Patsy, isn’t today a great day?
She laughs, Every day’s a good day!
Given some of the days I’ve had in life, I am not sure I subscribe completely to this philosophy — but when I am down about the mishegoss or irritated at things beyond my control or complaining about nothing — Patsy always pops into my head.
I went to the mat at 4:00 with Ellen.
Today I allowed myself to get bogged down in the mishegoss of the day. I did the bookkeeping and got worried about money. I did the layout for the next newsletter and got frustrated with the changes to the programming platform. I was irritated with not being able to make edits where I wanted to make them in certain videos.
Nothing seemed to be flowing smoothly. The good in my day was eluding me.
At the beginning of class, Ellen’s iPod was not working. She borrowed Chaz’s with a playlist she didn’t know. As we’re opening the class in child’s pose she says, Life is not always what we had planned. Sometimes we have to go with a different plan. Of course, I know this — but sometimes it takes a statement of the obvious to pull you out of your crap.
As I am sitting there gently stretching my shoulders and starting to open my body, Patsy pops into my head. Patsy is my Dad’s cousin Paul’s, wife. They live in the small town in Pennsylvania where my Memom grew up; Kulpmont. The first time I went to Kulpmont I was ten years old. It was the same trip where I met Aunt Viola, who I wrote about on Day 16.
Going to Kulpmont was like meeting a whole new family. I had all of these cousins, some even close to my age. I had two aunts (Memom’s sisters) that looked and even talked like Memom just enough to freak me out at the time.
After visiting when I was 10, I did not return until I moved to New York. While I lived in New York I would come back, stay with Paul and Patsy and load up on Polish food to take back to New York with me. Pierogis. Pigeons. Kielbasa. I loved it. Kulpmont was where I discovered I was, in fact, a Polish-Texan.
I still love her cooking. Last year she taught me how to make pigeons in my crock pot. If Kulpmont was located in California, I would be there every weekend eating.
We push back into the first downward facing dog and I notice a slight soreness in my right rotator cuff. Doing yoga this many days in a row, it’s interesting to observe how the aches and pains manifest in the body. Where they show up and how mysteriously they disappear. It leads me to believe a lot of pain is psychosomatic. The more I practice yoga, the more the teacher becomes a guide and my body becomes the teacher. My body tells me when to push and when to hold back. My body is teaching me how to care for it, and I’m actually starting to listen.
In 2007, Patsy’s daughter, my cousin Kathleen, got married about two weeks before I did in Kulpmont. I was at the wedding, of course, and they all came to mine. As we were enjoying the reception of Kathleen’s wedding, I said, Isn’t this a great day? and that’s when she said it,
Every day’s a good day!
And the thing is, I believed her. I flashback to all my memories with Patsy, and I know she is not kidding. She is always having good day, even amidst mild frustrations, she’s laughing. Of course, when something horrible happens, she’s not having a good day, but in the grand landscape of days across a lifetime — she is always trying to have good one. Whenever I hear George Strait’s, Here For a Good Time, I always think of Patsy.
Ellen is taking us through a lot of crescent poses. Crescent pose is always a struggle for me because of my high arches. We spend a lot of time with our arms over our heads, another thing I do not love. I fight through it. I laugh as I surrender and bring my arms down between poses. My body is the director. It took me a long time to wind those shoulders up, it’s going to take me a long time to unwind them — they open a little more every day.
As we go down to the mat into thread-the-needle pose, I float through the frustrations of my day. Money always comes; the spring will be busy. I need this slow time to get caught up and get pregnant. I will figure out the new newsletter platform changes; I always do. Editing is constantly frustrating because I always want it to be better.
Let. It. Go.
Every day’s a good day!
I think about my cousin Kathleen. We’ve had a great deal of fun over the years. We were at this local pub in Kulpmont and I was in town and she was in town from college. Draft beers were like 25 cents! Of course, they were served in juice glasses, but have you ever heard of a 25 cent beer in any glass anywhere? Me either. Every single person at the bar knew Kathleen and she knew every person at the bar. The owner decides he’s tired and wants to go home. He just gives her the keys and walks out. This would never happen in any place I’ve ever lived. She didn’t even work there.
I get the bolster out for shavasana and lie back giving the floor the entire weight of my body. I let it all go. The worries. The frustrations. The day. I gave it to the mat. I gave it to God. I prayed quietly for The Girl Who Likes Chicken n’ Dumplings and then I relaxed deeply, my mind was empty.
As I’m driving to pick up Chinese food for dinner I admit it was a pretty good day. I think about Kulpmont and my need for the city life I have come to know and the smaller town, simpler life I long for.
Perhaps I have a case of wanting what I do not have? We all do that, I guess. The grass is not always greener, but I still find myself occasionally looking for a different shade.
I realize I’m getting bogged down again as Here For a Good Time comes blaring through the radio and I think about Patsy. I laugh.
Yes, generally speaking, every day is a good day and today was no exception.
Sometimes I need Patsy, the mat and George Strait to remind me.