21 blog posts series sixteen

21 blog posts series sixteen

Sixteen: “Finding common ground within family”

They say you can’t choose your family, like this is a bad thing. But it’s not necessarily, because you can choose to accept your family members for the individuals that they are and appreciate the role they play and have played in your life up to now. We all know families are complex, family secrets and irregularities are fairly common place when you think about it. But when you begin to appreciate your family, you can then go about coming to terms with your roots and be proud of the differences within family more than anything else.

Change occurs in the lives of those in your family and I think the best thing for anyone to do, is to accept this change wholeheartedly. This brings about the realisation that you can’t really pack up and start an entirely new family from scratch. Those connections we are born with and make along the way are still going to hang around. Individual things such as shared memories stick in your mind and honestly, others can always trace you back to where you started from so there’s no point in trying to hide where you came from.

More often than not, a family is a place to call home in terms of them being settled in a place or being surrounded by certain people easily identifiable. They’re never too far away and it’s important to remember and appreciate that fact. There’s a connection there that is unique and it comes in the form of knowing that something special that you share with your relatives. Whether this be parents or grandparents, these people know better than your friends what those people mean or meant to you and the relationship you once shared.

One thing of importance to note about family is that absolutely guaranteed, they’ll know you better than you can possibly imagine. They’ve watched and seen you at every stage, every phase and you really can’t hide too many things from them. I can also say that for the most part they’ll have your back and defend you to the bitter end. What we need to realise that a family isn’t complete without its people to make up the pieces, and play their individual role. We can have a laugh and reminisce on the similarities in the family, how we might do things alike or even follow the same interests – this is really important. But the differences are essential too. Outcasts shouldn’t exist in families.

Disagreements, arguments and fall outs can happen within families and really that tarnishes things if they aren’t handled in the best way. What I’ve learned is that losing an argument is not a hard price to pay in order to keep the peace. There’s a little bit of self control involved in this is knowing your relative well enough to know where and when that point is, that point of no return, to be aware of it and not to go on further. I would say voice your concerns if you disagree with someone’s actions but remember: you will still have to look this person in the face again tomorrow and the next day, so definitely decide beforehand if it’s worth it. A little bit of forgiveness goes a long way in family.

To those reading this who may not identify with any of this, I’d recommend reaching out – no matter how difficult it may seem. Rekindling a family relationship is probably something tougher than that of a friendship. But, if a small bit of forgiveness is what it takes to reconnect with someone you’ve lost who you once cared for, that’s not such a big thing. You can still remain headstrong, knowing you were right deep down but for the sake of peace, keeping it to yourself when you need to.

All images used are from my personal Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/cathyleex/

21 blog posts series take thirteen

21 blog posts series take thirteen

Thirteen: “Appreciating sport and athleticism”

Sport means something, that’s what I’ve come to learn. Whether it be the community hall annual table tennis tournament, the premier league or even the junior league. Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, team or individual – sport has a deserving place in our lives. Love it or hate it, I feel that you can’t help but admire it. The fact that individuals go to lengths to better their skills and abilities, commit to a team or even follow various ones, it shows a dedication that’s something to think positively about.

Now in all honesty I may not wholeheartedly love a certain team or sport fully, but I do enjoy watching how passionate others are about it and of course the inclusion of those of every age. This comes as I remember the most read article on this blog, a piece from two years ago I did on a football game and triumph from an underdog team locally here in Wicklow. I link to that post here: (https://cathyinconversation.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/newtown-united-come-out-of-their-shells/).

That game was something incredible to be witness too, particularly in the celebratory time afterwards you could really just see and feel how much it meant to everyone and that has stayed with me since. When I was younger I pretty much tried every sport under the sun to see what would stick. There were a few faithful favourites but even now I know I could never be as good again as I once was. This month marks ten years since I competed in the Irish Gymnastics national championships in Belfast and was placed 8th in trampolining. My only claim to sporting fame, really seems like a lifetime ago.

I’ve friends and family who always think back to the sport that was theirs in their youth and there’s often a sense of regret that we didn’t stick at it. I understand that but it’s okay to accept that circumstances change and life moves on and sometimes sport can get mixed up in all of that. Facilities come into play as well as the time you have available to commit to these things. It’s tougher than it may seem and I think these athletes that give it their all week in and week out are champions in their own right for simply doing this and training hard.

When you look at the bigger tournaments like the Olympics or World or European Championships, you can’t help but admire the athletes coming from across the globe to represent themselves and their country in so many sports. I really think that sport is something simple to unite a country rather than segregate it. I know there’s such a thing as hooliganism and often cases of racism in sport, but for the majority of supporters – they’re simply involved to follow a team and to purely enjoy seeing what their men or women do best.

Athleticism is something excellent. Whether you work out alone in the gym or you show up for your team each week on the field, you’re doing something worthwhile in my view. Not only is being active rewarding for your mental and physical health, it’s something that sets an example for others. I’d love to have a personal trainer just to be in awe of what he or she can do and push others to do as well.

There’s money to be made in sport and I know there are plenty of various outlets cashing in on it but I don’t think it’s all bad. People feel good wearing the emblem of their team or the colours of their country and that little bit of pride goes a long way. The support is so rewarding for athletes that it can nearly be seen on their faces. So go to the matches, watch it on TV, clutch the match day programme tight – because you’re involved in something good that’s unique and special in its own right.

All images used are from my personal Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/cathyleex/

21 blog posts series take three

21 blog posts series take three

Three: “Attend the events that mean something to you”

Tickets went on sale today for the highly anticipated Electric Picnic 2017. I’m sure we all knew about this due to the huge presence of social media in our lives, seeing live the backlash via the online polls, radio hotlines and live tweets taking over.

I understand totally the upset of the people due to the secret line up only announced once tickets were already sold out. A little bit unfair to say the least. In some ways I feel people buy tickets to these big gigs just to rave on about going for the next few months in attempt at bettering their peers for winning this ticket war. But that’s just an opinion.

My friend and I had a different idea to tackle this by signing up via the volunteering route in order to catch the festival, but that’s neither here nor there.

In summer of last year, I think it was that Electric Picnic was recorded for TV for the catch up services. I watched it back with a slightly tear stained face looking at what I was missing out on. The whole FOMO excuse we use to do the radical act of spending, I totally get. Honestly thinking back, there is really nothing worse than sitting home knowing something is happening without you being there.

On that note I’ve come to realise that we should always try our fullest to attend these events that mean something to us. Whether it be a concert, a sporting game or comedy gig – whatever. If it’s something that you feel you need to be at, don’t delay yourself in foolishness like going through the pro’s and con’s list or wait for your friend to reply to the excited message.

You’re really not doing any harm buying a ticket first and foremost. Sure, circumstances at the time can be different but often worked around for the sake of a great time. Sometimes it’s more important to have a good story to tell about something reckless you did than to tell the sensible story of how you sat home and saved your money.

These events like games or gigs, they’re special. They don’t happen close to us every day and sometimes sacrifices need to be made in order to satisfy that craving we have – with no guilt felt whatsoever.

In these situations, sometimes you have to put yourself first. If you really love the team or artist, if you’re a really big fan and you know you’ll enjoy it – you simply have to try your best to get there.

(Unless we’re talking about Ed Sheeran, that’s a little bit tougher I admit).

I’ll give you an example. A few Christmases ago, I knew my father wanted a ticket to see Joe Jackson play in Dublin. What I didn’t know was that tickets would sell out crazy fast and there would only be one left (legit one ticket) when I went to buy.

So what did we decide? Screw the concert and wait for another opportunity for him/his band to play again? No.

My dad attended, alone – and ended up having an amazing time just being there appreciating the music with fellow fans around him.

Some may see that as a brave thing to do but I see it as totally understandable. Really, nothing should stop you from being in those incredible situations that you’ll always remember and enjoy thinking back on.

Never be ashamed about the teams or artists you admire and if they’re playing – go see them – I really don’t think it’s something you could possible regret. And, sure isn’t that all what being a fan is about?

All images used are from my personal Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/cathyleex/

The Stand

The moon rises earlier each night
That’s a sight I can see and be certain of its reality.
Something unlike this.

The time ticks past and is somehow semi-permanent
As I sit waiting.
With the sense of regret and neglect hanging like the low moon of the early evening.

An evening was all that was planned, of duration time, all dated and set.
Something to represent the desire, of relaxation and little regret.

A fixation I wanted fixed.
A friendship formed, gradual and continuous
Something new started, sudden and ambitious.

I sit and wait some more and hope for the knock.
Look to the the door, the clock, the floor.

Out the window the moon rises, earlier each night.
At the sight, I know it’s time.

I turned out the lights.