Friday, July 18, 2008

Trying To Stay Calm

Take a deep breath in.

Hold for 8 seconds.

Exhale.

Repeat.

I am having an extremely stressful week. My daughter is involved in a local children’s theater. She has been practicing for the last five weeks – four days a week – three hours a night. There is so much work done behind the scenes such as advertising, ticket sales, raffle, costumes and set construction. Parents are recruited to help. Therefore, I have been cutting apples, painting hay bales, moving tables, and working stage left. There are five performances and I will be at the theater all weekend. I am very proud of her because she has worked so hard.

Here comes the stress. On Thursday, I went to the post box to collect the mail. When I shut my car door there was a loud crunching sound. My car window fell into the door. The car was at the mechanic last week and I need a wheel hub sensor. I decided not to get this fixed but rather trade in the vehicle. This was the first used car I ever bought. I only had it six months. I went to a reputable dealer and it was a certified pre-owned car. In the past six months, it needed the following repairs: passenger window regulator ($405.00), right wheel hub sensor ($549.00), directional tires were installed backwards ($75.00), left wheel hub sensor ($549.00), and now driver side window regulator ($405.00). This does not include the molding falling off, the headliner falling down and a piece inside the trunk falling off. I can envision myself driving down the road as my car slowly falls apart leaving behind me a trail of debris.

I made numerous calls to the service manager and sales manager. I explained to them my busy weekend and the need I had for my car. They propped up the window using a wedge and packing material. On Monday, I have a meeting with the original salesperson and the sales manager. When I bought the car, the salesperson told me that the car belonged to his daughter-in-laws father. At the time, I believed him but maybe it was just a sales technique.

What does this post have to do with karate? I need to stay calm and karate will help. I may need to take a few extra deep breaths over the next few days. I am going to make time to visit the Honbu on Saturday for a workout. I will need to stay focused, determined and levelheaded. I am planning to leave the dealership on Monday with a different car.

If the stress gets too bad, I might have to practice Sanchin a few times. Maybe sparring would work better?

Does karate help you manage stress?

7 comments:

Steve said...

Wow. Are you protected by a lemon law of some kind? Dang.

Regarding stress and Martial Arts, I'd say that, for me, it helps quite a bit, but not because I get to be aggressive. It's not like the movies, where the star is taking out his frustrations or channelling his angst into each and every punch.

First, exercise releases endorphins that are healthy and help with stress. So, in the sense that BJJ is exercise, it's been well documented to help.

Second, BJJ is very technical, so it's damn near impossible to think about much else when you're in an 85 degree room being twisted up like a pretzel. You have to be in the moment, and it's easy to table any troubles I'm having.

So, for these reasons, I'd say yes, martial arts do help with stress.

Meg said...

I think it's awesome that your daughter is involved with the theater. I wish her luck with the play this weekend!

Dang about the car! I sure hope that the service manager does something to help you out! For a "certified pre-owned car", you shouldn't be out so much money in repairs!

I love going to class after a particularly bad day at work. I know that I can work out hard to perfect whatever current form I'm working on and that'll help ease the stress I'm feeling. Plus, I pretty much have to put the stress behind me in order to concentrate on my forms/one-steps, etc.

Martial Arts Mom said...

Yep - definitely. On my blog, I just wrote about my class being my "great escape" and, ironically, this Thursday, I was not able to go to class and I've had the week from hell and I wish I'd been able to go to class for just that reason.

Steve said...

BEFORE you go in to that meeting Monday, check out http://www.carfax.com ! By entering the VIN number on the car, you get a car history of the vehicle and know the history of the car - possibly figuring out if it was inface a relative of the salesperson! It'll cost about $25/report or $29/for 10 reports. I suggest the latter as you can use the other reports for a new car if needed!

Michele said...

Sorry for the delay in responding! This is the first time I was on the computer all weekend. Only one more performance to go!

Steve: Thanks for the tip. I will check it out! I agree with you that martial arts is "in the moment". I admire the technical aspect of BJJ.

Meg: I am proud of my daughter. The kids work so hard. About the car...I know!...I thought I was safer buying certified pre-owned. The sales manager told me they look at 115 points on a car to certify it.

MAM: Ugh! Sorry to hear about your week. Hope next week is better!

Steve: I did not realize a consumer could buy a carfax. The sad part is that the dealership did show me the carfax when I bought the car. There were no accidents and the car was properly maintained. It feels like the dealership "glued" the car together knowing that it would fall apart after the 30 day warrantee.

Hack Shaft said...

Oh, my, there is nothing better than sparring on Monday nights to bust up the Monday back-to-work blues.

Nothing.

No matter how I feel, I come into the school with a smile on, pumped up to have some fun, and usually buzzing for 2 hours afterward. That's the best!!!

Michele said...

Hack Shaft: I may need to do some sparring. The car situation is still not resolved. The sales manager never showed up at my Monday appointment. He went home early that day. I am planning to meet with the service manager tonight.