It's been a while since I've had chance to even think about this blog but I'm relieved to be back looking at it. Eleven and a half months ago my second child was born so no guessing as to what has consumed my life. When a couple has one child any given task is going to take you twice as long, when you have two, that task is never going to get started! I intend to complete the couple of drafts I had going a year ago and continue in whatever direction thereafter.
Things are just beginning to settle down into a new sense of normality...whatever normal actually is. Sleep deprivation is ongoing, mess and household carnage is insurmountable, you have to work hard to snatch those moments of chill with one's beloved partner and when silence is true, absolute bliss you know you have two kids under two.
Shooting wise I have just managed to fulfil my smallbore competition commitments for club and county and I had fun in the NSRA Eley finals at Bisley last summer. I got my first international coaching qualification, ISSF D License, and also the qualification to organise British Shooting Target Sprint events, a new event that is gunning ('scuse the pun) for Olympic status. It was a long time ago now that I had to choose between being a coach over a competitor but being both has served me well. Nowadays, even that choice has been taken away from me, I'm a Dad.
Our eldest has recently hit two and a half. I used to think I was patient, calm, understanding, sometimes empathetic. Not when it comes to that age range though. A shooter in competition requires a mental calmness that is noticeable by brainwave patterns changing to those that are comparable to being in a meditative state. I have been so far from that state at times. However, when I have managed to get to the range to pound out my backlog of targets I have quickly and easily slipped into a deep sigh of relief to be behind my partner of a rifle. I know how my rifle and I work together, I haven't yet got a clue about my children.
I also have to remember that just like every bad shot always being my fault, any tantrum, all boundary pushing behaviour from my child is only going to be made worse if I make it so. I'm not in control of the world outside of me. I'm often not in control of my instant reaction to it either but I do have the choice to take the shot or breathe and wait for a better moment.