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12 things to do on a public holiday, and not at all busy!

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‘So, how’s that 3rd gear going for you?!’

It’s nice to be heckled by your wife when you’re trying to be helpful around the house on a public holiday…

In Mrs YWS’ defence, I had just noted that I had a ‘To do list’ that had hit double figures.

She was referring to my 2012 goal of trying to find the 3rd gear more often. I seemed to either be stuck in 5th gear, going at an unrealistic pace, or crashing in 1st gear, or with the handbrake on, honestly, ‘recovering’ from another hectic day or week.

So, I had decided to break out of this pattern, aim for a more sustainable pace of life this year.

Back down to earth

Well, it took me about 6 hours of being back to work to realise that this was not going to work during business hours. Teaching is a profession that lends itself to a ‘5th or 1st gear’ philosophy.

Therefore, I had to look at the remaining hours I had left and be constructive with those; change my posture. No longer would I look to the recliner as my haven from the frenetic culture of which I am a part.

To a degree, it is a great place to find rest and recreation. But, spend too many hours there and you get up feeling more … I believe the technical term is ‘blah’.

The day

None of my to-do items were major events, as you will see, but they were certain to take up all of my day –

  • Mow and fix up the lawn
  • Organise large photos from the Europe trip
  • Finish drafting the media release for my Balancing Life business
  • Sort out storage for all items lying around in the house
  • Walk the dog
  • Work on my ‘Blurb book’ from Europe
  • Spray all the outdoor window edges with anti-spider spray
  • Oil in cars
  • Do a church related admin matter


  • Write this blog!
  • Update the ‘About Pete’ part of the site – there are more readers from around the world than I realised. Thank you, new WordPress app…
  • Reply to the comments I haven’t yet gotten back to – sorry, my bad…

So, as you can see, there’s a bit to do. I won’t get through it all (Blogger’s note – I didn’t, though 11 out of 12 ain’t bad!) and that’s ok. It’s great to have the time to be able to get outside on a beautiful day, be productive, safe in the knowledge that I am doing a good service for myself and my family and that there’s a dinner awaiting with great friends this evening.

I also know that when I eventually do sit down, I will relax with a sense of achievement of a job well done.

Past history

In the past, this list would have irked me more than I can communicate. They would have gotten in the way of key games to watch, recap shows to be up-to-date with, as well as a myriad of online sites all proffering their take on the latest ‘news’, games and players.

I would have been irritated or worked at a far more rapid pace in order to buy myself the time I needed to get the game in before dinner arrived. That kind of mental and physical exertion can take its toll.

Or, I just wouldn’t have done as much.

And my thought process as I did get into the various jobs that needed doing could have been off in la la land, thinking about various match ups, potential playoffs or finals meetings, and any of my teams – LA, Man U or Essendon, and how each of them could be improved and what the future holds.

Today’s thinking has been about how to ensure a group of us can get to two friends’ gig on Thursday night, making contact with a mate who is pretty down and how myself and Mrs YWS can look after her, what on earth I’m going to do about the biggest oak tree in the world that sits 4 metres from my home and making our house ‘work’ for when our 1st bubba comes along in early May.

Almost as big as ours...


And then one last thought came to me as I was raking up the plethora of acorns that sat at the bottom of the aforementioned Faraway Tree – ‘Life is far more interesting.’

There is so much more that I am now genuinely engaged with.

Being in such a positive place, I cannot wait to add sport to where life is at right now. The 295 days I have had to wrestle (hehe) with this has given me a new perspective on sport and where it sits in importance in life.

I now enthusiastically anticipate its return on May 24, not hanging for it so life can get back to how it once was, but as an awesome add-on to a life that is fuller, brighter and more settled than 9+ months ago.

I know my head will be full of our new baby when May 24 ticks over, meaning two new seasons begin at once, but that’s ok. There’s enough time, enough perspective and enough love to give to be ready for all the bumps and bruises that both seasons will bring. We’ll slip into 5th gear for a while and see where it takes us…


About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

3 responses »

  1. Hard work makes the quiet times all the more rewarding, especially when your maintaining your home which your list tended to suggest.

    As for ‘Spray all the outdoor window edges with anti-spider spray’ did you do this is womans underwear?

    • Yeah, I know the ‘work and reward’ thing is right down your alley. Thing was, I was stuffed by the time we got to our friend’s.

      Ha – your fixation with underwear while I go about protecting my wife from creepy crawlies is concerning…!


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