Sunday, February 21, 2010

Life Lessons Served and Volleyed

Nikh played in the SAISA Tennis Tournament this weekend.  He was picked from a bunch of kids to make up two teams of four boys and there were two teams of girls too.  He was pleased as Punch to be chosen and practised extra hard, got his kit ready a week in advance, tried to make sure his grades did not slip (otherwise you get cut from the team!).  He set his own alarm clock (a most irritating loud, singing clock from my sister!).  He made sure all his bags, his breakfast and anything he needed for the day was at the front door the night before and for the first four weeks of the season, he was right on track!  The fifth week saw a slump - he had been on his Week Without Walls trip by then, had been to a friend's party and sleepover and was now on his last legs!

I think the late nights, early mornings and constant energy drain had caught up.  Nikh was already seeing what life as a college student could be like ... exhausting!  Burning the candle at both ends is not a good idea!  So we tried to slow down on other parts of life to allow a little regeneration.

It worked, sort of!  Unfortunately the Coach did not see fit to let the team rest the day before SAISA began and Nikh was up at 5am on Thursday for squad training and really lagging in the energy department!  

The tournament began with a 7.30am  start for uniform pick up at school and team photos!  The excitement was palpable. Nikh was beside himself with being a part of a team and loved having a couple of friends picked too.  Off to the Krishnan Tennis Centre and let the games begin!

Nikh had a bit of a slow start and his first match began at 12.45 after waiting in a state of high anxiety all morning.  Once he hit that first ball - you could see the glow of enjoyment light him up.  He played pretty well, a little distracted here and there, but with a love of tennis that was clear.  He may have won and lost matches - most of the kids were much bigger physically and stronger; also older than him.  This did not faze him as he kept on hitting the ball back.

The Ray visited to spectate and said, "Watch the ball, Buddi" (words straight out of her father's mouth!).  My Darling, currently in New York sent frequent text messages along the lines of  - don't give in, don't let a point go and run for every ball!  Good friends popped in to see him play - luckily at just the right time, and I know Nikh was proud that people he loves cared enough to take time from their weekend to make the trek!  I would have stayed rooted to my Pavilion spot but  Nikh begged a girlfriend to remove me from the scene!

Anyway - wins and losses - humility in victory and grace in defeat - all good life lessons.  Also learning to win a point with humble gratitude and to lose a point with dignity and credit where it is due are all good life skills.  I liked that other coaches mentioned him to me for his optimistic attitude, his cheerfulness and sportsmanship both on and off the court.  Other more experienced players complimented him and he glowed! He was not the best player there, nor the worst, but he tried his best and he should be proud of himself.  I know that My Darling and I are proud of him.

Me, me, me!

I have noticed recently that people think what they read on a blog entitles them to think they know a person and entitles them to comment, complain and pass judgement.

 A girlfriend has been subject to all kinds of comments and conjecture because people read her blog. Her blog is downright straight forward.  No beating around the bush and a welcome change from all the political correctness that invades our World.  This is why I read every post she puts up and why I tell her what I think of her posts directly to her face. 

I think I would like to put a couple of things straight here - blogs (in my eyes) are a kind of diary.  As a child, I used to write what I thought and what I felt about things happening in my life in a book and then hide it under my mattress.  I found that while I had mulled over the events in the process of jotting it down, I still had the jubilation, the anger, the anxiety, the joy and the humiliations inside me.  Now that I post blogs, I do the same things as I did in my journal - I just tamp it down a little because I know that I am not the only one seeing my words!  It does make one feel a little open and vulnerable!

I use my blog as a way of venting, sharing, celebrating and updating my family and friends who may be thousands of miles away.  I use it as a means of communication - I do not ask anyone to actually read it, but the fact that I have shared how I feel,  what we have done or the way I look at something satisfies an urge within me.  I use it as a log of the journey of my life - sharing how we grow and change as a family.

This is the crux of the matter - it is MINE.  it is how I feel and it is what affects, bothers, excites or angers ME.  My views, My forum. What I write is of little interest to the vast majority of the world.  I know that!

I am happy when people read and comment - and it has been interesting to see that people I don't even know comment when they have read about a concert or a play and they happened to be in the same auditorium.  It was also a little scary to think people who know nothing about me, who are strangers are reading about my thoughts and actions.  I am less happy when people who claim to have some sort of knowledge about me try to post anonymous comments that are negative and derogatory.  No-one asks them to come onto my personal space and share.  They are welcome to vanish into the larger abyss of unknown, unwanted opinion. They do not have to read what I write. They have not the courage of their convictions to allow a response to their malice, but feel mighty behind their cowardly anonymity.  Obviously this is how they deal with their life. Not my problem.  I know who and what I am.  I know that sometimes what I say and do comes across in a way I didn't mean it to or expect it to.  I am strong enough to apologise when I am wrong, and I am humble enough to know that I am not the bees knees.  Just a cog in a giant, giant wheel.

Today's post was going to be a sharing of my views on how some people always step up and offer to help.  How they more than offer... they follow through and DO whatever it takes, however long it takes to get the job done. I have been witnessing a couple of friends over the last couple of weeks, and their dedication to get things done.  Their kids may not even be involved, except that they go to our school, but they show their commitment and their community spirit by volunteering, by taking on tasks that everyone is happy to criticise or comment upon, but not willing to put their money where their mouth is - in other words, when push comes to shove they vanish into the woodwork! (Sorry too many cliches in one sentence!) Where are the people with the huge great opinions on other peoples' lives when the chips are down and their help or contribution is needed....?  We can but wonder!

But I got side-tracked!!