Just Breathe

True to form, it is about a month away from the end of the year and I finally decide to check out my progress on accomplishing my vision board. Not exactly true to the philosophy behind it, but that’s exactly the way I work: Procrastinate and then excel in crisis mode.

KitKat's vision for 2013
KitKat’s vision for 2013

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised how well I had done … maybe there is something to this envisioning. My board’s subliminal messages seemed to have seeped into my life.  In fact, I didn’t even remember having “Needing Las Vegas” on it and I just booked a girls trip to Vegas. Check!

On the downside, I didn’t quite create the ass and stomach I envisioned. And, even with my talent of getting shit done when the pressure’s on, at age 44 that goal is going to take time and work. If I wanted to be realistic, perhaps it is a vision that might not be attainable past the age of 30. But I refuse to give up on all of my dreams just yet.

Well, back to the board … one thing that seemed like a big miss and easy to do was yoga. I used to be a die hard. I loved how it made me look,  how I felt and what  could do. It’s why I put it on my board, yet 11 months later I still have not reinvested myself.

This I know I could do. And, it is probably the perfect time for it. Between being insanely busy at work, the holidays, and my “hockey mom” role starting up again, I could use some “me time.” Add on having had two cars totaled in the past two months (one just a few days ago and thankfully escaping with only bruises and repeat car shopping torture), I obviously need some focus. Plus with the weather turning cold, the thought of escape to a heated room has its own appeal.

So the past few weeks I have been spending a lot of time at yoga. It is addicting. One hour of sweating and contorting into poses I almost forgot my body could do is my new release. I also forgot how wonderful it was to have someone reminding me to breathe. Seems like that should be natural, but for me it’s like I have been holding my breath ’til I walk into that room and then I can finally let go.

Also as a competitive girl, even with myself, I was impressed with how quickly it all came back. My body could contort into ways I had forgotten. My mind is so quiet when I am challenging myself into poses. This may sound simple. Especially if you’re a true yogi, since isn’t yoga about a quiet mind and focus? But for me it doesn’t happen. My racing mind only quiets when my body is pushed into an extreme. And even then just for a moment.  Once I accomplish the challenge my mind starts congratulating myself. Next I start thinking about what else I could do that I haven’t tried and should add to my list … and the race goes on. No I will never become a true yogi. It just is not natural to my nature. As much as I wish it was.

Then there is also the added benefit of focused time at the end of each class to get my list organized in my head. This is supposed to be the time to completely quiet my mind and let all go. My best move during savasana was realizing that’s impossible and to stop fighting it. (The more I am told to relax, the worse it is.) Instead, I embrace the chance to lay in a lovely position with no other demands on me except sorting out the list in my head. I have no problem twisting that into reasoning that I am following the advice given to me each class: It is  your own practice and do what your body feels. Listen to yourself.

By the way, why is breathing so hard? … Or is it just me?

And it all comes tumbling down

I am tired, and when I get tired things start to drop. It starts with one or two small things. But then the momentum hits, and soon I am buried in a list of have-to-dos that have been missed.

This isn’t my norm. The majority of the time I can go to work and successfully manage an overworked marketing staff that supports six sales divisions. Afterwards, I can come home (down a glass of wine) and transform to mom mode and successfully manage two young children (and a husband) to keep our chaotic household and schedules running fairly smooth. In addition to these major commitments, I get my workouts in, and keep up on emails, finances and my favorite shows. Admittedly when things are up and running, I sometimes impress myself with my seemingly superhuman energy and well-performed juggling act.


But right now I am not keeping up. Things are dropping on every side. I am showing up late and missing school events. (Why is my child always the first to perform? Five minutes later and I would have seen it.) My family is now dressing straight out the hamper of clean clothes that I planned to put away but now is almost empty and it is time to wash everything again. I screwed up a date scheduled with my husband and completely forgot my dad’s birthday. There is a major homework assignment due for my son and I somehow missed the month of preparation available to avoid the last minute crisis and cramming session. And, I have no idea what deadlines I have missed on all of the projects piled on my desk. In the midst of this downpour of dropped balls, workouts don’t stand a chance – though it hasn’t seemed to slow down my eating.

I have been here before, so logically I know it will pass. I will pick myself up, regain my stamina and get back into my rhythm to once again skillfully manage my work/life balance (never really balanced nor manageable – “organized chaos” may be a better description).

But currently the logic of waiting it out seems to be overridden with three intense urges:

  1. Stand in the middle of my living room stomp, cry and scream – throw a full-blown tantrum.
  2. Wiggle my nose like Samantha from Bewitched and magically fix Bewitchedeverything. (I am not as cute as her wiggling my nose. Yes, I have tried in the mirror!)
  3.  Run away (not an option but a blissful fantasy).

So instead, I am trying to take the piece of advice my mom always gives: Just breathe. This may seem easy, but it truly is work for me to try to calm my mind for a minute and take a few deep breathes. But I am willing to try.  Breathe and remember that in a few days I will be in my happy place again. Thank goodness for girlfriends, a cabin and a good local dance bar!

And if this breathing thing doesn’t work, I will continue to just keep topping off my wine glass to help sedate me or I will be joining my daughter in throwing a fit in the living room.