You look beautiful when you sleep.
I kissed him.
Jonathan said this to me today after I slept for two hours on the couch at his aunt and uncle’s house. It was sweet. I also couldn’t help noticing how much better I felt after having allowed myself to get some spontaneously in the middle of the day.
I love couches that are not mine. Ever since I started working full-time at home it is almost impossible for me to completely relax here. My office is so close to where I am supposed to relax. I am generally up until all hours editing and emailing and bookkeeping and what I like to call ‘general puttering’. I find working from home a blessing and a curse. I can always find just one more thing to do.
When I am at another house or location where I feel very at ‘home’ and have no personal distractions, I tend to fall asleep. That’s what happened today. I do the same thing at my in-laws. If any of my family lived here, I would do the same thing on their couch. After the devastating Broncos loss, I let it all go for the entire Packers and 49ers game. Being a Packers fan, I did not miss much. I woke up with no teams left in the playoffs; my NFL season had officially come to an end.
On Day 47 I actually surrendered and allowed myself to finish writing in the morning. I did the same last night. I slept for 9 hours both times. I needed it.
I went to the mat at noon. I missed Ellen’s 10:00am class and went to Joe’s class instead. Sometimes it is good to go to different teachers to shake things up and he is a great teacher. We worked on twists. Apparently January is the month for wringing out the old year. Every teacher I have is twisting me into a pretzel. Joe was twisting us beyond the pretzel.
In the beginning, we hold plank for what seems like an eternity and I think about my step-father and my step-siblngs. My Mom and my step-dad (Larry) had their 17th anniversary on January 11th. They got married in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We were all wearing sweaters and jeans, including my Mom and Larry. This Indian Sha-woman came into our condo and married them. It was the third marriage for my Mom and I think the fourth for Larry. They can both be a little hard-headed, so this seems to be a match made in heaven. Actually, I think they are perfect for each other.
We’re doing lots of twists from crescent pose. I am always shaky when twisting in crescent. My feet don’t seem to want to stay planted. Today was no different. As I am trying to anchor my feet, I think about that day. I don’t think Kim and Scott (my step-sister and step-brother) and I had ever met until they picked me up at my Dad’s house in a mini-van. It was sort of like, “Hey, nice to meet you, let’s make a wedding dinner!”
Y’all are going to cook dinner.
What are y’all going to cook?
We did. We went to the grocery store and bought cans of Hunt’s spaghetti sauce and ground beef. We made a salad and garlic bread. I remember at the time how Brady Bunch it all felt to me. After all, we were making spaghetti with canned sauce and ground beef for a wedding dinner. I had never had step-siblings before that day. I remember wishing we were not 26 (me), 24 (Kim) and 22 (Scott). I thought it would be impossible to bond as adults, especially with me living in New York. The one thing I had always longed for but never had was a brother or sister, and this was as close as it was ever going to get.
We are in this bizarre twist on the floor. My head is on a block, one leg is splayed one way, my arms splayed another. It am literally a pretzel. I can feel the release as I begin to let go. I breathe. I cry, but not sad tears, just release tears. They say our body has cellular memory that can be released through physical activity. I had never put too much stock in that until after spending 48 days on a mat and occasionally crying spontaneously for no reason.
I start to think about all of the amazing things I’ve been able to see and do because of Larry. Even though we were all older, he made a point of bringing us together for family vacations every year. I was never made to feel like a step-daughter, but one of the bunch. We have been to Europe three times visiting – Zurich, French countryside, Paris, London, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, Vienna and Prague. He also took us all to Seattle and Vancouver. Not to mention all the countless family gatherings and outings he planned for us over the years.
By the time we get to bridge pose, my body is spent. I can barely lift myself. My chest muscles feel like they have been worked and stretched to the brink. I know I am going to be sore. It feels great. As I am lying in shavasana I drift into a twilight sleep. I can feel the letting go. The surrender to the exhaustion.
As I am driving home I think a lot about the word family. The word conjures up something different for everyone, and comes in all sorts of packaging. Mine certainly does. I feel like my family is about as colorful as it gets, but I love what it has given me in all its imperfect glory. It’s made me incredibly flexible, open and forgiving. I’ve always had an appreciation for how we’re all connected, why we’re all connected — there’s a sixth sense in me that knows it is much more than an accident of circumstance.
I am grateful. Grateful for all of these experiences that have made me who I am.
This whole process has been fascinating in that I never set out to write specifically about my life. I was going to write about my ‘process’ on the mat, but with each passing day my process on the mat is unraveling my life; in a good way. I’ve always said, yoga is not even about yoga. I never anticipated the donor cycle would happen until February because last year the lab at my clinic was closed in January. I never anticipated these 1000+ word essays would pour out of me at the end of each day. It’s all so organic, so out of my body.
One day just flows into the next.
As I was climbing into bed last night I got a Facebook message from my friend Katherine telling me I needed to get more sleep to help my body through implantation and pregnancy. I laughed so hard because I had just written the opening to this blog and had already decided to get some sleep and finish in the morning.
Yes, Katherine, I got great sleep — and I think unrequested advice can sometimes be some of the best advice. I feel more rested today than I have in a long time. Eight hours … as I begin to sleep for more than just me. I hope.