Nah, I Don’t Wanna…

Having children can be a wonderful experience, for the most part. On the one hand, you get to see a tiny version of yourself grow and develop into their own person, with their own interests, hobbies and personality. On the other hand, it can be extremely frustrating, especially when you see them doing things you know could be done better or you recognize that there are certain things that you should teach them that they simply don’t want to learn. This can have a measurable effect, both on each of you as well as on the relationship as a whole.

I grew up with an intense craving for martial arts training. Like most kids my age, I was taken with action movies and the prospect of learning how to fight. As I was the victim of bullying throughout my formative years AND I had an immune disorder that was snaking my childhood hell (Type-1 Diabetes, if you hadn’t guessed), karate was a good fit for me. But it didn’t come without some searching, trying and experimenting with different schools and styles. It wasn’t until I found Uechi Ryu that I developed the deep love for karate that I still have to this day, or managed to control my ADHD and Diabetes, none of which I believe would have been as effectively accomplished as it was due to karate.

That’s why, when my wife gave birth to our son in 2014, I started seeing down a narrow tunnel into the future, one that allowed em to see the potential of passing on my skills and teachings to the next generation who would carry Uechi Ryu into the future. As Nathan learned how to walk and run, he began emulating movements that he’d see me do, which included kicking, punching and a variety of karate movements that he wouldn’t learn otherwise. The future looked bright, indeed.

Nathan and I, when he was three years old

When I was younger and training full time, I got to see the results of a parent forcing their child through karate. Sensei’s son, who happened to be one of my closest friends growing up, was Sensei’s only son and first black belt graduate. In “old school” martial arts circles, that’s a big deal. Sensei wanted his son, not only to be skilled but to be the best student he had. The only problem with that is that his son didn’t want it. He didn’t hunger for it. He saw no reason to pursue it. But he was pushed through it until he managed to reach Shodan, after which time he allowed his training to falter.

Oh, he’s returned to it on occasion. One can’t train for as long and as intensively as he had without it leaving some sort of impression. But having been forced to study karate for so many years left an impression on him that never went away. Nowadays, despite having three children of his own, his karate training is all but gone. This is one of the reasons why I pledged never to force my children to learn karate. If the time came that they wanted to train, I would be there for them. In the meantime, I would continue to let them see me train, take it all in and make the decision for themselves.

Nathan, trying to learn to meditate…

That’s why recently, I heard the most wonderful words a Sensei could hear from their first-born son: “Dad, I wan’t to learn karate…” I was ecstatic! I made plans. I brought in old equipment from the garage I hadn’t touched in years. I monitored my blood sugars closely so that I could ensure I could train for an hour without needing to stop. I told my wife about it. I told my work colleagues about. Suddenly, I saw the potential for my son and his own ADHD that I hadn’t contemplated before and recognized it would be something long-lasting that we could do together for years to come.

On the fateful day, which was only yesterday, I got home from work, full of piss and vinegar. I dropped my bags at the door, briefly greeted my wife then looked at Nathan and said, “Tonight, we start training in karate.” I wasn’t prepared for the bursting of my proverbial bubble that came next; “Nah, I don’t wanna…” I was floored. He had been hounding me to learn karate for the past month and now that the opportunity presented itself, he wanted nothing to do with it. I did my best to try and understand why he had suddenly changed his mind or his reluctance but, like most children, all he would say is that he had changed his mind.

I made my way downstairs and trained on my own, with a brief visit from my wife for a short sparring session. It was nearly impossible, hiding my disappointment. The worst part was recognizing that I seemed to be looking forward to it more than he was. I‘ve come to recognize in recent years that I have more years behind me than I do in front. The amount of time I have to impart whatever I’ve learned to my children grows shorter with every passing day and my hope is that Nathan will see me work out just once, where he’ll decide to jump in. In the meantime, I have to be patient. I don’t want to be that parent that forces their child into something like this. Because I want him to retain and carry it for his entire life and allow it to guide him. Such things won’t be possible if it feels like a chore. ☯️

Breaking The Wanted Cycle…

When you tell someone that you have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, they automatically assume that you’re a neat freak or have to organize everything you set your eyes on. However, what most people don’t realize is that there are many different types of OCD and how a person behaves faced with a specific type will differ from person to person. For example, you can have someone who is afraid of germs or being contaminated. This can also be considered as a germaphobe, of course. Then you have the person who always has to finish something they start or has to see something completed, the person who needs order and proper arrangement and the final one, which is a person who will often harbour aggressive and violent thoughts.

One of the important things to remember is that those aspects can often be attributed to other conditions, so if one is thinking that one may have OCD, it’s important to be assessed by. A medical professional. In my case, I have the pleasure of living with a form of OCD that not only sees me try and organize everything I see so that there’s some semblance of order, it also sees me wanting to continue something until I feel it’s finished or completed. Try living that way when you have a full household, including two small children, one of which thinks he’s putting out a house fire every fucking time he uses the bathroom. But I digress,,,

I had enough insight to have myself assessed and evaluated when I went to college and discovered that not only did I have OCD, I also had ADHD, which explained the majority of the attention and cognitive issues I had throughout my formative years. A combination of self-discipline, karate and trying to keep myself from dying due to Type-1 Diabetes complications allowed me to overcome the ADHD aspect. The OCD part of me is a bit more difficult to combat. Especially because I often find myself not wanting to. Although it’s mostly the OCD, I also enjoy organization and order. I prefer to have things neat, clean and see things to their completion. Like an addict who enjoys their fix and refuses to quit, stopping things can be difficult for me, once I’ve started.

In recent years, the appearance of PTSD symptoms have added an unwanted guest to my little acronym party. And since some of those symptoms can mimic or aggravate the OCD and ADHD symptoms, coping can be a significant challenge, especially since some of my earlier coping mechanisms are no longer available. One of the things I’ve been doing in recent years, is writing this blog. Believe it or not, once I started, I had difficulty stopping. And realistically, I don’t want to. It really only became a problem when I started building up a posting streak. It started with me posting for a hundred days in a row, then a couple of hundred. It became a fixed routine that I would write and post something at the absolute butt-crack of dawn so that my followers would have something of mine to read, first thing in the morning.

Before I knew it, I had decided on a goal of writing without missing a day for a full calendar year. At one point, I actually got a couple of weeks away from accomplishing that goal before I somehow missed a day and had to start from scratch. I got it on the second attempt and decided I should try for a cool 1,000 days in a row. I reached that goal just recently and found myself wondering what my next goal should be. I decided I should write as ideas came to me instead of trying to accomplish a fixed goal. However, Mr. OCD still wouldn’t let me skip a day and managed to see me post on a daily basis beyond my 1,000 posts. It took a major amount of effort to actually skip a day and even then, I racked my damaged brain all day, trying to figure out something quick I could post. But I did it.

Then, I managed to take another step in breaking a cycle; I haven’t posted in five days. The first couple of days felt wrong, but I have to admit that by day five, it was kind of nice knowing I didn’t have to sit in front of the keyboard before or after a long day’s work and come up with material to write. Change doesn’t come easy for me and I actually WANT to carry on with my blog, which makes it all the harder. But maybe this is a different type of challenge or goal for me to accomplish. I just commented to my wife that my blood pressure has been significantly lower in the past few days. Less things to complete in my daily routine can mean less stress, which would certainly help lower blood pressure.

This may also be why I’ve been sleeping better, recently. Lately, once I go to bed and fall asleep, I pass out like a rock and don’t wake up until my alarm goes off. Or my insulin pump wakes me. But still… Who would have thought that better blood pressure would make things better. Maybe I need to start listening to my doctors more… The point is, despite my OCD, I still have it within myself to change habits and improve things for myself. And that’s important. Betterment and improvement of self are important aspects of eliminating the suffering in one’s own life. ☯️

Fits Like A Glove…

There are a number of little specifics that you’ll see in different schools of martial arts, depending on how they train, how they operate and what philosophies they follow. Sparring is one of those things that different styles will approach differently. For example, one school I trained with rarely focuses on sparring and rather focuses on kumite. Alright, good for you but kumite is a structured, pre-planned sparring exercise to practice very specific techniques. Another school I trained with does SOME sparring but does so without any protection , which is concerning since they use little to no control methods to ensure their safety. Which is where today’s post comes in…

Proper equipment use and safety is integral to good martial arts training. Growing up, we used to spar at minimum, once a week and our style focuses on striking behind our intended target. This means that we strike hard with the intention of landing several inches behind the surface of what we want to strike, to avoid pulling our punches or potentially falling short of our target. We practice control, where we develop the ability to stop on a dime but there’s no denying that “in the heat of the moment,” accidents can happen and sparring partners can get struck. An obvious example of this would be last April when a very experienced black belt managed to get in under my defences and fractured my ribs.

My sparring gloves, purchased in Okinawa in 2001

First and foremost, the wearing of protective gloves is an important step. I’ve lots count of the number of times a training partner has struck me in the face, ribs or elsewhere and the only thing that has prevented serious injury is the fact that their fists were padded. If you look at the photo above, these are fingerless sparring gloves that I had the opportunity to purchase at Shureido in Okinawa, when I was there in 2001. Fingerless sparring gloves have become more of a norm outside of martial arts, thanks to sports such as MMA. But they have significant benefits that closed gloves won’t have.

The open-handed nature of these gloves allows me to grab and grapple with my opponent much easier than I would if my gloves were closed at the palm. Although other gloves may have more padding and be better for striking, the ability to use a better variety of techniques, such as finger jabbing, thrusting and knife hands, is integral to karate. At least in my style. For the most part, I believe that my rib fracture likely would have been avoided, had my opponent been wearing sparring gloves as opposed to being bare-knuckled.

The next important aspect is wearing a protective cup. The last dojo I trained with never bothered to include it in their training unless they actively WERE sparring. This is a mistake and it can, in fact, be a painful one if you happens to get accidentally struck by a stray technique, even while practicing outside the sparring ring. And contrary to popular opinion, this doesn’t only apply to guys; there are protective cups for women, as well as chest guards to prevent painful impacts to sensitive points on the body.

Martial arts is not a knitting circle; one needs to expect that at some point in training, they’ll be struck and potentially even suffer some injuries. It’s part of the learning process. You don’t want to get hit, go join a chess club. But that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be precautions, both physical and instructional, that students should take to avoid injury. Respect and care for your fellow practitioners are important first steps. If you’re intentionally trying to “win” or injure your sparring partner, you may want to reconsider your presence in the dojo. But taking some reasonable, physical precautions can also go a long way towards preventing injuries that can debilitate you for weeks and even months. Food for thought… ☯️

Why Would You Ever “LEGO” Of Your Childhood, Part 2…

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how Nathan got a box of LEGO with 1,500 original pieces. When I say original pieces, I mean they’re basic colour blocks that one needs to use one’s imagination to build things, instead of following instructions to an organized kit. That being said, I also mentioned that I ordered myself three kits so that I could relive the nostalgia of building my own shit. Well, I got the kits on Friday and decided that while Nathan was busy watching Minecraft video son YouTube, I’d start putting together my kits. Interestingly enough, because I ordered three kits and I hit a certain cost threshold (which I won’t mention here in case my wife reads it) I got a free, fourth kit. Much to my surprise, it was the Blacktron Space Cruiser, a kit I actually had when I was a kid…

The above-pictured space ship is a renewed LEGO set that I had been given decades ago by my parents. I must have played with that thing for hours on end. It splits into three separate pieces; the flight pod, equipment and drone pod and stabilizer/sensor pod. The can be flown as a single unit or used for their individual parts. Despite how much I was looking forward to putting together my lunar base and rover, I had to start with this one. Plus, once I had it completed, it gave something for Nathan to play with that allowed me to work on the larger sets without him swiping half the parts from my other sets.

What you see above, is the lunar base, combined with the lunar rover, which is a separate set. But the lunar rover can “park” and attach to the base, allowing its occupants to come and go. There are drones and moon rock samples, an excavator as well as a launch pod to “fly” up to the lunar station (the third set that I have yet put together). Nathan spent Friday night, as well as most of Saturday, playing with all of it, on the condition that he wasn’t to take any of it apart or alter it in any way. My plan is to purchase a large base plate to fasten it al and turn it into something of a display.

Since my son has started using actual LEGO blocks (because Mega Block or Duplo doesn’t count), it’s become something of a guilty pleasure for me. LEGO is a fascinating hobby. Created in 1932 in Denmark, it’s one of the world’s best-known building block companies, with blocks created in 1932 functioning perfectly with ones created this year. I’m sure this isn’t the last set I’ll purchase, and it’s a great hobby to spend with my son as it teaches creativity, imagination and self-reliance. Some people do a cross-word puzzle every day to stay sharp. I build toy sets. Sue me…☯️

Beef Isn’t JUST What’s For Dinner…

It’s a pretty typical scene… The parents work towards preparing a family dinner and everyone sits at the table. One of the children takes one look at their plate and says, “That looks yucky, I don’t wanna eat it…” I’ll give you three guesses as to what he’s pointing at but you’ll only need one. That’s right, he was referring to his vegetables. It’s a pretty common story, one that often carries one into adulthood. I mean honestly, if you put meat, potatoes and veggies on my plate and told me I could only pick two, it’s a pretty clear bet about which of the three would get left behind.

People will often go for the food choices that appeal to their taste and preference, which, on the one hand, makes quite a bit of sense. As an adult, most assume they’ve “done their time” with being told what to eat during their childhood and so, they’ll eat as they see fit during adulthood. Although that concept makes sense in theory, it only carries you as far as what tastes good on your tongue and doesn’t say much for the fact that proper nutrition requires some of the tasteless green stuff that most of us prefer not to have.

in fact, good healthy and proper nutrition requires everything that people who claim to be tying to get healthier avoid. One big one is carbohydrates. On the one side, I try and keep my carbs as low as possible since the more carbs I eat, the more insulin I have to take. Increased carbohydrates can also lead to weight gain, which is a significant pain in the ass to a Type-1 Diabetic in his 40’s who may be trying to slim down the inflated dad-bod. But I the sad reality is that carbs represent a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg scenario, where you need carbs for energy to work out but only the calorie deficit that cutting carbs can bring will lead to weight loss.

For the most part, if I’m eating something and I anticipate working out, I’ll reduce or omit vegetables and carbohydrates since they also act as fillers. Nothing worse than trying to work out and put your all into something when your gut is full and you’re struggling to breathe for two reasons. Although most fitness gurus will agree that the only way to lose weight properly is to burn more calories than you take in, there has to be a balance. You need energy to exercise but you need to reduce the amount of food that gives you said energy in order for that exercise to slim you down.

So, what if you just fight through it? What if you decide you’re an absolute champ and can reduce your carb and calorie intake and just hammer through the effort? There are a number of symptoms and effects that you’ll likely feel as a result, and none of them are pleasant. I found a lovely little article posted by HealthLine.com that covers some of the worst ones quite nicely…

The top one is that you’ll be low on energy. If your take in less than the minimum calories you need in a day, your resting metabolic rate will lower and you’ll constantly feel tired because your body can’t support everything. This can sap your motivation and lead to skipping exercise because you just don’t have the energy? Sound familiar? I may or may not have written a post recently about that very thing. Self-recognizing certain health issues can go a long, long way. But I digress…

Being constantly hungry is another issue. And it plays into the old scenario where you go on a diet and try to lose weight, only to crash and binge-eat on a cheat day because your body is craving the calories you’re missing. It’ll also affect the quality of your sleep. So even if you sleep for eight hours because you’re exhausted from the low energy, that sleep won’t rejuvenate you and will likely be poor, especially if you feel hungry while trying to fall asleep.

There’s a host of other potential symptoms, including irritability, anxiety and constipation. You can click on the HealthLine link above to read further details on all of the symptoms they’ve listed. The reality is that while trying to decide how best to reduce your waistline, you need to be cautious and not reduce your calorie intake so far as to affect the very results you’re trying to achieve. I prefer to keep my meals low-carb, if not only because of the insulin requirement but for the weight loss effort. However, some of the symptoms I’ve described above have been what I’ve been feeling over recent months, which makes me raise an eyebrow. ☯️

A Little Light Before The Dawn…

I’ve always found that old expression, “It’s always darkest before the dawn,” to be wildly inaccurate. I know it’s meant to be metaphorical, but from a literal standpoint, it’s completely wrong. but before I go off on a tangent, today’s post is about more than inaccurate sayings. The winter months bring about a score of issues that the everyday person needs to deal with. Considering the snow, cold, needing to shovel, road and weather hazards and the fact that almost everyone else seems to turn into the world’s worst drivers on account of road conditions (I’m a little bit biased), it kind of seems as though the winter months make it safer and more worthwhile to just stay home and hidden under some warm blankies…

The winter months can be harsh on a person. Since it stays dark for so much longer during the day, it can feel as though one lives in perpetual darkness, especially if your work keeps you indoors all day. Most days, I wake up and it’s still dark outside. I make my way to work in the dark and by the time I typically leave the office for home, it’s either getting dark or full-on dark. This can play havoc on a person’s energy levels and motivation. Contrary to what many of my colleagues would say, a person needs a certain level of daylight in their lives. Not only is this important in order to balance out one’s circadian rhythm but for vitamin D and shit.

The lack of motivation that the winter months bring can affect one’s motivation to do some of the little things through the course of your day, such as working out, spending time with family and ensuring proper nutrition. In fact, most days during the winter, all I want to do is flop down on the couch and binge-watch television for an hour or two before crashing for 12 hours or more. As nice as that sounds, I usually leave the house and get to work around 7 o’clock in the morning and leave work at 4:30 to 5 o’clock, making for a 10-hour day. If I followed that up with 12 hours of sleep, that would only leave about 2 hours of free time per day, which kind of sucks.

It can be pretty easy to allow the rigours of the day and darker, greyer winter weather get you down and keep you from doing what needs to be done to ensure proper nutrition and health. It takes a bit of a push in order to ensure you don’t get kicked in the balls by the winter blahs. And they can sneak up on you without notice. Eat well, exercise regularly and check your blood sugars often. Eventually, the snow will melt, the weather will warm up and weekend coffees on the back deck can become the norm again. ☯️

Black Adam: A Review (Spoilers Ahead)

One of the benefits of having recently purchased a large-screen television is that we’ve opened up the floodgates for a number of movies we’ve wanted to see. Although I’ve been quite happy with the 14” television we were lent about three years ago, there’s just something about having access to a larger, better television that brings something to the table in terms of the movie-watching experience. And since the lack of an available babysitter makes it difficult for my wife and I to hit the theatres, the next reasonable step is to bring the theatre to us. And here we are…

One of the first movies we purchased was Black Adam, which we watched a couple of nights ago. Let me paint you a picture; we have the 52” flat screen. We have a digital sound at with a wireless subwoofer, basically causing our chest to vibrate, every time there’s an explosion. I have a drink in my hands and chips in my lap. The movie logos kick in and the walls are reverberating with the deep rumble of bass. The evening has begun.

One of the fascinating things I’ve noticed with Hollywood and society in general, is that we’ve reached a point where remakes and reboots are often seen as something “new” by the public. But in truth, Black Adam is a comic book character who’s been around since the mid-20th century. Having first appeared in the comic books during the mid-40’s, he became a mainstream character in the DC universe in the 1970’s. He’s been one of Captain Marvel’s (or “Shazam’s,” if you wanna be a dick about it… Thanks, Marvel!) main antagonists since then.

I’ve seen some of his appearances in the comics over the years and was reasonably familiar with the character and the background, making me somewhat curious as to how he would be portrayed on the big screen. I’m a big fan of Dwayne Johnson and although he has his particular niche when it comes to roles, I feel he was well-suited to fill the black and golden yellow shoes of Black Adam. And unlike having Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill done the “S” shield, there were no predecessors for him to work off of.

The movie starts the way any film of the genre would; with Teth Adam as a slave, along with his family, in a city called Kahndaq. The movie suggests that Teth Adam steals something of value from Kahndaq’s king and is sentenced to death. He’s rescued and bestowed the powers of Black Adam by the old gods and becomes Kahndaq”s champion. He defeats the king and in doing so, disappears for 5,000 years. This is somewhat different from his original origin, which sees him defeat and kill an Egyptian pharaoh and take his throne.

Teth Adam is re-awoken 5,000 years later as a violent and unrelenting antihero. Unlike Superman, Black Adam seems pretty m,ugh unstoppable, with the exception of exposure to an element called Eternium, which appears capable of injuring Black Adam and even cancelling out his powers. He’s exposed very little to it in the film despite it’s appearance all over the bloody place, making it even less effective against Black Adam than kryptonite is against Superman.

Ultimately, Black Adam sees the more positive side of things and takes on the role of a hero by defeating the bad guys, restoring order to Kahndaq and saving the day. All in all, the movie rated pretty well for me and even my wife, who usually sits through DCU and MCU movies with me but isn’t usually taken by the genre. Would I watch it again? Absolutely. Was the experience pretty bad-ass thanks to the television and sound bar? You’d better believe it. I would recommend this movie as something to watch on an evening where you have the whole family and want something to keep them all engaged with the action and fight sequences. ☯️

A Foundation Without Form Will Still Be Weak…

I saw an interesting post on my Facebook feed a couple of days ago… Since I tend to check out martial arts pages and subscribe to some on occasion, I often have suggestions that pop into my feed. Some help to plant seeds for good blog posts, some just look like nonsense (to me) and I scroll right on by. But this one threw out a thought that resonated with me. It read something comparing kata and kumite to the body and soul of karate and how you can have kata without kumite but you can’t have kumite without kata.

This would be a point of heated discussion among martial artists of different styles, as some would argue that neither is needed to support the other. I was raised on a system where kata, or forms, are the base foundation for everything that follows. Kumite is a physical application of those forms. If you try to do kumite before properly learning the forms, you’ll be lacking in certain respects. Again, this can differ from style to style and I‘ve even trained in dojos where they teach their students kumite and even sparring well before they properly learn kata.

A big problem I have is that learning to spar or doing kumite before learning the proper foundational elements is sort of like trying o run before you’ve learned how to walk. It doesn’t work well in anyone’s favour. But one of the main issues, which has always been something that’s irked me as well, is that people want the flashy, high-flying techniques. They want the kicking and the punching and the speed… Most people don’t have the patience to learn kata and develop themselves.

And if I’m being honest, kata shouldn’t be sold short. Doing a half dozen forms with proper muscle tension and power will usually work up more of a sweat than anything else will. I was well-reminded of this recently when I watched the Karate kid III for the bajillionth time… The main protagonist is training in the antagonist’s dojo and is asked what was the last thing he learned. The protagonist says, “kata,” to which the antagonist says that kata is great for working up a sweat but it doesn’t win tournaments. Although I don’t necessarily agree that form won’t help win a tournament, I can easily agree that it works up a wicked sweat…

Traditional martial arts isn’t a fast process and you won’t be ready to kick ass and fight like an action star, even after a couple of years of training. Katas are not just a nice-to-have, they are the requirements needed to develop your foundation in order to build your skill set properly and efficiently. Plus, they’re hard as shit to master. After almost four decades of studying karate, I still have difficulty managing some of the steps and techniques included in my katas. Time and patience, folks. That’s the spice that makes an effective martial artist. ☯️

Whoopsie…

Well, there you have it folks… After 1,036 straight days of posting, I neglected to submit a post to go live, yesterday. I guess it was bound to happen eventually. After I hit my 1,000-post goal, I was left wondering what my next goal would be with this blog. Theoretically, with the height of the pandemic come and gone and the fact I’m back to work full time, there would be few practical reasons for me to keep hammering to write something EVERY day. In fact, achieving my 1,000 was reasonably anti-climatic, with only one or two acquaintances acknowledging the milestone, even through my blog. But I digress.

I’d like to say that this oversight (if it can be called that) was the result of something external that simply prevented me from writing, but such is not the case. In fact, I had ample opportunity to sit at the keyboard and get something on paper (or rather, on screen), I simply chose not to. Oddly enough, when Thursday evening hit, I felt a strange wave of something come over me. It wasn’t quite nausea, not quite dizziness, tinged with an unfortunate feeling of sleepiness. Not tired or fatigued, like after a long day’s work but actually sleepy.

Given that this can easily happen and having a night where one is sleepy isn’t unheard of, I made certain my blood sugars were level and crashed with no second thought given to how I was feeling. It wasn’t until I noticed the following day that this strange feeling had not only remained but appeared to be worsening. I told my wife about it and we discussed some potential reasons behind the feeling. Given that I recently discovered blood pressure issues, I checked that often but it was normal.

Friday nights are usually my night with Nathan, where we watch videos, play games and eat junk food in the basement. Although we still did this, I wound up crashing at about 10:30 pm, unable to stay awake any longer. I slept solidly and had no issues during the night but imagine my surprise when I woke up and checked the time to see it was past noon! I haven’t slept in that late since I was in my early 30’s. I struggled to get out of bed and quickly realized that my bed was in a fog and I could have easily slipped back insert he covers and fallen back asleep. I started to get concerned…

I made my way upstairs and spoke to my wife about it. I still went about my Saturday and ran errands, went out, even purchased a new television for the living room. All the while, I still felt foggy and couldn’t quite put a finger on what was causing the issue. Saturday night was almost as bad as Friday, with my wife unceremoniously putting me to bed when our toddler went down. I woke up around 10:00 am on Sunday morning and we did some running around as a family, followed by a much-needed 2-hour nap in the afternoon.

I basically spent the majority of my weekend sleeping, which really irks me as I usually have workouts and family plans and things I want to get done. Now, as I try and get at my Monday with the workweek starting anew, I still feel the thin veil of this sleepiness but it appears to be passing. Although paying close attention to all things required (blood sugars, blood pressure, hydration, etc) I still have no idea what may have had me so tired and in a funk. Maybe it’s just mood-based. Light knows I’m a moody bastard! Getting medical attention is no longer a promising prospect, given the state of most hospital emergency rooms, so keeping myself healthy has never been more important. ☯️

All The Little Things… ( A Matter Of Perspective)

Sometimes it gets easy to forget that the important things in life will often be a matter of perspective based on one’s circumstances. For example, most of us take for a given that we’ll get home at night and have food on the table. While we may consider this a little thing, barely worthy of thought or attention, for the family struggling to make ends meet, having food on the table can mean the world. And that‘s what I mean by perspective. What seems like such a little thing to one person may be integral to a better life for others.

I was reminded recently of just how lucky I am, in life. I have a warm, stable home and household, food in my fridge, clothes on my back and I want for nothing. There are things I want out of life, obviously. But there’s no shortage of warmth, safety and love within my life. Not everyone is so lucky. That’s why when a friend reached out for some help for someone else, I was able to say yes without hesitation. There is a prevailing belief that if you find yourself able to do good, you should.

What I did or who I did it for is not important. But knowing that I was able to help someone in need not only made me feel better but I’m certain the person obtaining the help is grateful, as well. We all need a bit of help sometimes, regardless of where we are in life. The irony is that it’s sometimes the richest people with the biggest entourage who need the most help but are the least likely to ask for it.

If you have the ability to help someone else, I highly recommend it. Although no one will line themselves up to give everything away, there are always ways to help others. And not only does it make you feel good to help others but karma will love you for it. Granted, if you do it to get good karma, you’re kind of defeating the purpose. But any good is still good. So go out and spread that good. Doing so will go a long way towards eliminating suffering in yourself as well as others. Food for thought…☯️