60 Days On the Mat — Day 22: Don’t Wait To Live

Jonathan and meAugust 12, 2007Pine, Colorado

Jonathan and me
August 12, 2007
Pine, Colorado

Today I was having what might be deemed a temper tantrum.  I’m glad no one was around to see it, except my husband who got a momentary glimpse into my state of mind when I snapped at him.  When I snap he does not snap — this is what is called “good balance.”  Instead he whimpered out of the room.  I felt horrible.

I wake up to a face covered in acne; I look like a pimply-faced teenager — except when I was a teenager I barely had acne.  So I look like some OTHER pimply-faced teenager.  I even have zits on my freaking eyebrows!  It’s insane.  It looks like I have chicken pox  — except even when I had chicken pox, I only got about seven pox —  none of which were on my face.  I have never had a face that looks like this and it is distressing me.  It has been happening for a week or so, but today it seemed like they erupted everywhere.  I briefly think this is happening because we enjoyed pork on the last night of Hanukkah.

On top of my vanity crisis, I am suffocating from my work load.  So after six non-stop hours at my desk, I let go of the mouse, stare at my computer screen and bawl.

This is momentary.  I did not go to Taco Bell or drink a Dr. Pepper — I just breathe, take a walk around the block in the drizzle, make a cup of tea — and return to the suffocating work load that feels like it might never end.  Perhaps stress in causing my acne?  How can I be stressed doing this much yoga?  I stop trying to figure it out and and resume editing videos.

About an hour before yoga my husband walks in the door with flowers and a big kiss.  I should have been getting him flowers (or something else …) — but the gesture of ignoring my morning behavior and bringing me roses was enough to erase all that was wrong with the first part of my day.  I’m convinced marriages where each partner is capable of ignoring the other one at their worst are a match made in heaven.  The fact that he does this regularly is a good sign for our future.  The fact that he could kiss a woman with a face that looks like mine does today just proves he is either a very good actor or he must love something else about me besides my face.

He’s not a very good actor, but he is one hell of a guy —  if you can live with me through this infertility roller coaster — you should be sainted or knighted or something really fabulous like that … trust me.

I go to the mat in a much better state than I started the morning.  I really needed it.  Chaz momentarily takes us back to the darkness of Connecticut (which I had been trying to avoid all day) and encourages us to shine our light.

It was all a bit esoteric for me as we started the flow, but with each pose I began to feel more open.  I imagined a light peeking through all the dark, closed corners of my body — the places I had clamped down over the weekend as I mourned so much unexplainable loss and devastation.

One of the greatest gifts of practicing yoga every day has obviously been the physical changes.  I look at my thighs sometimes and I can’t believe they actually belong to me because the shape is so foreign.  However, the real gift has been the mental changes.  The ability to bring myself back to the present whether I am sitting at my desk freaking out about zits or wallowing in the troubles of the world.  It has never been more crystal clear to me that the moment we are in right now is the only one where we can affect change.  It really is the only one that matters.

The flow was sweaty and I tried to just focus on my breath.  When we got to crow pose I fell over.  I think my body is physically exhausted, so I don’t force it.  I start to relax more into the flow and not push as hard as I normally do.

In side plank I feel only slightly shaky, but mostly I just feel open and present.  I was right there in the room not thinking forwards or backwards.  My only thought was on opening and shining my light.  By this point, I had transitioned out of the esoteric and right into the moment.

Once the flow has stopped and the only effort I am experiencing is the release, the thoughts begin to float in, casually.  I love this part of the class.  It brings all the sweating and pushing and flowing to a close, but in many ways your body is just starting to reverberate open.

While I am in shoulder stand, I begin to question —  how do we move forward in our lives just enough to be productive, but not so much that we are frozen?  For me, I can get so caught up in the vision for the future, that I forgo the present.

I was at a party last night and one of the women there had recently lost her mother.  She said something I had actually thought about before, but had never heard anyone say out loud.

“The one thing I can tell you from having to go through my mother’s stuff — use the soaps, use the lotions, use the perfumes, use the good china, wear the expensive clothes and shoes because there is nothing worse than packing up a life waiting to be lived.”  

It really struck me.  A life waiting to be lived.

My thoughts float back to all the things I had been waiting to do until we start our family — I was basically stopping my life.  I have never used our china.  I was living life not in motion, but in limbo.  I was trying to run through all of these present moments as quickly as possible —  in and effort to get to a future I had all mapped out in my head.

Perhaps the ultimate lesson of this infertility journey has been to show me that nothing is worse than waiting  to fully live.  Perhaps I’ll be an even better mother because I’m not just waiting, I’m living.

If you’re perpetually unsatisfied with the moment you are in, well, you’re never satisfied.  You’re body is there, but your mind is always someplace else.  And if you’re like me, you’ve mastered the art of politely pretending to be present — making the self-deception much more difficult to pinpoint.  After all, you’re FINE.

Tonight I came home and we went to buy our first Christmas tree together.  It’s not decorated yet, but we have it.  It’s the first time in a very long time that I went to do something I had been shutting myself off from until we had a family.  The truth is, I have a family.  I have more family than I know what to do with sometimes and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  Not a one.  Not even the one I thought I might want to trade that one time.

As I finish typing this I am staring at the beautiful roses he bought for me today — and just briefly, I think, maybe I’ll buy some mistletoe tomorrow.  Or maybe I’ll just give him a big good morning kiss. 

Tonight I am immensely grateful we picked each other, and that he can put up with me at my worst — even with zits covering my face.

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