Yoga love, my yoga love

Yes, I’m singing “Baby love” by The Supremes while typing this, and YES, I know. Another post about my love for yoga? Yep. Because last night in yoga, well, it was amazing. A-maz-ing.

No one else in class could hear me silently cheering for myself as I did not one, not two, but three things I had never been able to do before. I wanted to stop the class and say “Look what I can do!!”. And I was in Savasana, I was already taking mental notes for this blog post. And thinking about how things in my life have changed so much in the past 2 and a half years since I began this journey that I never ever ever thought I would.

This practice has taken me from overweight to fit, from insecure to confident, from anxiety to (mostly) calm. Oh I still worry about stuff I can’t control, and have moments of complete freak out, but I also don’t stay in that space for long. I’ve learned to control what I can and let go of what I can’t.

I know a lot of non-yoga people get sooooooo sick of hearing yoga people talk about how great it is. But has anyone stopped to realize they’re singing yogas praises for a good reason?? It’s a body, mind and soul transformation. Not a lot of things can claim all three. I have a few runner friends who feel that way about running. I tried running. I know I can run, which is something I never thought I’d say either. But I had too many injuries and not a deep-in-my-soul love for it. So I get runner love. I hope they can appreciate my yoga love.

And in an effort to remain honest about my practice, yes I almost did fall over last night in a pose I’ve done a hundred thousand times. And I also know why. Because in that moment, that second, my mind drifted and I wasn’t focused. Of course I laughed with Julie because, well, hello? I almost fell over! But after I regained my balance and was realizing what I did wrong, it occurred to me that so many things in our lives are just like that pose and potential fall.

How many times have you lost focus in what you are doing? Things are going well, maybe you start to feel like you can coast a little instead of furiously pedaling, and then you start to swerve. Your resolve starts to waiver and you quickly get jolted back to what can happen if you lose that concentration. Hopefully you can correct your thinking and start again toward your goal. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a hard fall to see that you’ve totally lost your previous determination and it takes a scraped knee or elbow to see how far you fell.

This could be with anything: exercise, diet, anger, dating, addiction, career, kids, spouse, anything. Anything you are trying to change about yourself to make you a better you. Change isn’t easy. There is resistance, sometimes from others who don’t want to see you change, but most of the time, the resistance is right between your own ears. We think things of ourselves that we would never say outloud or to another person. We allow our bad thinking to take over and self sabotage our progress. “I’ll never lose that much weight” or “I’ll never get that promotion” or “I’ll never find someone who will treat me better. I deserve what I’m getting” or “I can have just one (or two or five) and no one will know.” We SAY these things to ourselves!! ACK!

What yoga has taught me is that what happens outside of my mat has nothing to do with me and if I focus on myself and what I can do, nothing can stop me. I can look inside and praise my little victories, even if no one else does. It’s MY victory after all. I can look at how far I’ve come and not be bogged down by how much further I have to go. I can control my mind, my actions, my day by how I respond to my own thinking. Basically, I can get out of my own way.

And by getting out of my own way, I’ve empowered myself. Even if I have a swerve. Or I lose concentration for a second. The more I practice, the stronger I am. The more you have people around you, supporting you, understanding what you’re doing and going through, the easier it is to acknowledge the slip and get right back up. And LEARN from it. Isn’t that what life is all about anyway?

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2 kinds of people in this world

Yea, I stole that from Lindsey Buckingham. So shoot me. Well, don’t. Not yet anyway. You might want to after you read this. And I’ll preface the rest with this. I’m not trying to be mean. I’m trying to understand. Got it??

Something struck me last week and I decided to ponder it, look at it, exam it, and then ponder it some more. Still have no clearer understanding than I did before. So here it goes……Why do certain people seem to just suck the air (ie; joy, happiness, light, love, positivity, good vibes, etc) from everything they touch?

I know several people that rarely (I won’t say never, cuz that’s not fair) have anything good or nice or decent or happy or wonderful or anything to say/post/write about and it’s just flat out draining. It’s almost like they look for something to bitch about instead of looking at the positive side of it. Example: (photo of dinner out at a restaurant) UGH! The waiter brought my plate and it has ASPARAGUS as the side and I HATE asparagus!

REALLY????

Ok, how about being flipping grateful that you could afford to go out to dinner? How about being happy with the company you’re with? How about you eat everything on your plate except the dreaded asparagus? HMMM?????

Of course, that’s just a made up example. The list of complaints are endless. “No one fact checked that article/picture of a puppy/Bill Cosby quote.” “I hate spiders and posting that cute puppy dressed up as a huge spider freaked me right out.” On and on and on and on and ON!

Now, I have been accused of being the opposite. Too “Pollyanna-ish” for most people. I get that. I like to look at the bright side of the equation if I can. I try to look for the positive, find my inner zen. It’s not always possible because sometimes the avalanche of people who try to take me down can be overwhelming at times. But I try. And if laughter and positive attitudes and lifting up instead of tearing down is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. (Please read that last sentence like Arsenio Hall from Coming to America because that’s totally how it sounded in my head)

So why do certain people go through life like that? Do they love the attention the get when people ask what’s wrong when they post nothing but “UGH!” or how crappy their day was? Is it easier for them to be bleak than happy? I don’t mean fake happiness either. I have dear dear friends who suffer true depression. Even in that state, they don’t look for the bad. It might be harder to see the good, but they are actively looking for bad.

I will proudly go around trying to see the positive in a world that sometimes feel like it’s crumbling at my feet. Because life is better laughing than finding the bad. There’s enough bad. The good needs highlighting too. And laughter fixes almost everything. If it doesn’t fix it, it at least can make it tolerable. So I’ll sing my song, and go insane, like I always do. But I’ll be ignoring your whiny, sad, depressing posts. Cuz I’m not like you.

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Missed Opportunities

The past few days I’ve noticed more than others how I’ve had things I wanted to say, but no opportunity to say them. I don’t mean huge conversations I wish I had, but more in passing comments. Comments to compliment someone, acknowledge what they were doing was great or just asking someone how they’re doing.

These comments have the ability to make someone feel better, or show them that what they are doing is appreciated, but the timing is just wrong. And I’m struggling with how I could do better in this.

Have you ever been to a wedding and the complete stranger in the row in front of you has a beautiful dress on? Or been in church and you see someone who has her hair looking like it should be in a magazine? Or even someone doing something that seems menial but is doing such a great job? We had a waitress over the weekend who was so busy. She had many customers and was running around non stop, filling drinks, replacing dropped silverware and offering suggestions but not one time did she make any of her customers feel that she was in a hurry or they were slowing her down.

The last example is easier because you can leave a nice tip, maybe even a note on a napkin and let her know what a great job she did. But the other examples aren’t so easy to remedy. Obviously during a wedding ceremony, it’s not appropriate to lean forward and compliment someone on her dress choice. But after the ceremony, when she is no where to be found, it feels like a missed opportunity.

What about the frazzled mom in the grocery store with her young children crying, demanding the box of cereal because of the toy inside? Any mom (or dad) has been there before. Do you offer a sympathetic smile? Do you avoid eye contact? Are you annoyed the kids are crying? Or can you simply say as you pass by “We’ve all been there. Hang in there. You’re doing great.” and keep walking by? If you are that frazzled mom, would you be insulted someone said that you or would you take it for what it was, a type of encouragement and acknowledgement?

I know I have been in situations lately where I’ve wanted to say “Wow, your purse is perfect for summer! I love it!” or encourage a friend going through a rough time with just a little “I’m here for you, whenever you need me, and you don’t have to be strong or put on a brave face for me.” Wouldn’t we all like to hear that when we feel our world is crumbling around us and beyond our control?

But when the circumstance isn’t the right time, what do you do? I like to think I could make a mental note of such a thing and tell that person at a later more appropriate time. First of all, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning, so the chances of me remembering what someone was wearing, or their hair/handbag/sandals is slim to none. Second, and this is what I’m struggling with, is the universe trying to tell me to keep my mouth shut? I’m afraid that could be the case.

The stranger with the gorgeous hair is not going to know, or care, if I don’t say something. But what if it would make her day? Her daily journey could alter it’s course with a compliment from a unknown face who isn’t just giving her lip service. What about the friend who needs to hear “I love you and I’m here for you.” but finding the right time seems difficult?

I have a family member who was given a scary life threatening diagnosis. It makes me think about how blurting it out, not holding back, might be the better course. You never know when the opportunity, once missed, will ever present itself again. Why wait? Tapping someone on the shoulder in front of you and telling her that her dress is gorgeous, telling the mom to hang in there, letting your friends know you’ll be there even if they aren’t ready to hear from anyone yet, is a window I don’t want to close before I say something.

So I hope my compliment in the middle of the store, or at a wake, or when you’re having a horribly bad day, is taken for what it is. It’s just me trying to not let a moment escape that I might not get back.

Plus…..I might forget by the time I see you again.

missed opportunities

The long of the short of it…(or something like that)

Hello, it’s me. (Yes, that’s a Todd Rundgren reference for a certain someone) I’ve been meaning to write, but I keep stopping myself. I was finding it difficult to write about personal things going on, so I thought I would take a break. It lasted longer than I would have liked, so this morning, as I was doing yoga (and by the way, I held a side plank today for the first time in awhile. Only on one side, and my arm was trembling like there was an earthquake going on…..but still!!! Small victories where I can take them in MY yoga practice, right Yolanda?), it came to me that I needed to write today. Call it divine inspiration. So I came home, made myself a nice cup of Chai tea with our handy dandy Keurig (have I mentioned how I can no longer live without this wonderful machine in my life?) and came up to write. So here’s the highlights and low-lights. (That reminds me, I need to make a hair appointment soon for highlights, low-lights, and overall summer shine to my ever growing root problem.)

You may remember when we last met that I was going in for my first ever colonoscopy. Well, I received the results a few weeks ago and they were mixed. Out of the 15 polyps I had removed half were completely benign (YEA!!) and the other half were not. Not exactly what a girl of my age wants to hear. They assured me they were completely removed and no further treatment was needed at this time. I do have to return in 12-18 months to have a follow up exam and do it all over again. I am taking the advice of some friends and doing the um, prep work differently. There is also going to be an anesthesiologist in there with me because apparently my blood pressure and heart rate dropped way too low during the procedure and they had to bring me out of the twilight sleep so get everything back up in the normal range. I must’ve scared the doctor because he told Michael he’s putting in my chart to never have me put under without an anesthesiologist present. So I hate IV’s and they apparently hate me right back. That’s fine.

Ryan is almost done with another year of school and it simply freaks me out how time is speeding up. His sophomore year is over in a few weeks and I’ll officially have a junior. Good grief! I remember when Rob was in high school, it went by so fast, especially senior year. It’s a blur of “last moments” and tears and the next thing that has to be done. Ry is the youngest. I want it to slow down. Let him (and me!) enjoy it. Don’t rush it. Rob even admitted the other day that I was so right about slowing down and enjoying it and he wishes he would’ve listened to me. Huh. Mom isn’t so dumb after all? That’s right.

On the flip side of Ryan graduating will be the great news of getting to Florida that much quicker! I’ve started the house hunting and contacted a Realtor down there to start watching for what we want. I figure with two years to look for the perfect house, I can afford to be picky and get exactly what I want. I sent the list of “must haves” and then let’s plop that right next to the beach and we’ll be all set. Oh, and at least 2 palm trees in my yard, because yes, I WILL be one of those people who put Christmas lights in my palm trees and damn it, I might leave them up all year long. Maybe I’ll have a contest with friends voting on the name of the house. My parents named their beach house, so I should continue with the family tradition, right?

I have been having a great time going out with friends and having a cold beverage or glass of wine (or the BEST Cosmo around!!) and now that the weather seems to have broken, those evenings will continue being out of balconies or patios, with music or just laughter of friends having a good time. There is nothing better than being with friends who love, and laugh and make every time the best time. I love them so dearly and they love me back and that’s honestly one of life’s greatest joys. No looking back at sadness, only looking forward to better times and better days! No one needs to drag us down. Ain’t nobody got time for dat!!!

So I’ll try to put aside my trepidation of writing when things might not be the best. I’ve said it a million times before….it’s MY blog, dammit! If you care to read, that’s fantastic. If you want to share, that’s great. If you want to hate, please do it somewhere else where you have other haters to support you. If I’m not your cup of tea (or glass of wine), hey, that’s great too. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for reading. There are 5.29 million OTHER blogs out there for you to read. Enjoy your day and spread joy and light wherever you go. Cheers!!     

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Proceed with caution

This blog post may not be for everyone. Actually, it should be for everyone, but, well, as the title says, proceed with caution. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Twice.

You’re still here? Ok, keep reading. Breathe deeply. In through the nose. Out through the nose. 

I had a colonoscopy yesterday. (Eeekkk!! The horror!!) Please don’t faint. 

The process started Tuesday with a clear liquid only diet. I had a lovely long list of things I was allowed to have; broth, tea, coffee (with no cream so really just cross that out), Popsicles, jello, hard candy, Gatorade, apple juice, white grape juice. EXCEPT none of it could be red, blue or orange. So let’s cross off the Popsicles, jello, hard candy and Gatorade. I stuck with what we had on hand out of the list. That left me with tea and broth. For two days.

It was pretty easy to not feel hungry because I was terrified, yes TERRIFIED, of the prep drink I had waiting for me starting at 5pm Wednesday. I had zero appetite. The anticipation of the unknown was seriously scaring me. Yea, those who know me know I’m a pretty regimented kind of girl. The unknown scares me half to death.

My parents called me to check on me and it was so nice to feel the love and concern coming through the phone from far away. I’m a lucky girl to have been born to the most wonderful set of parents I could imagine. 

So promptly at 5, I unscrew the cap, pour my first of seven 8 oz glasses I had to drink every 15 minutes. I don’t drink that much WINE every 15 minutes, let alone something that is gross and nasty! I take a big gulp, then another, then another. Finished. I called my brother because I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this. He told me to pretend it was wine. He said he’d pretend it was gin. Ok, hold on, here goes another glass. And another. He talked to me through almost all 7 doses and I’ll never forget him for doing that.

By glass 6, I was feeling sick. I was determined to get it down, keep it down, and not let what I had already drank be for nothing. I finished up and wrapped myself in my pink fuzzy blanket to ward off the chills I had. Thinking of repeating this process starting at 7am the next day literally made me burst into tears. (Yes, I’m a baby)

But here’s where my friends stepped up. I’m not going to name you all, but you know who you are. You all made me laugh. You made me forget I was scared and nervous. You made me feel like no matter how bad I was feeling, you would be there with me through it all. Even holding my hair if need be! I love my friends more than words could ever express. Give yourselves a big hug, kiss and a woo hoo!!

Michael drove me to the office where the, um, procedure would be taking place. The waiting room left much to be desired and I could feel some apprehension on Michael’s part. But after they took me back, it was just like a hospital. Same gurney’s, same gowns, same curtain on a rail from the ceiling to pull closed for some small impression of privacy. The first nurse came in and asked me questions which was great, until nurse #2 came in to start my IV. She asked if she could and I said no. She laughed. I didn’t. She said it would be fine, she does this all day long. Uh huh. She prepped my arm and I calmly looked at nurse #1 and took her hand, which completely surprised her. But she looked at me, held my hand and totally focused on calming me down. I need her name because she deserves a card or cookies or something. Nurse #2 did a fine job, it only hurt for a second, but she doesn’t get cookies. She stuck that damned thing in my arm.

A few minutes later they were wheeling me into the “procedure room”, asking me questions again. The doctor came in and we spoke for a few minutes. I told him I wanted to come prepared with a joke to tell him but my mind was blank right now. He said he’d heard them all; if you find my keys, don’t use your hand, if Obama’s head was up there please leave it, it was funny and we laughed. Which was nice. Nurse #3 said she was going to put the medicine in my IV now to make me sleep. That’s the last thing I remember in that room. 

I woke up back in my little waiting pod with the pulled curtain. Michael was there waiting for me, holding my hand. I was very groggy and even though I was awake, I don’t remember much for hours afterward. I know I spoke with my parents, some friends, my brother, but I could’ve told them I was on the moon for all I know. It’s very hazy. 

The results however, are a big reason I am writing this. I had 15 polyps. **15**!!! They were all biopsied and sent to the lab. With my family history of cancer (you name it, we’ve had it) my doctor wanted me to get this before I turned 50. I can’t even imagine what could’ve happened if I had waited another 3 years. Due to the number and size of the polyps, I have to go back in a year. I don’t wanna drink that stuff again in a year. Or 3. Or 5. 

I’m glad I did it. I’m glad my doctor recommended I do it. I’m glad my dad bugged me to do it. And now I’m bugging YOU to do it. Because it gives little warning before it’s too late. Because you get to drop 7 pounds in the course of 3 days! Because you get to tell butt jokes to a doctor!! I mean, that right there is reason enough, right? 

So take care of yourself. If you have a family history, don’t put it off. It was bad, but not worth my life. It’s not worth yours either. And I’ll be there to make you laugh, hold your hair, and maybe think up a new joke to tell your doctor. 

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Reality Vice

I went out last night with some friends I’ve had for-ev-er. It was so much fun to go out, have some drinks and relax with people who know you so well, just by looking at you or hearing you talk. We played trivia (and lost badly by the way. But I was able to answer a question correctly about The Walking Dead so that was something. And I swear the guys who won every single time HAD to be cheating.They just had to be, but whatever.) 

As we were laughing and talking and talking and laughing, the subject of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules came up. My reality TV vice. I can’t help it. I know it’s not “reality” and I know that I could be spending my time in much better ways. But I love it. I also confessed that I love Stassi. I know, I know, everyone who watched VR hates Stassi. But she is exactly what she appears. Love her or hate her, she made that show impossible to turn off. 

We discussed Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and how it appears this is Lisa’s season to be ganged up on and hated and thrown to the wolves. Everyone talking about her behind her back. Complaining. Hating. Friendships torn apart by a perceived slight. Oh yea. It’s on. This upcoming trip to Cabo is going to be a doozy!

But one of our friends doesn’t watch it (I KNOW! How that BE??) but she sat there listening to us go on and on and laugh and dish about these two shows that we all watch and love, and it made me think about how great it is that she could just sit and listen and laugh at us as we were laughing at the show. She didn’t excuse herself to go the restroom. She didn’t act bored or upset that she wasn’t really included in the conversation. And we didn’t discuss it long, just enough to catch up on what we liked, what we didn’t and oh yea, for me to profess my love for Stassi. 

After we had our drinks, and laughs and realized there was no way in hell we were ever ever ever going to win the trivia game, we called it a night. Hugs all around and promises of doing it again soon. But next time, we’re going somewhere we can win in trivia.

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Fallen Off the Wagon….again

I know no one is shocked. I’m not shocked myself even though I wish I could say I was. But, I’ve fallen off the proverbial wagon for my blog. ::insert sad face here::

It’s one of those cases where life literally stopped me in my tracks, sidelined me, when I was doing well. So I’m here to pick myself up, dust myself off and start writing again. Life can sometimes suck the joy out of good intentions and make you not see clearly or be able to focus. So I’m refocusing. ::insert happy face here::

I’ve had a couple of friends lose their parent, more are sick, I had a great night out where waaaaay too much wine was consumed, I’ve been going to yoga, not sleeping well as usual (last night I logged a whopping 4 hours 3 minutes), it’s been brutally cold with even colder air plus snow heading our way, my birthday last week (see previous blog for the horrendous turn of events that was!) and that’s just been within the past 10 days or so. I’m not very happy.

I don’t mean depressed, in a clinical sense, I just mean that sometimes, despite our best intentions and normally sunny outlook, life can sometimes just slap you in the face, punch you in the gut and shake you like a snowglobe until you beg for mercy. That’s kind of how I felt. Not one “major” thing happened specifically to me (if you can overlook my texting mishap), just a series of things that take the air from your lungs and you feel like you need a break. And then, before you can completely take a new breath, the next thing happens. Watching friends mourn their parents is difficult. It brings that overwhelming feeling of mortality to the forefront, no matter how much we all try to ignore it as much as possible. 

My one saving grace was going out and enjoying time over a few (eh hem) glasses of wine, laughing, talking, sharing knowing no matter what was said, we had each others back. There is true POWER in that. Minus any headache that may arise the next morning, it was much needed for each of us and I’m so overwhelmingly thankful for it.

I have friends still going through rough times. I’m too much of a “feeler” and a “fixer” (Did you ever have to take those personality tests? Yea, I know it’s crazy to know I’m an ENFP. Extrovert, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving) and sometimes in my rush to talk things out, fix it, look at the bright side, I can run over the person I’m trying to help. Good intentions, bad results. So I’m trying to step back. I can’t fix everyone. Not everyone to be fixed. Some are perfectly happy to wallow. Some know the problem but refuse the help or to think for themselves. Easier to go along status quo and hope on a wing and a prayer that everything will work out. You know the ole saying you can lead a horse to water……

So now it’s time to turn the page, literally, and put that behind us and move forward. I’m going to put my best foot forward, help when I can, step back when I should, encourage always. Sounds like a pretty good motto for starting the rest of the year. Now if I can just stick to it. 

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