Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit (Day 14) – Monday, 5th March 

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The problem with taking a few days off is you feel like you’re chasing your tail when you get back into it and that’s exactly how my day has been.

Was a busy day!  And got a lot done!  But then just the littlest of things can throw you all over the place and suddenly you’re racing to get things finished.  Oh, the life of a Sports Journalist 🙂

Everything was falling nicely into place.  Preparations for Mullingar and two school games tomorrow.  Reorganising the diary after last week’s postponements.  And getting ready for a relaxing evening before things pick up at the weekend.

Of course, we are after coming off some of the worst weather this country has seen in my lifetime so you have to prepare for the unexpected.  And at 5.03pm, it all changed.

The good news!  We have the dates for the All-Ireland Club Finals.  March 18th!  We’ll be ready to go!  Sarsfields and Athenry go in search for All-Ireland glory and it’s great for the clubs that they got the dates as soon as the GAA announced their refixtures.

Now, for the life of me, I can’t understand why these games aren’t on the Bank Holiday Monday (19th).  It looked the perfect day for camogie to have for itself and coming off the back of a long weekend, it probably would have given the attendance a boost.

I’m not criticising the Camogie Association and they deserve credit for getting Croke Park again.  These clubs deserve their day on the grandest stage of all.  But with the hurling and football on the Saturday, I can’t help but feel that the Monday option would still have been available and better.

On that weekend, you have Corofin on Saturday and the Ireland vs England rugby match.  And on Sunday, you have Galway vs Dublin and the Galway hurlers playing a league quarter-final.  And I’m sure Kildare and Derry have big games on that day too.  Also, how easy is it going to be to get people travelling the day after St. Patrick’s Day?

For me, it takes away St. Patrick’s Day as there’ll have to be gear organised and last-minute preparations.  And after getting the great news that my goddaughter Evie (whose birthday is St. Patrick’s Day) will be home, I’m a tad disappointed that my day is going to be compromised.  But thankfully, I’ll have Rory, Jade and Evie home for five days so we’ll work around it so it’s all good when you think about it.

I suppose I’m a bit more miffed that the two games tomorrow scheduled for Mullingar were postponed and we had to wait all day for that confirmation.  It’s going to make fitting these games in difficult as Presentation Tuam have their juniors out on Saturday and no doubt, there’ll be players on both teams.

A double header was probably a bit ambitious but you’d imagine contingency plans would have been in place should St. Loman’s not be able host the matches.

Anyway, that’s my rant out of the system 🙂.  On a positive note, it was great to get back to action today and got all the things I’d planned to do this morning done.  Brought Kate to school, visited Mike’s grave and then got home to shower and shave.  A shave really does feel good after five days 🙂

It’s unbelievable realising I’ve hit the two weeks mark off the cigarettes and it feels great.  I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not yet but I can feel myself breathing, like the lungs are getting in more oxygen.  Definitely makes one feel better even if a tad stressed realising I’ve to get this piece done before 8pm.

The one great thing I’ve taken from this experience is hearing other people’s stories.  And I received an email this morning from a good friend whose taken inspiration and is seriously considering quitting himself.  As I’ve said before, I didn’t start this with the purpose of persuading others to ‘Kick The Habit.’  But if my attempt helps someone else to quit, then it will have been worthwhile.

At least with not having to travel tomorrow, I will get another day to catch up on everything and then we’ll be back on track.  I realise my earlier rant was just because it has been a busy three hours.  These things happen to everyone in every walk of life.  I don’t know what I’m giving out about.  I have my health and that’s the most important thing.

And it would be moments like this before where I’d be running downstairs for a cigarette before tackling the work.  That never crossed my mind.  Did take the gum but we won’t mind that.

So am going to relax and enjoy the night.  Bar a radio chat at 9pm, it’s Oscars, Red Rock and Trauma on the TV.  Now, I can’t argue with that 🙂

Darren