After 25 years or so of softball, I recently gave it a rest. It’s a great sport, but I wasn’t thrilled with the weekly commitment, and I was beating up my body. I do still sub every-so-often.. Last Friday I subbed for the first time in a year, and I really enjoyed myself. I caught the one fly ball that made it out to me in right field, backed up the first basewoman on an over-throw, and — through some visualization practice — made contact or walked every time I came up to bat. Not only that, but Brian’s team is awesome. Really friendly, fun people who were solid on the field with great hitting potential. And I was pleased that I’m still in decent shape and could remember everybody’s name: Brian, Teresa, Kevin, Lani, Carl, Val, Crystal, Mark, and Jeremy! (Yay for metaphysics exercises!)
Sometimes when I’d head out on the field the fears would get a hold of me. What would I do if the ball came to me? What if I missed it? Made a mistake? This time I noticed it coming on and simply told myself: “That’s not productive thinking. I have no use for that.”
I also took a look at my words this week and worked on 2 resolutions: 1. Eliminate criticisms of others. 2. Eliminate criticisms of movies. Part of my metaphysics lesson this week included speaking negatively about myself out loud any time I was tempted to speak ill of others. I had to catch myself more than I’d like, but I’ve seen an improvement. I’ve also been uneasy with how I tend to critique movies down to a pulp. After a nasty reaction to the latest Superman movie, I decided I would give the negativity a rest and speak only positives tidbits about the next one I watched. My test happened to be the latest X-Men movie, which Brian assured me would have absolutely nothing wrong with it. I thought that was a funny joke, but amazingly, I ended up agreeing with him.
Random English Guy
I love those random experiences that make you muse and wonder and brighten your day. Today I stopped at a park during a break between two tutoring sessions. As I made my way to a bench with my Artist’s Way notebook in tow, I passed a young gentleman in workout gear, resting with his bike under a canopied picnic area. He seemed like he may have been glancing at me, but I didn’t think much of it. I made a phonecall and then started writing.
Soon after he came over and asked if I had the time, and I checked my watch. He thanked me and turned back to his bike, and I returned to my writing. But then I thought: it seems odd that he would just ask me the time. Most people have a phone or something on them. I felt the urge to speak to him.
“How far are you going today?” I called out to him. And that’s how I learned that he didn’t really know how far he’d gone, just that he’d gone a lap around today and yesterday and also that he’d biked quite a few miles on a stationary bike at the gym yesterday, too. He was staying with a friend who’d been a schoolmate back in England and who was now a workout fanatic. The purpose of his trip was to get out of England for a while because it was raining all of the time, and he said that can really get to you mentally. (Made me feel better about our own messed-up weather.) He told me that it was never this hot in England and that 22 degrees (C) was generally his limit for working out outdoors. (I’m embarrassed to say that I wasn’t sure how to do the conversion to Fahrenheit and was therefore lacking a frame of reference and could only smile and nod.) He’s been trying to exercise more and get his body in shape because he was in a motorcycle racing accident last year — where he miraculously only tore up some muscle — and he’d lost weight and then really started to gain, and he didn’t want to get fat. He was impressed that I tutored Spanish and asked if I knew any other languages and what languages I’d like to learn, and he told me a story about a time he’d been riding in France and hadn’t realized he’s crossed over the border into Spain and had proceeded to speak a bit of French to a confused Spanish gas station attendant. (What little French he knew came from his ex-girlfriend.) Also, he wasn’t sure what type of bees were flying under the canopy and if they stung or not. (I couldn’t help him identify them, but I was pretty sure they stung.) We finished by wished each other a lovely day, and I wished him a good trip back.
I’m sure you can understand that having time off can seem a blessing and a curse. Yesterday my two tutoring students cancelled, so I got another surprise day off. (I usually work a full 7-day work week.) I went nuts — I was writing like crazy, took a look at my collages, sat out in the fresh air, caught up on correspondence — and I don’t honestly remember what else I did — but it was pure bliss . . . until I had to go back to work today. I had a decent work day today, but it’s just really nice to have a day to feel free to do whatever. Working on that. . .
A Return to Teaching
After 10 years in the classroom, I threw in the towel. I like kids, I like learning, and I liked the subjects, but I just did not like classroom teaching. I’d tried — but I was done. So, when I became a metaphysics student and learned about the potential to teach, I said “No way!” I had just quit that path; I was not getting back on that road. But as sometimes happens, my stubborn mind opened up a little. I realized I was actually still teaching, even if not in name. I was a tutor, I was teaching people through my writing, and I had begun unconsciously teaching people about metaphysics. So, I went from hating the idea, to being lukewarm about it, to looking forward to having a class. Next week I will be taking over a class and teaching a student, and in the summer I will be starting a new metaphysics classes. Who woulda thunk it? The teacher is back!