Yesterday, for the first time in a year, a month and 10 days, I kissed Savageman goodbye and saw him off to work.
He seems happy with the new job. He'll be doing work that he enjoys for a good organization, making roughly the same salary he was earning before. With me working part time as well, and after a year of careful spending, I'm happy to report that we're none the worse for his year off. And what doesn't kill a marriage often makes it stronger, so hopefully we've reached a new level of understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a couple.
So, moving forward into a new phase of life. A rebirth, if you will, for our family.
I'm experiencing a Renaissance phase myself right now, which is both thrilling and gratifying. The decision to end my years of homeschooling has freed me up to examine my own academic life, my long-neglected career, and of course my martial arts training, all of which have taken a surge forward as I clear out the cobwebs and challenge myself to move into new, less comfortable territory.
In addition to taking more substitute teaching assignments, I've returned to AWOL Grad Student status, picking up the math and science where I left off, filling in the gaps in my knowledge. Of top priority is the Calculus I've been avoiding since my freshman year in college. Now that I've committed myself, I'm happy to say that I actually really enjoy the challenge of it, and the satisfaction of working on a problem, flipping to the back of the book, and noting that I got the right answer.
It makes me wonder what else I can do if I try...
Which brings me back to (big surprise) my karate training. As I begin the transition from color belt to black belt (I think the Master expects me to test in June), my focus needs to shift from the techniques themselves to exploring their application in various situations, being more curious and creative with them, and examining my own weaknesses and mistakes. The more I can move myself into this less comfortable territory, the more I will improve, and the better I will be able to help others improve when the time for that comes. For the last 3 1/2 years, I have been fairly tied to the memorization of the techniques themselves, much like learning the alphabet, or playing scales on an instrument. Going the next step and using what I've learned to do the equivalent of writing or playing music is an ambitious goal, but an exciting one as well.
And of course, the lessons learned, the discipline practiced, the hardship endured in the course of my training have bled into other aspects of my life, shaping who I am and showing me what I'm capable of doing.
As they should.
Waking up parts of my brain that have been dormant, forcing myself out of my comfort zone as much as possible, embracing change and challenge - it's all been extremely good for me.
Feeling awake and alive, and so, so grateful. :-)