Well, Golly

One of my favorite Dilbert strips features the Pointy-Haired Boss nattering on about change, to which Ted replies that he’s going to get a sex-change operation and move to Tibet (or something like that). Wally’s response: “I always wondered what would happen if someone listened to you.”

Over the last couple of years, I’ve identified for myself a series of long-term goals. I’ve also become a master in the art of telling people to “just do it,” except that I hadn’t paid much heed to my own advice. My own goals have gone not just unfulfilled, but even non-started.

That changed this past week. Two of my top-five list included learning a martial art and getting back into music. So I just did it.

I am now officially a student of uechi-ryu karate-do at the East West Karate Center in Grand Rapids. I really like the feel of the facility; everyone has been quite pleasant, and the shihan takes a more philosophical and goal-oriented approach to martial-arts training than other schools that emphasize tournaments or looking pretty.

I am also taking weekly piano lessons with a very friendly young lady in Grand Rapids. She teaches a much different style of music than what I’ve experienced; she focuses on theory, chords, playing by ear, and improvisation instead of the rote memorization of performance pieces. Laura and her husband seem like nice people, and I look forward to getting back into music this way.

So now I’m adding nightly piano practice and three or four hours per week in the dojo to my evening routine. I’m getting busier, but after a fairly depressing week at work, these new pursuits are lifting my spirits.

And I didn’t even need to take estrogen shots to do it. Woo hoo!

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