Fourth in a series about making the best of things.
When the doctor said, “No, no and no” to riding, martial arts and wall climbing, I could almost hear my heart hit bottom–kerplunk!
I recovered quickly. “Well….what can I do?” And some activities, like wall climbing, lent themselves to cool solutions. (see Learning to Belay )
But a larger issue was at stake. One that was a little harder to cope with.
I’ve been “drifting” in Tae Kwon Do class, waiting for the powers-that-be to figure out where to place me among my fellow students. I’ve got the training, but the years have taken their toll. And the curriculum has changed drastically since I first left TKD a dozen years ago. Am I starting totally over as a white belt? Or as a yellow belt? Or even a green belt??
I thought I could just hang out indefinitely until the decision was reached. I thought I could wait patiently, that I could simply show up and work hard, waiting for my body to heal, waiting to get my weight back down, waiting to regain some strength and flexibility.
Then I had to take two months off to recuperate from surgery. I was just starting to get back into the swing of things when this “month of aircast” was laid at my feet.
Going back to doing “not much of anything” in Tae Kwon Do felt like a huge step backwards. Like TWO huge steps backwards. And suddenly realizing, it might be like this for the rest of my life–one step forward, two steps back.
It didn’t help that a class the week before I got “the word” was one of the most strenuous and difficult I’d had all year. I actually left early, feeling humiliated and overwhelmed. “What the hell am I doing here, anyway?” I fretted. “I can’t do this!! Who do I think I’m kidding?? This ain’t gonna happen!”
Once I got home and cooled off, I felt pretty stupid for walking out. After all, I doubt anybody else had sailed through that session, either.
The telling point was how I felt when the doctor said, “No Tae Kwon Do”. Instead of relief (“Hooray! I’m off the hook!”) I felt that sinking feeling instead.
I don’t want to quit.
But I don’t want to wait anymore. Maybe it’s true that, at my age, it’s just going to be one damn thing after the other. So what? Does that mean I shouldn’t try?
I contacted my instructor, asking for some sort of decision.
And he gave me support, and a plan, and a goal.
It will be slow going, and I will have to make many modifications. But I’m not standing still any longer.
I am moving forward, with a definite destination in mind. And that has made all the difference.
So I’ve learned this:
Goals will get you through periods of inaction more than action will get you through periods of no goals.
How does this relate to my art?
The decision to take a year off from wholesale shows in 2008 is forcing me to think hard about where my energies should go, where my next steps should take me. It hasn’t hit me quite yet, as I finish off orders from the last show.
But come next year, when money is tight, I know I’ll be working hard to figure it out.
Instead of drifting and seeing what hits my plate next, I’ll be forced to come up with a new plan, a new goal. A new road map.
I need to think about what I really, really want to happen with my art. It’s time to look at old dreams, dust off some goals I’d set aside, and see if they still fit.
If they do, time to get busy. If not, time for some wonderful new ones.
Time to dream big!
It’s that old saying, more true than ever–you can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where you want to be. A map is no good without a starting point, an end point, and some idea of how to get from one to the other.
So much good stuff…..
Gosh, don’t you wish you spend a month in a cast, too?