Monthly Archives: February 2018

Plan A, Plan B – Just Winging It

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When I was young I just always assumed there would come a time when I would have it all together.
During my twenties I didn’t worry so much that I owned a car with a burnt out starter that I had to park
on a hill wherever I went so I could kick start it and that the passenger door was held shut was with a
rope tied around the gear shift. There was still time. I was gonna make it big. I was convinced that I
would be a successful architect or maybe an airline stewardess traveling around the world. I would
love my job regardless of financial reward, have a family and attain internal peace. I was young and
full of crap. The letters I found in my father’s things after he passed away that I wrote home during my
college years were a testament to this. I burned them in the backyard in a flower pot afraid someone,
years after my demise, would find them and read them. They were that obnoxious.
Of course my life did not turn out they way I had planned because it never does. I’m okay with that,
but I really thought I would get to a point in my life when I could own a piece of furniture that didn’t
come in a box that I would have to put together myself. Like my parents before me, I pictured driving
to Gerald Ray’s Colony House where I would spend a sufficient amount of time perusing the goods and
selecting perhaps a nice buffet or a credenza. Meanwhile I would go home and wait while my
purchases were wrapped securely in padded blankets, loaded onto a truck and driven carefully from
Gerald Ray’s the 1.2 miles to my house where two nice clean cut men with their names sewn onto their
Colony House shirts would gingerly unload my furnishings, carry them into my house and set them up.
I would give them a tip and perhaps some freshly baked cookies for their troubles. I really did not
envision myself dragging a big heavy box from Amazon off my porch into the living room like a bear
dragging a dead deer into it’s lair where I would then sit for the next seven hours with an Allen wrench
and a poorly produced sheet of instructions trying to figure out which of the 196 screws I need to put
part B together with part C. I don’t know about you, but I never get it together right the first time. I
inevitably put the wrong two pieces together or put something on backwards or upside down and after
taking it apart for the third time I eventually just leave it that way and go drink a glass of wine content
with the thought that there is a reason behind it all and have faith that someday it will all make sense.
In the end I did not become a globe trotting stewardess and I have yet to achieve internal peace, but I
really do believe that the universe is always conspiring for my highest good even if I may not be able to
see it at the time. Now if I could just convince my mother to stop worrying about me. I am 59 and she
still worries that some day I may end up living down by the river in a van and licking discarded candy
wrappers for nourishment. I do my best to assuage her concern. I'll be fine Mom. Say what you will,
but a van down by the river is still waterfront property.

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Getting Zen at the Senior Center

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I have advanced to that age where I am now considered a senior citizen which qualifies me to participate in all the fun activities that the Joyce Raye Patterson Senior Center has to offer. Exciting things like blood pressure screenings, rip-roaring bridge games, line dancing lessons, shuffleboard and yoga classes. Adverse to regular yoga classes with young twenty and thirty somethings where I always pale in comparison I figured that even I, with my sloth-like tendencies, could keep up with the folks in a yoga class designed for the elderly. Boy was I wrong.

My first course of action was to find something to wear. Because as we all know 98% of yoga is finding something ridiculous to wear. Anymore, you can’t find workout pants not made of spandex that completely encase your body so that not a single molecule of air can reach your skin. Seriously, does a person really need vacuum sealed pants to do the downward facing dog? Scuba divers need airtight pants; so do Olympic bobsledders. The rest of us could use some breathing room. So I pilfered through my dresser drawers and made my selection. Due to the condition of my nearly 60 year old thighs I long ago gave up wearing shorts and opted for a pair of brown yoga pants that I bought at Ross for $5.00 which may have had something to do with the fact that, stretched to maximum capacity over my cellulite, they made my legs look like those Brown and Serve Breakfast sausages. Long gone are the days when when I used to get compliments on my legs. Come to think of it, that time in ’81 when someone honked at me because they thought I was attractive is probably still the highlight of my life.

Thirty minutes later I arrived at the Senior Center ready for action. As I unrolled my yoga mat on an empty spot on the floor, I sized up the competition. Most of the other participants were women and appeared to be older than me, Most were regulars who knew each other like the ones next to me, Esther and Judy. “I can hold my own here,” I thought. The only thing I was really worried about was whether or not I could make it a whole hour without having to pee.

As we started our routine our instructor seemed nice enough, a Lululemon clad priestess walking among us giving gentle encouragement like a nurturing earth mother. “Just breathe. Meet your body where it is,” she would say. By the time we were half way through I hated her. I was keeping up until we got to the warrior pose, that forward lunge with your arms out to the sides. Easy enough…for the first minute until my muscles start to burn, legs quivering, skin growing clammy and yoga pants stuck to my legs. That’s when I learned that gravity is a cruel mistress…lean too far in any direction and you might find yourself closer to the ground than you expected.

The highlight of our routine however was the shoulder stand. Once I got into position I couldn’t move thanks to the enormous weight of my thighs in the air above my head and rolls of fat on my stomach cutting off my air supply. And I have to tell you, the view looking up through my legs was so repellent that it comes back to me sporadically even now despite heavy medication. The depression induced by the jellied oatmeal texture of my thighs was indescribable. Our instructor yammered on, “Yoga is great for letting go of those things that no longer serve you,” and that’s when it happened…somebody’s hindquarters ‘exhaled’ if you know what I mean. And the instructor says, “That’s okay, it’s okay to fart. A fart is your body letting go.” I looked over at Judy and we burst into laughter. I thought I was going to choke to death or have a stroke. There was no way I was getting up off the floor now without assistance of some sort.

When class was over, the teacher said something like, “Take a moment to thank yourself for committing to your practice,” which made me intone the prayer, “Please God, make me less fat then I was an hour and a half ago. Amen.”