August 28, 1963 … when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
I went to the mat at 5:30. Chaz opens class with an excerpt from the I Have a Dream speech — appropriate for the day we honor the man.
My first thought while listening to the speech was, How amazing is it that this white girl from Texas, born in 1969, considers a black woman born in relative poverty in rural Mississippi in 1954 one of her major role models? In fact, how cool it is that many women — from all walks of life — across this country and around the world consider her a role model? Whether you agree with everything she says or not; Oprah has great content in her character. We followed it. People are drawn to great content and great character. We need to raise children with both of these qualities, yes? There are lots of role models for children, we just need to introduce them. It’s our responsibility, not society. It takes engaged parents and a good village. I credit my parents and my village.
Thoughts are swarming. I ponder one of the greatest speeches ever written or given while thinking about the words freedom and character. I also decide our kid(s) are going to watch this speech every year on his birthday. Being a speechwriter, Jonathan will like this tradition. He almost made me watch it last night as we ate chili — but I had already watched it, even before hearing it on the mat.
The first role models for children are parents. I want to get it right as much as possible, considering we’re getting such a late start. Hopefully, this will keep them from thinking people like the Kardashian’s are cool.
Am I being too hard on the Kardashian’s? Honestly, I can’t even tell them apart and don’t care to.
While pondering the content and character of my future child(ren), I briefly think about a quote I once read from Jackie Kennedy and double-down on my commitment to doing it right.
If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much. ~ Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis
My doctors appointment was in the morning. Things are still on track, but the eggs will not, I repeat not, be coming out on Day 60. I haven’t given up on Kismet yet, but that part of the Kismet will not happen. I am fine with this; I just want strong, mature eggs — as many as we can get — to give us the best possible chance at a baby. It’s going to be more like Day 62, 63 or 64. I’ll know more on Wednesday. The follicles are growing, the estrogen is rising — things look good. Younger women’s eggs are not as fragile as older women’s, so this extra stimulation is not worrisome to my doctor, and therefore not worrisome to me.
My doctor says he prefers slow and steady to fast and uncontrolled. So do I.
I do briefly wonder — Is she eating enough chicken n’ dumplings? Or too much? Does she drink wheat grass juice? Should she? — and I quickly push the worry swirl away and move through the poses on the mat.
As for me, my doctor says I look lean and trim from all of the yoga — my lining is growing great; I have a textbook uterus. This was never something I aspired to, but I’m glad I have one. It’s one less thing to worry about.
The first song in Chaz’s playlist is the theme from House. I had no idea this was an actual song. I like it. The room is hot. We start slow. My shoulder is still giving me problems. I think I have a pinched nerve in there somewhere that is causing some numbness and spasms in my fingers. I’ve never had real arm muscles like this before, so I think my arm is in shock. My deltoid feels locked. I work some pressure points in the arm and create relief. I decide not to jump back in chaturanga or balance on my arms in an effort to give my arms and shoulders a rest.
Freedom. We all have things to overcome in this life in order to be completely free. Most of these battles reside within us — the commitments we make to ourselves about what we want and where we are headed. I am grateful I live in America where even the barricades have holes in them. You just have to look — sometimes longer, sometimes harder, sometimes while screaming how unfair it all seems — but just keep looking. If you want something badly enough in this life — if you’re blessed enough to live in this country — you will figure out a way to get it.
It’s called perseverance.
Freedom has very different meanings, depending on where you live. We can fight over the petty while people are stoned to death halfway around the world for doing nothing — or what we consider nothing. Freedoms we take for granted while standing in line at Starbucks for a $4 latte are sins punishable by death in some countries. I always think about that when someone throws around the word fascist or Nazi or communist for any past or current president of the United States in daily conversation. I believe only those who immigrated here from Nazi, fascist or communist regimes have any idea what those words truly mean.
We’re just using powerful words to give impact to pitiful arguments, while drinking a caramel macchiato.
I am grateful our still relatively young nation has overcome so much that we can now argue amongst ourselves about what color to paint the walls.
I am even more grateful when we get to the mat. While everyone else is balancing on their arms, I opt to put my legs up the wall and give my poor arms a rest. They thank me.
While lying there I think about my dream.
I have dreams for the world like many of us do, but the dreams I can affect — the ones where I can truly make a difference — reside in my own backyard. Once our own house is in order, our eyes begin to open wider to the world around us. We release the capacity and the desire to help others inside of us. At least that is how it feels for me.
Everything starts within. This is why I do yoga.
What is my personal dream?
To be a good wife and mother. To be a good daughter and daughter-in-law. To be a good cousin and niece. To be a good friend. To never stop wanting to have a “stack of books” on my Kindle. To continue to be curious. To put good food in my body and good thoughts in my mind.
To do lots of yoga.
And most importantly this week? To get a freaking pedicure. (I know, it’s pathetic)
And my dream in the next two weeks? To be pregnant.
Oh, how I hope it is not just a dream.