I've been thinking about this for a while. Life is a football match.
Yeah, I know, but give it a chance.
Life/ a football game is a game of two halves (half time is our mid life crisis) - 90 minutes minus injury time. With any luck we make it to the 90 mark without getting injured (as REM tells us - everybody hurts sometimes) and without being substituted or being sent off.
We start off life/ a football game in a faltering way after a period of conception/ gestation/ strategy planning - those early minutes after kick off are spent figuring out the expectations and learning all about our strengths and weaknesses within the family/ team and as an individual.
In the midgets/ early years we're running around in a pack - not aimlessly, we're following the ball but we're having fun - we don't really know what's going on.
Minute/ age 10 and we're starting to get a handle on things. It's still early days but we now know where the goalposts are, which team members we can rely on, what our captains/ parents expect of us and we're stronger.
Half way through the first half of life/ the game, around the 23rd minute mark/ age and we've settled into the game. We've made some decisions, we've learnt from our mistakes (or not); we've started listening to the coach (or not). We now know what our positions are and we stick to them (or not).
This essentially sets the tone for the rest of the game/life. Are we a defender - trying to stop the opposition scoring? Are we a flamboyant striker - going for goal in a deliberate, sometimes ostentatious way? Are we mad (that would be the goalkeeper)? A defensive midfielder? A holding midfielder?
We learn to tackle problems and assist others. We're part of a team but we're an individual.
We quickly learn that we don't have things our own way. The opposition is set up to provide a test to our skills of perseverance. They are the dark side - the enemy that must be acknowledged, confronted and beaten. Don't give in to hate.
Sometimes our own team mates are not on our side. They may be a point of weakness. Do we help them? Do we turn against them? Decisions, decisions.
Sometimes that person is me. I've scored an own goal. How do I react to that? Do I give up? Do I heck as like. Never give up! Never surrender!
Minute 35 and we're starting to feel our age. We can't really cut it in the first team now and we have to readjust our thinking. We head off into social soccer and realise our limitations.
Half time comes and that mid life crisis arrives that I mentioned earlier. By the time we get to the 45 minute mark we need a breather, a rethink.
The first half of our life is over. We don't get that time back. We've made decisions. Some are good ones, some are bad ones. We may have scored a goal or we may be behind. Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down.
We need to stay focused for the second half. Our attitude is important. We decide to persevere (or not). Our skills have grown, but unfortunately we're no longer spring chickens. That needs to be acknowledged.
We're a little older, a little wiser. That refocusing results in better passes, better tackles, better strategy and more opportunities to score goals. Now we really need the coach and his/her sage mentoring advice. By now the crowd has grown too. Some are supporting us and some are supporting the opposition. But we realise this too. We're using our head better now.
By the end of the game we're weary. It's been a long game but the time has flown by. If we're fully in the moment we haven't heard all the crowds comments (good and bad). We're a zen warrior but, just like at the start of the game, we are more dependent on others, some of whom may have left the game, to see you through.
There's the whistle, the game is over. We sink to the ground. At peace - we've given our all.
At least it beats the hell out of 'life is like a box of chocolates'!!
Love and peace - Wozzinho