Monday, September 18, 2017

Yogain



I did yoga today for the first time in years and now I can’t lift my arms.  

I feel like I’m always starting yoga up again. Yoga’s my thing, too, my favorite method of exercise. If I love it so much, the fact that I regular drift away to warrant a first time in years scenario is a problem. Why is sticking with yoga such a problem?

It could be because I like to lift my arms.

I could say that I’ve drifted away from yoga because of the strain this form of exercise puts on my wrists; I have virtually no wrist muscles. I’ve analyzed images of wrist anatomy and I am assured they are there, but maybe mine were designed less for supporting the weight of my body and more for activities like holding a book or swiping a credit card.

This wrist weakness leads to the ultimate frustration of not being able to support my full body weight on my hands like the other, more nimble yogis in my classes. This balancing act is a major part of every yoga class, and it’s beyond my level of expertise. Realistically the weight of my legs alone matches the weight of the petite crow-posing sprite on the mat next to me. The danger of losing control over my heft and crushing the innocent as I attempt to stick the flying pigeon is very real. I need to keep my center of balance low and connected to mother earth, for the safety of all involved.

On the other hand, I can tree pose for days, not unlike an actual *ahem* tree.

Anyway, I’ve been doing yoga off and on since I was 26 years old, an accomplishment that I was stunned to realize, and I feel like I should be better at it by now.

Or maybe not, considering that most of those years since 26 were “off” ones, some of those years saw more yoga-ish classes than actual, full-blown yogic centers of enlightenment that influence every facet of life, an authority that I think yoga should have if you claim to be into yoga, like Madonna or Gwyneth Paltrow. Who wouldn’t want a Gwyneth Paltrow-esque version of her own best meditative life?

I want it, and I want it now.

The plain truth is that I got out of the habit of practicing yoga, and I want back in but it’s hard, maddeningly, like anything worth doing. I have to get used to the idea that I am not going to be at the zenith of my yoga skills right out of the gate at this point in my life which is about four years after the last time I was into yoga. Yoga-ish, at that. I have to practice, practice, practice, until I can support the equivalent of a tree trunk on my bird-boned wrists.

Namaste. Sigh.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Raging

It was exactly one day after we had returned from vacation, and I had yelled so long and so loud that I went hoarse.

It started out calm, then escalated as my frustration rose against a child of mine who I perceived as knowing an expectation but was trying to weasel out of fulfilling it on a technicality.

Vague enough for you? It’ll have to do. Writing about teens isn’t the same as writing about toddlers.

The bottom line is that I lost it: my calm, my cool, my sh*t. I lost it. It came back around quickly, but not before I felt the old Guilt bubble to the surface. I haven’t felt that guilt that strongly in a while. Maybe a year, maybe two. It could be that my kids are too old for Mommy Guilt to play a major role in my life anymore, or maybe it’s just been there so long that it now only registers for mega-infractions like yelling myself hoarse and not because I bought white bread instead of whole grain.

In any case, I yelled and then I felt bad. I’m a better mom than that. I’m better than that. Did I mention that I also used the F word?

We were just back from a 2-week vacation, one in which we laughed and hugged and held hands and shared hotel bathrooms without much fanfare or mutual annoyance. We all behaved. We were the perfect American family on the perfect American vacation, road-tripping up the coast of California, seeing all the best tourist attractions and none of the worst. We said yes to souvenir t-shirts and appetizers and desserts. We saw mansions and took studio tours. We rode bikes and walked on the beach. We played cards. We went to an aquarium.


Not 24 hours home, and I was screaming the f-bomb at one of my children.

Is it this life? Is the pressure of keeping it up and everything in it straight too much for me to bear? Is life too hard, too fast, too much? It runs like a machine – shouldn’t it get easier? I’ve been doing this for so long – shouldn’t it get easier? My family is growing, able to take on more of their own responsibilities – shouldn’t it get easier? I’ve been an adult for longer than I haven’t been an adult – SHOULDN’T IT GET EASIER?

The raspy voice inside my head says “No. It should not get easier.”

None of it gets easier. I say it to my kids, remind my husband, and commiserate with friends. It will not get easier. Certain things that were hard before will fade away, but other things that are harder will fill the open spots. Kids not sleeping at night turn into teenagers staying out past curfew. Stealing “me” time becomes unnecessary; how to spend time productively becomes an issue. The heaviest worries, like whether we’ll always have what we need? Those never go away. New ones: health concerns, changing relationships, parents getting older, the loss of loved ones – they are real, and sudden, and demand attention.

And they aren’t made easier by me throwing temper tantrums and screaming swear words until I am hoarse, no more now than before.

Ah, this life. It rages on and on, no matter how we deal. There is no extra allowance for gracious acceptance. You get what you get, and you can try to make it wonderful, and sometimes your efforts fail. The only beauty is that you may have the chance to do better tomorrow. But even that is not guaranteed. The best thing to do is to make the best out of it all while you have it.

And to not beat yourself up for raging against it sometimes. If you’re lucky you’ll have people in your life who forgive you when you crack, and catch you when you fall.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Challenge Accepted

I never step away from a challenge.

BWAHAHAHAHAHHA 

Gotcha.

I totally step away from a challenge, especially if the choice is easily made. It’s most apparent by my lack of competitive spirit, and why I never played sports. Every gym class scenario when I was growing up:

Me: Oh, you want the ball? Here. Have it. No really, have it. It’s just a ball. Hey, fighting over this is boring. Let’s sit down and relax. Do you believe in aliens? I mean, I don’t want to because they sort of scare me, but I also don’t want to be the one who gets abducted and isn’t prepared. On the other hand, what’re you gonna do if it happens? You know? Obviously I’m talking about probing. Do you think there’s cake in space?

Gym teachers hated me.

Many times I make life changes in order to cut down on the amount of work I have to do, actively deciding to do things based on how little work is in it for me. My husband would call this efficiency. I refer to it as laziness.

It’s a wonder that I had children. Or got married. Or went to school. Or have a house. Or a car. Or friends. Or siblings and parents. For some of my life experiences, I got lucky. For others, I was fully aware and made the best choice at the time. For a few, I was duped. For a couple more, the challenge was to adapt or die.

Here’s the thing: life is full of challenges no matter if you step around a few here or there or right into the middle of every single one of them. They are pervasive and there is no escape. No matter how carefully you have organized life to be as comfortable as possible, you can be sure that a new challenge is coming soon. It may come at you from afar in the form of aliens, or it may originate from within in the form of a fatty tumor.

I don’t really have a point with this. I guess all I'm saying is that while we may not always welcome challenges, they are there anyway, so man up and get in front to handle them like it’s your business, because you know what? It totally is. Good luck with your challenges. I’ll be here, eating cake and reading up on aliens.

And how much probing I should really expect.


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