New Year’s Day, 2013

Happy New Year to you!

I’m so excited about this year. I’ve spent the past 6 months, the last half of 2012, getting ready. I transitioned from full-time to part-time work so I could focus more on Aikido and writing. I’ve started organizing my work, found resources, learned new tools, and gotten ongoing coaching. I launched my own publishing company (which has yet to publish anything, but it’ll be there when I need it), Shugyo Press. I’ve finished up projects, and gotten rid of things I’m not using. I’ve given musical instruments away, put horse stuff on consignment, and donated books. I’ve cleared out and cleaned up space, in my house, on my shelves, and in my mind. Yesterday, New Year’s Eve, I spent the whole day cleaning, right down to the cobwebs on the ceiling and the gunk on the baseboards. Michael and I enjoyed a quiet little celebration with a long-time friend.

Now, fueled by a good night’s sleep and two cups of coffee, I’m on a ridge looking over a vast plain. I have time to think and room to move. I won’t try to plan out 2013 – there’s too much I don’t know – but I have an idea of the direction I want to take. I can see what lies just ahead pretty well, though, and I’m really excited about it. Here’s what I have planned for the next few weeks:

Today, New Year’s Day – Clean the dojo in preparation for a seminar this coming weekend, and then head to another local dojo, Jiai Aikido, for a joint Kagami Biraki training session and potluck with the nice folks there. What a fun way to start the year.

Tomorrow, Wednesday – Do final dojo cleanup. Help in the afternoon kids’ class, or maybe teach it, depending on Sensei’s schedule. Participate in the evening’s class – our first class of the year – which will be co-taught by our Dave Goldberg Sensei and Miles Kessler Sensei. (Woohoo!)

Every free moment between these things, physical therapy (PT) exercises. Lots of stretching and strengthening. Something in my right shoulder is pulling on my spine, sending zinging, tingling sensations down my left arm to my thumb and forefingers. The good news is that most of what I do on the mat helps (although I can’t take ukemi for ikkyo ura right now). I started PT a couple of weeks ago. It’s going slowly, but I’ve got to get this resolved.

This Friday through Sunday, participate in a seminar at our dojo with Kessler Sensei and Goldberg Sensei. I’m really looking forward to this!

And the whole time, writing. Outlining, organizing, planning, and just plain writing. I’m participating in an ongoing group of writers, The Merry Inksters, who are a big help in staying focused and leaning the ins and outs of professional writing and publishing. Starting a week from today I’ll be taking a local 5-week course on writing and publishing, too. My short-term goal is go have my first eBook (a little one, just for fun) available on Amazon.com by the end of February.

Meanwhile, in mid-January there’s the annual Aikido Bridge Friendship Seminar. This will be my 4th year participating, and I’m excited to see what this year holds. For the first time I won’t be at all 5 days, though! On Sunday I’ll be going to Mexico for shodan exams at Aikido Tijuana. That’s going to be a great time.

Then more writing, and continuing preparation for my 1st kyu exam, which is scheduled for March 9th. A friend and I will be testing together. That should keep me plenty busy!

Now, time to get out of here and head to the dojo!