Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Traveled to southeastern Virginia over the weekend to attend a second cousin's wedding. As always, my son, now 20, provided some challenges, but I did enjoy the trip, which I made with him and my 14-year-old daughter--my wife was too ill from labyrinthitis to come along. We saw my brother and his partner, and my cousin's family, which were great.

Deep conversation with my wife this evening. Home from work, with a little time before martial arts class. We discussed my feeling uncomfortable at work sometimes about my new job. I left a more prestigious news organization for a job with more money, a more family-friendly and predictable schedule--one more friendly to martial arts training, also--and more autonomy on the job. These are all good reasons.

Still, I often beat myself up for what I imagine is people's perception of my job change--that I wasn't good enough for the other organization. (It doesn't help that my new organization has an inferiority complex in relation to my old one.)

Caring so much about what other people think--or, really, my projection of what other people think--is something I tend to do; it's what my wife calls a character defect. It doesn't affect just me, it also affects the people close to me.

Another way I think about a character defect is that it's a demon.

In the current (January, 2008) issue of The Ring, the great boxing magazine, William Detloff writes about Alfonso Gomez and how any really good professional boxer has some demon driving him. (Above is a photo of Gomez defeating Arturo Gatti recently.) For Gomez, it's not such a bad demon--it's just childhood poverty that he doesn't want to endure again.

I wonder what demon it is that drives me to work so hard at age 51 to be a martial artist, what with injuries and ACL surgery and failing body parts. What drove me into a kickboxing tournament to fight someone less than half my age?

I wonder if it's related to the demon of worrying about what other people think about me. I want to keep thinking about this.

No comments: