Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Same Boat

Someone tagged me the other day to let me know that a Zumba teacher would do a Zoom class. It was cool to see people's faces that I haven't laid eyes on in a while. It was also weird to see people jumping around in individual boxes. Couldn't figure out how to "pin the host" but I'm assuming that I will get more familiar with Zoom.

It felt really weird at first but then I just relaxed and it was nice to get in a workout that wasn't walking.

One day I found myself thinking, I'm tired of walking but I quickly turned that thought around to I'm grateful that I have the ability to walk.

Left Zoom Zumba to attend an Instagram Live yoga class with Seane Corn. Sunday was so nice that it felt like a crime not to emerge from the basement to get outside and soak up the sun...

When I went to the grocery story about three weeks ago, this woman wished me "good luck" because everything had been picked over. It instantly made me think about preppers and a reality TV show that I'd watched on Netflix. Only watched one episode because I found it bothersome...

Thought about the workshop, Yoga As A Peace Practice, when one of the presenters said that you need to know how to grow your own food. This pandemic has been a lesson in many things, including not endlessly keeping food in the freezer.

Anyway, life is weird and scary right now, but I definitely know that many of us are in the same boat so I try not to panic. I continue with my pre-bed ritual of listening to 10 Percent Happier Live with meditation teachers. I get into a restorative posture and listen and breathe and it helps lighten the load that feels like it's weighing down my chest and heart.

One of my coworkers has been sending little notes of encouragement and, sometimes, poems.

I love this one that she shared:

Alive Together

Speaking of marvels, I am alive
together with you, when I might have been
alive with anyone under the sun,
when I might have been Abelard’s woman
or the whore of a Renaissance pope
or a peasant wife with not enough food
and not enough love, with my children
dead of the plague. I might have slept
in an alcove next to the man
with the golden nose, who poked it
into the business of stars,
or sewn a starry flag
for a general with wooden teeth.
I might have been the exemplary Pocahontas
or a woman without a name
weeping in Master’s bed
for my husband, exchanged for a mule,
my daughter, lost in a drunken bet.
I might have been stretched on a totem pole
to appease a vindictive god
or left, a useless girl-child,
to die on a cliff. I like to think
I might have been Mary Shelley
in love with a wrongheaded angel,
or Mary’s friend, I might have been you.
This poem is endless, the odds against us are endless,
our chances of being alive together
statistically nonexistent;
still we have made it, alive in a time
when rationalists in square hats
and hatless Jehovah’s Witnesses
agree it is almost over,
alive with our lively children
who–but for endless ifs–
might have missed out on being alive
together with marvels and follies
and longings and lies and wishes
and error and humor and mercy
and journeys and voices and faces
and colors and summers and mornings
and knowledge and tears and chance.
 “Alive Together” by Lisel Mueller from Alive Together. © Louisiana State University Oress.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

14 Days Ago

Last weekend marked my one-year anniversary of graduating from yoga teacher training. I have no regrets...

What to say?  A lot has changed in the 14 days since I last posted. As with most cities, just about everything is on shut down.

Up until last Wednesday, I had not heard of Zoom and now that's all I hear about. Many yoga teachers have headed online as they try to salvage their businesses.

I had planned to take a couple of PTO days before everything got super scary and, as usual, my days off are usually dedicated to getting some task taken care of. My car needed rear brakes and I kept losing air in a tire etc. The chimney also needed work. Kept thinking that maybe I should have postponed the chimney repair but it's done now.

In addition to daily yoga, I've been ending my evenings by getting into a restorative posture while listening to a guided mediation provided by the folks at 10% Happier.

I'm also trying to take the hand-washing as a moment to breathe a little deeper.


I read somewhere that the world as we know it has changed. Ain't that the truth?


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Rolling Out

Alison usually goes with me to Art in Bloom but she was camping. I had also invited an aunt and her friend. The friend couldn't go and my aunt called to say that she had had a doozy of a week and didn't want to go. I invited one more person and when that didn't pan out, decided to go by myself.

Surprisingly, I left the house at 11:00 a.m. and it turned out to be a good time as I was able to park relatively close. Plus, the museum wasn't packed. I got a  map and slowly worked my way through the museum.

People were in a good mood the way they are when on vacation. Ran into a few people that I know and think that I saw just about every floral arrangement. Art in Bloom turned out to be a good way to decompress.

Afterward... did yard work, picked up my bike, went to the grocery store, cleaned the fish tank, washed and braided my hair. It was a full Saturday...

Rolled out today and went to one of the fancier locations of my climbing gym because they had $5 dollar passes for women in honor of International Women's Day.  It was so nice to have a wider variety of routes and to be in a more spacious gym...

A few of my faves from Art in Bloom.







Accidental hue as my camera's got shifted as I juggled belongings.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Tanking...

In an effort to not sink into despair, I've visited the orchid show three times and I just finished reading Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.

A little over a month ago, I agreed to sub for a yoga class at the studio where I took my training. It's amazing how you feel somewhat competent and how you feel that you have plenty of time to prepare and then a  month turns into hours and then it turns into go-time.

When I got to the studio, checked the roster then set-up. It was comforting to know that one of my YTT classmates, Camille, would attend. Camille showed up with a mini bouquet and that's so Camille -- very thoughtful...

It definitely was not the smoothest class that I've taught. I struggled with describing a prop placement and I failed to realize that I had chosen a playlist that was too short. Camille was reassuring and when I got back in my car, the Super Soul Conversations podcast with Amy Schumer was right at the point where Oprah asks Amy Schumer if she's ever tanked and Schumer says absolutely:

"You have to do bad to do better...You have to realize all of your fears on stage...I have no fears anymore because they all came true...You get better when you work hard; there's no exceptions to that..."
The micro bouquet that Camille brought...

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Moments Of...

Signed up for a book discussion of Skill in Action this past Friday but when Friday arrived, I  questioned my sanity for signing up for a 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. event at the end of the week.

Would have felt guilty for not going and, therefore, not giving that space to someone else who might have wanted it so gathered my belongings and headed to the yoga studio hosting the event.

On the one hand, I regretted not signing up for the entire weekend. On the other hand, I know how fatigued the work week leaves me...

Listened to Lesson 19 from the Sharon Salzberg's Meditation Challenge. I've been so angry lately which made me pay closer attention as I listened while washing dishes.
Anger for example is not simply anger. It's moments of fear, moments of sadness, moments of frustrations, moments of helplessness.
These are concepts that I've heard before but, of course, when you're caught up in something it's difficult to think rationally...

Was not feeling very motivated on Saturday but pulled myself together because the weather was so nice. Went to the Orchid Show at the botanical guard then just walked around the garden for an hour and felt more like myself.

Also walked on Sunday plus tried to get on top of the weed situation in the backyard before things start flowering and that was very satisfying as well...


Saturday, February 15, 2020

To Swim or Not To Swim

Did Qigong at work on Friday. It was my second time doing a session with an instructor and I felt relaxed afterward. Didn't come home for lunch because of the Qigong and realized how lucky I am to work close to home. The day felt extraordinarily long without my usual trip home...

Didn't feel like I had an ounce of energy today but I also didn't want to sit around the house all day so I went swimming after not having gone for two weeks. Saw the retired math teacher, Dale, who responded with a W.C. Fields quote after I responded to his inquiry about how I was doing. He then went on to tell me a joke about two camels who ate a comedian -- he tasted funny, said one camel. 

Asked the lifeguard if she'd seen my Fitbit. She looked in the safe and on the message/cork board which has tons of earrings and whatnot but there was no sign of my Fitbit. She went on to tell me how she'd changed her Apple watch band to a magnetic one because the original band was ill-fitting and the watch had slipped off her wrist several times. The lifeguard also told me how she'd cracked the screen several times. 

Oh well, I like my new Fitbit and hope to have it for several years as the Inspire feels more secure on my arm.


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

To Anchor

Guess the best way to describe how I've been feeling is shaken or, in today's parlance, shook.

Life has been interesting. Had an emotional conversation with a customer who said that our paid contractors complete the circle.

And yet another paid contractor brought me something for Chinese New Year with a poignant story about the red envelopes.


I've read that the red envelopes contain money to, literally, anchor the year.

Also, don't listen to This American Life much but I did listen to the episode The Show of Delights and it was, well, delightful. Should have known that Ross Gay would be on there. Tried to read his book last year but wasn't able to finish it. I definitely enjoyed him reading segments from the book on the podcast though.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

A Beautiful Table

A couple of weeks ago made plans to meet Asmira on Friday but when the day rolled around, I felt exhausted but went anyway.

Asmira always sets a beautiful table. We ate and caught up and I was surprised when she expressed the same sentiment that I had been thinking earlier in the day about -- walking away from "it" all. Seriously, I just wanted to throw my hands up in defeat...



Had an Instagram message from one of my classmates about collaborating on a project in response to a violent and chaotic week. She wanted to take counteractive measures.

It was surreal interacting with two people who were experiencing the same level of intensity, frustration and sadness that I was experiencing...

In fact, my whole right side was aching from my IT band to my neck.

Stayed at home up until 1 on Saturday when I went in search of lunch and left the house again to attend a sound/yoga event.  It was a packed opening day event so really no room for any intense yoga. My body and mind felt better afterwards.

Totally thought this was coconut on top...
Asmira also told me that her Fitbit had fallen off five times before she lost it for good. So, in all things, we are not alone even though it feels that way at times.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Precious and Short

My aunt G called on Saturday morning to let me know that my cousin's 58-year-old father had died.

As I drove to the pool later in the day, remembered how I hadn't seen my cousin's father in ages when he greeted me outside the funeral home where my grandmother's service was held.

Thought about my cousin's grandmother who was living with her 58-year-old son and thought about my grandmother, other relatives and silently wished for a do-over while almost immediately telling myself that there are no do-overs.

When I arrived at the pool, the guy who told me about Errol Flynn in Jamaica was at the check-in desk. When I asked him how he was doing he replied, "Still on this side of the grass" and that's always a curious response to me...

Anyway, swam and had the entire pool to myself for quite a while. Got in 22 laps then decided to go to JC Penney as one of my favorite blouses is from there and I could use at least one more shirt. Didn't find anything but when I got in the car, realized that my Fitbit was not on my arm so I went back into JC Penney and back into the dressing room and walked around and couldn't find anything.

I hate losing stuff. Had to ask myself if a tracker has made that big of a difference in my life. Got online to see about a replacement and found out that they no longer make that style. I also have a back-up that I'm not that fond of but couldn't find the charging cord so it's not really a back-up.

I'm hoping that maybe the tracker fell off at the pool...

Was listening to an earlier episode of Gaslit Nation as I ran errands on Saturday and a guest talked about how we need to support people that we like and have a grassroots effort in place. She mentioned that many people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cruz but that AOC is not a superhero and cannot fight the good fight on her on...

While on Twitter, saw a TMZ post about Kobe Bryant and was shocked. I don't really follow basketball as much as I used to but I had also seen a post just the day before about him congratulating Lebron James on surpassing him in scoring.

After the shock,  had to tell myself that he was mortal; it just seemed otherwise on the basketball court...

Went to a YTT Q & A and was talking to my trainer's husband who was also shocked and as we finished up our conversation he said, "Life is precious and short" -- a reminder that we all need once in a while.




Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Walk

We were allowed to leave work early on Friday because of inclement weather.

Yesterday was reminiscent of the previous Friday in that it rained and rained. Last week, I stayed home and alternated between reading Pachinko and watching Jack Ryan.

While the cars and trees were iced, the ground wasn't affected and I ended up going for, an hour, to Stacy's yoga teacher training. She sent out a call for several volunteers and I had no idea why she wanted us there for but she said there was no need to prepare.

As I walked in, it became apparent that the trainees were on there social justice unit and I sat down as one of the presenters, Shawn, said Our liberation is tied together...

Shawn and Liz finished with their presentation and the volunteers introduced themselves.

We ended up doing a Privilege Walkwhich I had never heard of. There were at least five people in the room who had done the walk before. The exercise left me very sad and practically speechless. When I get upset, my throat literally aches; there's almost an instant soreness...

I miss my Saturday Zumba routine. Wasn't feeling it but I decided to go swimming. I was texting with Alison beforehand and told her how I missed Zumba and she responded "Tell me about it."

Alison hasn't been able to attend Zumba classes because of ongoing knee issues and I told her, yeah, I thought about that right after I sent the text.

So, I went to the pool and I had that feeling that I've had before of not knowing whether or not I'd be able to swim a single lap but I swam that lap and 21 additional laps and I felt better afterwards — emotionally and physically.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Side Note

Read a yoga book by a local author and when I finished, I checked this podcast that I don't regularly listen to because the guy rants for, like, the first 10 minutes but I took a look anyway and he had just interviewed a person that the local author referred to in her book so it was very cool to listen to the interview even though I had to fast forward through the introduction.

Listened to a December episode of The Moth which was actually reruns of several episodes, including one of my faves The Phone Call by Auburn Sandstrom which I've listened to about three times just over the last couple of days.

I was also glad to find that the author of The Body Keeps The Score, Bessel van der Kolk, was a guest on On Being. We read his powerful book during yoga teacher training...


One of my yoga classmates posted that it was the start of a new semester at work and, therefore, the "Sunday scaries" were extra scary. I also think that after the holidays, Sunday scariness is worse and might have been the reason that I couldn't, initially, sleep. I stayed up until 12:30 a.m. watching Jack Ryan because I just didn't feel sleepy. Thought about how my aunt Alice would have really liked JR...

It's Tuesday now and the Sunday scaries have morphed into international scaries...

A side note to the 'Fugee: unbelievably, Bessel van der Kolk sounds like Istvan...

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Daze

There seemed to be an unprecedented amount of holiday, food gifts which made me think of Shonda Rhimes' book Year of Yes.

About losing weight, Rhimes concluded that she was saying "yes" to being overweight. I have many truffles, cookies and candy. Definitely not planning on eating it all but it's tempting...

During our Christmas dinner, my uncle said it was Thanksgiving and, later on, a family friend thanked my aunt for the Easter plate. Perhaps, it was the unseasonably warm weather or the fact that we have similar food for the holidays or maybe it's the daze between Christmas and New Year.

On New Year's Eve, I watched the bulk of YogaWoman which seemed like a fitting activity -- for me anyway. I was not looking forward to midnight as people have been clowning with guns on NYE. Unbelievably, the gunfire started around 11:30 p.m. I fell asleep but totally knew when midnight hit because the fireworks and gunfire was off the chart...

A massage therapist that I used to go to returned to the area for the holidays. Couldn't believe that it had been two years, slightly over two years actually.

I went for a session and noticed her Keep Calm and Do Qigong shirt as she greeted me. She talked about how, after two years, her new state is finally starting to feel like home. People weren't sure why she and her partner wanted to move somewhere where they didn't know anyone. She was  like "Maybe this is just a brief stop. Who knows?" I admire her willingness to pull up stakes, start over and go with the flow.