11 today. 🥰 This pic was just before the first Lockdown, the last time she got to do what she truly loves – to be in the water and competitively swim.
🤩 2021 was supposed to be her year, with counties teed up to be a huge performance given her capability within her age range. Things were getting super exciting, and she had finally overcome the anxiety of competing and had built up her self-belief and confidence.
❤️ Swimming was her life, and she got so much from it emotionally, physically, mentally, socially and psychologically.
😢 She’s not had a race or even sprinted since March 2020. She’s had at best 5 months of restricted swimming training due to Lockdowns and a myriad of social distancing rules when in the public training pools. In real terms, she’s likely swam only ~25% of what she was supposed to do for her age and competency level.
😔 All, whilst becoming a tween, her body and mind changing, and not even having consistent social and school experiences.
💔 It’s been a tough year for her. Yes she has privileges and lots of love around her, but that does not take away from having such a dream shattering experience over the last 12 months.
I’m pretty sure Michael Phelps would not have been happy if he had this year when he was 10…
And to celebrate her 11th Birthday at home, with no grandparents, extended family, or friends before, during or after was a tough sacrifice. What should have been a BIG birthday for her with a fitting celebration was… yet another groundhog day at home. We had a lovely day, but not the experience we would have chosen for her.
Everyone is susceptible to suffering
❌ This is NOT an attempt for sympathy. Nor is it intended to be dramatic or hyperbolic. She will get over the last 12 months, and we’ve done our best to keep her growing, developing, supported and feeling grateful for life.
😢 I am VERY AWARE that there are a great many kids that have had an incredibly rough time over the last year. That deeply saddens me, and I am sorry to all those kids that have been deprived of a normal child experience.
Everyone’s challenges, joys, aspirations, circumstances and needs are uniquely different.
This won’t happen again
🏊♀️ Our daughter NEEDS to be swimming, amongst other things. I wish I could have done more for her over the last year to make that a reality.
🧱 Whilst she has lost a year, am I committed to not making that two years, and to help her make up for lost time. At painful expense, we’ve built her (and the whole family) a Professional Training Pool at home. Not the standard birthday present, but one we felt strongly about.
☝🏼If last year has taught us anything, it’s that we could all do with increasing our independence from state and state-controlled public provisions.
🤔 The idea from WEF and co is to sign up to increased state dependence. They suggest this will bring about greater equality and sustainability etc. Maybe. But it also serves the goal of increased population control and less individual freedom. Freedoms our forebears fought so hard to gift us.
For now, protecting independence and personal liberties for me feels like a true societal priority. If it cannot be done within the public square because of this newfound love affair with authoritarianism, then as means allow we need to create our private independence.
❓What have your kids really missed and desperately need back in their lives?
❓Do you agree or disagree that we should be looking to create greater means of private independence so another Lockdown etc is less personally disruptive?
❓If yes to the above, what things are you doing to achieve that? Eg home gym, allotment, solar, home cooking skills, home office etc?
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