September is my favourite time of year – Footy Finals time! I am a bit of an AFL nut (Australian Rules Football for those on the other side of the world). I just love it. My Mum and I quite happily sit on the couch and scream at the television all throughout the footy season and by the time finals roll around, we are on fire. There’s this incredible, passionately aggressive side that comes out of us when we are really into a game of footy.
People get very surprised by this. I guess the image of Mum and I dressed in our pearls, red wine in hand, screaming obscenities at the television is a little hard to picture. We, however, really get into it and have an absolute blast in the process.
My beautiful Nanna, who we lost two years ago at the age of 97, would be the loudest of all. Three generations of AFL fanatics yelling “GET OFF HIM” “I COULD’VE KICKED THAT GOAL IN MY STILETTOS” was certainly a sight to behold. My Dad, who would hide in the garage (and still does) would say – “I was getting worried, it sounded like a group of blokes upstairs”.
Not the image we generally like to portray, but behind closed doors, it’s nice to be able to let it all go.
AFL Grand Final Day is one of the biggest days of my year. I used to head up to Brisbane every year for a big weekend with girlfriends who love the game just as much as I do. Over the past six or so years, it became a tradition to prepare a nice big batch of Sangria and platters of gluten free footy food (I know I’m letting the team down here but as a coeliac I have to be a little responsible) and gather on the couch in front of the TV with my Mum and Nanna. Those who knew my Nanna would remember just how well she could skull a vino if she thought she was about to miss out on a round. So Saturday just gone, we did exactly this. Dad hid in the garage while Mum and I morphed into the big burley blokes, still wearing our pearls of course, and let loose as the Sydney Swans took on the Western Bulldogs. We yelled, we laughed and we cried. But the laughter felt really good.
I am going to admit, the day has become a little bitter sweet without my Nanna’s hilarious running commentary of the game, but this year we were able to giggle about the things that would have come out of her mouth as we enjoyed the footy. As tough as it continues to be, we are going to uphold our tradition and throw ourselves, full throttle, into AFL Grand Final Day.
This is our thing and we enjoy letting loose and living large while we immerse ourselves in it. I encourage you to do the same, regardless of what your thing may be; throw yourself into it and forget about what others may think. Life is short. And if your thing happens to be something that you once enjoyed with a loved one – don’t stop doing it, despite how hard it may be, these are the things that keep those beautiful memories alive. Cheers Nan!