Five Things I Lost While Training for My Black Belt (Besides Five Pounds)

good riddance cake
I don’t want to even look at cake right now.

Training for my October black belt test did more than get me in good physical shape and help me hone the skills I needed to demonstrate to earn my new rank. It also helped me rid myself of some particularly damaging (and sticky) habits.
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Little Black Belt is ONE! A Year in Review…

first-birthday-party-cake-eating-by-cute-baby-boy
Eating cake like a BOSS.

If you’ve completed filing your income tax returns then I’d like to invite you on a retrospective journey through the evolution of this blog—the discoveries, the triumphs, the tears, the deep questions, and most importantly, the jokes. If you haven’t completed filing your income tax returns….what the hell is wrong with you?? Get back to work!!
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The End of March Madness

guess-who-s-back-back-again
Shady’s back. Tell a friend….And now that song is stuck in your head. You’re WELCOME.

Last night I went to the dojang for an extra day of practice, and it felt like I was finally turning a corner on what has been a weird, mentally foggy month spent in a dark exile of depression compounded by snacks, Netflix, and wine. I don’t know what the hell was up with March, but by the end of it I felt like wrapping myself in a blanket, shuffling around my home with all the blinds closed, and saying annoyingly morose poetic things like, “Now is the winter of my discontent.”

BLEAHHHH!
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Brain Freeze, Spring Thaw

jabba pie

I haven’t written a post in over a week, and I’ve only had two nights of taekwondo in the past two weeks. The taekwondo absences have been due to freak Texas winter storms and a belt test I wasn’t scheduled to attend, but I’m not sure about the writer’s block. I think this dark gloomy weather starts a snowball effect, no pun intended, of lethargy and dulling of my mind. As I said in an earlier post, we may not be covered in feet of snow down here, but our roads get extremely icy and the drivers are even worse. You don’t have much motivation to go out when it’s like this. Even when it warms up and the snow is melted the rainy, gloomy skies and crisp chill in the air aren’t very inviting.
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Why I Ate Meat on Ash Wednesday

lent chocolate
I was raised Catholic and still consider Catholicism to be my faith of choice even though I don’t regularly attend church and disagree with the Holy See on just about every political and social issue. (But Pope Francis seems like he’d be really fun to hang out with on a road trip, doesn’t he?) Every year around this time someone will ask me what I’m giving up for Lent.

My reply: “Nothing. If I did I’d be a hypocrite.”
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Cabin Fever

out sick

Today my neighbor knocked on my door around noon to see if I was ok. He and his wife had noticed my car had stayed in the drive for a few days. I think his wife sent him around to make sure I wasn’t dead. I thanked him for his concern and explained that I had been home from work with a bad cold for a few days. I was really touched that he checked on me. It’s nice to know someone will find me before I’m completely devoured by maggots.
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It’s Hard to Be Depressed When You’re Doing Duckwalks…

a-duck-walks-into-a-bar-plasterer1
This is what I want to do after duck walks.

…or fighting two 6’3″ guys at once…or coaching a tired, frustrated second grader…or cramming five forms into ten minutes.

Last week I didn’t go to taekwondo class at all. There was a major upheaval in my life that I saw coming, but the aftershocks are still rumbling through my quiet home and uneasy heart.  All the meditation and law-of-attraction reading and mental pep talks helped, but they didn’t stop me from sinking into a micro-depression and spening most of the weekend curled up on the couch watching Netflix. I know it’s leading to something good for everyone, but the cards haven’t been fully played yet. Who knew the best remedy would be a good healthy distraction?

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Improvement Right Under My Nose

luxury yacht
“It’s spelled Raymond Luxury-Yacht, but it’s pronounced ‘Throatwobbler Mangrove.'”

Last night was one of the best classes I’ve had in several weeks. I had been a little discouraged lately because classes have consisted mostly of me and little kids, maybe a teenager or two if I’m lucky. Being the only (or one of the only) adults in class for long stretches of time can be discouraging and makes me forget why I signed up in the first place. While I enjoy watching the little ones flop around I get hungry for a challenge and intellectual stimulation. I’ve also been dealing with a slew of grown-up stressors, and it’s been very tempting to tumble down the slippery slope of skipping class.

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Having an Attitude of Gratitude When Cynicism Is So Much Cooler

elfsmile

Smoking looks cool. I’m sorry, it does. In my fantasy life, after I’ve gunned down human traffickers without getting any blood on my sleek black trench coat and before I head off to  a gig with my Led Zeppelin cover band I lean up against my black Ducati…and light a cigarette. It just wouldn’t have the same effect if I, say, bit into an apple or patted a kitten or posted a double rainbow meme on Facebook.

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