Chat with Cat: Decisions, Decisions


In the latest installment of her biweekly column, “Chat with Cat,” WSPN’s Caterina Tomassini talks about her struggles with balancing extracurriculars with family time.

Caterina Tomassini

It’s Saturday night, so you put together a stunning outfit, grab your favorite pair of red heels and head out for the night, not returning until past midnight. Come Sunday, you might spend the day hanging around town, maybe going to the mall or catching a movie. Or, if you’re like me— which is totally not that fun and adventurous— you pack your pajamas and your church clothes and head to your grandparents’ house to spend the night.

Ever since I was a little kid, Sunday’s have been my favorite day of the week. I would sleep over at my grandparents’ house on Saturday night, attend 8 a.m. mass on Sunday morning, then return to my grandparents’ house for 1 p.m. lunch with all of my cousins, aunts and uncles. I absolutely adored Sunday afternoons; my cousins, Massimo, Dante, Gabriella, Gianna and I would play cards, climb the tree in the front yard and take our two dogs, Primo and Lola, for an hour-long walk.

Unfortunately, the older I grew, the more difficult it became to dedicate my weekend to church and 1 p.m. lunch, which truly breaks my heart because I’m a family-oriented person and genuinely enjoy going to church. It was just so normal for me to spend the weekend with family that I couldn’t picture it any other way and couldn’t relate to those who spent the weekend differently. But as I grew older, I realized how much of a hypocrite I had become.

I started to play volleyball my freshman year and instantly fell in love with the fast-paced, addictive and exciting game. Immediately after the school season ended, I made a travel team and found myself at 8 a.m. practice on Sundays, and all-weekend tournaments every other week. I became so consumed in winning medals and not missing practice that I lost touch with my values and constantly found myself calling my grandmother to tell her, “I really wish I could come this weekend, but I have an important tournament in Rhode Island. Maybe next Sunday.”

It broke my heart when her shoulders dropped and the corners of her lips turned down. I truly did want to be at her house, and I knew she was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be there, but there was nothing I could do. We paid a lot for that club team, so my parents made sure I was committed and went to every tournament.

I felt like I had disappointed my family and caused a lot of trouble by making my parents drive me all around New England, but I loved the sport, and the price I had to pay to play was to give up my precious Sunday’s. I was in such a bind— was I to try out for the club team next season, or should I have stuck to only playing during the school season, which would allow me to still go to church and 1 p.m. lunch?

Well, here we are now, and after my sophomore season of school volleyball, I still decided to play for the club team. I honestly can’t tell you why I chose to do that since I value family time so much more than I value volleyball, but clearly, my decisions say differently. I wish I could have the best of both worlds, but I can’t, so I have to make do with the situation I’m in and try to make the best of it.

I feel that now I can relate to my friends who would skip CCD for a hockey game or spend the weekend in Vermont with their friends because now I’m in the same boat. How can you choose between two things you love?

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.