‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jedi Yoga

I get through yoga class by pretending it's Jedi training.

I do this because I think it may actually be Jedi training. Why else would people do it? It's the only way some of the stuff they make us do makes sense. It's also the only way some of this could possibly be possible. You have to use the force rather than just plain forcing it, or you fall over.

You know you're in Jedi training when you hear something like "float your left leg up toward the ceiling." I don't know about you, but my legs do not float anywhere. How does this phrase make any sense at all unless it's about Jedi mind tricks? Like when you can't get the waiter to bring you a clean fork so you float one across the restaurant from the wait station yourself.

Speaking of forks, I sometimes combine my Jedi training with being The One. You know: There is no spoon. I figure the only way my teacher gets into that twist where she looks like a pretzel and I look like a squashed bug is by knowing there is no spoon/body. There is no yoga teacher and she's not actually doing the pose, she's just visualizing her body all twisted up. Et voila. When I do this I picture my actual, physical body curled up in bed while my Matrix body mirrors my teacher.

When I do Ashtanga (or, more accurately, when I do whatever it is I do when in an Ashtanga class) I sometimes imagine I'm sparring with Laurence Fishburne. At the very least it entertains me to the point of not wishing for instant death.

I've experienced varying degrees of success in my training. I have yet to float anything anywhere and Morpheus is still laying me flat. But there are moments of Jedi glory. Just this morning, in fact, I walked into class and noticed another woman heading toward my favorite spot. I said "that is not the place in class you seek." She looked at me briefly and headed off to the far corner.

It's totally working.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

the perils of legible handwriting

Sugarplum's homework last night was to neatly copy her New Year's resolution onto a piece of colored paper and hang it in the hall at school. Her resolution is to clean up the house "because it's really messy."

You got the part about hanging it up in the hall at school, right?

On the bright side, Chris will be teaching a course in building robots at her school soon, so as the teachers and visiting parents discover we are slovenly heaps of humanity, the kids' coolness ratings will soar. Maybe the combination will earn us a reputation among the elementary academic community for being geniuses. Geniuses are often messy.

For the record, my resolution is not to clean up the house. My resolution is to make sure Sugarplum sticks to her resolution.

For the last several years I've replaced resolutions with watch words. I've also replaced cleaning with living, but that's another story for another day. I can't tell you what my watch words are this year because that will jinx it and all hope will be lost. I can't tell you what they were last year, either, because I've usually forgotten what they are by April.

In my defense, I forget what they are by April because I've more or less incorporated whatever it is by then and/or gotten annoyed at my own henpecking. I do wish I could remember what they were because they were really good. Things like "courage" or "listening," for example.

I cheat and pick ideas that are already in the works. My biological New Year* starts sometime in September, so I get a sneak peek at what the theme of the year is going to be.

I think I can safely tell you, without jinxing anything, that this is the year in which I do things that scare me. I noticed this a few months ago.  I said yes to projects that usually would have made me hide under my bed. I made scary decisions based on nothing more than the knowledge that something had to be done. I asked for and received things I hadn't asked for before because I was afraid I'd get them.

It seems to be a trend, this doing-scary-things, thing. I expect to spend the next several months weaving in and out of abject terror. Hopefully by April it will be old hat. I'll be so brave, nothing will phase me.

Which will come in handy if the world does in fact end in December.

I think that's why we make resolutions. Not because the world will end in December, but because we do things in cycles. New Years is when we give a nod to things that come and go. We put on extra layers in the winter, we shed them in the spring. We learn and then we practice. We fear and then we embrace. We are messy and then we clean up.

We teach our children the value of order and then we take a nap while they tidy up the place.

*I have no idea what a biological New Year is. I made that up.
** The end of the world throws resolutions into a whole different tail spin. Without giving too much away, I can tell you that I did not resolve to learn how to make my own clothes from milkweed pods.