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The Four Quarters of Life

After a period of self-indulgent naval gazing, I’ve arrived at an analogy for life, which isn’t as profound as I would have liked. I’ve concluded that life is like a game of footy. Ironic given I’m not a footy fan and nor do I really understand the rules (oh wait … that part could explain a few things). This game called life is being played out in four quarters, punctuated by breaks where the players get to recover and regroup. The first quarter is played at high intensity while players are still fresh, energised and ready to jump for every metaphorical ball that’s thrown their way. Q1 passes quickly. There are very few injuries and a strong first quarter sets you up well for the rest of the game. By quarter time players are exhausted. Perhaps in retrospect they may have gone out too hard? Not to worry, a gap year (or the quarter time of life) is the perfect punctuation point  … that age old rite of passage that sees thousands of teens take a year off to relax, reflect, see the world, drink beer and prepare for Q2, which (btw) is where the game is usually won or lost. This second quarter drags on like an e-cigarette. Players usually start strong but show signs of fatigue as half time approaches. It’s not uncommon to see a few yellow cards and timeouts during Q2 and teamwork is key. By the time the whistle blows on half time, most players are feeling exhausted and a tad jaded. Cue the Golden Gap year. Because if ever a player needed a break it’s now! Time to catch your breath, reflect back on the first half and make a plan for the second. So this is where I’m at in the game. Not ready to plough on to the third quarter and in desperate need of a break in the play. I’m serious about taking a golden  Golden Gap year and I have no idea what the 3rd and 4th quarters of my game will look like other than it’s likely that I’ll see a few players stretchered off the field, energy levels will be decidedly lower, fewer tries will be scored and most players will happily let the high balls go through to the keeper. I suspect it will turn into a game of endurance and self-preservation where winning will no longer be the ultimate goal. But of one thing I’m sure … I want to be playing hard til the final buzzer sounds.

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