Inferior? I think not

I have an inferiority complex.  Those that know me would never guess that I second guess myself, think others are better than me, or think that I should be better than I am.  I have this positive outlook on life and am a fantastic listener, though I don’t often take my own advice, I just spend A LOT of time comparing my faults to the awesomeness of those around me.  “I could have said this.” “Why did I say that?” “Why can’t I be better at ____, like _____?”  Yet Wednesday I had an eye opening moment that has changed this outlook (hopefully on a more permanent basis).

My husband and I own a karate school.  Both of us have trained for about 20 years (he started 3 years before me, so I think it is him=21, me=18).  I am testing for my Master’s belt at the end of this month.  Tons of pressure I am putting on myself to do better, be better, etc.  With him having a few extra years of experience, I often times look to him as more of an expert, even though we are equals.

Wednesday, one of our students, made a comment, a completely innocent comment that has changed the course of my thinking and how I view myself.  This dad is about 6’4″ and built like a linebacker.  When you look at him, you think “scary dude.”  He was a bouncer and a wrestler when he was younger.  When you get to know him, he is a big teddy bear, wrestling with the kids, telling jokes, and laughing.  But he intimidates me.  He intimidates me because he challenges me, he asks me questions that forces me to be better, and I am only 5’2″.  But his comment made me feel worthy and respected.  I was on my way to a meeting for a local committee I am on.  Black Belt Prep class was about to begin (my husband was teaching, and this dad was training).  He looks at me and asks if I was teaching tonight.  I told him no.  He asked if I would be teaching Thursday morning.  I responded with “yes, why?” “I like to get different perspectives on what we are doing, and you explain things better.  I don’t want to learn from just 1 person.”

Light bulb moment!  I thought my only value was teaching kids.  They call me the kid whisperer for a reason (that’s another post).  Now I know I have value with adults.  I just have to let go of my own self-doubt and inferiority complex to embrace the fact that I can teach grown-ups.  After all, they are just big kids.

Um yang

Opposing and complimentary forces. This could also be called a yin yang. But this is my husband and I.

We work together, owning our own business. He had big, bold, broad ideas, and leaves it to me to figure out the details and how to make it work. I have single ideas of how to enhance what we do, and leave it to him to expand and make it bigger.

We live together. He cooks, I clean. He makes a mess, I pick up behind him. He grocery shops, I do laundry. We have our roles and they are not gender specific.

We train together. We tease and push the other to do better, to get stronger. We see if we can out do the other one.

No matter what we are doing, he is my opposite. And yet he “gets” me when no one else does. He understands how I think, how I view the world, what my goals are. Every time I think about this concept, I think of him, because of how we compliment each other, while being opposites.

It happened

Every year I vow to not miss a day.  I will write every day, come rain or shine, snow or sleet, kids or husbands.  And yet, every year I miss a day, or two, or three.  That was yesterday.

My life these days runs on first and second shift.  First shift: get the kids ready and on their way to school, hit the gym, and take care of paperwork for our business.  Plan lessons, train, and enhance our own curriculum.  Second shift: pick kids up from school, run our after school program, teach karate all night to at least 4 or 5 different classes of varying ages and abilities, come home and eat dinner at 9:30pm.  Most days I skip dinner and fall asleep to the tv.  That was yesterday. That was why I skipped (ok missed) a day.  I know I should write earlier, but I have no ideas coming to mind until I think back on my day or read other’s posts and am struck with ideas and similarities.

When I was a classroom teacher, I would write in the morning before students arrived.  Or I would write when they were slicing.  Or I would write before going home.  Writing just occurred more naturally.  Now that I teach kicking, punching, self-control, respect, responsibility, and other character traits, writing doesn’t have such a large place in my life.  I find the beginning of this month to be a wonderfully frustrating moment of dusting off old skills and seeing if I “still got it.”

So I missed a day.  I am a work in progress, one that grows and learns and tries new things and discovers old ideas.  I will continue my vow to not miss a day, but, let’s be honest, it will happen again.  Because that is how things are these days.

Movies 2

Today I introduced my kids to an old favorite, West Side Story. My 13 y.o. loved it. But she likes musicals and musical theater. My 10 y.o. found it boring. He wanted action. He wanted adventure. He wanted star wars or lord of the rings. So I also introduced him to The Mummy. Not Tom Cruise, but instead Brendan Fraser. I told him it would be funny because that is how I saw the movie. He didn’t find it funny. He liked it, but also found it scary. Once we were cuddled on the couch though he was fine and enjoyed the movie. I hooked with him through the “scary” parts and told him the ending so he would know the heroes. In the end, I appreciate and love the cuddles more than watching the movie….. as it should be.


I loved movies as a kid. I love movies as a grown up. The chance to check out with mindless entertainment and enter a different world gives me the chance to relax and spend time with my family. Special joy comes when I can introduce my kids to some of my favorites from when I was a kid. Goonies, Princess Bride, Labyrinth to name a few.

Tonight it was Turner and Hooch. I convinced them they would love it because of the dog. And they did. They laughed at Hooch’s antics and compared him to our own to puppies. The only problem is that I forgot how the movie ended. If you haven’t seen it, spoiler alert, the dog dies. My kids were not happy. Not even when they got to see Hooch’s off-spring doing exactly what he did. No dog should ever die in a movie they told me. They also could no longer understand why I liked the movie.

Tomorrow it is West Side Story. Hopefully they like this one better. 🙂

March 1st

I see you. I see your posts come through my email. I see your excitement, your openness, your journey about to begin. I read what you write and wonder if I write just as well, with great description, with a thoughtful choice of words.

I no longer join you every day in a classroom, but for this month, I will join you once again. We will catch up. We will share our lives once more. I will hear how children have grown and lives have changed. Because this is March for me. The chance to glance back and step into old shoes, to try to them on and see how or if they still fit. To dust off my writing abilities, sharpen my pencil, and open my mind. And I am so looking forward to it.

My time

Just came back from a 2+ hour workout. This is not like going to the gym. This is martial arts for 2 hours or more. Classes, sessions, learning, growing, enjoying. I am an admitted clockwatcher. I have been my whole life. When do we leave? How much time do I have? When is class done? I watch the clock so much, I can read it backwards in the mirror. I found myself doing that today. And somewhere after the first hour, I stopped. I stopped watching the clock and started watching myself. I paid attention to my feet, my knees, my back, my arms. Everything I was doing became my focus. And I loved it. I enjoyed every single second when I stopped watching the clock and focused on my time.

Unfamiliar place

I’m sitting here, in an unfamiliar place. Hotel rooms all look the same but I’ve never been here. The place, the event, the reasons, the feelings, the whole thing for the next four days will put me in an unfamiliar place. I’ll know some of the people, but not all. I’ll worry a bunch. I’ll mess up, forget stuff, remember stuff, and try again. But I’ll still be in an unfamiliar place. I have made it to master’s camp. I’m invited to test. But I have not fully “arrived.” I’m in an unfamiliar place.

All I want to say, and can’t

I wish you understood me.

I wish you looked at things from other’s point of view.

I wish you were giving and not selfish.

I wish you understood.

I beat to my own drum, always have, always will.

I have no time for judgements, no time for scorn.

I give my all, and try all the time.

I wish you would just accept who I have become.

I have chosen something different for myself, something you don’t agree with.

I wish you knew I wasn’t turning my back on you.

I want you to know that I took all those lessons and decided.

I decided what fit in my beliefs and views of the world.

I wish you understood that I am a success because of you.


Sitting here catching up on my DVR. I am usually a bit behind on shows, but that doesn’t bother me. Paul, my husband, is the same way. He will record the Bears game and avoid the radio and phone calls until he can watch it later that night. I will check the score so I know what type of mood he will be in when the game is over. So tonight, Monday night, I am catching up on Saturday Night Live.