Triumph and tragedy…

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This has been an up and down week so far. It started with elation and the news that my bike racing son had won his first ever race after 9 years of trying. Sadly we weren’t there is to see it, and online live timing is a poor substitute. I can though imagine his grin and fist pump as he crossed the line – move over Valentino Rossi! Huge determination over those years, a lot of hard work and some tears have flowed. David is 29 next week – but like all parents he still seems a lot less than that to me! How can he have done these things? Well he has!

Tragedy came with the news affecting the family of a close colleague here at the council – it’s in the papers – I won’t repeat the details. There is no worse news anyone can receive than the death of a child, and our thoughts are very much with the people concerned.

At times at various race circuits over the years my heart has been in my mouth and David has had his fair share of serious “offs”.  One in particular a few years back. But he has always come through. And will never I think (or is that fear?) loose the bike thing….once bitten. And with a Honda in my garage who am I to preach?

What I do know is that whether it’s the adrenalin rush, the sense of achievement or something completely different I never see my son more animated or engaged than when he is doing something he absolutely loves. We often speak of passion in our work. How can we recreate the passion of a dedicated sportsman for his game in the mundane reality of  the workplace? Maybe we do see it when we are lucky enough to be involved with something we really care about and feel will really matter to someone. Something that will make that difference.

A lot of the time in local government services we do in fact achieve that contribution, it’s just that we sometimes don’t see it ourselves. It’s just the job,. We lose sight of the outcomes for others from our work. In fact some of the most important things in our communities happen as the result of things that council workers do everyday. Let’s try a bit harder to remember that each day, and grow the passion for our work that too often we only see shown in other places.

And on to the election. I am reckoning on a 24 hour day starting tomorrow morning and ending at some point in the early hours of Friday at the Saltire Centre in Arbroath. And no – I don’t do 3am gym! It’s where we count the votes and I am the Returning Officer! The good news – I get a bacon roll at 8 in the office to set me up for the day…..don’t tell!

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