, board member, and now chief bottle washer and line painter. But what I really love doing, is coaching.

Seeing kids learn things, try things, and be creative on a soccer pitch – I take the wins as a benefit, but enjoy more when I see someone surprise themselves on the pitch, master a skill, or get their first goal. I don’t even coach my own kids anymore. Two have aged out, the other two are about to – neither really want me to do anything but watch. “Don’t embarrass me Dad,” is a commonly heard saying.

With this part going well and forward, it feels like other things are going backward. Have you looked at house prices again? Still going up like the interest rates are 0%. The dilemma I and many others are in is sure, we could sell our house and get a lot of money for it. BUT. Try buying something else that doesn’t cost you an arm, a leg, three fingers and your first born. It worries me looking at this, and my adult or soon-to-be adult kids, how are they going to ever earn enough to own their own home? How are we going to be able to move to something else?

My parents generation were the baby boomers. Hope and prosperity after World War Two. A good paying job, a home in the suburbs, two cars in the garage, and a Sunday pot roast every week. This generation feels like we’re the first to not do better than our parents, but worse. Backwards… some days I think I’d like to aspire for treading water again.

Three things:

Something to read – My Hygge Home by Meik Wiking – I love the three books already published by Wiking. My problem with this book is it’s not little. I feel no Hygge by this third book being much larger in physical cover size than the three other books by Wiking.

Something to watch – I love history, but I have not picked up a history book in a while. There is a video series that combines South Park-like graphics with British humour, and history. All in three-to-four minute videos. Here is the latest, on why England restored its monarchy.

Something to listen to – Holy flashback. Ever hear someone say something, and you think about a song that you haven’t listened to in years (decades)? Probably not, but my brain works in mysterious ways.

I first heard this song in Grade 13. Dumb and Dumber had just come out and this song was appropriately overplayed and run into the ground by commercial radio. This week, overhearing two people outside of my work talking, one said to the other that someone else they knew was acting like a pumpkinhead. Bam! My brain whipped into gear and behold, The Crash Test Dummies. Mmmmmmm. Wait, wrong song.

The last word – Theodore Roosevelt once wrote that “Comparison is the theft of joy.” He may be right, but without comparison, one cannot measure progress. Make sure you use the right measuring stick.