Nov 30 2010

A kiss.

November 30th, 2010

I froze.  One of the password challenge options was, “The name of the first boy (or girl)  that kissed you.”

How could I forget something like that? Yet, there I was – staring at my Mac, drawing a blank.  I have no trouble remembering the last time I was kissed and most days it doesn’t seem like the two were separated by (gulp) 39 years.  Isn’t it short-term memory that vanishes first?

Now that I was thinking about kissing, a new anxiety welled up inside me.  Would I, do I, remember how?  Would I poke someone’s eye out?  Would I break my nose, chip a tooth?

“It is like riding a bike,” someone said.

No it isn’t.  Riding a bike requires balance.  An unexpected kiss, even an expected one, can throw you quite off balance.  And that’s a good thing that feels pretty similar regardless of age, in my experience.

Maybe the later stages of life really do bare similarities to the first.  Here I am, like I was at almost 13, wondering if I’ll ever be kissed (again).  Not much I can do in the way of practice but perhaps work on the breathing part in yoga class. That should improve my balance  – in standing poses!

Always, Trix


Nov 28 2010

Take a bite out of life.

November 28, 2010

Yesterday I was jamming and juicing on a foggy Saturday in Portland.  Breakfast and music and dancing!

As I tilted my head back for a big sip of plum-colored smoothie (banana, mango, cherry, blueberry, orange, pear and pomegranate seeds) I spied a patch of blue sky outside my window, just past the 13th floor balcony. Had my attitude made it materialize? Does just a gaze in a different direction change the landscape?

The benefactor of my weekend Reggae soundtrack was a man from Africa I met on an American Airlines flight.  He traveled with a heavy, bulging piece of luggage filled with music CDs.   He had to have his music with him at all times, just as I have to have dancing room.  Late one night earlier in the week I had swayed to the music of Omara Portuondo, a popular Cuban vocalist.  When I started I was just shy of the 10,000 steps a day the Japanese (and American Heart Association) suggest for good health.  A rumba here, a bolero there and I was at 10,452 before midnight.

When was the last time you danced?    Why not try it today?  Hope someone IS watching, that you start something delightful.  If you like Buddy Holly (“Maybe Baby”) slip into a hula hoop and call it exercise.   If the weather or your day has zapped you, be still and simply listen to the music.  Try Cleo Laine singing love ballads while you unwind late at night in a softly lit living room, put your laptop near your nightstand and drift off to sleep listening to a new artist on Pandora radio or get dressed up and go downtown for the symphony. No one will notice if you close your eyes in the concert hall to really hear every note of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 in F-sharp minor.  I promise you will be energized for a later dance.

Life can be challenging.  Don’t short yourself on fuel. Take it one song at a time.  Try a little finger food before noon or perhaps  a “Grand Slam”… eggs, bacon, baguette (fig jam), coffee, juice … The choices are yours.

Take a BIG bite out of life and chew slowly, thoughtfully until full – then dance!

Always, Trix


Nov 23 2010

Change is good.

November 23, 2010

The experts say habits take as little as 21 days – to break, to form, to change.   There are 37 days until New Year’s Day. Why wait?  Balance the books  this Thanksgiving.  Count your blessings then take a stab at a personal inventory.

Pick 1, 2 or 3…

“I <eat, sleep, shop, drink, work, swear, cry, fight, smoke, worry, procastinate, complain, watch TV, ..> too much.

I don’t <exercise, praise, express love, volunteer, daydream, spend time with family, floss, eat healthy, call friends, laugh, save, practice random acts of kindness, clean house, accentuate the positive, trust, smile, sing, read, cook..> enough.

21 days. Just 21 days.

About 30 days ago I personally and quietly picked two of the most time and lifestyle entrenched habits to tackle.  I instinctively  thought about what not changing could or had cost me and how good positive change has and could make me feel about myself.

I think you will be surprised at what you can do in 21 days.  Living is indeed a journey, not a destination, but it feels good to be in the driver’s seat, it is wonderful to see how change for the good has a fabulous ripple effect throughout the rest your life.

From a friend up north:  It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. Charles Darwin

Some resources I found today:

http://zenhabits.net/two-simple-ways-to-form-new-habits-without-really-trying/

http://www.iamthankful.com/science/21-days-to-form-a-habit-you-can-do-it

http://www.thinkbigmagazine.com/mindset/167-empowering-your-life-habits-form-patterns-in-our-energy-beliefs-thoughts-and-emotions


Nov 14 2010

Yoga guy.

November 14th

The Yoga Guy wasn’t married to the Yoga Gal.  For the 25 years Joel and I were together, he alone was devoted to practicing but I now wish he’d left behind a mat and blanket.  I have a yen to move a painting and do a headstand against a wall, in a carpeted room.  My bed quilt might double as a prop but there is living alone to consider.  At just 52 I don’t want to be saying, “Help me. I’ve fallen and can’t get up.”  At age 2 our son Clay succeeded in dialing 911 (when there was no emergency); the Whippets at 6 probably would only lie on top of me if I fell out of an inversion into a injured state.

It’s been 10 years since I stood on my head.  The perspective and experience I once enjoyed.  Lately I ponder, “If I turn myself on my head, will everything else in this wackadoodle life right itself?!

About 17 years ago Joel began phasing out teaching ballet at night and on weekends to teach yoga.  I appeared at the first venue wearing my publicist hat; the article published in GTR Newspapers was a very readable, humorous, good-natured account of my first yoga class.

In subsequent years I contributed by buying, washing and folding dozens of blankets and mats Joel hauled around from one class venue to another.  I also was the photog for every image that appeared in his monthly newspaper column, Yoga Forms.  And I gave up traveling that wasn’t to a yoga workshop or certification destination – for Joel.  I had periods of showing up for class.

I was on a roll in 2000 (and last on my head) until faced with taking several weeks off from work for surgery and recovery…The good habit broke, the work ethic hit overdrive (I am Bob Medaris’ daughter).  I missed classes to get ahead at work.  In the end I bounced back to work 9 days out from hospital (Joel’s as good a nurse as yoga teacher) but only to sit in Swastikasana on my desk chair.

Human Nature LAX Exhibit by Annie Buckley

I’ve taken 5 yoga classes in the past 10 years- all have been this year.  My sixth will be at 9:45 today at LA Fitness.  Less travel would boost my monthly tally to 4 or 8, depending on whether the Sunday Yoga Guy at LA gets the rumored Friday class.  Then again, a lot of crazy stuff happens in my office on Fridays…

I won’t fib. I’ve no more gotten discipline than I’ve gotten religion (decades ago I gave up mass for lent). Inversions remind me of happy days.  As a child I spent a ton of time hanging upside down on monkey bars and jungle gyms.  Last month on a Sunday I rushed to a beach yoga class with a college friend hooked on the experience, describing it “like church.”  It was heavenly. I bent over and saw the Pacific Ocean, as the surf encircled me.  Some sort of toxic bundle of stuff inside me dissipated, replaced with a joy, a calmness, a confidence.

The practice of asanas purges the body of its impurities, bringing strength, firmness, calm, and clarity of mind. BKS Iyengar.

Joel and I separated immediately after the 2009 holidays.  This first round of holidays alone in a city that is still pretty new to me won’t be a picnic but I’ve got Sunday yoga and the welcome anticipation of standing on my head.

Gotta run.  Find something that makes you glow and stick with it!

Trix

Until I can publish links to  Joel classes in Tulsa, as well as Maridel’s classes in Springfield, may I suggest:

http://www.theyogaroomtulsa.com/The_Yoga_Room/Welcome.html

http://iyengarnyc.org/

http://www.yogapearl.com/schedule.asp

http://www.lafitness.com/Pages/ClassSchedulePrintVersion.aspx?clubid=438

http://bradkeimach.com/yoga.html

http://anniebuckley.com/html_03/art_bio_09.html


Nov 13 2010

Marketing solo.

November 13th, 2010

I wanted a hamburger.   I didn’t want to walk next door to Bridgeport Brewery, pay a premium for a burger and sit alone.  As I recall it was a Friday.  Happy hour was underway.  I was more hungry than happy.   I made my way instead to Safeway.  In a brightly lit, refrigerated section of the store, I stood staring at a 2 1/2 # package of 85% lean ground beef.  I wanted a hamburger  – not 7 or 8  hamburgers.  I pushed my cart up to the meat counter.

Steve, the meat cutter, greeted me.  “How can I help you?”  he asked.  I explained that I was hoping to find single hamburger patties in the case.  There were none.

“I’ll make you one!” he said.

“You will?  Really?!”  I beamed.  A ready-to-cook patty without getting my hands cold and greasy!

Ever watch the movie Must Love Dogs? There is a scene involving a friendly butcher.  When asked by a customer for a chicken breast he opts to unrelentingly pitch the better value of buying a whole bird. His fate?  Sliced to ribbons.  Pushed to her limit, the shopper informs him,  “I am a divorced woman.   I live alone.  I eat most of my meals standing at the kitchen sink. Give me the chicken breast!”

I’ve done that – eaten standing in the kitchen, sometimes pacing.

Steve asked me, “How many ounces?  Tall or more flat?” (Sized to fit on an English Muffin, I decided, not wanting to buy 8 buns.)  “My wife likes her hamburger thick and juicy, so I make them tall.” I told Steve his wife was a lucky woman.

As I skipped off with my $.87 hamburger, I smiled.  Content with my purchase and amused by the line of singles forming at Steve’s counter.  Next time maybe I’ll buy the value pack and invite people over.

In Tulsa my son, Clay has had his own experiences shopping as a single chap.  I hope you’ll read his account at

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_156530951054013&id=156802497693525#!/home.php?sk=group_156530951054013&view=doc&id=156802494360192 (11.15 update: Not on facebook or trouble with link?  Essay included below)

Happy shopping, Trix

By Clay Norvell – Marketing

Beep…beep…beep…“Please place the item in the bagging area.”

I let out a labored sigh. Every damn time I’m at the “self checkout,” I’m told what to do by an automated female voice. It makes me wonder why it’s called “self” checkout if I am constantly demanded to “Please wait for assistance,” – really meaning the assistance of another human. It would almost seem that I cannot be trusted to bag my own groceries.

Beep…beep…

While I assume most people wander the store aimlessly, thinking of mundane issues, I find myself thinking about my future. Will I be buying frozen dinners for one at age thirty? Will I ever have the occasion to use two place settings every night, or am I destined to single servings for the rest of my days?

Reflections, aisle two…Reflections, aisle two.”

The grocery store is a strange place to have the thoughts about prospects (or lack thereof) of matrimony; if one day you may sire offspring, or if your boss may be offended if you asked for the day off “because it’s Ted Bundy’s birthday.”

Oops! Don’t forget the White Castle burgers!

I push my industrial sized shopping cart along slowly; seeing as how I always get the one that has that one wayward wheel that buzzes like a ripped windsock every five seconds. Add more embarrassment to my cart.

Still I have to stop and laugh about some of the products I see…

“Hey, I never thought about buying a metric ton of Chunky Monkey! What a bargain!”

Or:

“Oh look, there’s a kiosk of cold sore medicine…must be close to Valentine’s Day. That reminds me a lot of that commercial where the people looked really happy learning how to kayak…”

Once I navigate my way to the checkout line, the reality of everything sinks in – I’m just embarrassed of my lack of culinary knowledge! I think everything in my basket screams out, “He’s been single since 2006! He’s getting lazier! He eats peanut butter two times a day!” I veer over to the self check-out to avoid this paranoia-based judgment by the cashiers. I can just imagine what they’re thinking.

Beep… ”Yeah, this guy lives alone.”

Beep… “There’s someone who definitely has commitment issues.”

Beep… “He wants to be an author? Yeah, and I read Playboy for the joke page.”

Beep… “He looks like Boris Karloff’s lovechild.”

Perhaps I’m just delusional.

They may be thinking of kayaking lessons after all.

©. N.


Nov 12 2010

Surviving a poke.

November 12, 2010

9 things out of 10 I usually can do really well.  Those successes put me over the moon (probably not a glam scene but I do a jig around the kitchen that leaves no doubt I am happy with an outcome).  I am as good at fixating on the one thing not exactly stellar.  I’ve had 52 (just) years to hone my single-mindedness.  Trust me – it is powerful stuff.

When one is spinning around from major life changes (and I no longer believe they come in series of 3 but rather groups of 3 weekly), there are many opportunities to convince yourself you are a total screw up.

It can be just as easy, or should be, to celebrate staying in the game, unafraid and open to what chance brings.  When my tender heart takes a poke I remind myself, “good to be feeling something!”

Don’t miss out on life!   It is meant to be shared.

Trix


Nov 10 2010

My guy Tad.

“Tad, as in Tad the Cad on All My Children?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

About the name – pretty sure he’s been asked before by those of us familiar with the soap opera role played by actor Michale Knight. My Portland Tad is a homeless fellow I met him through the Whippets in the Fields.

My friends who know of Tad worry about me and our connection.  They needn’t.

The Fields is a rare undeveloped plot in Portland’s Pearl District that functions as a semi-official off-leash area.  In one particular spot it hosts a treasure chest of smells and discarded items. Most dogs and owners miss it, preferring the grassy fields for games of fetch. Whippets don’t play fetch. Leo gets the ball and then deposits it as far away from the person who flung it out there as possible. During Leo’s first days of living with us he and I indulged in games of Donut Dash in the long hallways of our Tulsa home. Leo would retrieve the greenish, tennis ball material, donut-shaped toy. He’d then quickly zip back towards me but always try to skate past me on the bamboo floors with his catch. I caught him, threw the toy back down the hall. The game continued.

The day I met Tad was a sunny, but slightly cool day. He was wrapped mummy-style in a green blanket on the pavement next to his heavily laden cart. The Whippets couldn’t resist exploring. They sniffed and poked around Tad during each of our first two walks of the day despite my effort to distract and chorale them. By mid-afternoon and our third walk, we found Tad standing, neatly folding his linens. I apologized for my nosey Whippets.

“I’ve found a huge bag of dog food. Would your dogs like some?” Tad asked.

Tad has eaten dog food, cat food, too. He definitely prefers dog food.

“Is it the oiliness of the cat food?” I asked Again, “Yeah.”

I worry often about financial security, especially starting over in my 50′s when many friends are retiring and embarking on fabulous trips I don’t see in my future. Tad didn’t once complain about his situation. He was, indeed, concerned about the disorder of his cart when I took his photo. Now when the weather here turns cold and wet, I text Tad. “Are you somewhere dry, warm?” He sends me a photo of an enclosed parking garage – his cart off to the side.