60 Days On the Mat — Day 36: New Year’s Eve


December 31st:  Today was non-stop from the minute I woke up until I passed out on the couch after ringing in the new year with a champagne flute full of Shiner Bock.

It’s really not as white trash as I just made it sound.

If the tree is up without decorations on it, then it’s just a big plant, right? 

Jonathan asked this question when he saw the completely bare tree in out front room. He thought we should just leave it there, until it was fully expired, scenting the room with pine.  I was not completely enthused with this idea, but as I type this in the wee small hours of January 2nd, the tree sits undecorated — the scent of pine lingering.

So tonight, we have a BIG PLANT in our front room.

Taking down the tree is always a downer.

I unroll my mat and I put on the uplifting tunes of John Denver to make sure I’m in my peppy place for new year’s eve.  I start with a flow of sun salutations to build heat in my body and work out the kinks of the day.  The first song up was Leaving On A Jet Plane, which makes me cry.  It’s followed by Goodbye Again, which makes me cry harder.

Sometimes I forget how depressing John Denver can be.

Terry and Daddy -- 1973?The minute I hear his voice, I am immediately transported to shag carpet, macrame and sand candles.  Three Dog Night.  James Taylor.  Fleetwood Mac.  Gold cars (not metallic gold, you know, that other gold — the 70’s gold). Bellbottoms.  I see myself in a black and white picture my Dad took of me on my tricycle wearing plaid pants — I have this shag haircut.  I can see the picture, I’m not sure if I even have a copy.

In lieu of that picture, I think the shirt my Dad is wearing in this picture sort of captures it all.

By the time Goodbye Again is half way over, I take a pause in child’s pose on the mat just let go.

Goodbyes have always been hard for me.  As I’ve gotten older, and had so much work traveling all over the place, I do not immediately cry every time my plane takes off.  In fact, I am generally elated to be going home.  When I was a kid, airports always meant goodbye.  Goodbye to my Dad or to my Mom.  After saying goodbye and holding it all in, I would usually spend the first 20 minutes or so of every flight crying while looking out the window.  I think that is why I fall asleep so easily on planes.  I would cry myself to sleep, and when I woke up, what I like to refer to as ‘the goodbye trauma’ had moved on past — I was generally happy by the time I landed.

Or sometimes I never woke up, and my Dad or Mom would have to come get me off the plane, or the flight attendant would have to wake me up.  I was not a light sleeper.  I’m still not.

My overemotional goodbye response did not stop when I went to college — moved to Milwaukee — moved to New York — or moved to Los Angeles.  In fact, when I drove myself to the airport on December 10th from my friend Stacy’s house, I cried.

I think that was just me feeling torn between my home past and my home present.

Rocky Mountain High starts to play and I get back in the flow.  I got married in the Rocky Mountains.  My wedding party walked down the aisle to this song.  I walked down the aisle to Annie’s Song.  It was a beautiful day.

John Denver has now moved me from the ‘goodbye trauma’ into the happiest day of my life, thus far.

After about 20 minutes of flow, I move into balancing poses.  I proceed to hold crow pose.  This happened as Sweet Surrender started to play.  It made me laugh, because so much of yoga and life is about sweet surrender.

Sometimes even when I pick the music, the timing is sending me messages.

The song for my final resting pose was Sunshine On My Shoulders.  It’s so beautiful, I’m so relaxed.  I drift off to sleep.  I don’t think I was asleep for very long.  Jonathan was still out on his bike when I woke up.

As I am getting ready for our dinner with friends, I start to think about the new year, and all the possibilities that come with it.  My heart really only wants three things: a baby, a place to call home and more joy.  To use Ellen’s terminology, these are the things I want to add in my life.  I don’t need to write any of these things down, though I guess I just did.

I hope God can hear my heart whispering.  I think He listens more than I think He does.

We enjoyed a beautiful dinner in downtown Los Angeles with our friends Jeff and Holly. It was the beginning of what I now refer to as my 24-hours of pure gluttony.

I kicked it off at Engine Company No. 28 with chicken friend steak.

Wait until I write about the 1st … it got worse.  As I type this I am vowing to never eat again.

Jonathan and I were home by 11:45pm.  We had no champagne, but we did have a Shiner Bock in the fridge.  We got out the cheap champagne flutes, ‘popped’ the Shiner Bock and poured our toast.

As the clock struck midnight, we clicked glasses, kissed and it went without saying that we were ready to begin a new year.  Boomer was, of course, right there with us.

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