Friday, July 31, 2009

My Son is Yellow Bellied!

Well, on the day my 11 yo son was supposed to test for his yellow belt a few weeks ago, I sent Sensei an e-mail the morning of the test and told him that "Buddy" was just not ready. He would not have done himself justice if he had tested that night. "Buddy" even admitted it himself. So, we rescheduled and he tested last night.

And he passed! Yay, Buddy!

His problem has never been knowing the moves - it has always been in his execution of those moves. He usually gives no "purpose" to his form. Last night in watching him test, I have to admit, I was impressed. He really put the "oomph" into his blocks, kicks and katas.

Last night, he was presented with two patches for his kata. Next Thursday, he will receive his yellow belt...therefore becoming yellow-bellied! (And in this context, who wouldn't want to be called yellow-bellied?) Buddy did his mom and dad proud!

More importantly, he was also very proud of himself. I am hoping this might motivate him to work harder and more thoroughly than before. A little confidence can go a long way - take it from someone who knows that firsthand.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Life is What Happens to You While You're Busy Making Other Plans...

John Lennon wrote "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" in "Beautiful Boy", a song to comfort his son, Sean, after a nightmare. I don't know if Lennon came up with that motto himself or if it was an old saying from the ages, but whoever penned it - they were sooooo wise...and soooo right!
Well, I have a surprising twist in my life to share with all of you. After 7 months of a severe mid-life crisis, my husband of 23 years pulled his head from "the dark place" and asked if we could try to save our marriage. I told him I could see it coming for a few months now. He was calling me 5-6 times per day, making any excuse he could to come to the house almost every day, etc.
He and his "girlfriend" (quotes because she just kept telling him they were just friends for months and wouldn't let him come to any family/friend gatherings with her, used him to cut her grass, do work on her truck and her house, etc.) parted ways. So, then I had to decide whether to stay in the relationship with "Forrest", with all his baggage that was not getting unpacked or to try again with the man I've loved since I was 15 years old - the man with which I have two children and with whom I have built a life over the 29 years since we met as young teens. It was a tough decision, but I knew the right thing to do.
As much as I love "Forrest", like I said, the baggage was not getting unpacked - and let me tell you - no airline in the world would accept luggage that big and heavy. So, independently from making a decision about whether to try to work on my marriage, I had previously realized that I don't take to traveling much and I just couldn't check that enormous luggage into my life. I tearfully broke it off with "Forrest" a few days before I made the decision to try to save my marriage. We both cried and I still love and miss him, but I'm going to do everything I can to make an even better marriage and life for my family.
Talk about timing - Our final divorce paperwork was to be filed on August 3rd. Of course, I can't get inside my husband's head, but I truly believe he realizes what he almost lost - what our whole family almost lost. He has been showering me with affection - PDAs too, which always makes a woman feel good. We are talking more than we ever have - about a lot of different subjects we never touched on before - serious and silly. (And the silly is just as serious to me as the serious.) That is what I miss the most about "Forrest" - his "goofballness". And now that my husband is talking more, it has helped. We started seeing a counselor yesterday, which he would not even hear of when he first left in January. Like I said, I think he truly knows how close we came to losing all we've worked for over the last 29 years together.
One of our biggest challenges has always been money - or lack thereof, I guess I should say. That is one challenge that could make or break our attempt at dodging divorce. We now have about $2000 more debt in the way of lawyers fees. The lawyers & judge have agreed to let us put the divorce on a shelf until November just in case this does not work out, we would not have to start all over again. (Not that we are starting this relationship rebirth on a negative note, just a practical one.)
Our kids seem very happy the family is reunited. Our 11 yo son seems to have calmed down a bit and our 19 yo daughter, who when first told we were going to reunite, was obviously upset...okay, maybe overwhelmed is a better word. But she came to our house with a few of our other close friends when my husband put my wedding rings back on my finger and I put his back on his when he asked me to be married to him again. And she seemed like her old self. She and her boyfriend also went to a free concert with us this past weekend, went to our country lot and rode 4-wheelers with us and then back to our house to grill and the kids swim. She seems genuinely happy with it now.
So, in a nutshell, please keep my family in your prayers. I am hoping since things will hopefully start to level out and our new relationship and family dynamics will improve my frame of mind, that I can get back to martial arts. It has been months since I have been able to concentrate enough to do anything plus all the stress has affected me physically and there were alot of times my mind was all psyched up for class but my body resisted by throwing me a cough, terrible headaches and then there is my bad knee that gives me trouble off and on.
And I'll end like I began - even though my husband's and my plans are to work on our marriage & make it even better than it was before, sometimes it's as simple (and as complicated!) as John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Yellow Belt - Here HE comes...

My 11 yo son, "Buddy" is finally testing for his yellow belt. Because we have a very casual, once-per-week class, and because he is just not very motivated, he has been doing martial arts for a long time and has still not been ready to test. He knows the moves of the basic moves, the kumites and the katas on which he'll be tested, but he just doesn't put the "purpose" into the moves...if you get what I mean.
He knows how to do the moves properly, but he just kind of flails his arms and legs around doing them. For instance, I have tried to explain to him how in our Basic # 1 Kata that he must imagine there are attackers coming at him from all sides and he just does the moves. He doesn't "defend" himself as he really would if those attackers were not imaginary.
So, Sensei thinks he is finally ready and so he is being tested this Thursday for his yellow belt. Like I said, I know he "knows his stuff" but because of his ADHD, he has some focus issues plus just lacks plain motivation.
Please cross your fingers for "Buddy". I know this achievement would really go a long way in upping his motivation. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Overcoming Your Own Self-Inflicted Stereotype...

In the past 6 months, I have learned many things about myself. Some of them bad, some of them good. But I've told you that already. But I don't think I've actually named them...

I'll start with the bad things.

1. Control Issues - I tend to want to control situations and people. I am getting better at this but it's not easy by any stretch. (See my last post, "Control Issues".)

2. I worry. And I don't just mean casual worrying. I mean monumental, "if-I don't-have-anything-valid-to worry-about-I'll-make-something-up-to-worry-about" type worrying. I often liken my mind to the internet. I think of one thing, which links to something else, then to something beyond that, and on and on. If I think of something that many would not even think twice about, I can almost guarantee you I will have myself worked into a lather about something that could/might go wrong with the situation. Take my word for it - This is an AWFUL trait to have.
3. Another negative - and I only say that because I'm pessimistic by nature. And that is just it - that I'm a pessimist by nature. I really am an upbeat person from the outside but inside my head, my philosophy is "Blessed are those who expect nothing for they are not disappointed." I tell myself that if I think the worst, if it happens, then I was not blind sighted by it. If something great happens instead, I have been given an extra perk. But then at this point, refer to the paragraph above this one - then I'll figure out something else to worry about! It can be hell living in my head...really.
4. I'm very emotional. I have very deep feelings and when I love someone, I want to know they love me too. And if I can't tell for sure, it really cuts me deep emotionally.
5. I've always had an inferiority complex. Always. My mom cannot figure it out. She, being my mom, of course, thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. (or is it since white bread?) You know what I mean...But I do have a terrible self image. I have always felt ugly and fat and just...well - ugly.
Have you noticed I have not gotten to any good points I've discovered about myself? Well, again, reference numbers 3 and 5 above.
Okay, the reason I decided to write this post is to tell you something rather silly and I was trying to make it sound profound.
This past Saturday, I went out in public wearing shorts for the first time in at least 25 years. Yes, goofy but you have absolutely no idea how BIG that was for me. My new guy, "Forrest" has been giving me trouble about how I wear jeans in 90 degree weather. I told him my legs were too white (they just won't tan) and the nasty dark blue veins I have make my legs look like a roadmap. They are too fat - especially my knees. How in the world did my knees get so fat????? Whatever the case, I've been tanning so my legs actually have an off-white color to them now and the veins are not quite as stark against the new, softer, darker color. I 've also lost quite a bit of weight so my legs have thinned out somewhat, although my thighs and especially my knees are still gargantuan! But I found some shorts yesteday at Kohl's that not only don't look bad, they actually look good! So, I am anxious for Forrest to see me wear my new shorts. I know this sounds crazy, but somehow in this horrible divorce and its aftermath, I have found some confidence in myself in something as simple as a pair of shorts.
Today I'm wearing shorts - Tomorrow I'll be overcoming another stereotype I've always assigned to myself.
My challenge for you today- do something to break one of your own self-inflicted stereotypes...whether it be wearing shorts or running a marathon. The effect on your self esteem will be the same.