Monday, October 15, 2012

Moving on.....

Phew.  Back to our regular programming.  I can hear a collective sigh of relief.

Part # 1

Triathlon news.

I have signed up for another Ironman.  I went and did something I swore I'd never do.  I signed up for Ironman Coeur d'alene.  Yes...its within spitting distance of where I live so most people would think it would have always been the logical race choice for me.  But guess what...I HATE the cold. and um...well...CDA is flipping freezing in June.  For the last 4 years I have gone to watch the race and each time as I watch all these blue frozen bodies emerging from the 2.4 mile swim in 54 degree water it reaffirms my desire to NOT do that Ironman.

So what happened?

Well the bottom line was that it came down to logistics.  I can train on this course for free.  I don't have to book and pay for airfare, bike shipping or hotel accomodation. And with over 30 of my team mates signed up for the race I will never be short of training partners.  In the end it was a no brainer.

My experience of the swim in Boise gave me some confidence that I can survive frigid waters.  My trusty neoprene cap and booties will prove indispensable in June I'm sure.

Having watched the World Championships from Kona this weekend I have a renewed enthusiasm for IM training. (  Yay, Pete Jacobs).  I'm still rehabilitating my foot.  The good news its that I'm out of the boot.  The bad news is that I'm still having problems. Back to the foot doctor for me :-( Ironman training doesn't begin until late November so I still have some time to get it sorted out.

Part # 2

My daughter is part of her high school marching band and colorguard.  For Aussie readers, this is totally foreign to you but it has been one of my favorite things about my daughters foray into high school. Autumn is the marching band season and they spend all of their weekends travelling to different competitions all around the Pacific NW.  They spend between 20 and 30 hours a week practising and performing starting in August and going all the way through the end of October.  This coupled with school and homework leaves her no time for anything else.

This past weekend they had a competition here in Spokane so we went to cheer them on.  They won the championship which was such a great affirmation to them that all their hard work is paying off.  If you have some free time its worth watching this video of their performance.  Keep in mind these kids are all between 14 and 18 years old and they are playing all the music you hear as they dance, march and jump around the field.  Honestly  its a great reminder what anyone can do with the right direction,  dedication and desire can achieve.

Friday, October 12, 2012

..and furthermore....

I know I promised to move on but yesterdays blog post topic hit a chord with parents and parents to be ( Cherelli!!!), and I just had to do one more quick post on it.

After reading my post a bloggy friend sent me a couple of articles about the financial habits of kids and how young adults who get into debt really do have their parents to thank...( or not as the case may be).

Here are some of the links to the articles she sent (thanks Liz)

Food for thought. 

The way kids perceive their parents attitude to spending and money shapes their own financial behavior.  It's not enough to tell your children to spend their money wisely you have to do it yourself . pressure or anything but your kids are watching.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How Much is Enough?

If you are expecting a triathlon or family post we will be returning to those programs next time so feel free to skip over this one if its a little too introspective...( see this is what happens in the off season - too much time on my hands to ponder life's conundrums)

How much is enough?

I have been pondering this question a lot this week.

Living in a capitalist society the answer seems to be that too much is never enough. There is never a time where you get to the stage where you have enough - there is always something newer, better, faster, shinier. ALWAYS.

Cars are a good example.  I drive a 10 year old suburban.  I love my car.  She has taken my family and I on so many adventures, from the mundane trips to soccer practice, to vacations to national parks, cities and towns all over the Pacific NW.  But recently she has become a tad unreliable.  My husband, as a result of being burnt once too many times by auto mechanic bills and in an attempt to be frugal, has taken on the car servicing and repair himself.  I would have to say it has become a bit of a hobby for him.  And that is good.  I want him to have a hobby.  But last weekend my hand brake ( or emergency brake or parking brake...whatever you people call it) broke.  Just snapped clean off.  I moaned about it to my husband and he got right on it.  Ordered the part but it wouldn't be in for a week.  So in the interim he told me he would make a short term fix so I could still use my car and it would not roll away if I parked on a hill.

I got in my car for the first time on Monday after said makeshift repair only to find a bit of rope connected under my steering wheel which I had to apparently pull to release the brake.  That's right.  I had myself a hillbilly handbrake. We laughed about it but in my mind I was thinking...I NEED a new car.

Later that day the boys asked me about getting new Halloween outfits.  I won't lie.  Halloween is my least favorite holiday followed closely by Valentines Day.  It seems that its all about overabundance.  Having not grown up in a country where Halloween is celebrated I find it a pointless exercise.  I know...I sound like a Debbie downer but before you judge me you should know I am a HUGE Christmas fan.  It has religious significance to me and its also a time where family comes first.  For those 2 reasons alone I think Christmas is the bomb.  But Halloween....too much candy ( most of which gets thrown away) and a costume that gets worn for an hour and then discarded.  Seems just wasteful to me.

There have been a number of other things  this week that have highlighted this kind of lavish excess. And I have to tell you my biggest concern is my children.  How do I teach them that by saying no to some of their requests that I am actually doing them a favor.  They certainly don't think so.  They look at others and can't help but compare.  I try to teach them that having "things" won't make them happy, it won't satisfy them because there will always be something better that comes along. They will want to discard the thing they once coveted for the next new thing. My getting them all they want will actually create the desire in them for more.  In the end it won't make them better, kinder people and as a parent that is my job.  To help them be the best person they can be.

Matt and I have always thought that experience trumps possessions.  We have always chosen to take our children places, let them experience new things, new food, meet new people, let them see, feel and taste how other people live, in the hopes that this internal comparison will not only better prepare them to be global citizens ( which they will be thanks to dual citizenship ) but will also help them make decisions about what is important and what they really need to be happy in life.  Recent events have made me aware that life is way too short....and I am certain that no-one lies on their death bed wishing that they had never gotten out and seen the world.  They would have preferred to buy that new car instead. 

So this afternoon I am going to drop my boys at soccer and pick my daughter up from Marching band practice.  And I will be happily driving my 10 year old car with the hillbilly handbrake. Because it occurred to me that all the lessons I want to impart to my children start with me.  I am the example.  Being truly happy with what I have.

Maybe one day my suburban will finally give up and refuse to go on.  And then I guess I will get another car but in the meantime I have enough.

I have an abundance.

Hopefully my children will see that they have too!