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bye bye bikram

September 12, 2012

Serendipity brought us together.  I heard you might help me become more flexible and less anxious, but I had resisted you because I believed that yoga was for sissies.  Despite my resistance, I had become curious about you—so curious that I investigated joining a studio, and was appalled by how much it would cost me.  Just as I was about to give up and pursue other fitness options, I received an email offering a coupon for my neighborhood studio.  20 sessions for $30.  A deal I could not refuse.

So I came.  I met you for the first time on a Friday afternoon in July, when the temperatures outside were warmer than in the room.  I joked about going to bikram to “get out of the heat.”  Although my first class was tough, I could tell immediately that something in my body was responding to you.  The stretching. The sweating. The breathing.  A sense of warmth and calm stuck with me the entire evening after that first class.  I was hooked.

I completed my 20th session three days ago.  I miss you dearly already.  How often do you find something in life that you enjoy so much?  How can you put a price on that?  The studio owner mentioned that they offer a work-for-yoga exchange for those who cannot afford a membership.  You can come and clean the bathrooms once a week in exchange for “the yoga.”  Although I scoffed at that idea a week ago, my feelings have changed now that we are indefinitely separated.

It will be pretty telling if I end up begging the studio to allow me to clean their bathrooms in exchange for yoga.  I hate cleaning so much that I very rarely clean my own bathroom.  But…I miss you so much.  And it’s only been three days.

My willingness to scrub toilets for you might be the grandest gesture of love the world has ever seen.

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27

August 27, 2012

A few weeks ago, I got bangs.  In a moment of brazen abandonment, I told my hairdresser Shauna to go ahead and chop it off.  She knew exactly what I meant because this is something I had thrown out at all of my hair appointments for about a year.  I’d say “I’m thinking about bangs…they seem to be coming back…maybe next time.”  Well, next time was last time.  I did it.

It’s amazing how much a little fringe can change your appearance.  The general consensus amongst my family and friends is that the bangs make me look younger.  Every time someone says that to me, I say “I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing when you’re 27.”  And their simple observation caused me to realize that 27—the age I am right now—might very well be the perfect age.  The prime of life.  Maybe for a man it’s a little older; I would venture it is somewhere between 33 and 37.  But for a woman in this youth-obsessed society, I believe 27 is the prime age.  At 27 you are old enough to have established some financial clout and direction in life; old enough to have shed much of the teenage insecurity surrounding your appearance; old enough to have begun to discover some of your great passions in life.  At the same time, you are young enough to be free of many of our societal expectations and preconceptions; young enough to have a family or not have a family; young enough to be strong and free to pursue all sorts of physical and emotional adventures; and young enough to be unburdened by the woes of aging like wrinkles, thinning hair, and spider veins.

And then I got a little sad, thinking about how I might very well be at the prime of my life.  That means it’s all downhill from here.  So despite the airtight logic in my argument about 27 being the perfect age, I hope that I’m wrong. I hope I continue to discover new and exciting facets of life each day.  I hope that I will continue to think that every new birthday brings me to ‘the perfect age.’

human nature

March 2, 2012

This is a Sprinkles cupcake vending machine.

Is there anything more American?  My first reaction, to be honest, was complete and utter disgust.  What kind of person needs a cupcake in the middle of the night?  But then I remembered a story I read about six months ago, about a French baker who created a fresh baguette vending machine.

Although that was a more impressive innovation–the machine itself actually cooks the bread!–it provides the same insight into human nature.  We want what we want when we want it–French or American.  And technology is making it easier for us to gratify those compulsions.  Maybe that’s not a good thing in terms of character development, but isn’t technology amazing?

resolute

January 6, 2012

I am generally opposed to New Year’s Resolutions.  Why is it that the American populace only aims for improvement once per year?  Shouldn’t that be an everyday thing? Back when I was younger and still felt the need to participate in this annual ritual,  I came up with all kinds of vague pursuits—like “be a more thoughtful daughter” and “eat better.”  These days I’ve relinquished the formal process of Resolution-making for a more perpetual pursuit of self-improvement. Before I start sounding too arrogant, let me point out that my success rate is pitiful.  I’ve had ‘floss at least 3x per week’ on deck for at least 10 years now.  I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen. But at least it’s always on my mind.  At least I’m reaching for it.

 Anyhow, January 1st came and went, and my intent was to ignore the business of New Year’s Resolutions altogether this year, as usual.  With work, grad school, marriage, and doggy-motherhood, I’ve got enough on my plate without the added pressure of Resolutions.  But something came up recently that I have decided to make a goal.  Not necessarily a Resolution, but a goal I made around New Year’s. 

 I will become a stretcher this year. 

 For all of my fitness endeavors, I have never stretched regularly.  At least not since there was mandated stretching in high school cross country practice.  The other night, I told Chance about how I ran three miles that morning but was concerned about this weird new dull pain in my foot, and he suggested there might be a link between my constant state of injury and my lack of stretching.  He even went as far to suggest that a lack of flexibility in my hips and ankles could be why I pound my feet so hard when I run (he demonstrated the pounding with a “BANG BANG BANG” on the coffee table).

 So simple…why didn’t I think of this before?

 Sometimes, all we need is a little outside perspective.  Chance always seems to help me connect the dots.  I would be nothing but a big pile of nonsensical dots without him. 

 I’d hate to sound too cynical about New Year’s—I do truly love the holiday.  A clean slate, a fresh start, limitless possibilities.  Here’s to a new year, big goals, and the people who help you achieve them!

perseverance

December 22, 2011

 

 

I learned so much this semester.  Not just about school psychology, but about myself.  In fact, I think that my own personal growth completely outweighs the knowledge I acquired.  Not to poo-poo my classes or anything, because I have never worked so hard for anything in my life.  I remember being skeptical about the program–I wasn’t sure if Texas Woman’s University would be up to par with the education I got in the honor’s program at Baylor.  I know that Baylor isn’t a top-tier school or anything, but my experience in the BIC was challenging, uncomfortable, and wonderful—and I’m a much better student and person because of it. I was worried about not being engaged, or not being well-trained, but those concerns quickly resolved during the first week of class.  I cannot even describe how difficult this semester was, for me and even for my classmates who weren’t juggling the demands of work and family. 

This semester, I gained confidence.  I have never pushed myself to juggle so much, and I honestly wasn’t sure if I could manage it all.  But I did…somehow.  I’m still not sure how I did it.  Not only did I cover all my bases, I earned a 3.9 GPA this semester.  I would have been happy to pass!  But my attitude has changed since undergrad—I no longer look at the least amount of work I need to put in to make the grade—I do my absolute best on everything.  If only I had been so driven in undergrad, I might be attending TWU on scholarship.

Anyhow, I survived.  I didn’t flunk out, I didn’t get fired, I didn’t lose any dear friends, Chance didn’t divorce me, Jack didn’t die of loneliness, and we aren’t broke.  I am 14 hours closer to my 60 hour goal.  I am still excited about becoming a school psychologist, and more convinced than ever that this is a great job for me.  It’s amazing to me how much strength we have when we need it–and how much energy we have when we’re working for something we’re truly passionate about.  I gained confidence, and I proved to myself that I can handle pressure, stress, criticism, and fatigue…while working and attending grad school full-time.  Let’s just say I haven’t felt this confident since the day I got my braces off : )

 

Opportunity

September 21, 2011

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Chance took me to a Chinese restaurant before he proposed. He was acting a little strange, so I already suspected something was up-then I cracked open my fortune cookie. It read: “You are about to receive something special.” That’s when I knew I would be getting engaged that evening. I thought Chance had arranged that special message, because he did stuff like that a lot when we were dating. But he didn’t have anything to do with it.
Ever since then, I’ve paid close attention to the message within my fortune cookie. So I perked up a little when the above message appeared before me today. What I really want in life (at the moment) is to get a Ph.D. It would only take two more years beyond the degree I’m getting now. A Ph.D. is the pinnacle of achievement for me, and to stop two years short seems so nonsensical. But it’s a little more complicated than it sounds. Even though I know I would be accepted into the program, and I’m confident I could handle it, I have to think about time…and money. Why is it that everything has to come back to money?!  But if the right doors open for me and Chance, the Ph.D. is possible. Fortune cookies have been good to me in the past-I think I’ll hang on to this one for luck.

spilt milk and invasive corn

September 20, 2011

Don’t cry over spilt milk.

 I hate that idiom.  I think there are times when it’s perfectly acceptable to cry over spilt milk.  How can you just issue a blanket statement like that?  What if you or your child is starving to death, and you have no money and no other option, but you are given a jug of milk…which you proceed to drop.  What then?

 I guess what I’m saying is that depending on your level of stress and the particulars of your situation, little things like spilt milk can be a big deal.  Or at least, they can feel like a big deal.

 Sunday night, after a weekend filled with everything but rest, I had Chance place a Chipotle order online.  I picked it up on my way home from the gym…which was on my way home from PetSmart…which was on my way home from getting my hair ‘did in Grapevine…which was on my way home from the grocery store.  You get the picture—that’s what my life looks like these days.  I need to establish one thing: I LOVE Chipotle.  It is my food of choice, in any and every situation.  I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly content.  Sadly, it had been about two weeks since my last burrito bowl, and I was really looking forward to it.  Very, very much.  By the time I got home with the food, I was tired, hungry, and ready to wind down and enjoy my gourmet Mexican burrito bowl.

 So you can imagine my dismay when I uncovered my burrito bowl to find that my order was wrong.  Corn!  There’s corn in my bowl!  And where’s my salsa verde?  It was not my burrito bowl.  It wasn’t far from it, but it was not MY bowl.  I was quickly overcome by a wave of emotion.  Chance entered the kitchen to find me crying tears into the ill-fated bowl.  The more reasonable and logical part of my brain was shocked at the severity of my reaction—I felt as if I were floating above myself, watching this bizarre episode unfold, and unable to do anything about it.  As soon as Chance walked in, I began laughing.  Mostly out of shame, because in the logical region of my brain, I knew I was overreacting.  But I couldn’t stop the tears.  So Chance watched, softly repeating “Oh my” and shaking his head, as I laugh-cried hysterically over this farce of a burrito bowl.  It was literally an out of body experience. 

 The emotion left almost as quickly as it came.  I recovered, dried my eyes, and we jumped in the car to fetch MY burrito bowl.  I had been looking forward to it for a long time, you know?