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Friday, May 18, 2012

Yoga: cheaper than therapy

I've seen blog-pals say that "blogging is cheaper than therapy." Indeed, that's part of the reason I like this little world!

You know what else is cheaper than therapy? Yoga. And? It's fantastic exercise.



I first got into yoga seriously around 2005. I truly feel it helped me settle into me. So many things changed about my life around that same time, but I started being more comfortable with me right. then.
At one point I was going to 4 or 5 classes every week. The studio was close to my work and my home. Then my home moved, then my work. I managed a class here & there for a time, but finally petered out. When I got pregnant, I decided to go back. I went about once a week during most of my pregnancy, then practiced at home for the last month or so. I think my yoga practice was a huge part of me achieving my goal of a natural birth - and doing so pleasantly!

Since my daughter arrived 2 years ago? Not so much yoga. Maybe 10 times in 2 years. Maybe.

Finally, as though the universe wanted me to go, I heard about a studio close to work. It so happens to also be close to my parents' home. It is a wonderful, wonderful place. (Check it out, locals!) I've been 4 times in 16 days. Hooked; well - re-hooked.

I'm not just being cheeky by referencing yoga being cheaper than therapy. The reason I decided to go back now, other than just now hearing about this great place, is that I had decided to go off "my meds." I had pretty serious anxiety when my daughter first came. It persisted at a tolerable (sort of, usually) level throughout the first year. I never wanted to go on anything because I wanted breastfeeding to be totally risk free. (Or something.) Anyway, I took a little help thereafter and until a few weeks ago. I've had a couple rough days here and there. Even one since I started back to yoga. But for the most part, feeling darn good.

It occurred to me tonight, that writing down the positive thoughts yoga helps me generate might help make them  last outside the studio / off the mat. This is mostly for me, but if it helps anyone else - or tempts you to yoga - all the better.


Tonight's yoga thoughts: Self-Seeing


I had two conflicting images of myself throughout the day today. I often do. I shall call it my personal dichotomy.
ONE – inept ditz
TWO – capable, caring professional.
I had/have good reasons for both.

When I left work, I was kicking myself over the reasons for Image ONE. In fact, I almost forgot about all reasons for Image TWO. 
To my credit, I decided to just let go of Image ONE. I enjoyed a little time with my daughter before yoga class. 
But then at some point during class, I remembered Image TWO, fully & completely – like an “oh, yeah” moment.
I really have no good explanation for how the thought entered my mind. 
Perhaps it had something to do with getting into a pose I never had, or hadn’t in years – that happened at least twice tonight.
Hot on its heels was the thought – why did I let the negative image take over? Even for a little while? But you know what – it was only a little while, and that’s why I’ll keep going back.

I have more to say on Self-Seeing, as well as my personal dichotomy. But there will plenty of time for that.

Namaste.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Belated

Sunday was Mothers Day.
For that occasion, I intended to add my voice to the host celebrating motherhood.

Monday, my grandma would have been 80.
For that occasion, I intended to write up some of my favorite memories of her.

On both occasions, I failed in my intentions. Something else came up. Sunday, I believe that something was Storage Wars. Monday, I know that something was falling asleep next to my daughter while protecting her from a big, bad thunderstorm.

At any rate, I attempt now - to multitask. It isn't a stretch. After all, most often, when I think of my grandma now, it's in the context of wishing she could be here to see my daughter. Or, wishing my daughter could meet my grandma.

Here are the things I think my daughter would love most about my grandma:

  • Her smile. It was tremendous. Radiant. Infectious. I don't remember ever being sad around my grandma.  Sorry, I have no pictures to share online - they're all tucked in old albums. :)
  • Her tolerance. Throughout her life, no one was unwelcome. No, not just that - everyone was welcome. My grandma was born & raised, lived & died in rural Nebraska, with very little exposure to people not of European descent. Yet, she never seemed to have one thought prejudging anyone.
  • Her strength. My grandma lived with severe arthritis her whole life. She survived breast cancer. She lived her last several years with Alzheimer's Disease. So much for one woman. She could have become bitter. But she never did. I never once heard her complain. Her life was beautiful. 
  • Her love. My daughter does know my grandpa. If she gets to know him long enough, she'll know how much he & my grandma loved each other. Their love is and was an inspiration to me, and (I can only assume) to everyone who knew them.
My best memories of my grandma happened around their kitchen table. When my brother & I were younger, we'd stay at their farm for weekends or sometimes a week over summer or Christmas break. We'd stay up past our bedtimes, drink too much pop (that's Nebraska for soda), eat too much junk, and play cards - lots of cards. Lots. 
Years later, I stayed with grandma & grandpa while I worked on the 2000 campaign, just across the river in Iowa. We had more times around the kitchen table. This time, I got to have my very own beer. We didn't play cards. We just chatted. And that's how I know. 
I know that even the Alzheimer's didn't change who she was. She still smiled. She was tolerant & strong. And she loved. And she is loved.

She would love my daughter. And my daughter would love her.

Here are the things I think my grandma would love most about her great-granddaughter:
  • Her smile. It too is infectious. It gets you even when you're trying to tell her to stop doing what she thinks is so funny. Because it's usually funny. Also, I think Grandma would say out loud what I know my mom thinks -- "Serves you right. You were always an ornery little thing."
  • Her imagination. My daughter can have full conversations with non-humans. Not just the dog, or a dolly or a stuffed animal. But her sippy cups. Bugs. Or the sun. -- "No, no, sun! Get outta my eyes!"
  • Her smarts. My daughter charms everyone she meets my using complete sentences in that little girl voice. -- Most commonly, "I need to watch Diego." (She has not quite mastered "need" v. "want" - but then, neither have I.)
  • Her love. She loves me, her daddy, her doggie. Unconditionally. When I loose my temper just a little? (In the latter half of an hour bedtime, for example.) All's forgiven. When daddy can't retrieve a balloon that's already floated well above the house? He's still her hero. When the dog knocks her on her butt with his rudder of a tail? He still gets kisses big enough to leave her a mouthful of fur. She loves my mom, my dad, her teachers, her cousins, my grandpa.
My best memories of my daughter are happening now. (Not right now. She's in bed, and I'm blogging. Silly.) 
I hope that she will always be who she is. That nothing will change her smile, her imagination, or her smarts. I hope that she will always love. I know that she will always be loved.

She would love my grandma. And my grandma would love her.

Here are some people whose love they share. To name a few. :)



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Our Marriage

Whenever I hear it, I have no idea what it means:
"The sanctitiy of marriage" --- whose marriage?
Often, those who would define marriage as between a man & a woman state we must ban gay marriage to protect "the sanctity of marriage."

Do I really have to point out all the ridiculous, sad, mortifying, and "unsanct" things married straight people do? Because really? If I do? Pick up a gossip rag in line at the grocery store and see for yourself.

If we can define the sex organs of who marries whom, where does it end?

My husband & I wrote our own wedding vows. Why not just use the ones the church provided? Because we don't go to church. We are atheists. We don't believe in God. Sometimes I wish I did, but I don't. And I think it's a sad irony. Many gay people do believe in God. Yet, their loves are "unsanct," not marriage-worthy. While little heathen me can marry to her hearts' content, all thanks to wanting to do that with someone of the opposite sex.

In a few weeks my husband & I will celebrate four years of marriage. We're still learning how to live our vows. We believe that's the whole idea. 

We believe. 

Nothing that happens inside anyone else's marriage affects ours in the least bit.

We believe in our marriage. 




A framed copy of our vows hangs outside our bedroom. It's a great reminder when those inevitable little irritants fester. It also represents the fact that our marriage is the center of our lives and our little family.

Here they are. If you fancy them, I welcome ANY two people who love to use them.


Marriage is a commitment to life,
and to the best that two people can find and bring out in each other.
It offers opportunities for growth and sharing that no other human relationship can
equal. It is a physical and emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
There will be space in our togetherness, allowing each to be individuals, with hearts
and minds of our own.
For only by being a whole person can we have something to give the other.
We will keep the freedom of spirit which individually brought us to stand together.

*

These things I promise to you from this day forward:
I will be faithful to you.
I will be honest with you.
I will respect and trust you.
I will care for you, and I will share my life with you, 
through the best and worst of what is to come, 
until death do us part.

This ring I give you, as an outward symbol of our vows.
This ring has no beginning and no ending, 
so too the love between us.
As I place it on your finger, 
I give you all that I am and ever hope to be.

*

When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.

Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people who love,
which takes a lifetime to fulfill.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Routine" v. "Boring"

Whew!
What a weekend!

Our normal weekend looks like this:
Friday night - something easy for dinner, watch some TV after getting the kiddo to bed.
Saturday - simple breakfast at home, play around the house & maybe take a walk, simple lunch at home, toddler nap (sometimes mom and/or dad too!), go out and do some shopping or whatnot, simple dinner out, watch some TV after getting kiddo to bed.
Sunday - see Saturday.

This weekend looked like this:
Friday night - simple dinner, making party favors for husband's 42nd birthday party. We also watched part of second-to-last Harry Potter movie.

These say - The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
The other sides say - 42.
It's from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Yes, we are nerds.

Saturday - took daughter to my mom's & went to work for the morning. (Husband was working from home.) Went to a party for a co-worker in the afternoon. Met husband & daughter back at my mom's. The 3 of us went to his birthday party - at this place that is literally ALL THINGS - a bowling alley, movie theater, comedy club, arcade, bar, restaurant. It was a blast, but a tad overstimulating for a toddler operating on a half-nap. My dad stopped to pick up the kiddo & take her to their house for a sleepover. After they left, we CUT LOOSE. Way fun, probably much needed. 25ish friends. Fun fun fun.
Sunday - slept in a little, woke up very surprised not to be hungover. Went to get kiddo at Oma & Papa's. Went to breakfast. Stopped back at work. Kiddo fell asleep in car with daddy, thus ruining her real afternoon nap. Tried to keep the rest of the afternoon chill. Reclaimed a normal weekend with chillin&grillin. 


The weekend ... was awesome. Completely & totally awesome. But also? Exhausting. I would not trade it for anything. But, maybe the best part of it --- is reaffirming how much I love our usual routine. 

"Routine" gets a bad reputation -- lumped in with "boring." I respectfully disagree. 

My week will not be routine this week actually - only working Tuesday & Wednesday! But, my weekend will be routine. And it will be awesome.

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Centennial

This is my 100th post. Wow!

I had been thinking - where do I want to go with this blogging stuff? Then I saw that I had 99 posts and thought - well now's as good a time as any to publicly ponder that.

I tell patients & clients that if they need to know where they are before deciding where they want to go.

When I started, I confess - I had no idea what I was doing. None whatsoever. I thought it would be fun to talk about healthy eating and ways to achieve it in real life. Then I realized I talk about that all day and enjoy it, but I want to do something else when I get home.

So ... I took to blogging just about my life. Oddly enough, some people enjoy reading it! Particularly my grandpa and my parents, but other people too. Here & there.

What I want to do now ... is more. Not necessarily to become big-time. But I'd like to expand my scope. I definitely enjoy what I've been doing. It's cheaper than therapy, more fun, and keeps my far-away Nebraska family up-to-date on Florida family fun.

I'd like to make it more of a community effort. Maybe I just want an excuse to collaborate with some like-minded pals. I want to keep the "mom spin" - focus on issues that matter to women, children and families. I'm thinking of featuring everyday people who do awesome things for the greater good; then always bring it back to how everyone can contribute to the cause or incorporate the idea into their lives.

I particularly want to keep the "mom spin" because my personal interest is on my daughter's behalf.

Sure, I've always wanted to help make the world a better place. But now, I want to make it a better place for her. And I want her to see how she can help too.



Above & below: my sometimes crazy, often silly, always precocious daughter -- in more introspective moments.