Oh how soon we forget. What ever happened to just being happy to be alive? I thought I’d finally learned to live in the moment and enjoy my ‘journey’, but apparently that was just a phase. All it took was one missed yoga class to turn me into a snarly old b*tch.
Last weekend I had plans. Lots of plans. First on my list was to pick up my friend Jo and go to my favorite yoga class. Even if it was -17 degrees outside. The ride over to Jo’s had been a bit bumpy, but I assumed it was a pothole, or snow bank, or a small child, so I wasn’t too worried. Turned out I had a flat tire. I’m usually pretty good at changing tires, but it’s a new car, and I couldn’t even figure out how to release the spare from its hiding place. I went into Jo’s little bungalow, called my pals at CAA and waited for them to come save me.
Turns out that the whole city was calling CAA. It was a miserable weekend (Screw you, Polar Vortex) and everybody was having car trouble. They told me to expect a two-hour wait. ‘Oh come ON!’ I said into the phone, ‘I can’t stay here all morning.’
Jo looked at me from over her reading glasses ‘Yes you can.’
‘Can what?’ I snapped
‘You can stay here all morning.’
Even though she was wearing her yoga clothes, Jo didn’t seem bothered by the sudden change of plans. She’d already looked up a recipe, and cleared a place on her couch for me, amidst her cats. ‘I’m going to make us breakfast’ she announced, ‘You can watch movie.’
Effortlessly, she switched gears. She’d let go of the idea of stretching, and was fully embracing being in the kitchen. But not me. Even though I was starving, and in the company of a dear friend, I couldn’t switch gears. I was stuck on the idea of a good stretch. And without my good stretch I couldn’t be flexible.
There was a time, about a year ago, when I vowed to appreciate the feeling of being alive. Over the last two years I’ve found delight in feeling the wind blow through my (new) hair, being able to sleep on my stomach, wearing an under wire bra, stand up straight. These events have been thrilling. So shouldn’t I have developed gratitude about accepting the wonderful events that fall in my lap? Poached eggs, coffee and excellent company were being handed on a silver platter, and I wanted to be somewhere else! Clearly there was something wrong with me.
I realized that I’d spent the whole week knowing that I’d get to this class – and that I was relying on it to propel me through the weekend. In my head, my schedule was written in ink, and I hadn’t allowed for the possibility of change. I was so determined to stretch my body, that I hadn’t allowed any bendability in my mind.
I tried to let go of the fact that I was depending on a stupid yoga class to get me through the weekend. And I tried to mentally erase the schedule that was in my head, and rewrite it in pencil. Of course things were going to go wrong. Exhausted from my mental white board, I curled up on the couch with some cats. Jack, who is blind, sat on the back of the couch and was nibbling my hair. Another cat was staring at me from her bed, and I could feel her disapproval. Two other cats wandered by, contently living in the moment. One was orange, and the other had three legs and may have noticed that I was crabby, though they didn’t seem to mind.
Jo announced that breakfast was ready and we took our seats at the counter. I crossed my legs, which took an awful lot of effort, and smiled at my friend. My body was as stiff as Malibu Barbie, but my mind that was formerly unbending, finally started to unwind.