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Swimming Gala Stress

A Need For Speed And A Need For Balance…

I must be getting old, because time seems to be different now – it goes faster! I don’t think I’m alone – everyone seems to be rushing, everything, all the time. I used to look forward to the clocks going forward. This year I’m thinking “No! Stop! It can’t be the end of March yet!”

I try to take inspiration from our children. Their lives, generally, move at a more relaxed pace. Outside pressures, of course, sometimes get them in a flap – they don’t like being rushed.  But when I’m not there nagging them to hurry, they manage to do what they need to.

It’s hard to balance the desire to get things done with a desire not to get stressed. It causes confusion! This happened recently…

I don’t know what Emily does in her school swimming lessons. She’s has had a bit of input from us although “The cobbler’s children go unshod.” comes to mind. Anyway, her class were off to a mini swimming gala this morning – “on the bus for 8.45”.

Emily, eating breakfast, already in her costume, was moaning about it. She was up for the breaststroke but thought she’d struggle in the front crawl. “Just think long and forward with each stroke,” I said encouragingly. “Mum, don’t you understand what a Gala is? It’s racing! You have to go fast!” She’s 10. I don’t like seeing her stressing about the need for speed.

A while later, in front of Tracy Beaker…

Me: “Emily, Turn this off! Get your teeth brushed! You should be going?” (I’m thinking, “Why is she so hopelessly slow in the morning? Why do we always have to rush to school?”)

Emily: “It’s OK. I know what I’m doing – I need to clean my teeth at 3 minutes after half past eight …”

Me: “It’s that now!”

We were met at the school gate by a teacher, “Hurry up Emily, we’re waiting!”

Me: “It’s only 8.43.”

Teacher: “I asked them to be on the bus by 8.45.”

Me to Emily: “You’ve got at least a minute and a half. Have fun, take it easy.”

Emily didn’t say anything – she just legged it to the bus.

Walking home I decided Swimming Galas should be banned along with all other competitions! And now it’s midday and I haven’t ticked anything off my To Do list ….

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