Tuesday, September 8, 2009


“Each class preaches the importance of those virtues it need not exercise. The rich harp on the value of thrift, the idle grow eloquent over the dignity of labor.” Oscar Wilde

This morning, following a fitful sleep, I awoke upon hearing my alarm sound at 5:25AM. After blinking slumber from my eyes for a couple of minutes, I arose, turned on the coffeemaker, and did sit ups while waiting for the coffee to brew. Next, I checked e-mail and facebook, while drinking coffee, and then decided to get ready for…. what? I brought the phone in the bathroom, just in case.

My children’s morning was no less certain. Although my son got his fourth-grade teacher, whom he loves, again for fifth-grade, he knew that his best friend was in the other fifth-grade classroom, and his other good friend had gone to private school. My daughter was going to have to endure her first day of second-grade knowing that all four of her female friends were in the other second-grade classroom. (I won’t get into how annoyed I am at their school at the moment). So I was glad to be able to accompany them on such a precarious morning, even if the guilt for not getting paid for a day’s work was already eating away at me.

As I alluded to in an earlier post, I often use this time to write. But it feels frustrating to pour my heart and soul into something that nobody else may read and that I don’t get paid to do. The other option (and often done in conjunction with writing) is chores. As usual, I have a mountain of them! So the day will be spent doing dishes, making spaghetti and meatballs, ironing nine of my husband’s shirts and pants, folding laundry, and running errands. After school, I’ll take the children to the playground at school, and then Taekwondo. When we get home, we’ll scramble to do homework, eat dinner, and take care of other things to finish the evening, and prepare for the day ahead.

By tomorrow morning, my children should have a better idea of what to expect from their day. For me, I’m not so sure. But whatever my day becomes, I hope I can fill it with purpose.


  1. Both your daughter and your son study(ied?) taekwondo? Interesting! Why did you pick taekwondo, or was it their choice, or was it merely a good and convenient option?

    I'm always interested in why people choose specific martial arts, I have a coworker who asked me for advice about which martial art to sign her hyperactive 5yo up for. After a lunch break's worth of discussion, I wound up recommending TKD.

  2. Alesa, the place was recommended. When we visited, I liked the philosophy and the place.

    For several months, I took silat martial arts. Then they dropped the one day I could do. I should try to do it again. It was out of my comfort zone, but I got really toned and strong.

  3. Nodnod, not all that surprised: TKD in the US often has a good family-oriented/combat-sport vibe going. I had the opportunity to visit three martial arts schools when I was in California last year. One of them was TKD establishment. It was fun. : j

    Huh... Malaysian martial arts. Interesting. I've only read about pencak silat (I'm guessing it was pencak you studies right?), never managed to find a practitioner. But it has a lot history in common with kali (eskrima) and viet vo dao... Which I have found to be a bit more widespread.

    I'll bet you did (get toned and strong), it's a very well rounded and complete traditional martial art.
    I need to look up comfort zones... I don't quite remember the theory behind that expression.

    That's the thing, isn't it, there are so many great and fascinating things to do, I keep wondering to myself if I should finally take guitar lessons, and deciding not to.
    It all comes down to prioritizing, and I've reached a good balance of things right now.

  4. Alesa, I have too many things I want to do now. I have a certificate to take six courses at the Cambridge School for Culinary Arts I haven't used. I want to learn French and relearn Italian. I've got to get back into yoga and maybe martial arts. A creative writing class too, perhaps?

    Comfort zone is just what makes us comfortable. Outside of it is pushing ourselves to do something we'd rather not even though it's good for us.

  5. Ha, did I mention I went to a professional cooking highschool for two years? That didn't turn out the way I expected.

    Courses in culinary arts eh? Interesting, I wonder what those are going to be like.

    You always sound like a bubbling cauldron of activity and potential activity. It's a neat part of your personality.

    Comfort zones eh? Hmm... It is curious concept. Can I say that pushing myself to the point of discomfort is a part of my comfort zone?

  6. Alesa, a cooking high school sounds awesome, even if it didn't work out. Our high school has a culinary program, and the teachers from there walk around in chef uniforms.

    You've redefined comfort zone!

  7. Cooking high school turned out to be a factory for industrial grade chefs, and fair is fair, that's what a professional chef needs to be to crank out identical food for a couple hundred people two times a day. Not what I wanted to do though.

    My super mom played on a random twist of circumstances involving writing and got me out of there and back into the regular system. There's a story there. Not much of one. : p A tale of conflicting self interests.

    LoL, from what I've read of you so far, I would wager that my (re)definition of comfort zone is old news for you. : j

  8. Alesa, industrial cooking doesn't sound fun.

    I used to stay in my comfort zone, but in past years I've been pushing myself.