Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mike Writes...We All Learn

As parents, it is easy to get so lost in the day-to-day of life's joys and challenges that we forget to take time for ourselves.  As homeschooling parents who spend so much time trying to feed our children's minds, bodies and souls, along with simply trying to maintain sort of balance between work, homemaking and the rest of life, time for personal pursuits seems even more elusive.

Now, this is not a problem in and of itself. Each season of life has its priorities and the one we are in now - which includes homeschooling our young children - is necessarily scant on leisure time for parents.  That said, when Mommy or Daddy start feeling stressed, unsatisfied or otherwise depleted, the lack of personal time becomes problematic.  Plus, how can we teach our children to take the time to enjoy and share their unique gifts and interests if we do not?

Mike recognized this recently and decided to carve out moments to pursue an old love of his -- writing!  In doing so, he has re-embraced a passion for thinking about and sharing prose about topics that interest him (sports and politics) while demonstrating to me and the kids how consistently taking a few minutes for yourself can really pay off.  For while the kids are too young to read Daddy's pieces, they are not too young to see him pursuing an interest with heart and being infused with satisfaction and energy from it.  Awesome!  And me?  I am remembering how important it is to have both personal time and partner time.  As people, partners and parents, we can only grow if we are given time, right?

And so it is, I am taking a moment today to record how proud I am of Mike.  For while I cannot say I agree 100% with all he has to say in through his writing, I certainly think that he makes his arguments well and hope that our children model his writing style in many ways as they grow.  I also pray that Mike continues to lead our family in recognizing and practicing the importance of  "down time", "breathing out" and pursuing personal interests and talents.  So often, tasks and to-do's overshadow such things.  They should not.  God gives each of us unique gifts.  It is such a blessing to be able to unwrap them slowly..

It is also a delight to discourse with others through writing.  So, if you'd like to share in what Mike's been writing, leaving him your own thoughts, please do.  He'll be encouraged to see others enjoying (or arguing for or against) his ideas and opinions.  Here some recent ones are:

The Professional College Athlete
With the Cam Newton allegations taking center stage, the college football world is once again caught in the debate of whether or not college athletes should be paid. Many people think that they should because of the amount of money generated for the universities by the teams. I say, "Nonsense! College athletes shouldn't be paid!"

First of all, for every Notre Dame, Ohio State and University of Florida football teams that are cash cows, there are many schools where the football team drains the school budget. Therefore, do only the players from the big schools get paid? Or, do all players on every team at every university get paid? What about other sports? Does the Notre Dame women's field hockey team get paid just as much as the men's football team? Or, does only the men's football team get paid and the women's field hockey team not? If so, I see a Title IX lawsuit in the cards.

Read on.

In Defense of Athletes
"Athletes make too much money!" I've heard this statement a million times. Usually, it's from some meathead with a severe case of alcohol-induced halitosis. He rambles on about teachers and nurses being underpaid while "some guy throwing a football makes millions." His speech turns into a slobbering incoherent diatribe that ends up blaming the Free Masons and Halliburton for global warming and his scoliosis.

I've also noticed that these types often own an obscene amount of sports paraphernalia, equal in value to the GDP of Botswana (roughly $12.5 billion, US dollars). Guys like him are incapable of seeing the direct correlation between them wasting their kids' college savings on team hoodies and Peyton Manning earning a fat paycheck. It's pretty simple: if you don't go to the games and buy all the league-endorsed crap, the athlete won't make seven-figured salaries. But, you know what? That guy won't quit buying it. Why? Because he's an un-athletic, tub-o-goo stuck in a dead-end job that finds himself living vicariously through those "spoiled" athletes.

Read on.

I'm an Ugly American
Have you ever seen a news column, a comments section, or some American-bashing website that gives the same regurgitated commentary about Americans' lack of geographical acumen? This banality is sometimes lumped in with some rant about Americans being too obtuse to understand the intricacies of that beautiful game, football. (We American rubes call it "soccer.") They see great strategy and technique; we see flopping around and players acting like girlie-men, whining for a red card.

But, I digress.


Read on.



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