Consider this an extension of yesterday's frivolous updates...
I introduce to you Validus Mos. She is (as stated by the tag) a Sempervivum 'Proud Zelda' (and mother to several pretty chicks, I might add). Jim the Succulent Man provided an ample selection at the Ballard Farmer's Market, but she caught my eye from beneath one of the tables amongst her sistren and brethren. He told me that when the seasons change, the succulents follow suit and dawn new and astonishing hues. Succulents are also known for their ability to thrive in harsh conditions; the less hospitable the climate, the happier the succulent. And thus, I named her Validus Mos, meaning 'mighty will' or 'strong-willed' in Latin. In the words of Succulent Jim, "they thrive on benign neglect"...what better plant could I have purchased? She only needs to be watered every one or two weeks and even then she doesn't need much. Soon she will have a bigger pot with more room for her and her chicks to grow. Beautiful, isn't she?
While Validus Mos is not particularly new, my third stripe is. I was promoted a little over a week ago...my blue belt is not so far off as it once was. There is still a great deal of work to do, though.
To me, I do not deserve my stripes yet. Maybe I have remembered enough to warrant the first or even the second stripe...but not the third. In some ways, though, it serves as a reminder of how hard I need to work to actually deserve that stripe. Because when I arrive at my blue belt, I want to feel that I have earned it.
Six months move by quickly. Six short months ago I was standing at the end of a line, dozens of people outranking me; I was literally the lowest on the totem pole. Now, I have outranked people who started before I even arrived...then again, I spend every possible minute outside of work playing jiu jitsu.
All I know now is that I love it. Not as a sport or as a hobby, but as jiu jitsu...just jiu jitsu.