Friday, April 28, 2006


Man, I feel so completely out of balance these days. Pulled (well, pulling myself) in too many directions at once. Work. Training. Home. Not enough hours in the day. Not enough days in the week. 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound bag. Pick your cliche, that's what I'm feeling.

Oddly, though, I don't feel overwhelmed by it. This is new. Before I took on Tang Soo Do as a ... hobby? Discipline? Art? Obsession? All of the above? Whatever. Before I started training in Tang Soo Do, when these phases of Too Damn Busy came along I'd typically feel stretched way too thin, stressed to my limits. Moody and cranky and glowering a lot. I don't feel that way at all this time. Which has got to be a good thing.

The biggest issue I'm having is finding balance between the things I love and that need me (i.e. my family), the things I do for myself to feel complete (i.e. my training) and the things I do to be able to provide for my family and to be able to train (i.e. my job). Lately, my job has been damn busy and pretty frustrating -- I'm working a lot on things that need to get done quickly, but I can't proceed on any of them until I get external feedback, and the people I need feedback from are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses, being unresponsive -- and I've been putting in a lot of time at the dojang, blowing off steam and learning new techniques while trying to get my skills sharpened up for an upcoming tournament my daughter and I have entered.

As a result, I've been a bit lax about showing my wife and kids (especially my wife) the attention they need and deserve during the week -- weekends I'm all theirs, but Monday through Thursday I tend to be fairly scarce in the evenings -- 3 out of 4 of those evenings I come home at about 6:00 or so, spend some time with the kids and help to get them to bed, but then head back out the door again by 7:45 or so to train and I'm usually not back home again until 9:30. That leaves maybe 90-120 minutes of time for me and Christine to spend together before we need to get some rest.

And worst of all, with how stressed I've been feeling at work, I tend to be kind of distant when I get home. I tend to be fairly isolated when I'm working -- I'm a technical writer, and I'm the only one at my company, so I'm sort of a one-man band. When I'm working on projects I tend to get very internalized and uncommunicative, and once I leave the office it takes me a solid hour or so to get back out of my head. I've got to work on that, because while my family -- my wife, I should say -- totally supports me in my training, she also deserves to be reminded, daily, that she is special and valued and loved and missed. More hugs, more talking, less sitting at the computer and browsing newsgroups and email when I get up in the morning and when I get home in the evening is the solution. Simple.

It's nice to be able to look at the stressors in my life with a more detached perspective though. Instead of getting worked up and freaked out by the stress and anxiety and whatnot I feel a lot more in control of things -- these are simply problems to be solved, balances to be struck. Adjust a bit here, smooth things over there, and move forward. I have no doubt this is due to the past 5 months of training. I may still be tight and tense on the mat, but not the way I was when I started. I can laugh at my errors and inadequacies when I'm training these days. It's fun, even when I mess up, and it's thrilling to be diving into this stuff deeper. And a lot of that attitude is creeping into my daily routines as well.

Relax as you move through your life. Tense up and act out only when tension and action are necessary and effective. And that, I suppose, is shin chook in practice in my life. It's gratifying to begin to understand this.

Mood: Thoughtful
Now Playing: Tool, "10,000 Days"

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