Happy Birthday Rick

Today is Rick Moranis’ Birthday.

Ages ago I read something that really stuck with me. It was about actor Rick Moranis. He was/is a famous actor from the 80s 90s. Ghostbusters, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Little Shop of Horrors, of course you know him, the list is endless.

The story goes that sadly Ricks wife dies. At the time he was one of the biggest stars of Hollywood. But he had 3 kids who were suddenly without a mother, what did he do. He quit it all to become a stay at home dad. It was one of the boldest and inspiring moves I have ever heard.
Here’s the bit that I took on board and put into action. In a recent interview he said that he wanted his kids to come home from school the smell of cooking and sound of music. This fun, loving home really appealed to me.
Now that the roles have been reversed and it’s Mrs Berg who is in work and me who is at home I strive to keep my home a fun and happy place. When things are tough, when I feel I gave up too much I remember the commitment to his cause that Rick put in and that my one goal should always be to make my home a happy place my kids can thrive in. 
Happy Birthday Rick. Thank you for the inspiration. 
Berg
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Week 10 – Perspective 

So far my journey in the beer league has gone right in every way. I quickly adapted to training, I earned a spot on the team, I got ice time in the pre season matches all quite quickly. 
I always knew however that it wasn’t going to be easy to get on the team. The pace and skill set was high and although I was keeping up I knew I wasn’t going to be fully up there yet.


As the first season game was drawing up I was optimistic and after good ice time at the pre season games I was eager to further my place on the teams line up. 
Unfortunately this was the week where I was going to have to take a step back. 
The training time on the Falcons changed, back by an hour. This made it more difficult for me to get there. But it made it easier for everyone else. As such a whole group of old time Falcons players could suddenly make it to training. As a consequence my ranking was pushed down as more familiar, experienced players suddenly wanted a spot. 
There was even a defenceman that they had been trying to get on the team for years, a real good one from the pro leagues who had become available. 
I was proud that my team had an influx of new players and the quality on training sky rocketed with even some of our top players being out worked. It benefited everyone.
The coach called me over and politely informed me that I was totally welcome to come to the game in Solihull, but it was the most players they have ever took and ice time would be limited.
I was disappointed. 
It happens a lot in the game where a player will think he deserves more ice time than another, and he complains and moans, or his parents complain and moan. But ultimately a coach wants/needs to put his best team on the bench. After 10 years as a coach working a bench, no one knew this better than me. 
So should I go down anyway ride the pine pony? I put the question to my Dad. “If he wanted you there,” he said, “he wouldn’t have said anything. If you go down, he will have to think about giving you ice time instead of concentrating on the game.”
It made sense. I knew it did. I would have to sit this one out. 
Looking at my position within the team I’m a line 4 defence man. Which is a lot better than not being on the team at all. I am grateful for my place on the team and happy that there are more high quality players to train with, it will only improve my own level. 
Ice time will come more and more I am confident in that because I am confident in the rate I’m improving.
It’s important to always take on a positive perspective that way you can always make step forwards, even when you step back.
If anything it has made me more hungry to improve, to get up to that higher level consistently. Until then I will continue to work hard and take the opportunities that come my way.

Plan B

With 5 children, 2 adults and 7 pets there is always a lot going on in our house. One of my goals this year is to really harness the activity, what I need is a plan.

I like to plan things. I love spreadsheets and bullet journals and to do lists and checklists and you get the idea. However, I am the only one. Mrs Berg for example prefers a spontaneous approach, never getting tied down to one thing. She would rather do everything, all at once. This is whether it’s all the house work at once or visiting all our friends and family on the same day, like a grand tour. 

Most people despair of me preparing a spreadsheet instead of just getting on with it. My mother constantly used to roll her eyes as I spend a day planning half a days work. 

Whereas they have a point I feel it’s not the plans fault and more mine. The action should definitely be larger than the time it took to plan it. This is something I hadn’t yet mastered.

Still what we need more than ever is a plan. 2 jobs, a degree, placements, school runs, nursery runs, cubs, dance, ice hockey, dog walks, exercise, runs, yoga, blog posts, free time, meal time, study time, sleep time, no time. At this point in our lives it needs to be managed, because after all time is the most precious of commodities.

The best guide for planning that has worked for me over the past year and one technique I will carry forward into the new year comes from The Art of Manliness 

https://youtu.be/KNxLNY6yxRI

A complete plan that encourages you to set goals, so you work to progress yourself as a person. The idea is that it is necessary to plan your day to day tasks but you need overall personal goals in order to feel fulfilled.

Recently I have gotten into Journaling. I find it helps me focus my writing and enables me to reflect on the things that are important to me. It is also a good way to plan your time. The first guy I watched who talked about journaling was Clark Danger.

https://youtu.be/Obni_PPkdiI

This is a good video to start with. He has a whole channel full of good videos and ideas on how to journal and how journaling can lead to good planning, both week to week and life. 

Finally, I have a soft spot for this bullet journalist. Her name is Boho Berry.  Just her design skills and layout appealed to me. Start with this video but again if you like it she has many good videos.

https://youtu.be/QD08sNRQkpkh

Combining several concepts from these plans I will make my own. Your own plan has to reflect your own style because your the only one doing what you are doing. 

It is about balance.

I will keep you posted on how successful I am and in a couple of months I will show you how I do it. 

Do you have a plan? What’s your technique? Let me know in the comments.

Berg

Remember your Curve

Feeling a little sluggish after the holidays? Too much to eat over Christmas? Feeling overwhelmed or that you have gone off course after the break? Me too. 

This December I have felt the burn. No hockey for 2 weeks, no running, no writing, kids have run riot, too much food and too much booze. Come January I feel exhausted and under prepared for 2017. 
It was enough to get me doubting myself.
But then I remembered my first lesson of the new year. Think of how far you have come. 
Where am I on my curve, from where I was, to where I want to be. 
Looking back to who I was when I first started to decisively change my life for the better I’m a lot further towards my goal than away from it. 

I don’t smoke now (that was a big one). I can run 5k at leisure, I have a blog that I write for, I look after my 5 children as a part time stay at home Dad, commanding control over the housework. And my hockey game is improving all the time on a team I love. 
Stresses, blips in diet and exercise, backwards steps that occur, whilst not commended should certainly not be punished and must be addressed with a certain perspective.
In a time of fresh starts and new goals, it is important to recognise how far our journey has brought us. 
Now give yourself a break, remember your curve and take your steps forward positively and proudly.
Happy New Year. Let’s make this a good one.
Berg 

Gallery

Worden Park

One of our favourite parks to visit is Worden Park in Leyland.

There is so much to do, long walks, huge fields and a giant park. We took a picnic and had a walk and a play on the park. It is home to a hedge maze that despite looking easy had us running around for a while. This time we found that there was a miniature railway with a train that we could ride. I was a brilliant day and because of the good weather we had a good day with lots a fun pictures for a gallery.

Skye’s last day at primary school

It has been an emotional day today. The final day of the school year has took on an extra weight as it is also the day my first born takes an important step forward in life.

 She changed my life, from the day she was born I knew my life would never be the same. And it wasn’t, I can’t remember a time I wasn’t proud of her. When she started school she was so eager to learn, so bright and quick and clever. That never changed once. She loved to read and from her first year she consumed books so fast she was reading beyond her level in no time, it reminded me so much of myself but she started so much younger. Her only weakness was maths, (that and being a chatterbox) but she had so much perseverance with everything she did that by the time she left today her maths scores were above average. She also was so keen to get to school on time, first up, first dressed, first ready, each and every morning, ushering the others with a venomous passion.

 
I remember my last day, or actually I can’t. I remember my first day of high school and what a big part of my life it was. For so long I considered it the beginning of my worldly adventures. In fact that only changed the day I met Skye. Me leaving primary wasn’t as heart wrenching, I had moved around a bit and had 3 separate primary schools in fact. Skye’s year however had had 7 long years together, a full childhood. Whereas my experience had been about starting in a new place, hers was about leaving a familiar set of friendships. It showed. The whole year clearly cared for each other as tears flowed and eyes stung red.

The service that was put on was amazing and stirring. It was clear that the last day of term had been made into a school tradition. I had never attended before but all had been welcome and there were a lot of other parents from other years there. They gave out awards, best hand writing, achievements in music, best sportsman/woman of the
year. These were not limited to year 6 but it was nice to see some of the students I knew take home awards. What was overwhelming was the amount of influence the year 6 had over the other children in school, at one point they showed a video showing the first year pictures and last year pictures of the leavers, many of the younger children would shout “there’s Skye” “look at Katie” “hasn’t Keaton changed”. It showed me that this year was respected amongst the school and there was a genuine sadness at their departure. I too had grown attached to some familiar faces, at birthday parties and play dates, sleepovers and school productions, I was upset for these faces I had grown accustomed to seeing.

During the assembly it occurred to me how many times the children has performed together, each year they had sang a song for at least 2 school plays, plus any year only assembly’s, special days, choirs and after school activities including the final year end performance. It was yet another way to bond over their time together, I likened it in my head to a TV show cast or a theatre group. This made one of the songs they sung particularly moving. Named “Our last song together” it picked up exactly on this concept. My heart filed with emotion and I joined the kids teachers and parents in welling up as they sang.

Each one of the teachers and teaching assistants congratulated my daughter, and wished her well in her new school. Her year 6 teacher, this being her first class as this school, got particularly upset. I noticed one of her teachers remarked on her leavers book that he sincerely hoped her next teachers would be deaf, it was this shared humour that ran throughout the class that made me smile. It also made me realise that she did have a life away from us already with its own humour and experiences, that concept showed me how much of a young adult she was. One teaching assistant told me how she could tell from my daughter that she was well looked after at home and listened to. This made me proud. Just how much effect my daughter has on so many lives around her made me proud.

As I read over this post to correct and edit I realise how sad a post it sounds, I’m just sad because she is clearly growing up and these days are going by so fast. But I must add that despite it being an end of an era, a childhood, it is also a beginning. Already Skye has had taster days, and has been planning routes to school, and talking to friends who already reside there. She is approaching her new adventure in the same way she has done everything in life, with tenacity and gusto. I know she will be great.


During the service the head teacher read out a poem that I thought was very apt for the situation, but also very inspirational for life in general, so as I finish this post I will leave you to read through it and be equally inspired.

Berg

Oh the places you will go – Dr Suess

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on y our way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

A brief day in the sun

It was so warm today that my hockey kit from last night aired and dried outside within a matter of hours. Naturally Mrs Berg took full the advantage of this by getting to home base as quickly as possible for some well needed potting plants. With help from our little helpers we were able to strip away the rough grass and weeds from a long winter and plant some fresh flowers in there place. 
  
Everyone chipped in, with planting in new pots, weeding and digging there was lots to do. It was nice for everyone to pull together and do something as a collective. After an Easter holiday filled with more snow than Easter eggs it was nice to get out in the fresh air for a change. 

Once the hard work had been done I made a filling meatballs with tomato linguine for the kids. This went down really well. I made it from scratch courtesy of Hello Fresh. We have started using Hello Fresh and I will be reviewing them another time but for now let me tell you that I made a fresh awesome linguine from scratch. 

The day was such a success and the garden was so well presented that, that evening, once the kids were in bed, I fired up the chimnea and make chicken tray bake (Hello Fresh again). We enjoyed a lovely alfresco meal followed by a study session outside next to the fire. I write this as the embers fade and the evening closes. But since it’s back to ironed uniforms and school runs I think I’ll throw another log on the fire.

Berg