untangling life one story at a time
A thought that crossed my mind today, amid all of my sometimes stormy interior life, as I was looking out the window past the altar of the room at Kaia Yoga. I could fit in a class today so I did. That thought is, that I love the wind. Wind is thrilling and known to churn up the wildest of behavior in people. Maddening to some, but not me.
Located in a desert, my hometown was a basin surrounded by mountains where smog often settled, low enough to invade our lungs and make breath sometimes painful. Counterintuitively, my home town was also a passage for the Santa Ana Winds. Even on a warm summer night, they’d blow through the oak trees and my memories of that invisible force still
That was not the thought of the moment though. The thought of the moment as I looked past my toes to the bronze statue of
A good sign, I consider this, because that means spring and spring infers new beginnings with a clearer ground. It means perfectly pink cherry trees and the magnificent Magnolia that blooms only for
Especially, spring offers hope and the warm promises that optimism conveys as the sun draws closer, the days grow longer and all good things grow into something new. That any suffering is temporary, that the exquisite feast of the eyes on this extraordinary
Tonight, well, I fought with myself because there’s no one left to fight with.
I learned that, you will fight with whoever’s there.
Dog, cat… me.
Me… And, here we get chatty again because I’d like to talk and not fight.
Thought about online shopping for a new blazer by my T-Rex arms would be to short and that slouched trend just is not me, unless I actually do slouch it into that Golden Girls three quarter inch sleeve. I’m stumped.
Hustled. Actually got locked out of my house for two hours today because the ex has a key, the daughter has a key and maybe one of the boys have a key. But dogs aren’t allowed on the public school grounds so que Crowded House, “Locked Out,” and there you have me living in a musical…
But, the sun was out so I was intent to take the dog around the block because she puked early in the morning, an early sign of her usual ingestion of a foreign object which needed to be dejected via alternative channels. I’ve become immune. Even locked out for two hours, I talked to my recently unemployed neighbor who hates the sister-in-law he lives with, but walks her dog who’s frisky with any girl canine on the block and Gidet crapped another sock. It’s like a colonoscopy for her, I’ve decided.
During this sequence I realized that, well, when you get locked out when the plan was to do your taxes via the AARP at the Greenwich Town Hall, it ain’t so bad. Likely better, because the first thing you do is realize that Crowded House is more relevant that it previously was. Then you call a high school friend who you adore and is your designated spirit guide, which is great but sad, because that’s your brother’s spot and Spirit Guide lives all the way in Washington state with his fabulous wife and family so your talks are few. You talk and you laugh your asses off because – middle school kids going toward high school make you realize that you really just want to be loved again like you were when they never left you alone. You’re not though. Now you’re a fallible human and a disappointment. And it’s your job to figure out how to deal with that by letting love in your life somewhere else, that’s not your failed marriage, or your family of origin, but is your dog and those you can now invite in. It’s where you’re vulnerable and conflicted and sometimes caustic, because that’s become a huge space with very little room to spare.
I cruised the neighborhood. Peed at the gas station bathroom at the corner with my dog in tow who loved the way the place smelled. It was like someone lit Nag Champa incense after half a day of smoking weed by a campfire while snuggling with a three month-old baby (head) in a jasmine garden. It’s winter. Give me a break. My senses are tamped down and I may just have to do poly – tantric yoga which battles with my morality and civility and… well, my hot boyfriend.
Socialized with the neighboring corporate complex employees and discovered just what they do there. Dogs get the best of people. People don’t ALWAYS get the best of people. Gidget was the #happinessambassador. It was sunny by still chilly. It’s March so that’s to be expected, dammit!
Later, there was a thirteen year-old daughter conflict that was brief and via a pick up from her dance class. Then, a repeat of the two-fer whole organic Costco chicken that stripped two carcasses and a giant ginger root to also make broth that fell into a recycled Mason and jam jar for later infusion or consumption… or whatever.
Here we are because here we are. Right in the middle. The live phone Washington high school friend phone call was the best of two that day… in which, there was related topical matter…
Me, with my son’s newfound allergies, old-found allergies and recently discovered Celiac Disease. He’s the youngest who says, “I’m so needy…,” yet says, “I’ll learn to deal with it,” then goes on to Google all the junk food he can still eat with his NEW Celiac disease, including but not limited to: Cheetos, Fritos, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream plus all kinds of whole foods including the super classy two-pack of whole organic chickens from Costco that I baked with yellow and red mini potatoes for dinner (two days in a row) then stripped and boiled the carcasses with a wildly large ginger root, twice, in filtered water, only to understand that the result would henceforth malign me from all future interactions with the packaged blandness until I actually refrigerated the stuff in recycled Mason jars and realized that natural wines still screw up your perception, too. Which is okay because I have a dog who likes marinated kibble so the stuff has a use. I’m… such… a… Millenial… maker. She’ll eat anything. Except, is ginger a canine carcinogen? You have less than 24 hours to answer that because my OCD doesn’t allow for spoiled food that also looks ugly in my fridge.
Childcare is the chief motivator for me to explore the option of a Murphy Bed. Mom of three, single parenting and lover of all things amid my creative sales and marketing approach to real estate. No fourth bedroom for me, so what do I do if there’s no au pair space? Or, what do I think about doing?
Many who live in New York City have done the same. The closest northern suburb of New York offers more space but for many of us, it’s still not enough to host a visiting au pair. You know, the international, young and fun sitter who works for close to nothing but receives free room and board in compliance with agency standards? All you can hope is that she’s not MeanNanny from the Netflix show “Workin’ Moms,” because who needs that kind of negativity?
Murphy Bed to the rescue. It’s the trapdoor solution to this problem and many others – occasional visitors or in my opinion, serendipitous fun: trap doors, secret wine cellars, hidden stairways, whispering halls or that weird little closet under the staircase that looks like it’s intended for a gnome – really, anything that can be tucked away into a wall to make a small place into flexible space, is worthy, especially if you’re going to spend at least 8/24 hours per day in it.
Despite the clandestine reputation, and potential disaster a Murphy bed could create, the name has nothing to do with Murphy’s Law, which states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
“The truth is that the bed is named for William Lawrence Murphy (1876 – May 23, 1957), who applied for his first patents around 1900. According to legend, he was wooing an opera singer, but living in a one-room apartment in San Francisco, and the moral code of the time frowned upon a woman entering a man’s bedroom.”
“A Murphy works by being pulled out of the cabinet before being replaced back inside. This means that the legs of the bed must be able to retract flat against the mattress in order to fit. The way this works is similar to the way that the legs of a sofa bed fold in order to fit inside the couch.” – Wikipedia
Word has it that the bed is actually more comfortable than a sleeper sofa, which isn’t difficult to attain. That said, if you need a sofa it may not be the route for you.
To get one, just Google it. Ratings not yet available, but please let me know what you find out. Someone else would get my room and who doesn’t need a wee bit ‘o luck ‘o the Irish?
Once in a while, people say, “Oh, you’re the writer,” as though it impedes my ability to sell and market, conduct data analysis, raise my kids, or walk a dog. Babysit for a friend. I have to remind myself, that while the publishing business (a business in which I worked, after I worked in the creative talent agency business in entertainment and books) is still young, it’s not a growth industry.
Before the publishing existed in its prior and current form, people wrote because they needed to write (contrary to all things delusional, it’s not really fun to write, but it’s necessary much in the way going to the bathroom and sweating after a good workout or even good sex can be necessary, depending on where your body and brain are in a given day or moment). Writers are compelled to share stories. From the oral tradition to the written tradition, it has been old to young and now we’re pretty much writers trying to sell to a market that is based on money, luck and connections. Bad writing is published. Good writing is not published. Bad writing is self-published (or vanity published, which I don’t understand at all except in all of its diminutive interpretations of the word, which convey, “insignificant”). Success as deemed by high sales (hopefully before a writer is dead) and much of it lies in exposure and luck with a foundation of rich talent.
Self-publishing was my route because:
1) I was a jaded creative;
2) I wanted total control over my piece of art (visual artists don’t have to edit their works so why should writers and authors have to edit based on a subjective editor’s perspective?);
3) The publishing industry, made up of mostly white, highly-educated, parentally subsidized, self-professed liberals, who are still prey to a market which increasingly dumbed-down work to appeal to increased sales and corporate goals (yes, you’re part of the problem we’re in right now where people are becoming much less educated, and much less smart, because it’s bad/good to be smart/not smart now). What you get is junk that sells.;
So, I was the writer, the feeler, the editor (with a ton of help from generous friends), the art director, the production manager, and a really horrible marketer and salesperson for my own books (which is funny, because I’ve always said how great an advocate I am for others but not for myself/my work… while sales and marketing fuel my employ).
Communication is the best of all things in life that qualify success in all things. Look it up.
And, in our tech-driven platforms across industries, if you can piece together otherwise disparate pieces of fictional and real information and create a product, you’re a great candidate for all things tech integration, data integration and, well, just about anything that involves a launch or support of a product or brand. Creatives innovate.
People like to categorize. Librarians and SEO geniuses will confirm that things often deserve and allow for a multiple search opportunities… because the world just isn’t that black and white. Ever (even if black if your favorite colors). You never search for one word unless your head is in a dictionary (which is okay but not exactly what I’m going for here) or you’re typing into the amazon.com search bar (which is likely not enough to create accuracy).
For instance, I’m:
- A human being;
- Mother of boys;
- Mother of a girl;
- Female (for clarity);
- Russian Jew;
- New Yorker;
- Resident of Connecticut;
- Real Estate Salesperson;
- Dog lover;
- Cancer survivor;
- C-Section birther (X3);
- Special needs advocate/mother;
- Art enthusiast;
The list goes on but hinges on self-pity, which is great substance for a writer’s life experience, but pathetic in other venues. You get my drift; when a writer has a lifey life the stories are better. My pet peeve is a novel about an academic, a writer or an author, because I don’t want to hear about them. It’s a big, ghastly, self-important bore. While the grammar and words are always pristine, though likely overwritten, the story lacks and often echoes Lolita which is simply disgusting because child pornography is abominable and I don’t care how good the writing is, I don’t and won’t read it.
That’s all I really have to say on this topic…
Except being a writer is simply a way of processing the world that doesn’t hurt anyone, at least directly, and can connect people in a way that other modalities cannot. Shall I mention that it’s also a helpful tool used to prepare for difficult conversations, speaking engagements (I’ve written a couple of excellent obituaries in my short life) and confrontations where emotions can get the best of a person if not capably prepared to stick to the content on a page.
So, yeah. I’m the writer, but I live in other dimensions too. All of them need each other.
The Insect Lore butterfly kit arrived without the caterpillars so they, about six of them, arrived in a separate shipment. All I could recall was watching the butterfly release during the event at my children’s preschool. It was a parent co-op and every day a parent volunteered to support the class. If a parent was not available for their rotating slot, then the parent was to pay a nominal fee for a substitute. It sounds easier than it was and involved childcare for me when I was caring for three small children at once. Anyone was able to attend the butterfly release though. Connective thought tissue to those two memories seems only linked by the fact that in both cases, I had to pay extra. The caterpillars were a surprise.
Children from my oldest son’s class formed a circle out on the side lawn at the church where the school was located. Siblings were invited that day and all were excited as one of the lead teachers brought out the wide tube of enclosed netting. She held it by the nylon handle, placed it on the bright, green spring grass outside of the Methodist Church on Boston Post Road, then lead the children in a song of which I don’t recall… though I do remember the many times I sang, not well, to my children – my oldest especially. I sang until he ate: Raffi and Dan Zanes and Wee Silly Songs but Raffi especially. There was not one thing about being a new mother that I didn’t like. Even the sleep deprivation seemed a mere inconvenience. That’s all it was. All it was everything to me.
One aspect did bother me though – the one thing that I did not expect, though I have no idea what it was that I expected. Perhaps it was that my love would suffice. That I would know. What bothered me was my ignorance, my unfamiliarity: the not knowing what to do. Not just learning how to read while nursing, how to comfort colic, how to heal from a C-section (three of them, actually) and move through the pain of abdominal surgery or have faith that my grossly swollen kankles were that way because I didn’t get up to walk after childbirth soon enough and that they would go away (though I knew it would because I just became a mom so anything was possible). Meeting the expectation that I was to know the answers to everything like the signs of a bilateral inguinal hernia and how to cope with my son’s outpatient surgery at five weeks old. Then his nine-month-old diagnosis of a coarctation of the aorta and planning his surgery that demanded its correction. Not other diagnoses or other problems. Not knowing immediately that I had to consult with the most magical lactation consultant on the planet so I could get my sleepy infant daughter to eat using a special bottle originally created only for babies born with cleft palates. Or, having my third child, my son’s frenulum snipped because he was tongue tied, then using the same method I’d used with my daughter to also get him to eat.
One would think, that mothers really just have to figure out ways to get their children to eat. It’s pretty basic but my powers of empathy and imagination cannot summon the sense of dread and failure that would strangle my heart should I not be able to feed my kids. Problem-solving and immediacy are two things I learned that I would have liked to have learned prior to having my children. Perhaps I did know but there was no need so exacting for me to be good enough at this particular art.
Not this. Not that.
“It takes a village to raise a child” is something that I did not fully understand until now. Mothers need all of it. We don’t raise our kids in our little village anymore with extended family on hand to help with both the extra set of hands and eyes, the wisdom and words and solutions to problems we now have to find via heartless Google search, a capable and connected pediatrician or friends in a supportive new mother’s group (best option).
So, when I hear mothers criticized for over-programming their kids or doing something wrong, I may agree with some of it. But on the flip-side of that, where I found my answers was with other mothers who told me where to go and who to see. Doctors, yes, but even my son’s first pediatrician told me that the reason that medicine also has its gaps and for that reason is referred to as the “medical arts.” I didn’t find much solace in that. I found that it made me frightened enough to know that constant advocacy and questioning of those around me, including medical professionals and people who loved me and raised me, was the only way to find an answer, and that answer was typically with my other mom friends – the honest ones who shared their problems to obtain solutions.
That day on the grass for the butterfly release was its own sweet and simple net of pure joy: smiles, little legs running around, delighted song and the reverie that accompanies the eventual kiss of spring’s arrival.
Photos bring the experience back to me fully and my spirit is lightened by it. Those teachers were truly loving. Each one of those butterflies took flight as though summoned by a conductor. It seemed the were ready to do as expected. Maybe they sensed the frantic and eager energy of the children and parents watching from the circle around them who said, “Go. Now. Fly.”
My realization as I sit down on the sofa to write about my attempt to “grow” my own butterflies is simply that those seasoned nurturers had the repeated experience of growing butterflies more times than I who had none. They’d released the butterflies before. It’s not likely that they let the one chrysalis stranded at the bottom of its original container live like I did. But perhaps they’d done it before and learned. They learned that perhaps one would need to stay.
None of our butterflies flew away on command. It’s almost as if they sensed my inexperience and my hesitation. “Were they ready yet?” “Is it the right time?” “I can’t possibly open up the top now because the one with the wings destroyed by its bad luck can’t fly and has to spend its life here with me.”
This butterfly with the bent wings is now named Jerry. This one stepped onto my finger this morning because all of his siblings flew away in their own time, literally one at a time, and when they were ready. This butterfly seemed to not enjoy but need to flutter around spastically in my hand, trying to use the wings it had been given but could not use. Jerry pretty much just needs physical therapy and a little bit of company plus watermelon slices. It’s not much for what I know will be a short life from my perspective, but for this, I don’t need a Google search, I only need some patience and life-won wisdom. Perhaps if I talk to the little creature, I can get it to eat.
Perhaps while I’m here I’ll do my best to love the guy…
Love is the most gentle teacher.
Love just kinda hangs out with butterflies.
You are responsible for the energy you bring into this space, was what I told myself.
The second week in a row that I took my usual spot at the front, far corner in the Bikram Yoga studio where I attend class once per week. Last week someone was directly in the corner and this week, a friend. I placed my mat next to hers.
Both times, a woman wearing all black leggings and about three layers of long, black shirting, combined with the miserable look on her face plus the witchy wear, created an aura that leaked over her mat. The man beside her and directly behind me, wore UCSD gear, including basketball shorts last week and this week UCSB. He moaned and signed because I stood directly in front of him – both weeks.
Mind you, the class wasn’t full. But I like my spot. I was a few minutes late but I know the sequence so I can be where I want to be. Last week I adjusted myself so he could see himself in the mirror, as the instructor advises. He still moaned, sighed, rolled his eyes and I did my best to deflect the disdain. My friend next to me told me to move my mat this week so he could see himself. I didn’t. Last week I did move it, but I got the same passive-aggressive behavior that I did my best to deflect. I laughed at the instructor’s jokes, adjusted myself so he could see himself, not all the way and not at risk of blocking someone else behind me who would have the same reaction, or to look into the vertical seem that spliced my own reflection in half. Truth be told, I hate looking in a mirror when I exercise but my form can get so out of wack that it’s necessary to do so. This week I didn’t move until it was the first legitimate break time within the sequence to make such an adjustment and I knew it was too late for any more latecomers. Why be so rigid? Because I knew I wasn’t. No matter how many adjustments I made the week before, the couple still spilled over with piss and vinegar. I resolved to move once because if it was anything else than the guy’s attitude and resilient toxicity, he would have adjusted his mat. He could have but he chose not to move an inch.
If you don’t want someone in front of you, be in the front. It’s the simple. If you want to see yourself in the mirror in a certain way, also move your mat. There’s typically symbiosis in the room among yogis, like there has to be in good relationships. An outcome if more than one person’s doing. If nothing changes, nothing changes. There’s always the likelihood that the man standing behind me didn’t much want to see himself as much as he thought he did so I’ll end with that.
Note to self.
#Sundayyoga #reflect #attitude #acceptance #momeconomy
I’m going to relate my most memorable business experiences:
Here’s the first, wherein I was working at a New York City literary agent’s office, a very small office who represented Leticia Baldridge of every guide to manners ever written and consult to White House First Wives. I referred to her as Leticia instead of Mrs. Baldridge when calling her by name via phone. My boss, the agent, reprimanded me, and told me to apologize, which I did. Mrs. Baldridge told me that people remember you not for the mistake but for your attempt to correct it.
I remember that to this day. I remember to ask how to pronounce a name, how to say a name, to ask how someone would like to be referred. Respect, like taste, cannot be bought, and lessons can only be learned by trying.
The other other piece of advice: “Don’t ever turn down help when it’s offered.”
That came from a staff member working at The Cousteau Society publication in Los Angeles where I interned my senior year of college at Loyola Marymount University. I was schlepping boxes of magazines from the entrance upstairs and I was offered help but turned it down.
Holding a big, heavy box, she (I’m embarrassed now that I don’t remember her name but this happened well before Mrs. Baldridge) looked at me squarely in the eyes and said, “Never turn down help when it’s offered.”
Some things you remember more than you practice in life. But maybe if you keep the memory, you’ll actually learn one day.
Dog parks are a thing of this world because dogs, like people, need a place to hang out and meet. Dogs, like people, have an innate need for connection. Some need it more and some need it less. No matter what anyone says, or moreso, needs to say to differentiate all of the beasts in this world, connection to our species is what drives us. When that connection is lost, we go bonkers. Solitary confinement is a form of torture. Even for those of us who need solitude to recharge and gain perspective on life – to step back and tinker to the backbeat of our inner voice – we need people just like dogs need other dogs. We need people and those humans are the vehicles that get a pooch to the park.
The Port Chester Dog Park is not particularly glamorous or clean or warm, unless it’s too warm, but the Golden Retrievers, the Aussie herder mutts, the Pit mixes, English Bull and Sheepdogs, German Shepherds, Malamutes, Huskies, Pugs, Labs and every four-legged brut of human companionship is present to socialize and expend energy there, to get it out appropriately so as not to essentially saw off half of the house with their teeth which are sharp and destructive. Several now newly-homed foster dogs later that stopped between a shelter and our home, I’ve learned that temperament is everything. Toothy destruction has mostly been attributable, however, to Gidget who eats everything. We’ve disposed of countless shoes, socks (which have been swallowed whole, barfed and passed), pieces of pine boxes*, kitchen table chair splintered to bits, hats, reading glasses… and more gone to the paws and jaws of a bored puppy.
Port Chester, where I take Gidget on a cold day to get out some of that combustible energy she holds inside her beautiful fifty-plus pound, fluffy dog being, also has people inside its chain-link fences. Three areas, one for large dogs, one for small dogs and a naughty “time out” section, are fenced off. One Friday morning before work, I took Gidget there so I could focus productively I let her into the big dog area. Thirty minutes of conversation passed among some of the regulars and in particular between me and one dog mom of a giant Sheepdog, Bama (as in Alabama) and Bulldog, who never got up off her place on the ground well after the sun had moved away from it (and was the catalyst to the addition of Bama because her husband claimed she only liked ugly dogs). Activity spiked at the entrance and I kept talking though Gidget ran into the entrance area and back in. Thirty seconds passed and a dog attacked her, viciously pinning her on her back, chasing her down, biting at her and emitting a snarl with no beginning or end, as Gidget yelped. The dogs and people around her did nothing but yell like a bunch of squeamish girls allowing no stop to the attack. Chuck-In in hand, I reflexively began hitting the offender with the cupped end of the orange device until the dog’s owner got a grip on the collar and pulled the horrible canine away from my sweet puppy.
I quickly assessed Gidget, found no blood, put my arms around her to soothe her, and answered “yes” to Gay’s (dog mom of Bama and Bulldog) question. “Is she a puppy?”
“[Forgot Name Dog] has a problem with puppies.”
The woman took the dog in the small dog area and Gay and another woman gathered around her. I asked, “Why did you bring the dog in here if she attacks puppies?”
They explained from their circle of team sympathy, that they’re working on it. “It’s another stage in the training. I asked if there were any puppies in here.” On the verge of tears, she said, “I’m sorry if my dog hurt your dog…” I had to ask her to stop shushing me to tell her to take her dog to the time-out section next time before letting her in. But the woman and her little tribe of regulars huddled, their backs to me, in defense of the dog and my words bounced of them even though I repeated myself until the woman heard me.
Dog parents can be far worse than human parents, I’ve learned. You cannot tell a dog parent to keep their dog in the bad dog section if that dog is aggressive or has a notable behavior problem. You cannot ask the dog parent to intervene. Even more palpable – you cannot speak up at the dog park against idiots and be a champion of the dogs who are difficult because that makes you a hater of animals. After all, I have a Goldendoodle – a trendy dog made for people with no tolerance for imperfection and no love in their hearts for the homeless. I went to the dark side. Nine fosters (that included two trial adoptions) later, I discovered that my boys’ asthma, our close quarters, consistently bad timing, indecipherable breed traits that emerged against the human and child good of my family intolerant of aggressive behavior and my worry that one of the kids in and out of my house would get bitten, sent me to the dark side. And, if I was to foster a dog that needed other dogs to become socialized after rescue from the dog meat trade or abuse, I still needed a furry with a consistent personality and zero aggression to pry such a sweet little furry from her abused shell. I had some experiences that made for deliberate decision that took everyone into consideration. But I am a demon at the dog park.
After a full twenty-four hours to process this event, I realized that just like Gidget’s good experience at the dog park that dissolved into an unprovoked dog fight by the human equivalent to a child abuser, my experience met the same outcome. I also realized that my adaptive capabilities are not so well-liked in situations that require an emergency response. I respond and if my Love happens to be the underdog (in this case, really underneath the body and fangs of one), I react with equal or more defensive tactics. That part of my brain that makes sense of a situation dissolves and I defend. It occurred to me that the woman who ostracized me did so because I engaged in a counter-attack with the Chuck-It and likely participated in the derailment of training time invested in a dog that would likely just never like puppies. Accepting that makes me unpopular, but I’m a person who had worked out a lot in a life that’s not long by most measure, as much as it’s just fat with experience and an Everest of internal struggle. I’m no hurdle jumper. It’s a long hike uphill.
I’ve always said that I’m good in an emergency, but situations like that make we wonder if I’m good anywhere else. That gaggle of broads at the dog park and their unknowing canine charges kicked me out of the herd because I simply didn’t back down from the truth: she needed to ask the people if puppies were in that section of the dog park before letting her child abuser dog inside. I said it a few times before she heard me so it’s likely I’m not going back. People who don’t like kids and dogs who attack puppies will receive a very clear message from me and that’s, “I’m not the asshole.” I will always vouch for the underdog – kid or adult – even if you ostracize me for what appears to be a character flaw in the offending participant. If the child abuser goes to church it’s still a child abuser.
Could I have handled it differently? Maybe, but sometimes my coping mechanisms of a lifetime actually do some good. More importantly, my fuffy puppy emerged unscathed and it’s likely that woman and her friends will take better care in their communication in the future. Next visit, I’ll take along a bat… which opens the door for another story for another time.
*Outside of most liquor stores are pine wine boxes which make both free and excellent chew toys. Someone will tell you not to do that, but if your dog likes to chew on wood, they make for more than suitable dog toys and people shoe bins, especially if your dog has already destroyed every other esthetic shoe bin in the house.
My sleeping dreams have gotten quite dull, likely due to years of a neglected REM cycle. I offer you a comparison via an early morning (5:51am, to be exact) conversation with my youngest son.
Start with Kid10, aka Leo (transcribed almost verbatim to retain voice and zeal):
I was in like in this animated game thing where I was a person and I saw a cop in a car, and then I opened the car door and threw the cop out of the car then I started punching him. And then he magically teleported fire under my nose. Then I touched my nose because my nose was glowing green and the cop exploded. The cop is dead because he got exploded. Then I asked, “What are you?” and the purple dragon lady said, “I am a Sleeve Dragon” and her eyes rolled up like that (Kid10 tilts head back and rolls eyes back in sockets) then I asked what do you eat and then she answered, “Everything, or something,” but she was locked up so she couldn’t get out. She had a metal thing around her neck and her legs. And there was this blue glowing lady in a black suit hanging from the ceiling and it was a head. I think it was a head. Then Cisco (from The Flash TV series) appeared, and then me and the Purple Dragon Lady teleported to our house and Gidget was there too and this other dog appeared in our house too. It was a big, big – it looked like a Beagle Bulldog mix and they scared me because the Sleeve Dragon was knocking over everything. The Purple Dragon Lady turned into Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon. And since it started knocking over everything, since Gidget was putting her paws on the door, I took her outside by the collar and her eyes were, like, grayish. And then I took the other big dog outside and held onto that collar too and then since, like, when I walked in I saw everything was on the floor and the Sleeve Dragon was going from there and there knocking over everything (points right and left). Then I walked in and I said, “You’re not a Sleeve Dragon, you’re a Purple Dragon Lady,” and then she stopped and then turned into a doggy. And then I don’t know what the heck happened to the other big dog, but I guess it went back to its owner. And then the dog and Gidget laid down. Then the dream ended.
Close with Momo3, aka Kathryn:
Last night I had a dream that I was in the hospital after having a baby and the nurse charged me for bed sheets. Then I had to use the breast pump because it was so long ago that I nursed a baby. I was so involved in negotiating the purchase of sheets (like a pillowcase and an extra blanket) that I forgot to feed the newborn (my child) for an entire day but did manage to extract a bottle full of milk that someone managed to feed the little person at some point. I lost the thread of that duty.
There’s a whole pre-divorce story about this that I’m quite certain has some influence here. I’m also frequently cold. While I’m not a killer, in the dream I did manage to get my bed sheets though I mostly remember running around the hospital trying to pull myself together and find my newborn kid. I think I pretty much took on a hospital management role within 24 hours and made sure the child was fed and swathed and everyone else in the hospital didn’t have to pay upfront for bedding.
Mama’s going to shop the sales tomorrow. The universe has spoken. Kid10 also has full (dream and reality) control of the dog population (intuitive boy, because he’s also a puppy). I’ll refrain from describing the other dream wherein I researched the perfect dog mani/pedi and found that the most highly-recommended offered lime green press on nails with black hieroglyphic designs. It all makes sense.
Once per week I manage to attend the yoga class of one of my favorite instructors at the Rye YMCA. It’s really a treat to do so because of what people now call “adulting.” This new slang verb of the social media airwaves annoys me the same way the word “playdate” used to annoy me until I had no choice but to use the word to book play time between my children and their friends. But I suppose that Facebook needs to have a word to explain how it feels to deal with a political regime without a shred of cred or mental stability then go to work fearing the that world is going to end via big egos taunting each other into Mother Earth’s imminent doom, when escape via a yoga class or swim or whatever you do to revitalize yourself has to end wherever that point is in your week or day. Gardening. Photography. Being with your family. Your friends. Your dog. Yoga and swimming. Reading. Writing.
I have too many hobbies but the one I have to do is yoga. Exercise is something that I could best explain in a PowerPoint slide. You have on one hand the picture of Kathryn before exercise or yoga and it feels a bit like the comic vilian Electro. Overcharged = scattered, unfocused and subsequently a little mean. After exercise, there’s the me without what I call the outer layer of unproductive bitchiness that is much less effective and winds up getting nothing done. I look forward to the rigor and focus of a class that opens me up and oddly increases my capacity to mentally attend despite the chaos typical to a day in the life of a working mom of two middle-schoolers and one elementary school child. And an eight month-old puppy. And a cat.
It was in this yoga class with JT, that in a chair pose, prayer-handed twist that I wished for longer arms. Again. I wish for long arms only in this instance. Long arms give you an advantage in yoga. Like being tall gives you an advantage in business or basketball, supposedly. Long arms can get you into twists and binds with greater ease and provide not just the pretty shape it makes that impresses your friends, but it feels good. Binds create a tourniquet effect and create a surge of blood and oxygen to the areas involved after release. Or, they can cause you to hold your breath as you muscle into a pose and get out of a pose with pained joints and feeling of inferiority. I’ve felt both.
I live in a community with a lot of type A personalities, so a goal-centric mentality is common. Can you imagine if they didn’t even do yoga? When I say “they” I mean “we.” A practice has done great things for me but I often have to remind myself that it serves no good purpose to wish to be taller or longer. That it took me a good eleven years to get into a headstand and that I didn’t want to try it until I needed to try it. And when I did try it, it was less about the pose and more about what I needed in my mind to get there and what that space did for me and how I was subsequently better able to serve others – my family, co-workers, friends… How it calmed me. What standing on my head required was my unwavering focus to keep my body aligned enough and the confidence I slowly gained through technique and listening to instructors and my body that informed me how to get my legs in the air without the prop of a wall to support the foundation of the pose. Unwavering focus is not my strength. The world requires something else from me at the moment, but the meditative benefits surprise me every time I practice. Focus is calming. Now if I could just get everyone to leave me alone for 20 breaths or so, at least once per day, I’ll be a candidate for some unidentifiable higher plane: I’ll feel normal and go about my life as such.
My yoga teacher laughed at me when I told him about my wish for longer arms. He agreed that it makes it easier. Then I told him, “I bet Michael Phelps at one point wished his arms were standard size and that he didn’t have such weird-looking feet.”
#livethequestions #momeconomy #yogaanatomy #monkeymind #meditation #progressisperfection