Not so long ago, hockey was pretty much a year-round thing in our household, save for perhaps the month of July. All three of my children played hockey, and then some played spring hockey, and then some did spring 4-on-4 leagues, and then some went to summer hockey camps, and then some went to late summer try-outs. I exhaled deeply in July and sucked in my breath again around mid-August. After about 11 seasons of minor hockey, my boys decided to hang up their goalie skates. Gone for them are the try-outs, the hockey camps, the spring 4-on-4, the spring hockey leagues and the winter hockey league. Now, it’s just my daughter playing the regular hockey season and some spring 4-on-4. Sigh.

As you can imagine, the question I get asked an awful lot these days is, “What are you doing with all your free time?”

It’s a fair question. When you suddenly regain 15+ hours a week from your schedule of driving to various arenas every week, standing around, eating shrivelled hot dogs, freezing your butt off and laundering putrid UnderArmour, you would think by now that I’ve mastered a new language or learned to play the oboe or something.  Sadly, I have not.

“I’m enjoying my Transition Year” is what I tell people.  I need to properly ease into the years ahead alternating between short bouts of productivity and prolonged bouts of profound laziness, to which I feel entitled. I actually feel hypocritical now when another exasperated hockey mom bemoans her crazy hockey week to me and I answer, “Tell me about it!”  because, really, what do I have to tell?

The extra free time aside, I am already worried that I’m losing some of those indispensable talents I’ve acquired during my hockey mom years.

I noticed for instance that it’s getting tougher and tougher to fake a good headache on a Saturday night (I think my husband thought I would have more free time too). Perhaps I should incorporate phrases like ‘fortuitous bounce’ or ‘puck luck’ into my pillow talk just to make me feel like I’m still in the game.

I also noticed that I can no longer nose my car into that tight parking spot right between two massive Ford F150s. And those calories I burned clambering out of the back hatch because I can’t open either the driver’s side door or the passenger door? There is no other cardio exercise that can be as easily combined with such a worthy photo op.

Just last weekend, I totally forgot to pack my travel wine glass for a weekend away.  A shameful and unforgettable lack of preparation. Every woman needs a good travel goblet.

I’m also worried that I am losing my aptitude to pee standing up. An astonishing skill cultivated from years of drinking copious amounts of coffee and then having to deal with a grimy arena washroom. I cringe when I think what will happen when I am next confronted with a repulsive gas station restroom or a pit toilet.

Most of all though, of all the household uses for hockey tape, I hope I never lose sight of the fact that in can be used to wrap the frayed edges of a skate lace that has lost its aglet so that it can easily fit through the grommet again.  I know, right?  That one’s going on my resume!

And what’s going to happen to my alcohol tolerance? I’m ashamed to admit that just last night, I felt tipsy after only two shots of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey.  Talk about a wuss!

I never thought I would say this, but can you tell I miss hockey? I think I need an intervention.

fireball whiskey

12 Responses to So what am I doing with all my free time?

  • Too funny! My kid is in the PlayOn road hockey tournament right now and I’m not even there. (Big change!) It’s hard to adjust to these developments when hockey has been our lifestyle and our social life and our community and the receptacle for all our money for years and years. : )

  • “Aglet.” That is the one thing that impressed me the most. You know that word. I am now enlightened. You will make the transition with the ease of skating on a recently Zambonied rink. Just be sure to keep your edge.

  • No worries, Astra. You’ll soon have something new to fill your time! For now, enjoy the free time while you can.

  • You may have gained 15+ hours because of not going to so much hockey now, but I’m sure, as a mom, those hours will quickly fill. There is always something to do or somewhere you have to go. Aglet – my new word of the day! And the Fireball Cinnamon Whisky – you’ll need to get back on the horse with that one – life never stops with kids.

    • Thanks Anne! I too am sure that the time will fill other motherhood responsibilities (and then presumably the need for more Fireball Whiskey will follow!).

  • Hang in there, Astra! You still haven’t hung up your hockey mom hat! Transitioning is hard and really, it would appear you’re struggling with a lot of loss. I mean, losing the edge on peeing standing up has to hurt any woman! I would be devastated! hee hee! Fortunately, like kegels, you can continue practicing this art whenever you have to go to a public restroom. Ah, the joys of womanhood! Thanks for the funny post, my friend! I needed a pick me up this morning. 🙂

  • I suspect it’s like the empty nest syndrome. Now that you have all the time to, you know, shudder and gasp, to think about…..YOU! I should be witty, but I find I can’t. There are all those little things you thought you might want to do, like knit plate covers and pot holders, etc., while being a full time hockey mom, but now that there are available hours, you’re thinking I don’t want to knit. And by the way, who is that woman looking back at me.. OK, maybe not really, but your talents to pee standing up, while amazing, will surface. And you always have your memoir. You should submit this to a mom site or magazine. You’re damn funny, and moms across the globe can relate to the change you’ve so eloquently and amusingly captured.

    • Thank you Brenda, as always, for your encouragement. Truth is, the memoir is now half done so I’m well on my way to having it completed before the next hockey season begins 🙂

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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