It continues to amaze me in my adult life how I continually look forward to a trip, a concert, an event, a night out with friends, a movie release, or something as globally massive as a major sporting tournament, only for said event to come and vanquish like some flash in the pan-been-there-done-that, now-let’s-move-on-moment.
Whether I’m getting older and losing track of time, or time has figured out a new sinister way to move faster than my intellect can comprehend isn’t really the conundrum here. Yet I continually find myself trying to find ways to slow time down, especially during these such events I’ve spent so much time, energy and emotion planning and waiting on.
Cue the 2010 World Cup that is now sadly in our collective rear view mirrors. There’s no better definition of a major life event that comes and goes so quickly largely because of the reason that football fans spend so much time anticipating its arrival.
Seriously, how long is even the shortest qualification process? CONMEBOL, the longest of the federations to qualify, kicked off in October of 2007. UEFA in August, 2008, and CONCACAF in early 2008. Sure, club football keeps our minds occupied for the majority of the year anyway, but the next big international tournament is always tucked away neatly in the cribs of our mind.
Once the long, arduous process of qualification is secure, football fans find themselves in the Army of international football, a game of wait and wait some more until the final battle starts in the summer. These are the anxious moments that then make the actual event feel as if it’s flown away so fast, away from our grasp and control, yet something we never had control over in the first place. Somewhat of a tease, isn’t it?
Once the Cup is in full swing, one feels as if they’ve never known anything else. For football fans, a World Cup tournament is a natural, God-given right of a feeling that strangely resembles how every summer should be spent. Summer’s reminiscent of our youth, away from school, closer to a temporary freedom before we go back and do it all over again.
While the matches rage on unchallenged and unchecked by anything else in your life, a welcoming feeling of normalcy sets in. Day after day you pour over the full 90’s, the post game analysis, the debate, the pods – the Richard’s, Kartik’s and Laurence’s of the world, their voices like old friends to guide your idle moments at the end of the day.
You hit repeat on these kinds of days. Days that will forever be instilled in your mind for years to come. When you think back to the summer of 2010, certain themes will surround your memory of the World Cup. It could be a band or song you listened to, a certain beer you drank, or a boyfriend or girlfriend you had at the time. Cherish these times, because once they’re over, the long wait begins again with only memories left.
Maybe this post is a simple reminder to live in the moment, to take each day as it is and to enjoy every second of something you so cherish. Maybe it’s a form of therapy because my team was average. Maybe it’s closure. Maybe the purpose here is to not put so much energy into something so temporary. Who knows?
One of my favorite American bands, Dr. Dog, recently released an album entitled Shame, Shame. On this album is a song called, “Where’d All The Time Go“, which in such a simple few lines sums up my feelings about the now vanished World Cup perfectly:
Where’d all the time go?
It’s starting to fly
See how the hands go
As I laugh a little after typing that and as the hands of the World Cup do in fact “wave goodbye” as it goes past, at least the memories we’ve created from it’s temporary ‘stop and hang out’ for a month can be kept and filed away until it comes around again in four years time.