Now that we’re rounding home in teacher training (hello, we’re done in TWO WEEKS!), we are officially immersed. I’m talking a weekend of four classes per day, mock teaching, workshops, lectures, etc., plus a Wednesday night class and lecture. It’s pretty awesome, and also pretty exhausting. Come Monday, I find myself physically tired but emotionally amped up. Amidst the chaos of the most manic of Mondays, I float on a happy-cloud, fully aware but half-present and half-daydreaming about snippets I’ve learned over the weekend. I wake up on time (which is unusual), pack lunch and snacks for me and The Big Guy, and head out the door with an upbeat aura in tow. Soul-sucking traffic and aggravating roadragers cause me to chuckle – which seems to make them even more angry. I simply turn up the Krisna Das and smile. I am invincible.
(Shameless insertion of animal humor).
Where was I? Traffic, smiles, invincibility. Ah, yes: I am invincible. That is, until reality inevitably shows up in the form of Tuesday. After cramming in a trip to Whole Foods in the evening (since Monday is now my grocery day in light of YTT scheduling), making a nice homemade dinner, cleaning the kitchen, throwing in a load of laundry, and proofreading something for The Big Guy, it’s midnight and I have yet to actually relax. So I write it off as a busy night and crash in bed.
Then Tuesday happens: I oversleep, schlep to the kitchen, flood the coffeemaker, cause the blender to erupt green monster all over the floor, get angry, yell, schlep to the shower, can’t find my razor (how far can it really go?!), fail to rinse all of the conditioner from my hair, smear mascara on my eyelid, dribble mouthwash onto my shirt, lose my keys, yell some more, grab my purse, hope I have pants on and run out the door. Traffic and roadragers are not met with a smile; instead, they inspire sobs of frustration and tears of defeat. In the course of 24 hours, I’ve managed to go from 100 to 0. Why? Because after a weekend of yoga bliss and constant practice, I return to this “other” world. And I’m tired of it. I want to practice and live in that immersed state 24/7 and I cannot. So, I act like a baby and cry about it. It’s easy to be happy among other yogis; it’s easy to practice in the studio. But out here, it’s more difficult – and look at me, defeated within 24 hours.
How exactly does it happen? I let myself get overwhelmed by bills to pay, errands to run, projects to complete, appearances to keep up and I realize that, really, I’m stressing about fulfilling the various roles I play in this life – as a wife, as a daughter, and as a “professional,” among others. For example, this weekend The Big Guy and I have a party to go to for a Judge (TBG also happens to be a lawyer) so, naturally, I start stressing about venue, what to wear, etc. And why? Because being his wife is a role that I want to fulfill to its utmost potential. Because I care about being that person and doing it well. But who makes up those rules? Who decides who I should be and whether or not I’m doing it well?
A good friend recently brought up our desire to “look good” and that most of what we do is fueled by that desire. In other words, instead of just being ourselves, we’re driven to act or perform otherwise in order to look good. I mean, does it really matter if I don’t find the perfect dress for the party? Does it really matter if traffic is horrendous and I’m ten minutes late? Does it really matter if I let the dry cleaning sit for one more day? Who’s keeping score? I am. I am a control freak and am keeping score of myself.
So far I have no solution but I do have an area of opportunity for improvement staring me in the face, which leads to today’s mantra: let go. Let go of the societal and/or self-imposed roles that I don. Wear no mask – no acting, no performing, just be me. Be no one else. And practice.
Let go. Let go. Let go.
What’s your mantra today/this week/this year? What areas of opportunity have you uncovered lately? Do you find yourself seeking to fulfill various roles in your life? Who prescribes those roles? Anyone else feel me?