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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Awards, medals, trophies, blah blah blah

We started competing in disc dogs about 7 years ago and were getting awards at the local level pretty quickly. Then after they started cluttering the house and even our cars, I decided to only keep awards from the big regional championships, if we were ever so lucky to earn awards at that level, or if we got super lucky, placements at the national level. I then threw out loads of awards that didn't meet this new standard. A clean start...

The very next year, we start placing regionally. And the year after... and the year after that... so on and so forth. Every award at regional or national level began filling space in the house. My plan was beginning to backfire because the awards at the higher level, as it turns out, are physically much bigger. Go figure. I have a smorgasbord of winnings with something from pretty much every possible placement, division and organization that exists. Plaques, medals, big framed photos, trophies, special production discs, shirts, certificates, etc. Whatever they gave me, I kept it. Anything from the local championships - straight to the trash (or if the organizer would take it, I would immediately give it back to be used at another venue).

Now I sit in a house with these awards all over the place. This weekend we did really well and ended up bringing home 6 more awards. I said to Jenn: "WTF??? This is getting ridiculous. Maybe we should have someone melt all these things down, shape it into a disc and just keep that as the cumulative memento." Jenn just laughed at me.

The real issue is that these awards have no meaning to me. When I see one sitting in some random location in the house in most cases it doesn't spark a memory in most cases. My memories are simply about playing with the dogs.

Interestingly enough, I realize how bad this sounds to most people. It may sound like there is some level of arrogance associated with it, but I feel absolutely no connection to the awards. I can't be faulted for NOT being materialistic can I? I feel fortunate, lucky and blessed to have 2 awesome disc dogs with another currently in training. The only award I really like that I can think of right now is a picture of Tooney and I the SoCal club presented to us. And the reason why - you guessed it - because it's a picture with Tooney. It sparks immediate memories. I pick that up and I know exactly what it is.

I am not sure what to do. Maybe I junk all the regional ones and keep just the nationals? If I still feel they have no value, why should I keep any of them? At the same time, it seems really stupid to throw out national level awards, even to me!

One thing I have not said is that the above feelings are towards the hardware itself. I LOVE the memories I have simply playing with the dogs. They are truly what Jenn and I live for.

I don't care about the awards. At all.

Why am I posting this? Apparently I'm having guilt from the fact that I feel like throwing them all in the trash. Maybe by writing it down and going back and reading it and updating this post as I have new thoughts, it will help. Hopefully Jenn will read this and think about it also and give me some advise. Maybe one day they will all be thrown in the trash and she probably won't even notice for a year or more.


Sarah Duke said...

Jeff - I have to say I agree with you. In agility I no longer get ribbons and sometimes the ladies at the ribbon table will be shocked when I hand them 4 blue ribbons - you're not keeping these?! But I have a billion ribbons and you're right I look at a blue ribbon there, I can't even recall the run. Now some special run, like a first Q, I might keep. Same for disc, we have stacks of wooden discs, collector discs (we keep those) trophies, certificates, plaques. All in boxes... who knows what we'll ever do with those. Would be nice to think one day we'd have a training building we could hang everything up. We'll see I guess. Right now it all sits in boxes.

Furrari said...

Jenn had an interesting idea. Since I only have regional / national level stuff sitting around, it's not a totally insane number of awards. At the end of the year we're going to get all the awards, put them with the dogs and take a picture. It will be an awards total through 2011 for all regional / national placements. Then - trash. So I will have the record of it, but not have the (mostly) ugly awards all over the place in the house.