“Do not let let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
Like a friend of mine who introduced me to the fine art of blogging (my blogging mentor if I may be so bold), she at first intended her blog to be solely about teaching. Mine was supposed to only be about hiking and the joy that it brings me. However, like her, I have found that there are many other directions that you can take and things that you can do that will still bring you to the destination that you originally intended to go to.
For the massive audience of six or seven people that follow my blog and the one or two others who might read it after haphazardly stumbling upon it, you might have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for over a month. The reason? I am a hockey parent. I have been for 14 years now. First for my son, who started playing roller hockey at the age of six in the spring, summer and fall for many years before transitioning to the ice. As he grew older and the level of competition got more, well, competitive, I found myself having a more difficult time staying calm during games.
It is always easier to find fault in everything that the referees and coaches do when you are sitting in the stands.
As many of you may know, it’s never the kids on either of the teams that cause any of the problems, it is always the adults. You see, my son was a goalie. If you follow hockey, you know that if your team wins, the goalie is a hero. If not, well that’s a whole other story. I have to admit that there were time early on (and later) when I lost my shit after listening to adults make nasty comments about my son and daughter. I will further admit that a couple of these prized interactions almost led to physical altercations.
I did have several years where both of my kids played at the same time but on different teams. I then had to contend with two sets of parents. I finally had to make a decision. Knowing that I couldn’t possible take on every parent who acted like a moron, I had to find a way to shield myself from the idiocy. As I reflected on the years that I had been watching my kids play, the one thing that I never really saw was how happy they were when they were playing. My son was even nicknamed “The Jolly Goaltender” because he always had a smile on his face. My daughter, who is also pretty jovial when she is on the ice, is out there having fun and never complaining.
So what I did was this: I decided that I would concentrate on them and not on the parents. I began bringing my ipod to each of the games and literally tuned out the comments from the babbling birdbrains (thank you Dr. Smith!). I also now stay far away from all of the blithering boobies that can’t seem to ever shut up (thanks again to the good Doctor!) and doing this has certainly increased my level of enjoyment of the game.
With all of that said, please allow me to bring this full circle. As with my friend, I fully intended on writing about just hiking. As I move through life however, I keep finding more and more things that when I reflect on them, help to create a more peaceful existence for me and hopefully my family.
So what does this have to do with Zen? Watching my kids play hockey throughout the years and seeing how happy they are when they are on the ice provides me with a sense of peace that I don’t think I could have achieved anywhere else. I can’t even guess at how many positive benefits they have received over the years. Watching my kids and not reacting to everything that happens in a game has not only made me a better person, but it has also given my children something to think about when they have children of their own.
So does every blog entry have to be about hiking? I don’t think so. I think that it might be more beneficial to write about all of the things in our lives that promote our inner peace and contribute to our well being.