Thursday, August 16, 2012

black belt: a journey, not a destination

While out with my boys this weekend I was recognized.  Rereading the phrase I just wrote really makes things abundently clear for me.  The family and I have been back in Cajun Country for nealy 4 years and I finally found what was missing.  After some gentle nudging from Tarzan I stepped up and joined karate.

As we get older we tend to lean toward comfort.  We strive to find the place where we can strive, we find what we are good at and we stick with it.  It has been over a decade since I have been in a truly uncomfortable situation.  Karate has changed this; I have been attacked, hurt, embarrassed, nervous, and scared.  Now that I am 3 belts into this journey I can tell you I have also felt pride, excitment, surprise, and joy.  There may be times where I dread going to class because I know that it's going to take A LOT of hard work to get me 'black belt ready' but I think I have to do it.  I am suppossed to be a Black belt wearing Momma!

So to the lady at Academy who wanted to let me know I was impressive at Friday night's ain't seen nothing yet!  (Oh and thanks for the boost to my ego and my motivation, lol.)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

with each great nap comes great change

I have spoken before on the love affair that I have with my bed, the last time I crawled in and settled down for a recharge I began to reminisce.  I can remember 3 great naps in my life; the first one was in high school, the second in college, and the last one occurred soon after I became a Mom. 

My grandparents had a bedroom in their house (the middle bedroom for those that know the house) that was perfect for taking naps.  It had one window so you didn't have to worry about the sun light rousing you before you were ready and the ceiling fan had this hi speed that created just enough wind and just enough sound.  The other key element to this nap were the bed linens.  The sheets were worn in, making them cool and satiny smooth, and the light weight floral bedspread kept you cool enough to snuggle deep into the bed.  I had been on a road trip with them for the summer and we were enjoying the last few days of summer at home.  We had eaten soup and sandwiches for lunch, O'pa had gone off to 'bowl' and O'ma was in her chair just resting her legs.  If I close my eyes I can feel the cool floor under my feet as I head down the dark hallway lined with pictures of grandchildren.  I awoke to the smell of decaffeinated Community coffee, and the sound of O'ma and O'pa discussing plans for the rest of the week.

I remember coming home from college for the weekend, after an early morning mass I donned my social club sweatshirt and faded boxers and joined my dad in the living room for a viewing of 'Two Mules for Sister Sara'.  Mama had been roped into making our favorite chicken and dumplings so we knew we had plenty of time to watch the whole movie.  I made a pallet on the floor and 2 1/2 hours later I woke up in the middle of "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon'.  I remember rolling over and seeing the blue couch pillow with the red flowers and I instantly's so good to be 'home'.

Cheetah has never been the best sleeper, but when he was a newborn I thought I was going to go nuts; sleep deprivation had me on my knees.  One day I decided to try creating the perfect nap environment for us.  I closed all the blinds in the bedroom, turned on the ceiling fan, and dressed in a comfy set of pjs.  I bathed the boy and put him in the softest gown, said a silent prayer and slide in bed.  Five hours later I woke up just in time to see him slowly waking up in my arms.  It by far tops my list of best naps ever.

As I described each memorable nap I realized that they all had something in common.  Each experience seems to occur at the cusp of a big change in my life.  I was heading into my Senior year of high school, starting my Senior year in college, and getting my footing for motherhood. For me, the greatest moments of change all start with waking from a deep restorative sleep.