Sunday, September 13, 2015

Poor Maddie. Another loss.

Last summer Maddie adopted a pet slug, Sluggy. When Sluggy passed away (aka, The End of the World), Maddie adopted Fluffy.

Fluffy was a milkweed seed who came to live with us in a jar. Maddie said she loves him because "because he's a pet that can't die."

Guess what? After a year or so, milkweed seeds begin to fall apart and the seed separates from the fluff ... even if they are carefully kept safe in a jar.

That's right. Tonight Fluffy died.

So. Much. Sobbing. With the repeated phrase, "He wasn't supposed to DIE!"

I showed her Fluffy's seed and said we could plant it where we had found it. If it didn't grow into a new plant, it would nourish the others around it.  We went outside and blew Fluffy's fluff away into the wind. [Loud sobbing]

And that was our Sunday night, y'all. Sigh.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Giving Thanks. 2015.


I talk quite a bit about goals in this blog. My daughters' school focuses on having GRIT and perseverance to meet your goals. My Jamberry Team Leader offers us training, leadership insights and encourages us to impress the importance of writing down your goals and making them real. But my first adult Goal Epiphany was thanks to Sensei Jimmy Pedro at Pedro's Judo Club in Wakefield, MA. You've read about this in the past here, but hear me out...

Three years ago, my then five year old was begging for martial arts classes. We had tried karate over a summer and something was missing. As my father (and I briefly) had trained  in judo, I knew the differences between the sports. By watching her on the karate mat I saw immediately that what she needed she would find in judo.

But there was a catch. A big, freakin, chronically-ill-mom-walking-with-a-cane catch...

Pedro's Judo is up thirty-two stairs. THIRTY TWO. Straight up, big warehouse style steps. Dang. We'd been to a children's party there that summer and I knew how precisely  how hard  it was for me to get up there and how lightheaded I was when it came time to drive home.

I sat in the small corner office with head instructor, Sensei Riley McIlwain and watched him do a mini teaching session with my little maniac. Oh man, she glowed. She was elated, ecstatic, like I've never seen over an activity. She was HAPPY.

And I felt fear. Deep, cold gut chilling momma-fear that I would let her down.

In that moment, before I ever heard a word about the importance of goal setting, something crystallized in my mind: I would get Maddie to this dojo twice a week, every week, for as long as she wants to train. Period.

In the years following I've had the honor of hearing Sensei Jimmy Pedro and later, Senseis Kayla Harrison and Travis Stevens speak multiple times on the power of goal setting, goal directed guided imagery and their direct impact on success. Tonight, about three years later, I listened as they spoke again.

The past three years have been rough physically - a few times I've sat in the parking lot after class with my head on the steering wheel, crying while I summoned the grit to drive home safely through a blur of fatigue and pain but other nights...

Other nights I open the windows and sing along with the radio at the top of my lungs as the tears pour down my face. I sing to give voice to the pain and anger, the power and grief and the huge, glorious, hard earned pride that stream from me as I make that short drive.

In three years, my daughters have never missed a single judo class because of my body. Twice, then three times, now four times a week, I stand at the bottom of those steps and take a deep breath. When I get up to the dojo, friends and acquaintances ask me how I'm doing and a select few there truly understand how much I mean when I say, "I made it up the steps; it's a good day."

I never knew what Pedro's would do for me, and it happened before my daughter or I ever stepped foot on the mat. For this and so much more, I am humbly, deeply grateful.

Doumo arigatou gozaimashita, Senseis Pedro and McIlwain. See you tomorrow.

Edited to add...
It dawned on me this morning that this goal has accomplished one more thing: through meeting my goal every week, every set of stairs, I model for my daughters an example of a strong, committed, powerful woman. And that's all I've ever wanted to achieve.

Original posts ...
9/20/12 A Goal Set is a Goal Met

11/22/2012 A Goal Set: Thanksgiving Update

11/27/2014 A Heart Full of Joy