I’ve been doing lots of thinking lately.  

In the last week or two almost every social gathering I’ve been to has involved conversations which are competitive. It’s got to the point that if I’m in a conversation about something, it’s taken as me saying this is better than that so the person talking to me has to better what I’ve said. It’s odd. It’s like bizarre social Top Trumps.

I’m exhausted from it. I’d love to have normal conversations again. The kind I have when I’m sitting with my lovely knitting ladies in the pub when we talk about the funny things that happen in our lives. Exactly that. That’s when I’m relaxed and happy.

There’s something about H’s school too. They’re fond of issuing certificates to the children when they achieve something – I’ve spotted a few kids getting them for good reading or good computer work, that kind of thing – acknowledging the work they’re doing. H hasn’t had anything at all. It’s not like I’m expecting it, I’m just confused why some children might get them – maybe that’s it though, she’s doing it so doesn’t need the encouragement? Which reminded me of school back when I was eight.

We were doing multiplication and it was a race. We had to learn them up to twelve. We were sorted into teams of different colours. I wanted to win, I knew I was good with numbers so it wouldn’t be too difficult. In the space of a week I worked so hard, doing two or three lots at a time with my teacher so that my colour, the dark green, would win. I was motivated. What actually happened was I was the only dark green. Nobody else had my colour. So I was the first one to get to twelve, but all the yellow team won, then the reds, then the light green. When it came to declaring a winner my lone dark green didn’t win. There was only one of me, yet many of every other colour. I worked hard and watched everyone else celebrate winning, I was ignored. I was crushed. I said nothing. I taught myself my thirteen times table instead, told nobody and lost my motivation.

I worry about something like that happening to H. You do though, don’t you? She is absolutely fine and unbothered by the certificates, I am fine and not overly concerned – but I hope she doesn’t end up forgotten as well.

From now onwards we’re avoiding competitive. No more. Be done. Tis the Season to be normal, fa la la la la, etc.