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Why should I bother?- it’s for the children!

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I woke Saturday morning feeling a little sorry for myself, a bit low and ba humbug.

Before going to bed last night I read Gerry Duffy’s article “Do the write thing” in the April/May edition of the Irish Runner. It’s all about setting goals, writing them down and making them targeted, all good advice I’ve heard before.

What has got me feeling low is that I don’t have any real goals that I’m currently working towards. I have my daily objectives that I want to get done… mop the floors, get the ironing finished, get the wash hung up, get something for dinner… the stuff that every body has to get done. I’ll maybe include going for a run or write a blog post, but not aspirational goals to strive for.

I have nominal aims, unspecific achievements that I am slowly working towards. I’d like to be able to run 5k in under 25 min (27:17 is current cross-country PB) but other than a notional this would be nice there is no driver for me to meet this target. I would also like to be able to run 10k in under 60 min, I’ve signed up to do the Boyne 10k in May to try and do it, but it still feels a bit of a nice to do.

Oldbridge Sept

I’ve made progress on going back to work, but its difficult to plan and set targets for myself, before I start or even talk to any future boss about what those targets might look like.

Perhaps this is what happens when you decide to focus your time on family and kids. Your life becomes a mix of  child minding, cleaning and cooking. I have to give a stage 10 speech to complete my Toastmasters Competent Communicator Award, but I’m struggling a bit to find something that I am passionate about.

That’s part of the reason I’ve never went into business for myself successfully,  I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing to really make it work, rightfully I compromised my ambitions for my family. My family has always been my main concern,  despite some of my stranger decisions in life (I am after all almost the living embodiment of a character in a Bazz Lurman/Mary Schmich song).

So as I was lying in bed Saturday morning, thinking I should really have got up at 7.30 and went for my run so that I’d skip the Parkrun and let my wife have a lie on in bed. Instead I lay on until after 8.30 thinking about how I don’t have any great passions in life at the moment.

But then something changed,  I got up to wash, and my daughter woke my wife, so when I returned to get dressed, I was told to go for the run, which I did and a nice easy run it was this morning. It kept me just focused on taking my time, working on form and breathing.

I didn’t solve any world or even personal problems, but I did lift myself out of the doldrums. But when I got back from my run I heard news that proved to me that I am passionate about something- family. I believe that it is important to be honest with your family, yes I know there are always some small secrets but you shouldn’t needlessly worry your family, to deliberately exclude them from the important things in life, especially when they try to be there for you and to support you.

I also believe that it’s important to try to set good example, which is probably one of the hardest things to do on a consistent basis. But that’s OK because no-one is perfect.

I quit sugar in my tea to set an example for my kids, but I still need to improve in cutting sugar out of my snacks, I suppose that should be one of my new aims. I also want my kids go grow up with a strong sense of family, to be there for their siblings and to support them when they need it and when they don’t.

And I seem to remember vaguely that that was the same reason for me starting running and looking after myself better. I want them to have good health habits, like taking exercise and be involved in organisations or clubs. It will help them when they are older to have a healthy body and mind. I have the chance now to give them the skills and habits which will give them the strength when they are older to hopefully face the stresses and hurdles that life will throw at them when they are older. I also want them to have the confidence to seek help and to know that they can get it, and expect it form a kind and loving family and good friends.

So I think I need to go now and find some new goals with targets and to include my children in setting these goals, because if they see me setting my own goals and working hard to achieve them then hopefully they will learn to do the same, wither I am successful in achieving them the first time, the second time, or the one hundredth time they can learn the value in putting in the effort, develop resilience and persistence in achieving their goals.

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First day of the Hols

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Today was the first day of the summer holidays, everyone finally finished yesterday and we now enter the long 2 months of the summer. In America, Canada, Spain you can be fairly confident of what the weather will be like. Ireland it’s a different story, its normally slightly warmer but not always dryer than winter. So we have to make what we can of the good weather when we get it.

My wife was off to Naas last night for her sisters birthday and she stayed over, so I had the kids for day to myself. Much to my daughters disgust, when we all woke this morning at 7:30, I made her get changed immediately. No lazy Saturday lying in front of the TV for hours. By 9 we were out of the house heading over to Oldbridge Houseso I could do my stint helping out at the Oldbridge Parkrun. I must say my three kids were great. The older pair made friends with other kids being minded by their dad while he managed the race and their ma ran it. The youngest was grand for a while and then started to get bored in the buggy. So I let him out to play in the grass. He decided that he wanted to climb back into the buggy again. Instead of sitting in the seat, he stood on it held onto the bar at the front and tried to walk his feet up the back of the seat. His first attempt rolled the buggy, but his second was more successful.

After a quick snack for us all, and a run to the shops for some food for a picnic we were back in Oldbridge for the Country Fair which is on this weekend. And the kids had a great time. It started off with the kids decorating plant pots and planting flowers, which they got to bring home. They really enjoyed it.

Planting flowers at the Oldbridge Country Fair

Planting flowers at the Oldbridge Country Fair

We then had some lunch and were joined by friends from St. Mary’s Parent & Toddler Group and we watched the Musket demonstration before going on a long walk around the park doing a tree trail questionaire which kept the kids really engaged (well Aoife and one of the boys, the rest enjoyed the walk) and we made it back in time for the story telling with Delphine who was fantastic with them.

Oldbridge Country Fair Story time with Delphine

Oldbridge Country Fair Story time with Delphine

Soon after that there was a flower arranging workshop at which point I thought I’d like to go home, but my daughter was insistant that she wanted to do it. As Felicity was staying for it with her daughter, I took the boys off for a walk around the food tent and to see what else was being exhibited. When we got back they still hadn’t started so my two boys played while Aoife arranged the flowers with assistance from the others, and I’ll admit made a good job of it. It was her first time doing flower arranging and to my horror started asking where we could get the green stuff and flowers as she wanted to do it again on her own this time. I think she was disappointed that I didn’t know of any classes she could go to but I’ll have to keep her out of the garden centre for a while.

Flower arranging at the Oldbridge Country Fair

Flower arranging at the Oldbridge Country Fair


The kids were really thankful that I’d got them up and out early this morning. We left at 9 and didn’t make it home till 4:30 in the afternoon. And all for the cost of a picnic, 2 bars of chocolate and a tea & Scone. A really cheap and excellent day, we’ll hopefully be back tomorrow for day 2.

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