Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Life, Work, and JuJitsu

Once again, I suck at blogging. But hey.. This is more for me than for you. So a snippet into my brain... it can be a scary place!!

Life. I'm approaching 41 and I still don't know what I want to  be when I grow up. Why do we even have to grow up at all?! But there has to be more to life than punching a time-card in an unfulfilling job, just to make money to buy gas to get to said get home too tired to do anything but eat, sleep and go back to work.

Which brings me to work.. I am a couple months into my year-long career break (sabbatical) from "The Day Job" to try to make a go at something that makes me happy - private tutoring. The state of public education is a bit depressing, and the stress they put on teachers soon bleeds many dry of any joy they had for their subject. The one to one stuff, however, actually agrees with me. Every kid is different, they all learn differently, and they all need different approaches. It's totally awesome to sit there and see the light come on! It was a HUGE decision to make, and I'm eating thanks to my savings account. I figure at the end of the 12-months I'll either have made it work as a full-time job, or I'll go back to "The Day Job"  broke. Life is for living!

The cool thing about starting a private tutoring business from scratch is that I have a LOT of free time.  Sure I have to do my marketing... keep an eye on Facebook, and get ads ready for print... and the dreaded flyering... but while school is in session I don't have to "go to work", and with limited students my prep time isn't too bad.  I've been doing some form of martial arts, mostly JuJitsu, for over 20 years (eek!).  I've seen different styles, different formats, and the structure of different organizations.  For a while now the question "when are you grading?" has been more and more prevalent in my Traditional JuJitsu club. It's been a while. I've been plagued with injuries, health issues, and other crap. The evening classes have recently presented a problem with work... I have been trying to NOT schedule students that would interfere with training. It hasn't been an issue yet, but I have to keep my evenings free... and that means no training.

I stopped to think.. is that a bad thing? I don't like the "grading" pressure, and the thought of paying a lot of money, plus doing an exhausting mock-grading as well as the real one is daunting.  I'm too old for some young git on a power trip to not pay attention to my size/weight/injuries and pummel me. And I really don't gel with the idea of putting on boxing gloves to JuJitsu.  Ha! How do I do a wrist lock with those buggers on?!

On the plus-side, I have recently started a Brazilian JiuJitsu club that has AFTERNOON CLASSES!  I can go work out, train, and have a lunchtime. Before I need to be presentable for students, and after morning prep work.  Bonus!

I don't like stopping my trad jujitsu for now, but I'm happy to be in a "no pressure" situation. The professor of my BJJ club was talking about belts. It rang true with what one of my favorite senseis from the US said... belts are meaningless. They represent time and effort. They tell your coach/sensei what you should know, and what you need to work on. Although I understand the concept, I don't like formalized belt tests..either I am there or I am not. My performance on ONE day shouldn't matter. We screw up, we make mistakes..we are human! And I do this for FUN. My BJJ club doesn't have formal gradings..when you are ready, you are promoted. Done. Taking too much pride in a black belt defeats the purpose. It's not about the color, it's about what you have learned.

What the heck does this all mean? Other than the random ramblings of my mind... Do what you like. If you aren't having fun, don't do it. Take risks, take chances... you only have one life. It's okay to move on from something you've done for years...onto something else. We change and grow. And, if you put in time and effort, you'll get rewarded for it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Feelin' Groovy

Perhaps not exactly groovy, but an enforced slow-down has given me time to think. After 7 days filming as an extra on The Fall, I ended up with a cold on top of a cold. After a few days it was getting worse.. off to the doctor.. 10 more days off work, rest, meds... Great! Except I wasn't getting better. The fatigue was starting to annoy me. I wasn't house-bound, but I needed a nap to get through JuJitsu. Trying to do a "normal" day of activity had me exhausted for 2 days. Back to the doc.. more sinus meds, more antibiotics, blood pressure meds... and more time off work! And time to think.

I don't mind my job, really. But it isn't what inspires me. I enjoy my little sideline job... tutoring. Before "the divorce", it is what I wanted to do.. make it a business. So, I got to thinking..why not? There are companies out there that offer free advice and help to start-ups. I have a savings account. I ENJOY private tutoring... it's challenging, mentally engaging, and nothing beats the feeling of a kid actually understanding something and saying "thank you!"

A business plan is in the works, as well as all the other stuff... insurance quotes and tax information, websites and advertising plans. The scary part? Taking the leap. Can I do it? I was hesitant...

But I had all the time in the world to think. I talked to people, went to jujitsu to clear my head, and got a lot of sleep. And then a few things happened. I ended up losing a good friend over a very dumb, and very solvable problem. No room for discussion. It left me baffled. Shortly thereafter I watched another friend go through some nasty stuff... and saw him keep his head high and carry on.  Did I want to be the person who was somehow meaningless, or did I want to go out on a limb and try to make something of my life, eventhough it may not work?

So I am going to go for it. I can ask for a career break/sabbatical at work... one of the justifiable reasons is to start a business. I hope they say yes. Is it scary? Damned straight. But I'd regret not trying..not giving my all to make it work.

I called the doctor today. My blood tests are clear, and I have a referral in to the ENT. I've been moving too fast, doing too much. I need to make the morning last and focus on what is important. And if it all goes tits-up? I start again. I did it before, and I can do it again. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Risks, happiness, and money!

After a very busy few months, I finally have some (enforced) spare time! I was moved *again* at work back in November, and had to readjust to new commute times, new people, and more training! Not bad, but takes time. Then there has been a bit of extras work (love it!), and JuJitsu, and working on costumes... BUSY!

Lingering cough and sinus congestion for 4 months finally got me into the doctor. It seems as if my old surgery may need to be redone, but in the meantime I stay congested enough to pick up every virus going. So I never get better! New meds, and the rest of the month off work to see if I can shake it and get my blood pressure down. I'm fast approaching needing drugs for that, too! Yuck!

So.. I have had a little time to think. For years I have wanted to start a private tutoring business properly. However, I have not yet been able to figure out the balance between that and a full time job, and a bit of time to *live* life. Do I try to cram in tutoring in the evenings, and hope I have enough time for preparation and all the needed marketing? Do I try to ask for reduced hours at work to get the ball rolling? Or.. do I jump and "go for it" 100%?

Tough questions. Money is a necessary evil. I have bills to pay! Is it better to stay in a job simply to pay the bills? Is it worth the risk to get out there and try to do something you enjoy that has potential to also pay the bills? Where IS that balance between work and happiness?

A lot to think about!