When I turned 40 I suddenly felt like my pants fit. Like I had finally come into myself. ~ Meryl Streep
I read an interview with Meryl Streep when I first moved to New York City in 1993 where she said something along those lines. It’s not exact, but that was the gist of it. The quote has stuck with me. Throughout my 20’s and even my 30’s I was always wondering, What is this mecca–the age of 40–all about?
The hot pink alarm clock went off at 5:50am. Someone should invent an alarm clock that gently pets you on the head and whispers, wake-up … wake-up, and brings a cup of hot tea or coffee. How amazing would that be? This morning I felt like I was in the middle of a code red. There was nothing gentle about it. But I do love that hot pink alarm clock. I love it even more when I don’t have to set it.
I went to the mat at 6:30am. Today was slightly easier than yesterday because I went to bed earlier, but I had a splitting headache from the Zen Cleanse. I really thought my head was going to explode. This happened the last time I did this. I tried to remember how great I felt on days three thru five — and pushed through it.
I feel like I am in a really good place. Everything is coming together and I’ve kinda come into my own. ~ Spring
I met my friend Spring tonight for the first time in what we both determined was too long. I’ve known her for more than 25 years. We met in Boston. We were born on the same day in 1969, but we have always been connected by much more than a birthday. Our meet-ups generally start with these really long recaps. She is a certified yoga instructor, singer-songwriter chant artist and performs all over Europe as Spring Groove.
As we’re talking, there is a new kind of relaxation with life, a sort of surrender to what is. She basically says her pants finally fit; using different words.
We start in child’s pose and I again long for the option to just stay in it for 75-minutes. The funny thing is, I could have stayed in it. Good yoga teachers always stress the fact that your yoga practice is yours. However, I knew I needed to move. I wanted to move this headache.
As I am holding the first plank pose I notice this inner calm. A surrender to what is. I flash back to 1993 and the Meryl Streep quote. So, maybe it took me until I was 43 for my pants to fit, I thought — Or maybe I was too busy over-thinking everything to realize they fit? Or maybe I just never found the right pants? I think I would rather say jeans. My jeans fit.
As we’re sitting in Aroma Cafe sipping tea and juice and talking, I can feel the shift in energy from our last meeting. As old friends, we always pick-up right where we left off, but this time it was as if we had moved into a new realm. We talk about my journey. We talk about her journey. As we’re talking I sense it again. The surrender. The acceptance. The calm.
I could tell Ellen was being gentle with us today. I was not the only one struggling with the mat and the cleanse and the moment. I go into child’s pose and sit there for several breaths. The headache is starting to move, but not really. The pain is still prickling around the front of my head.
I wonder, why I am doing all of this?
As I get up from child’s pose and join the class in warrior two I think, sometimes the most important commitments we make and the ones easiest to break are those we make to ourselves. After all, what’s wrong with letting me down? If I’m the only one let down, who cares?
I’m holding triangle pose; I can see clearly how that sort of tape might affect, well, just about everything.
I continue to move through the poses finding strength again in the vinyasas. I roll through to upward facing dog and reach with my entire body. The headache is lingering, but no longer throbbing.
As I drove home from my evening with Spring I thought about frat parties, TJ’s Bar, Billy’s Pizza, Dad’s Diner and all sorts of other crazy memories from college in Boston. Like the guy I briefly dated who gave me an ALF doll for Christmas? Why? Perhaps it had something to do with the life size poster of ALF I had on the wall in my dorm room …
For some reason I always think about the frat house we went to one night at MIT where they served milk and cookies. After all the trash can punch from Figi — I always thought it was a refreshing change, albeit a boring one. We did not stay long. But being a person always ready for dessert, I did have a cookie or possibly two.
It’s funny how the memories glom together as these flashes in time. And it’s always interesting to me the ones that impact you. The ones that somehow reveal you to you.
As I am surrendering in a final forward fold on the mat, I feel as though for the first time in a very long time I am fully honoring a commitment I made to myself.
I momentarily flash to several things started but never finished.
I feel it. The surrender. The acceptance. The calm.
Oh, my jeans most definitely fit.
Today on the mat, I fully understood what Meryl Streep was saying in 1993. As I sat talking to Spring I sensed this same sort of inner calm. Her jeans fit, too. Life was good.
Perhaps my journey to motherhood is about more than becoming a mother? Maybe it’s about becoming Terry, who will be a better mother — having surrendered and accepted what is; she is calm.
Well, we can’t go too far on the calm part … being a Merrill, I will never be totally calm. But it is something to strive for. Perhaps just calmer. I’ll be calmER.