Thursday, April 28, 2011

Getting Back to Climbing, Week 14: The Zen of Rock Climbing, Parenting and Life

The Zen of Rock Climbing
Rock climbing can be like planning a beach day. 
You plan all week, the day arrives, it rains, and you are out of luck.  It rains and there is nothing you can do about it.  You can, however, make the best of your day.  You can decide on the next best thing, and go for it... a walk in the rain, go to the climbing gym, watch a marathon of Star Wars, or look for rainbows.  You don't have control over the weather, it just happens, so why not make the best of it?

The Zen of Parenting
A child can be like the weather.
You can plan that you are going to put your kid down for a nap at ten o'clock, but if he isn't ready, it isn't happening.  You can plan that you are going out for pizza at noon, but if there is a diaper crisis that turns into a nap emergency, it isn't happening either.  With a child, sometimes this is hard; often I decide that I am going to do something fabulous, only to find out that I don't have buy in from The Kid (and I am not talking about him 'not wanting' to do something, more about the uncontrollable issues like sleep, hunger, diapers, or a fall that really hurts).  And just like the rain, there is nothing you can do about it.

The Zen of Parenting has been much easier for me to grasp, than the Zen of Rock Climbing.  When The Kid was an infant, the realization that I couldn't control the eat, sleep, diaper patterns of this little being was a relief.  While I have a rhythm and direction to our day, I also have found that letting go of rigid expectations allows me to find the joy in the unplanned, unexpected moments.

The Zen of Life
The Kid and I made it into the rock climbing gym on Wednesday, and it was an uneventful session, as far as climbing goes.  However, lately The Kid needs to check in with me a lot more.  Before the past few weeks, I had to search him out after my session, but not anymore.  He checks in with me frequently, sometimes every ten minutes, and often gets teary watching me climb.  But like the rain on my climbing plans, I can either get frustrated, or I can go with it.  It was nice to plug into my iPod for two hours and boulder without further interruptions, but it is also pretty damn wonderful that my Kid loves me and wants to check in with me.  He won't always want to do that, so I pick him up, give him smoochy kisses, chat with Brittany, and then climb some more.

The Zen of Rock Climbing and the Zen of Parenting have collided... The Zen of Life has been realized.  With everything in life, you can be miserable when things aren't going as you have planned... or you can focus on the positive and find unexpected joy in the experience.

John and I have been spending more days out on the climbing wall in the cottage, since the weather is warm; I climbed at home last Sunday and this Saturday.  (I can't get the workout that I need, not yet anyway... cement floor, not enough pads to cover the area, the holds on the roof line don't ensure that I won't blow a move and crash down to the cement... but I can still get some climbing in, especially if John is there to spot me.)

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