Practice Fight

“You can only fight the way you practice”
― Miyamoto MusashiA Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy

At the same time, you realize what a person practices in the way they fight. Headstrong and reckless? Cold and calculating? Honest and admirable. We all encounter foes and obstacles – it will never cease. No matter what preventive measures you take, life is about fight.

If it’s not people, it’s disease. If it’s not the government, it’s the weather. And should you be fine with all of the above, you still have to contend with supermarket cashiers. Plus their supervisors. Don’t even bother with Wendy’s. It makes you wonder how this nation has an obesity problem when you can’t buy food without stress.

But you can’t fix insolence. You can’t “fix” anything, really. You just have to keep on going. While people grow less ambitious and more aggressive, curb their compassion and become unbearably imposing, you realize to your despair, that you can’t change the scenery, only the way you see it. It becomes what you make of it – that’s how the quote translates to me.

There was a pivotal time in my life when I started saying yes to everything. Jobs, outings, committees, meetings – you name it, their invitation was accepted. Of course, a lot of them were a waste of time, but my father used to tell me over and over, “do more research” and I figured that’s what he meant. In actuality, he was referring to my dates, but whatever.

In the end, the research paid off. After saying yes to everything, it became clear what work was worth the effort; which person would stand with you; what beer would give you the squirts. Now, I can tell what a person is conveying – despite what they’re saying. Sounds deep, but it’s easy because it’s usually bullshit.

Since it’s my turn as a parent, the practice I’ve been trying to instill is – not quitting. If it were up to my boys, they’d quit everything in an hour. Initially, when it’s fun, they’ll fight each other over it, but when it becomes a procedure – they’d rather pick their nose. To their defense, they do have some monumental boogers.

So, when they ask me, “How long do I have to do this?”

The answer is, “Forever.” And then they’ll gasp and I’ll add, “Or until I die,” to which they appear hopeful. Totally void of remorse. It’s disturbing.

With time, maybe they’ll get the big picture. If they learn one thing out of being tenacious, I hope it’s commitment. It seems to be a fading characteristic these days. I give them the whole shpeel, good things come to those who don’t quit, when the going gets tough, the tough get enemas, and they look at me like, “huh?”

They are confused for the moment. For instance, all the lavish weddings they’ve been to, they think that the only couples who actually marry for love – are gay. “That’s why they’re on the news – because they’re so happy.”

Might have a point there. Or they could be confusing the word gay. Either way, I should give them credit because they are genuinely children – and fight like ones, too.

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Beating up Daddy. Again.

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  1. The Not Quitting Lesson- When the kids were under 5, we took their lack of interest in an activity we imposed on them as a sign that it was not their calling/talent/passion- I didn’t worry about it- even if we lost money on ballet recital outfits we never got to make. But, now- they are 5 and nearly 7 and their passions and talents are so clear that we couldn’t make them quit if we tried. But, when it comes to some of the team sports that they are participating in, at this age, I am more prone to have them “gut it out” when they would rather be watching TV than practicing a basketball drill. The endurance to push past “I don’t wanna cuz I’m just a bit tired…” is something we have started to work on now that we feel they are ready to get it-

    • Yep – such a fine line between encouraging and badgering, or is there a line at all? Like my mom always used to say to me, “Well, if you just DID it in the first place, no one would be nagging you!”

  2. So very insightful of you, Nami. My (soon to be) 80 year old mum is as tenacious as they come. I like to think some of that rubbed off onto me and so it’ll rub off onto my boys. Wishful thinking, perhaps?
    I tell you what, they’re pretty determined to get their boogers out too.

  3. Wow… this was a deep one. Good lesson, though. Be tenacious, but also know when to quit. Quit should not be the first option. I am a grandmother so I guess that makes me wise? LOL

  4. Why do we figure shit out when we’re old (like me)?

  5. How true that is. Never giving up. I’m constantly saying this to my beloved little boy. Some day he’ll get the message. Until then, I’ll continue nagging the hell out of him.

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