If you read yesterdays entry about my obsessive nature, then it will come as no surprise to you that one of my biggest challenges is overcoming a feeling that I’ve wasted a day.
I’ve been a soccer referee for 10+ years. As with most referees, I appreciate the camaraderie, the game, the physical nature and the challenge. There is nothing like the feeling of the final whistle of a tough match where you are physically and mentally exhausted and you know, at least for that game, that you were really good. That feeling is very addictive.
Some referees though, myself included, begin to depend on that income, and then begin to work too many games. College games nearly every night in the fall (and hours of travel time), high school games, youth and adult games, indoor games throughout the year and futsal in the winter. Add re-certification clinics for each organization each year and throw in teaching classes all day 8-10 weekends a year, mentoring youth referees and assigning the youth leagues and tournaments and you find yourself suddenly with no time for anything other than your full time job (career) and your other full time job (soccer). Yesterday, for example, after a relatively normal workday, I got home at 6pm, worked in the yard for a while, and then headed off to ref indoor games from 9pm-12am.
So when weekends without responsibility come around, I have this obsession to make sure we DO something. Bonus points if it involves something we haven’t done or haven’t seen before.
A few weeks ago I found myself with a (nearly) free weekend. No games Friday or Saturday, only indoor games Sunday evening. Had a great dinner Friday at Peachtree Diner, and then to see a movie…..stayed up late hanging out with Lynn and Josh. On Saturday, did some things around the house and hung out until mid afternoon, and then convinced the family to go for a ride around Lake Lanier. The plan was to drive around a bit, check out some areas we hadn’t seen before, end up on the east side of the lake around sunset for some photography and then go out to Josh’s favorite restaurant La Parilla.
We drove out toward Lake Lanier Islands and I was able to experiment a bit with hdr on some cool sailboats in a private marina area.
As it got closer to the sunset hour, I began looking for a place that would give me a good view of the lake, the western sky and have interesting other composition for a photo. I didn’t really find the perfect place, but we went to a beach area and began to setup the tripod. Josh and Lynn began to skip some rocks into the water and I found out that Josh had never skipped rocks! How had I let this young man get to age 13 without ever teaching him to skip rocks? He got the hang of it pretty quickly and everyone had some good laughs.
I ended up with a decent sunset photo, and after a relaxing dinner at La Parilla we headed home. As I was processing my photos I began thinking about the day and that old nagging feeling that we had “wasted” the day came creeping in… almost immediately I was able to squash it though. Any day where you can skip some rocks with your family and see an awesome sunset is better than spending it in the hot sun getting screamed at by fans or griped at by testosterone fueled douchebags. Memo to self: Remember this when setting up the calendar for next month.