Love and Losing: A Bonding Story

Philadelphia Sports Stadiums

Courtesy of Deamstime.com

I have lived in the New York area for nearly 20 years. I’ve adopted many New York habits—walk aggressively and see red lights as optional, memorize where to stand on the subway platform for optimal entry and egress, and pronounce Houston not like the city in Texas.

However, I root for the Philadelphia sports teams. Let me explain.

The explanation is rather simple, actually. I am a product of my environment—the fourth son of a sports-crazed Philadelphia family.

My mother is still bitter over the 1950 World Series between the Phillies and Yankees. She anguishes over the three one-run losses. My oldest brother spit at the television while watching a Sixers-Celtics game. My next oldest brother was convinced he was bad luck and could not bring himself to watch the key moments of the 1980 National League Championship Series between the Phillies and Houston. My European born grandmother waved an Eagles pennant and ate pizza while watching the 1980 Super Bowl.

To read the rest of the post,click the following: http://goodmenproject.com/families/baseball-fan-wwh/

What Color is Your Belt?

Karate gee with a white belt and various stripes

His currect karate gee and belt.
Notice how dirty it is.
BR needs a new yellow belt for multiple reaons.

Is there anything better than achieving a goal?

 

You can look back on the frustrations, times when you felt like quitting, and the moments you wondered if it was all worth it. They all melt away.

Instead, you revel in accomplishment. You can feel proud, appreciate your stick to itness, and you know that the next goal can happen too.

 

The greatest thing you get when you achieve a goal is confidence. I know I can, I know I can.

 

Tomorrow BR will be testing for his yellow belt. I’ve mentioned before how he felt when he got a stripe (http://larrydbernstein.com/earning-your-stripes/). This is bigger. A NEW BELT!

I am excited. I’ve been calling BR every morning while on my way to work to remind him to practice. I’ve watched and instructed based on what Sensei says during practices. BR is primed!

 

A friend of mine said, “Wait till he goes for that green belt or higher. He’ll feel like he can protect himself.”

 

My friend, while a great guy, has it all wrong. Karate and the new belt are not about enabling BR to go all Bruce Lee on the next person who dares mess with him.

 

Sure, it would be nice if he could be the family protector should danger arise. However, that’s not what I care about.

 

I do care that a kid who has o.t. issues is feeling more in control of his body.

 

I do care that a kid who has ADHD is finding a way to focus and discipline himself.

 

I do care that a kid who has anxiety is able to feel a sense of accomplishment.

 

It’s been a year and a half since BR began his twice weekly karate sessions. There have been times where he has practiced little, and I questioned what he got out of it. There have been days where I have stressed about getting him there and back. There have been sessions where BR appeared nonchalant, disinterested, and unable.

 

I suppose that is why many kids are able to earn a yellow belt much quicker.

 

So what. The great length of time that has passed does not make this potential accomplishment any less special.

 

Tomorrow afternoon I will be in the audience silently praying and offering instructions to BR as he goes through the testing for the yellow belt. Afterwards, I will hug him tightly (he may even let me do it in public) and tell him how proud of him I am – whether he is wearing yellow belt or not. He has already achieved a worthwhile goal.

You Belong in My Journal Owen Meany

A Journal Ready to be filled

Courtesy of Flickr

We had the impression that everything was a game – we thought we made everything up as we went along. When we were children, we had the impression that almost everything was just for fun- no harm intended, no damage done.

 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
Every period eventually becomes a remember when part of your life. Some periods you will want to return to and others you will offer another prayer of thanks that they have passed.
I started journaling around the age of 21. I thought I’d want to look back one day and remember what I felt like, what I was thinking.
Eventually, I started putting quotes in my journals. If I heard or read something that struck me, I’d add it to my account on life.
I did the journaling for years. However, these days I rarely, if ever, do it. I can blame time or lack thereof. Maybe, I don’t feel as great a need to chronicle my life. When we are 21, don’t we all think our life is worth chronicling? I’m gonna be this, I’m gonna be that.
The truth – I think the blog has satisfied that urge now. Well, that and I lost one of my journals.