Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back on 2015, Looking Ahead to 2016

Hands down this has been the year of Karate.

I poured a lot of spirit and effort into advancing to my next rank and I couldn't be happier.
I've grown much as a martial artist this year and have even started assistant teaching Tai Chi.

At the start of the year I couldn't understand how to throw a front-snap kick to face-height.  I can do it now, but not with a lot of power behind it.
Roundhouse kick with the ball of the foot? Got it.
I wanted to be able to do a full split: I'm even closer now than I was.
I wanted to be able to do 50 push-ups without stopping...okay, that goal go tweaked.  I decided it was more realistic to do push-ups in smaller bursts; say 12-15.  So I do a bunch of small groupings and that seems to be working well.

Next year with see my beloved Sensei retiring in January.
Though the school will continue under the tutelage of a new head instructor, I'm not sure what that will mean for my practice personally.
Torch-passing aside, my martial arts goals for next year are to:
• Improve my spinning techniques
• Get more power behind all my kicks
• I really need to continue to improve my sparring (the boxing lessons are helping)
• Need to learn more joint locks.  So many more joint locks!!

If I push it, I might be able to test for my 1st Kyu rank at the end of the school year.  If not then, then maybe by the end of next year.  We'll see.

This year was also the year my father-in-law, Dick passed away (ironically on Independence Day).
Caring for him in his final months was a very powerful and empowering experience for me.

After his passing I was able to reclaim my house (he was living with us for a good portion of last year and all this spring, being mostly bed-bound in the last month he was living at the house).
The coming year will see my husband and I cleaning out the camp that Dick had occupied during the summer months for many, many years.

Since Dick was a hoarder, this will not be a quick or easy process; especially since the camp can only be accessed by boat.  Most of our weekends this coming summer will likely be spent on that "little" project.

The other big thing that happened this year was that I participated in my final Sun-Moon Dance. (As in I completed my four-year commitment).
This year's Dance was gentle on me (thankfully) and I was able to really touch and let go of some deep pain I hadn't realized I'd been holding.  It was a truly beautiful experience (as it always is).
If I participate in any Dances in the future, it'll be on the support side and I'm curious and excited to pursue that angle of the Dance.

In other news: my business partner really wants to get back into making products for our crafting business.  We've both been laying low the past couple years since last year we focused on my wedding and this year I was distracted by caring for Dick and getting my next Karate rank.
Though our business (and sales) has actually grown this year, we really want to get sewn products into our inventory and we're hoping to start making bags this winter and spring.

We're also researching larger venues to sell our wares.  It's pretty exciting and scary at the same time!

We both are also very much feeling the itch to belly dance again - another activity that has suffered for the past two years for the same reasons.  We're looking into tumbling or adult gymnastics classes to improve our strength and flexibility and to spice up our duet dance routines even more.

On a personal level I'd like to get back into writing.  I didn't participate in NaNoWriMo this year and I have no regrets on that front; but I have three projects that are languishing in various states of completion that I'd very much like to return to and guide along their way.

I also keep glancing around the edges of going back to school or getting a different job.
Not that I don't like or even love my present employment - I couldn't ask for a better job! But the pay is miserable.  Taking a deep breath and plunging into something new may be in the forecast after the New Year...or not.  Time will tell on that front.

So 2015 has been the year of growth.
2016 is slated to be the year of change.

We'll see what the future brings!

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