Who doesn’t love the Dug’s famous line “squirrel” in the movie Up? I love the movie Up and all of its bittersweet beauty. Maybe its just me, but some days I feel that my ability to focus is on par with the Dug’s. For may of us, we where a lot of different hats and have a boatload of differing responsibilities. Some days it feels like eight arms and 72 extra hours wouldn’t be enough to get everything done. The overwhelming nature of our 21st century lives certainly leads to many “squirrel” moments.
The trick is to teach ourselves to stay grounded and focused. By focused, I do not mean laser focused only on our to do lists or the tasks at hand. Rather, I believe staying focused means remaining true to your priorities. If family and career are your priorities, you need to ensure that your actions support those priorities.
To stay grounded, as I wrote about Sunday, it is important to pamper yourself and keep yourself mentally and emotionally ready for life. When you fail to take care of yourself, there is no way you can effectively manage your priorities and responsibilities.
It’s easy to write all of this, but it’s not nearly as easy to live it. In our society today, we are surrounded by judgement, opinions and other noise. Everyone and their uncle has an opinion on how one should manage their lives and their priorities. Ignore them- nobody knows better than you what your priorities are. Moreover, those same people may try to distract you from your priorities. You have to learn to ignore the noise.
Each of us make choices for ourselves or are families on the daily. For us, we made a commitment to our kids’ and their love of hockey. Many people cannot understand our willingness and devotion to a kids’ sport that eats all of our time and our paychecks. Nevertheless, these same people do not see the immeasurable benefits that our kids and ourselves gain from the experience.
I’m pretty sure each of us hockey parents question ourselves as we leave at the crack of dawn to drive across the state for hockey games. This lasts, of course, until we get to the rink. There’s nothing better than watching your kid play the sport he loves with kids that have become family. The cherry on top is being able to enjoy the game with your fellow hockey parents, who have also become family. Thankfully, most hockey parents/families have similar priorities i.e. their families and their careers. Thus providing an incredible support system that I could not be more thankful for.