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Chris returns to the Monastery


ChrisWithaStick

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Well... it's been a long few months, and a slow self-implosion.  Not the worst, but I'm definitely not in the best of places.  It's time to get back to the monastery, and work on being grounded again.

 

There are issues of work, that are issues with family (family business), a general lack of self confidence, and well, a generally feeling of 'What the hell?' with regards to a number of parts of my life.  Those leave me tired, not very effective at what I need to be doing, and in general burned out (granted, I've been burned out for a while), and wishing I knew a history monk who'd be willing to go back a few years and smack me in the head. 

 

Bright spots?  I have some good people in key positions at work, and it's helping a lot.  We had a new student at the dojo last fall, and she was fantastic, and it was slightly entertaining that other correction was 'this isn't Tango' (it's amazing what the body does on automatic) - she'll be returning after a school hiatus this summer.  Finally, and this is an odd one - but I'm frustrated again in my ryu.  It's the good kind of frustration though, the kind that makes you think and work harder.

 

So...I've been wandering in the wild for a handful of months, and need to get back to some kind of basics.  Let's pick three, and go from there.

 

1)  Long walks, 3x per week.  I find that whatever I'm mentally chewing on I eventually let go while on a long walk, and I have an interesting area to be walking in.

2)  Work on sleep hygiene/discipline. Mostly this is 'off electronics, and in bed at a certain time' - But it's complicated because I'm something of a night owl (there're a few things to explore here), but wake up at dawn as soon as the light starts to change.  So - this could be a consistent bed time, or a consistent morning routine (as that might set the day).   

3)  Suburi,  - I have a number of weapons at my disposal, pick one.

3a) Checking in, even with misses. 

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Yaaaaay! Welcome back. Sorry for the suck, glad you're going back to basics. Always worth doing periodically.

 

PS, cat pictures plz.

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

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11 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Yaaaaay! Welcome back. Sorry for the suck, glad you're going back to basics. Always worth doing periodically.

 

PS, cat pictures plz.

Good to be back!  There will be.  Fuzzball is still around, and has found some new ways to be entertaining, if not helpful for sleep. 

 

Also - saw the Mossy Lawn related shenanigans in your zero week.  Blerk. 

 

11 hours ago, Teirin said:

Welcome back!  As another night owl, I feel your pain.  I have found that an eye mask helps a lot for sleeping in the morning.

Thanks!  I'm torn between trying to defeat the light, and just getting up and seeing if I can re-adjust with time.  I have light blocking curtains on the window that faces the streetlight, and may do something similar on the one that gets morning light. 

 

So - quick check-in before getting ready for bed:

Got a walk in today. 

Sleep - blerg... Didn't sleep well, woke up around 3, then again around 4:45 and tossed and turned for a couple of hours.

Suburi - nope.  Was going to train with Kohei L, but we both ended up feeling kind of rotten for different reasons (me for sleep, him for doing tons of yard work today).  This would be a good alternative to trying to get extra sleep. 

 

 

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Welcome back!

 

I know that sleep is a struggle for me too - for me, it's a matter of having an alarm and light entering the room. If I don't have an alarm, I'll sleep for a good, long while, but if so, then my body just reacts and my mind will be off to the races before I can slow it down again.

 

Good to see that we struggle together. Hope this next 4 weeks turns out awesome!

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6 hours ago, Kishi said:

know that sleep is a struggle for me too - for me, it's a matter of having an alarm and light entering the room. If I don't have an alarm, I'll sleep for a good, long while, but if so, then my body just reacts and my mind will be off to the races before I can slow it down again.

Mhh intresting... for me it's the other way rround. If I don't have an alarm, I wake up and check the clock. Although I'm always waking before my alarm. But most of the time half an hour early.

 

Light is bothering me too and birds :/ I'm glad we have blinds.

 

Nice to see you again. :)

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Sleep is about the same - waking up around 4ish, and kind of drift, which would be ok, but I drift in and out of chewing on work issues. I'm starting to think that it'd be worth trying to just get up and start early, and maybe I'll be tired enough to not have the mental chatter at night.

 

Got another good walk in today.  May do a second one before dinner. 

 

Suburi - this would be one benefit of being up early.  Have time to train in the morning. As it stands I'm still hit and miss.

 

On a happy note, we had two glorious days of full sun and warm weather (mid 70s!), which is rare in Seattle this time of year.  It's back to the standard cloudy/light rain, but it was certainly a nice break.

 

 

WP_20180113_002.jpg

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21 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

That is a handsome cat.

He's a purr factory, and can't decide if he wants to play at 4 in the morning or just meow at me until I feed him (he gets fed when I get up - normally around 6:30ish).  Earlier this year, his thing was to meow at me at 3 and when I got up to pick him up, run under the bed.  I can usually scoot him out, but still, having to get out of bed at 3 am....

 

His other thing lately is when he gets up, he wants to play.  He'll put a paw on my arm and poke his claws out...not nice when asleep.  Or he'll sit and purr for a while, when then grab on with pointy ends. 

 

@Rebel DanThose your kitties? 

 

So...sleep...yeah...it's a concept...

 

Got a short walk in, but it was offset by mowing the yard (push mower with a bagger - does that count as progressive loading?)

 

Class today, with a full group.  The new student is back from her extended trip, and picked up fairly close to where she left off.

 

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17 hours ago, ChrisWithaStick said:

His other thing lately is when he gets up, he wants to play.  He'll put a paw on my arm and poke his claws out...not nice when asleep.  Or he'll sit and purr for a while, when then grab on with pointy ends. 

This is you being uke for some cat martial arts.

 

Can he free-graze with the food? When I was a kid, our cats got a can twice a day, and just sort of grazed through it for 24 hours. The dish only really went empty first thing in the morning, and we'd get some gentle gnawing on the toes if we spent too much time making coffee and not enough feeding the cats. But basically I think cats can be trusted not to overeat if you leave food out for them. You might get a little more time in bed.

 

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Can he free-graze with the food? When I was a kid, our cats got a can twice a day, and just sort of grazed through it for 24 hours. The dish only really went empty first thing in the morning, and we'd get some gentle gnawing on the toes if we spent too much time making coffee and not enough feeding the cats. But basically I think cats can be trusted not to overeat if you leave food out for them. You might get a little more time in bed.

 

Nice plan if it works. Our current cats are free-choice eaters. One of my previous cats turned into a furry basketball on free-choice food. Some can, some can't self-regulate. For those that can't, you can get a food dispenser with a built-in timer. That completely separates your activities from food. Attention could still be an issue...

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7 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

This is you being uke for some cat martial arts.

Oh, I've developed a phenomenal hand roll to escape about 70% of most grabs with minimal damage.  There's also gentle atemi on his paw to get his attention, and the general kiai of 'ow!', which seems to work.

 

7 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Can he free-graze with the food?

J'ein, as my German prof liked to say.  That's what I started with, but the vet said he was gaining a bit of weight, so I went back to recommended servings. He doesn't always finish his food all at once though.  He'll eat a bit, then go back later, then again.  In the morning, he sometimes just likes to show me he's eating - I figure it's like our cats when I was growing up. They were outside cats and would leave us presents of appreciation (namely parts of small to medium sized animals that they left in the center of the doormat).

 

5 hours ago, Mistr said:

Nice plan if it works. Our current cats are free-choice eaters. One of my previous cats turned into a furry basketball on free-choice food. Some can, some can't self-regulate. For those that can't, you can get a food dispenser with a built-in timer. That completely separates your activities from food. Attention could still be an issue...

When I was house-shopping, the cat the previous owners had was a basketball, and the chillest cat I've seen in a long time.  Seriously, I wanted to ask if the cat came with the house, it was that chill.  I've considered a dispenser.  As noted, attention is one of the issues. 

 

4 hours ago, Rebel Dan said:

started a new thread in the general section for cute cat pics.

https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/107946-cute-cat-pictures/

Cool.  Thank you. 

 

So - check-in.

Walk - yes.  One of my big toes is being cranky.  I do not know why.  If this is an over 40 thing, I'm not pleased.  Still, got a nice walk in.

Sleep - insert maniacal Joker laugh here.... fell asleep at a kind of decent hour, woke up with mind going way too early.  

Suburi - have some specific things in mind for tonight.  Want to work on a few things for next week when working with kohei S (aka, new student), as well as a little yari work. 

 

Also - not the best pic (I need to see if he'll get used to or ignore my actual camera, as opposed to my phone), but...this pose is not to be trusted.  Lou is a natural master of Araki-ryu, aka, win however you can (not my art of study, but the other art my sensei teaches).  He acts like he likes a belly rub, and then grabs with all 5  pointy ends at once. 

 

 

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On 4/30/2018 at 9:45 PM, ChrisWithaStick said:

Oh, I've developed a phenomenal hand roll to escape about 70% of most grabs with minimal damage.  There's also gentle atemi on his paw to get his attention, and the general kiai of 'ow!', which seems to work.

 

I used that kiai when my first kitten leapt on my back and climbed to my shoulder. After two or three times he associated the horrible noise with the activity and stopped.

 

On 4/30/2018 at 9:45 PM, ChrisWithaStick said:

Also - not the best pic (I need to see if he'll get used to or ignore my actual camera, as opposed to my phone), but...this pose is not to be trusted.  Lou is a natural master of Araki-ryu, aka, win however you can (not my art of study, but the other art my sensei teaches).  He acts like he likes a belly rub, and then grabs with all 5  pointy ends at once. 

 

Oh yes, I recognize that soft and furry trap.

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On 5/3/2018 at 7:26 AM, Teirin said:

Yep.  My Cally has weaponized cute.  Attempting to pet that adorable kitty tummy ends in bloodshed under most circumstances.  I am occasionally granted tummy rub privileges.

I've known a few cats that actually liked tummy rubs.   With Lou, there's a 3-5 second timer...sometimes... when he's half asleep and not trying to look cute or meow at you.  Don't trust the meow...

 

Challenge wise I had a hard back-slide this week.  I may have to find another job in the near-ish future.  I'm getting stuck between being operations manager and being part of the family and not navigating it well at the moment. There's been friction in the last few months, which has not been conducive to addressing burnout.  Let's say this has been re-education along the lines of 'being tired leads to bad choices, leading to being tired and not handling certain things well'.  Meh.

 

Anyway, it's actually beautifully sunny outside today, and mid/high 60s, so I'm going to get outside for a nice walk finally.  And later, since @Mistr mentioned it, I have a bokken to sand and oil - the spine is a little beat up and has a couple of lifts to sand out and address (one of our long weapons has a cross bar used to trap, throw and/or pull down). 

 

 

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So, go two walks in on Saturday - it was just a really nice day, so got one through the local neighborhood, and then another a little later through the local green belt (trees are a good thing).  Got another walk in this evening. 

 

Class Sunday was good.  Got a lot of work in with a junior that is leaving for a little bit, and then got my butt kicked by Sempai N.   He has more and a wider variety of experience in various arts, so he pushed my timing a bit, and we got to break down a couple of techniques, which was interesting as usual.

 

Bokken is sanded and oiled.  Did a bit of a more robust sanding to see if I can get below the lifts in the grain before I do some gluing.  The grain still looks a little beat up in some places, even with the sanding, so we'll see. 

 

On 5/5/2018 at 1:01 PM, Teirin said:

Looking for another job sucks, but is easier to do while you have one.  I hope you find something awesome :-(

I haven't decided to pull the trigger yet.  Part of the issue is I work with family, who own the business, and I actually care a lot about the employees, but I'm pretty burned out in some other respects.  Not sure where to go with things at the moment. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, ChrisWithaStick said:

I haven't decided to pull the trigger yet.  Part of the issue is I work with family, who own the business, and I actually care a lot about the employees, but I'm pretty burned out in some other respects.  Not sure where to go with things at the moment. 

 

That is difficult.  Any chance of talking to anyone external about it?  Bouncing things off someone can help.  Also a list of pros and cons.

Behave yourself, badly if necessary.
 

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I agree with @Teirin. Having your work stress overlap with family relations makes things exponentially difficult.

 

It is a good sign that you care about your family and your employees. Maybe you need to get some distance so you can keep those relationships positive. You might be able to spin it as you getting experience working in a bigger operation so you can bring back that expertise to your family business. Or not, depending on how things go.

 

In any case, I'm glad you are taking walks and training to keep yourself sane.

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