Tag Archives: life lessons

What If

I'm a yoga teacher

Ben and I were driving Leila to gymnastics camp when I excitedly asked her if she would like to take gymnastics. For over a year she has practiced her cartwheels and handstands and one-armed handstands and walking on her hands in our living room with no guidance other than her intuition and a handful of YouTube videos. Her ballet training is much of the same, just occasional clips of Swan Lake. This summer we finally signed her up to a one-week camp at Little Gym, a trial run to see if something longer term would hold her interest long enough to be worth the investment. YouTube videos and living room practices are free. It took a couple days, but by day three she declared, “I just can’t wait for gymnastics! I love gymnastics!” Okay. I looked up the schedule, talked it over with Ben and finally asked Leila, “Would you like to take a gymnastics class?”

She paused.

“But what if I can’t do the things?”

I paused. This was it. This was that parenting moment I dreaded. The one that felt momentous. We haven’t really had those yet. I searched for the words.

“That’s okay! It’s fun to try new things, even if you can’t do them. It’s about having fun. Maybe you’ll know how to do it, maybe you won’t know how to do it.”

Or something like that.

She seemed satisfied.

“Okay.”

What I wanted to say, what I hope I take a moment to sit down and tell her when she’s older and can digest it is that life is lived in those moments of trying the things we are not quite sure we can do. What I want to tell her is that we do not have to limit ourselves to the things that we, or anyone else, perceive us as not good at doing. We have full permission to do things badly, poorly, clumsily, foolishly with our whole heart and full enjoyment.

That I signed up for an inversion workshop because I heard her say that she wasn’t going to handstands when she grew up because grown-ups don’t do handstands. Fear and shame be damned, I was going to ignore my terror and risk breaking my neck so that she could look to her Mom and know at least that one more thing was possible. And because of her and that bravery it sparked I now know I am stronger than I could have ever imagined.

I do not think I will teach my daughter that she can be anything she wants to be. I don’t know that I believe it, and I don’t know that it serves her. But I will do my best to teach her she can absolutely, always, without apology do anything she wants to do.

A Tale of How Sometimes You Get Exactly (the opposite of) What You Pay For

This is a short story.

I spent three hours on the phone with 4 separate credit card representatives, 3 customer service representatives and 1 in store manager to try to un-do a mistake that THE STORE MADE. They were all exceedingly unhelpful, and not once was I given even the slightest apology for their mistake or the inconvenience it caused me. The last person lamely told me that had I spoken with her first (as if wading through incompetence was my choice) she would have been able to resolve the matter in a more satisfactory manor, but at this point she had to honor the poor resolution I had previously been promised. Apparently that’s what over $2000 at West Elm will get you.

Then this evening, in less than 15 minutes, I was able to transfer my phone and airtime and gifted an additional 60 days of service. The customer service representative was pleasant and efficient. Thankfully that is what $5 with TracFone will get you.

Sometimes you get exactly the opposite of what you pay for, or so I learned today.

D40 (Zanzi1) 011

(This view. About 1/100 the cost of a West Elm couch.)

“One of the keys to yoga (and life) is a bad memory”

My yoga instructor said something along those lines at the end of class today. I believe she told us one of her instructors shared it with her. Whatever the case, I liked it, and it seems like an appropriate quote to utilize for this week’s lone post. I am going to try to have a bad memory about the dozen or so stupid little things that seemed to agitate me this week. Nothing even remotely disastrous happened – just an unreasonable propensity to get irritated.

I will remember that regardless of whatever else, I helped out a friend, went to yoga four times, actually did a decent amount of paid work and celebrated my sister’s birthday. Not to mention the fact that the bathrooms are significantly more sanitary, we have clean sheets on the bed and I finally finished the other half of my little art project. (Just don’t ask me about the step-by-step photos. I already forgot why I don’t have them.)