Thursday, 30 March 2017

Birth of Basketball Mom

She has been gone for 48 hours and I feel like dribbling the basketball outside just to feel normal.

Not that I ever pick up a basketball. Or shoot or alley-oop or whatever you do with a basketball. There was that time at the park where she and I threw the ball, counting the consecutive hoops made by each of us.  If I recall correctly we didn’t get past four.

That was a year ago, before middle school, before Cutiepie made the school team and before she was recruited to play on the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) recreation league. Today, as the champion team of the 6th grade league, holding second in the CYO, and covered with bruises that come with playing Center position, Cutiepie skips the hoops while she bunks at Outdoor School for the week and, we, her loudest cheerleaders, get time out.

Basketball began as a surprise with team tryouts; having never played the game, she didn’t expect to make the team. DH and I were overjoyed for her, although neither of us at the time would be able to name a position or spot a foul. So it began as our 5’ 9” 12 year old learned to assist and paint (take a shot from inside position), and so have we learned.

Soon her team climbed to the Final Championships with lopsided scores that were proof enough that our kid had become a great defender in the game.  34 to 4; 29 to 2; 32 to 2  With the help of other moms and dads, we became versed in basketball moves and tactics. I’m a yeller and despite DH’s looks of embarrassment, I cheer loudly and proudly.  D-Fence! Be tall! Rebound!  It usually takes DH a few games to get warmed up before he chimes in. De-Fence! Take a Shot!!!

At the last game, the opposing point guard (the person running with the ball toward the basket) went thundering to the floor with a thud.

“Did she just run into a tree? She hit that branch and went down!”  said a spectator in the stands. My daughter was the tree that she spoke of.

Cutiepie stood frozen, roots firmly planted and quickly disputed the resulting foul, “she ran into me!”  Showing our naivete in the game, DH and I still debate the foul: I think Cutiepie needed to move and yet still fend off the point guard, to be seen as "in" the game.  Not so much as like a tree with branches but like a gust of wind shielding the basket? DH, on the other hand, thinks Cutiepie must have made a slight motion with her arm constituting the foul. As if she smacked her opponent with her branch-like arm?

And with that force of nature, the school basketball team finishes its season as the champion.  

You’ll never guess who made the school volleyball team?

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

A Matter of Time

I have held contract positions with financial companies and technology companies since returning from Europe. More than not, my workload is aligned with project roadmaps and timelines that invariably do not go as planned or go better than planned.

Fortunately for me, this timing tends to build an excess of time rather than a shortage of time into my days. Essentially, the good news is I’m rarely stressed to meet a deadline; I can be readily available for any lunch, happy hour, or coffee meetup. The bad news is I am frequently idle or bored waiting for a project jumpstart.

I am THAT friend:

Endlessly listlessness in work discussions
While I do enjoy a good dish up on someone else’s workplace trials and tribulations or achievement and accolades, I, myself, have nothing to offer but my presence and a wishful work project calendar.

Always eager to meet up early; never in a rush
Long lunch or early happy hour?  I’m there!  Light workload means I’m cruising home by 4p.m.; the creep up to 5:30 p.m.--awaiting friends finishing late-breaking tasks--can be excruciating, mentally and physically. Nevertheless, I’m bored and desperate for human interaction--anything that might resemble a busy work life--so I’ll stick around. I’ve become an expert in killing time.

Guaranteed to rapidly respond to emails
My email inboxes have no cobwebs.  I live for the You’ve Got Email [ping] notification and it’s not at all for the romance. You want that recipe? Our kids practice schedule? Organize the next family reunion? Your email has landed on target. I respond to emails and decipher keep/delete junk emails in nanoseconds. I have managed to snag soon-to-be-soldout tickets immediately at promotion and online shopping discount gifts for the next several birthdays.

Woefully disenchanted with ‘free time”’
If I had a dime for each time someone has said to me, “careful what you wish for”, I would be rich.  No doubt, in a future busy work life, I will look back on this lull time with wistfulness.

Up to date on news and politics
You know that warm-up audience guy, who livens the crowd with endless stories and jokes? That’s me. I’m the conversant at happy hour who says, Did you read about that guy….? Did you hear the latest survey results… Did you see that story on Facebook?…  If you want to know something about current affairs, pop culture or the general news of the day, ask me. Chances are I read it somewhere and if not, you can bet I’ll be googling it the moment I return to my desk.
Overly concerned with the human interaction of others
In my free time, I have developed an annoying trait of obsessing why a random person in my path does this or does that. Like, why is that guy using the treadmill in our basement when it is 70° and beautiful outside? Is he allergic to light? Does his training require treadmill running? Does he not like running outside?  And then I ask, is that really any of my business?  I fault the part of my brain ordinarily reserved for work thoughts; it’s just plain bored.

Caught up on all projects
Ha, this last one is a complete joke and if you who know me, you’ll see right through it! Sure, we had our taxes done by February this year. :) Yes, our household budget is forecast into Fall 2017.  And yes, my calendar is up to date with sports, dance and holidays. Alas, I am not on top of everything.

My greatest desires for my time are sewing/quilting and writing.  I’m on track with the latter, but until I have momentum--a month's worth of posting--I’ll not declare it done. Sewing not only requires my head space, but actual logistical space.  I’m working on it.

Meanwhile, having burned an hour writing, I still have 5.5 hours of the day left to kill. After I send a few emails reminding colleagues that I’m still ready and still open for business, I think I’ll go for a run. Outside.