People say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I'm not so sure about that and think it's akin to the 10,000 hour rule (a few test subjects short of scientific), but I do believe it's a good number of days to mold thinking. So...for 21 days, once a day, I'm going to post on a positive change BJJ has made in my life.
Day 1: Teen Time
Prior to training, I had very few kids in my life...almost none really. Save the occasional visit from a coworker's daughter, children were creatures I only saw occasionally in grocery stores and at the movies...and when I say "kids" I mean anybody under 18.
Training not only brought kids into my life, but I'm interacting with them on a regular basis now. A while back, I wrote about a particularly sweet moment at the first tournament I attended where I watched one of the kids working to cheer up one of my fellow (then) white belts after a particularly rough match. Seeing people break the usual standards of interactions always makes me happy.
I think it gives perspective...circle of life and all that stuff. I like keeping contact with older (like 80+, death-is-definitely-knocking-on-my-door old) people because it's a reminder both of how short, and how long life is. A friend of mine...John...just passed away after a long battle with cancer, and hearing the way he faced his own mortality, and dealt with the void he knew he'd be leaving with his loved ones is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Conversations with him gave me insight into my probable future self.
Something similar happens talking to teenagers. I'm still closer to their age than John's, but it can be easy to forget who you were then. Training and talking with them is a reminder of who I was, and insight into how much of that person I still am.