Imaginary Schedules

November 27, 2015 by Rieshy

I adore notebooks and pens and calendars and writing up schedules and plans and lists.  It's always better dreaming about how perfect you are going to be and act as opposed to getting off the sofa and actually doing something.  This time I have an excuse, a carte blanche for my dreamering; my training at MMA this year requires me to have a personal training plan written up.

The problem is, will I obey my plan?  Will it be so amazing that it stifles and depresses me?  Will it be so easy that I despise it?  and more importantly when the heck am I going to fit it in?

A plan that doesn't actually conform to the realities of time and space usually doesn't work... I know because I've written a lot of non-confomist plans before.  They are my specialty.  But oh, how I shine in my mind in those plans.  Shine and speak a half dozen foreign languages, do daily science experiments in my homeschool, grow all my own food, and benchpress twice my body weight, all while my family rises up and calls me blessed.  My stretch marks even disappear with adherence to those plans.

Crash.  Reality.

I need a 3 day a week plan for strength.  I need to be going over katas on my own.  I need to run- because running is what keeps me sane, relatively speaking.  I need to be drilling jujitsu moves and Thai-combos because my brain is like cheese cloth and info keeps draining away.

How long can I sit here drinking coffee looking through sites of workout plans?  I really should get up and do something or at least stretch.  But maybe I need new, more motivating stationary to write my plan upon.  Or an app.

That will solve everything.  I just have to spend more time looking...


November 25, 2015 by Rieshy

"How did this happen?!?"

"Who did this?!?"

"Why were you even touching this?!?"

"What is that?!?"

I might as well make these sentences into permanent signs, affixed to foam core,  ready to flash at my younger children as the need arises.  But then I would need to take pictures of blank faces to flash back at myself.

However, as I searched for a non-scavenged package of chocolate chips to bake into cookies I came across this:

Aha, the red stains on my bathmat, in front of the laundry room door and on the driveway make sense.  

In a vague and infuriating sort of way.


Of Fear and Martial Butterflies

November 21, 2015 by Rieshy

At last night's meeting for the 2016 candidates for black belt testing I was taken aback by my emotions.  It was our first meeting- just to go over necessary info and dates for the 39 weeks of testing.

39 weeks.  I'm scared spitless.  I really am.

We were all asked to share what scares us most about the 39 weeks; for me this was the de facto beginning of testing.  Saying publicly what scares you most is pretty.... scary.  I felt a water-buffalo-herd of emotions as I waited my turn.  It was impressive to hear even the youngest testers communicating very insightful fears.  It got harder to breathe.  All my doubts about myself were suddenly almost suffocating.

My main fear was easy to identify.

But later I realized that most of all, even more scary than fears I have about the testing itself is that it's very scary to admit publicly that you really, really, really, want to accomplish something that's a little out of the norm.  No matter what that something is.  The sudden feeling of vulnerability took me right back to middle school, where sharing a heartfelt passion or a dream with classmates was as safe and friendly as swimming off Amity Island.  But, there's no room to pretend that this is a vague, sorta interest; at my age I'm either all in, and by definition totally insane, or I wouldn't be testing.

As I sat there I also realized that this feeling of fear isn't bad.  Doing something, trying for something that you can publicly fail at is exhilarating.  Butterflies in the stomach sort of exhilarating.  An enlivening, falling in love sort of fluttering of richness.

I've since determined to enjoy every second of even the fiercest and most fearful martial butterflies.


Everyday Vacations

by Rieshy

My hands are freezing cold as I type.  I just got in from a day of errand running with my 16 year old daughter. First she did my make-up in the car to artfully hide my jujitsu-errant, elbow-blackened, eye.  Then we went birthday shopping, thanksgiving food shopping, tripping over a shirt the color of a green-blue so gorgeous that I wanted to eat it but after looking at the price was glad that it didn't come in my size kind of shopping.  Such good company.

Teens can be good for the soul.

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Words that Bore

November 15, 2015 by Rieshy

Drilling to add information. Drilling to extract.
Drilling for muscle memory or indoctrination.
Add or subtract?

Cavities and math tables;
Minotaur horns of fables.

Some words bore more than others.


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Magical Commodities

November 8, 2015 by Rieshy

I'm working on school at a coffee shop.
Or, I'm pretending to work on school at a coffee shop.

If only they sold sleep as well as coffee.

My neck is sore from jujitsu.
Or, my neck is sore because I need new pillows.

If only they sold ibuprofen as well as coffee.

My brain is full of transforming, motivational ideas.
Or, I'm full of thinking of ideas in order to postpone actual work.

If only they sold motivation as well as coffee.

Because, I'd take a grande-motivated-americana-with-a-double-shot-of-sleep-topped-with-steamed-full-fat-foaming-anti-inflammatory-and-a-sprinkle-of-inspiration. 
Oh, and I'd have a coupon. And can a masseuse come with that?

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Letters that Split Your Personality

November 5, 2015 by Rieshy

I got a letter Tuesday night.  It's one I'm both excited about and ridiculously nervous about.  It was a letter informing me that I'm on the black belt training team for 2016.  I wanted to run circles around the mat waving my letter in the air and simultaneously I wanted to go hide and take up origami instead.

Part of me is saying: Crap.  I'm  old; I learn slowly; I have arthritis; I'm awkward.  Crap.

Another part of me is saying: Wahoo!, tally ho!, Go team!

Have I mentioned that I'm awkward?


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Inadequacy Of English For Mothers

November 3, 2015 by Rieshy

There is no word for that special fugue of despondent rage that covers one when at the highest watermark of sleep deprivation a nap is finally carved out and achieved, with the verbal instructions, "Do not wake me unless someone is bleeding or the earth is being destroyed," only to have your body ripped back into consciousness for a pointless question about dinner, or Legos, or giving a friend a ride.

There really should be a word for that.

There is no word for the feeling of a fat, round, warm little arm wrapped around your cold neck early in the morning; giving you their first spontaneous, onesie-wearing, full body, joyful-gleeful toddler hug of the day.

There really should be a word for that, because the sensory memory of that word penetrates even fugues of despondent rage and covers offspring with a grace that lasts through their teen years.  A grace that they won't understand until they have children of their own.

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Mommy Dance

November 1, 2015 by Rieshy

Not the dance caused by children in all of the available bathrooms, the dance caused by changing stages.

Warning- this is the obligatory, "My baby is turning (fill in the blank) post."

Last night I dreamed that I went with the older half of my family to a wedding in Memphis for the weekend leaving my two youngest at a Montessori School in Nashville by mistake.  For some reason known only to the Sandman I couldn't leave Memphis but had to wait two days to go pick up my sons and worried the whole time because I couldn't remember their teacher's name and didn't know any phone numbers to call to find out if they were o.k.

Thankfully the boys were sent to a Percy Jackson-esque, "Camp Thunder" and had a really fun weekend; sustaining no sword wounds.  This all made perfect dream-sense.

We don't live in Nashville.  My boys don't go to a Montessori School.  I don't know a soul in Memphis.

When my oldest sisters went to college I remember feeling that the salad days of our family were over.  My younger brother had died years before and I was suddenly an older, only child.  Hard to have shenanigans at the dinner table with just yourself when you are used to snorting peas with siblings.  My parents shifted into neutral parenting gear; they were tired.  It was lonely for a while.  A family dance of shifting relationships and roles.

My seventh and youngest baby (here it comes) is turning 8 years old this month.  I'm tired and could easily shift into parenting-neutral because I have so many adult children around that love to do things with their younger brothers. It's a real temptation.  But.... he still needs me to read to him and snuggle and practice multiplication tables.  And most of all, he needs me to be excited about doing all those things for his first time.

This is why I drink coffee.  This is also why I love having children; they keep you dancing on your toes and if they don't kill you, they keep you young.