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 job...to 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 spar..in 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 laugh...at 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.