I’m not a very religious person, but I am spiritual… and I love the Thanksgiving blessing that Dear Abby always shares at this time of year, so I’ll quote it here:
Oh, Heavenly Father,
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service,
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others.
Regardless of what your beliefs are, I think anybody can give thanks for what they have and remember those who have less. As someone who hopes to leave the world just a teeny bit better than I found it, these words definitely speak to me.
I started doing yoga around 15 years ago. I’ve gone to several classes during that time, but I’ve built the majority of my practice on my own. I have a few favorite yoga DVDs and I also take advantage of a couple of the yoga channels on Hulu. My practice is pretty no-frills… I’m an Iyengar girl through and through. I love to concentrate on each posture and focus my breathing before moving out of the pose and setting up for the next one. Y’all can keep your Vinyasa and your hot yoga. My “flows” are more like hiccups, which is why Iyengar works for me. One asana at a time, kids… one asana at a time.
Everyone has their go-to recovery/courage/kicking ass and taking names songs. This past weekend, I made a playlist of just these kinds of songs to bolster my mood after receiving a highly useless email containing some very unwelcome news. The playlist contained a motley mix of songs by female country artists (Jo Dee Messina, Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack), relatively recent pop hits, and some stuff by indie singer-songwriters. (I have eclectic musical tastes… guilty as charged.)
I put this song on the playlist, too. I love it to no end. It’s a valentine to courage, to making your own choices, and it delivers (at least in my opinion) a bigger “FUCK YOU” than Cee-Lo to those that have gotten in your way or otherwise caused you pain.
I went on a bit of a tirade on social media yesterday. I saw something in my news feed which incensed the ever-loving crap out of me and instead of curling up with it and internalizing it (though it did elicit a few tears) I decided to fucking DO something about it.
So here’s what happened. (Trigger Warning: Epic snark/body-shaming ahead.) A friend and former colleague of mine who travels a lot for work, posted the following on Facebook yesterday morning:
Airport gate waiting area Fact: skinny jeans are for SKINNY people. I mean, it says it right there in the name. Otherwise they would be called Muffin Top Jeans… This has been your airport gate waiting area fact of the day. You’re welcome.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that by embracing and owning the things about myself that others might see as flaws, it instantly strips the haters around me of their power. I’m not kidding… I think I’ve grown one of those proverbial duck’s backs… because everything slides right off me now.
I’ve noted before on this blog that I’m a regular listener of This American Life. I usually listen to it during my commute, and since the podcast typically becomes available on the Monday after an episode airs, it definitely takes the edge off of my Monday mornings.
So as I’m wont to do, I tuned in to the latest episode (#506, “Secret Identity”) on the bus this past Monday morning. I wasn’t prepared for the gut-punch that Act One would deliver, however.
I have mentioned before that I don’t run unless chased, a lingering after-effect of having shattered my right ankle 15 years ago. I had an ORIF (open reduction, internal fixation) surgical procedure to put the bones back where they belong, and the titanium plates and screws are still inside the joint. (If you know where to put your fingers, you can even feel the screw heads under the skin… ewwww!) At any rate, regular running isn’t exactly recommended for someone with a bionic ankle, so I don’t do it… at least not as a regular form of exercise. I prefer walking, cycling, yoga, and isometrics. And one-woman dance parties in my apartment.
Two weeks ago (on Friday the 13th no less), my boyfriend picked me up after work and we left Charleston on Interstate 26. He’d told me we were going somewhere overnight, so I’d thrown a few things into a bag, but he refused to reveal our exact destination. After a late dinner in Lexington, SC, we continued along Interstate 20 until we reached Augusta, GA, where he’d booked us a hotel room. I still didn’t know why we were there, but I enjoyed not knowing. Hey, it’s always fun to get out of town, even if it’s just for a little while.
The next morning, as we walked to a nearby coffee place for our morning infusion of caffeine, my boyfriend pointed out a car in the parking lot of our hotel. It was plastered with cat-related bumper stickers and magnets. I remarked that the owner of that car must be a serious cat person. A few minutes later, he pointed out another car that was passing by. This car had a license plate that read, “SHOWCAT.” Finally, I made the connection and squealed, “Are you taking me a cat show?”
Turns out, he was. The Southeast Region of TICA (The International Cat Association) was holding a championship and household pet cat show just across the state line in North Augusta, SC. He even had a coupon for buy-one, get-one-free admission, so attending the cat show turned out to be the most economical part of the trip!
“We are all the judges and the judged, victims of the casual malice and fantasy of others, and ready sources of fantasy and malice in our turn. And if we are sometimes accused of sins of which we are innocent, are there not also other sins of which we are guilty and of which the world knows nothing?” -Iris Murdoch
Came across this today and loved it. It’s from Murdoch’s novel, Nuns and Soldiers.
“We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.” -H.G. Wells