In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Happy 18th Lauren

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Lauren.  Wow!  How in the world did you ever get to be 18?  I have no idea.  You are beautiful.  Witty.  Smart.  And you’ve never so much as had a warning, a traffic ticket or an accident or fender bender.  Amazing.

We ate at Red Lobster with her dad and her boyfriend CJ on her exact birthday.  I usually teach yoga for a couple of hours on Thursday evenings, but I’ve been off yoga for the whole month of January.  A choice I made after I found out I had an inguinal hernia and then I decided t get it fixed pronto, so I’ve been recovering.  I feel as though a replay from 18 years ago is happening in the way of groin pain.  I had a C-section with Lauren and this feels like I’ve had half of one. Not so much fun.  Much easier when you have a baby to focus on instead of just PAIN.

Our dinner was nice, we all had a great conversation.  After that her beau took her to the mall to buy a pair of Converse.  Her dad gave her cash.  She had mentioned getting a tattoo for her birthday, so I was thinking that’s what she’d do. But no, she came home late Thursday night with a Hookah instead.  What’s worse?  A Hookah or a tattoo?  Not sure I can really answer that one. Neither I guess. I know her friends vape and I know she does sometimes as well.  I know when you turn a certain age, it’s cool to do something that you can only do when you’re that age. Like going to a bar when you’re 21, even if you don’t really drink.  I think her boyfriend hit it on the nose when he said to me, “I think she’ll be done with it in like 2 weeks.”  He knows my kid well.  And I’m glad.

So far she’s on the honor roll in school this year, so that’s exciting after a few years of not really giving a crap about school.  She also wants to go to college now which is good and bad. She lost her two free years at OTC due to the not “giving a crap” issue.  She’s into childcare and does go to a daycare for school a few times per week.  She’s also in a Forensics class and loves it. She mentioned going to school to be a Child Forensic Psychologist.  I was like…..is that a real job?  Of course it is.  What do I know.  She scored well enough to get into MSU on her ACT (surprise) but I think we’ll feel out OTC first. Cheaper and just in case she feels like quitting, it will be less of an investment.  The forensics program is also at MSU.  But if she chooses to do that she can get her basics out of the way at OTC then transfer over.

Lauren has not had a job YET.  This needs to change.  She did help me clean a bunch of buildings back when I was doing that, but so far nothing on her own. I am hoping now that she’s 18 she will find something that she likes to do.  It’s harder when you’re 16. But still.  I give her $40 a week for stuff around here and she has to buy her gas out of that.  None of her friends work either.  Weird.  We all worked, from like the day we were old enough to.  Things are different that’s for sure.  I’m sounding old aren’t I?

Lauren.  Follow your heart.  Stand up for yourself.  Be kind.  Stay smart.  Show compassion.  Fall in love.  Get a job.  Keep doing well in school.  Stay the beautiful, responsible soul that you’ve turned into.  I honestly hope that I had a little to do with that. Love You!

 

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Gratitude

SAMSUNG PHONE PHOTOS 176I have always guarded and very much enjoyed my time alone.  But not here lately.  Perhaps I’m getting old.  Perhaps I need a hobby.  Wait.  I have plenty of those, but none of which seem that engaging at this very moment.  I don’t even want to read.  Or maybe.  Just maybe that one person that I’d really love to be with right now isn’t here.  That’s it.

I took a vacation day from work today.  It rained.  It didn’t just rain.  It rained a nasty ass drizzle the ENTIRE day.  And it was only around 50 degrees.  I didn’t really take a vacation day because I had something to do.  I took it because I simply feel as though I need one whole weekday off – per month – from my job.  I know.  Do I want some cheese to go with that whine?  You bet.  Excuse me while I get a glass – of wine.

I only had one plan for today.  It didn’t happen.  I got the little weekday only kind of things taken care.  The car serviced and all that jazz.  Of course the place I take my car to is open on Sunday.  But do I want to spend my Sunday over there?  No.  No I do not.

The rest of the day was spent fighting with this rain, running about tending to things that came up unexpectedly with my daughter.  Things that I wished I wouldn’t have had to deal with.  I am though, thankful that I had the day to take care of these things but at the same time I am choosing to complain.  Why is that?  I guess I wanted to do something else today but I don’t really know what that would have been.

Funny isn’t it.  We have everything we want yet we complain.  I’ve started a gratitude journal once again.  I need to hit my yoga mat as well.  I know why I practice and I know why I choose not to.  And guess what?  It’s none of your business.  Today anyway.

So tonight I am thankful that I am here and that I am healthy.  That my kid is healthy.  That my family is healthy.  My pets are all awesome and healthy.  Apollo, the new dog is going to daycare once a week. He’s making improvements.  Oh and we got him a shock collar with a zone and he hasn’t touched the furniture since.  Who knew?  I am thankful for the job that got me this house and in turn, I wish I never had to leave it on a daily basis.  I am thankful that my washer and dryer are cranking away at this very moment.  I could after all, be in a Laundromat.  No thanks.  I am grateful that I actually have two more days off.  And that they’re supposed to be warm, bright and sunny and maybe, just maybe filled with yoga.

Think I’ll go and grab that gouda now.  My work here is done.


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Quitters

We’ve all probably given up something at some point in our lives haven’t we?  I quit my childhood swim team.  I quit playing violin….heck I even quit a couple of marriges.  But I’ve never just up and quit a job without any notice. 

As a business owner in what seems now like a previous life I hired some folks who I thought, would be more than great employees.  It was always disheartening to get that phone call, usually while I was out of town – that the new employee decided to just not come in.  There’s so much complaining about lack of work these days that I  just really don’t get it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve thought about just quitting a job before.  We all most likely have.  But I’ve never acted on it.  Office Space is one of my favorite movies and I do love the line in the movie where the main character says, “I didn’t quit.  I’m just not going to go in  anymore.”  Love it.

I am still cleaning at the movie theater and on occasion it’s a pretty brutal job.  You may’ve read why in a previous post.  It’s a workout and I am happy say that I have lost 13 pounds and I got paid while doing so.  I am training people now and so the company hired a girl that had cleaning experience.  I trained her at an office building on Thursday evening and then she was supposed to train with me on the following day – a Friday – at 5:30 in the morning.  I received a text from her about 4:36 a.m. stating that her alternator in her car was out.  I pulled over in Kaliedescope’s parking lot and responded with a text that asked her where she lived.  I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  No response.  Quitter number one.  Not a big deal as I had someone dependable working with me that day.  So the company hired another person.  Quitter number two.

This time it was a dude.  He was a cleaner with a different company and was keeping that job.  He had great references.  I liked him.  We actually cleaned the theater together several weekends before he decided to, um, just quit.  Spiderman had just opened at the IMAX.  I missed the serious disaster because it opened on July 3rd and I only work on the weekends.  For that week I was thankful.  But a lot of people didn’t see Spiderman on opening night and if you live here, you know that it’s been super hot so the movies have been super busy.

On a still busy Spiderman Saturday morning at 5:00 a.m. I found myself all alone.  No. Way.  This isn’t happening?  Or is it?  I texted my partner, the guy, and got no response.  Then I was pretty sure that it was really happening.  Have you ever tried to get a hold of anyone at like 5:00 in the morning?  It’s not that easy.  Especially for people that clean.  We work some weird hours and sleep some weird hours as well.  The theater was a complete disaster and I’m not just talking IMAX here.  It takes two people a good 4 hours or longer on a day from hell to clean the place and to make it worse, 10 o’clock shows were scheduled to happen.  Oh happy day.

I started thinking.  And running.  And thinking.  And working.  I rounded up ALL the trash by myself first like we always do.  Then I back pack vacuumed the IMAX after I got the trash out of there of course.  Not only were the waste receptacles stuffed, running trash left in the theaters can take quite awhile too.  After that I cleaned the small bathrooms at the IMAX and headed east with my back pack sweeper still in place.  I decided to back pack all the theaters first and if I had to I would clean the big bathrooms while the place was open.  Not good because they were bad but I had no choice.  I was halfway through the theater cleaning when I got a text from a co-worker (around 8:30 a.m.) that had just trained for the theater the day before.  He asked me if I still needed help.  I was about to cry and laugh at the same time and I said yes!  He arrived quickly and vacuumed the front common area.  Then he cleaned the bathrooms and mopped the concessions and the bathrooms too.  After that he got all the trash to the dumpsters.  I was busily back packing away.  We walked out of that place at like 10:20 a.m. only after I apologized to the manager.  I let her know if things weren’t up to par, I was totally sorry. 

I think work ethic is hard to find.  I am thankful that I have that instilled into me.  Thanks mom and dad!  I am always on time.  I am quick to learn things and I do a good job.  I know there are a few things that I will never quit.  Red wine, yoga and a job (not without notice of course)!


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Day Trip To See The Dalai

I attend a meditation group on Saturday mornings whenever I can, which is quite often actually.  A few months ago someone in our group mentioned that the Dalai Lama was going to be in Fayetteville, AR and that we should all go. 

The Dalai Lama.  In Fayetteville, Arkansas.  I know.  How weird is that?  Seemed kind of odd to me that’s for sure.  But there is a pretty good sized Tibetan community located there and they in fact, had been working on getting him to their town for quite some time. 

He was slated to give two talks on May 11.  One in the morning and one in the afternoon.  We all decided we would send in our loot for tickets to both sessions and make a day out of it.  And make a day we did.  We all received our tickets in the mail ahead of time so no will call window for us.  We took a couple of cars to the event and left at the early hour of 6:30 in the morning the day of. 

The morning session was a panel of people which consisted of Sister Helen Prejean, Vincent Harding and his Holiness himself.  I really enjoyed hearing the other two speakers talk, especially Helen Prejean.  I think I would like to hear her speak again someday.  The Dalai wore a red sun visor.  Too many indoor lamps I guess and he sat cross legged in a big, red chair.  He was very soft spoken and hard to understand that morning.  The theme was non-violence and the world today.  Something I think everyone can use a lecture on if you ask me. 

We took a break for lunch and we all had to leave the arena.  Security sweep you know.  Entering the place was like going through airport security.  Only I didn’t have to take off my shoes.  We nabbed much better seats for the afternoon session and the Dalai seemed a bit less tired.  He had the cutest little translator that stood by his side.  I think the guy could actually read his mind because if he couldn’t get a word out the translator knew it immediately. 

The Dalai was cloaked with a sash on receiving an honorary degree from the University of Fayetteville.  He stood at the podium to give thanks and kept pulling on the v-neck part of the sash because it was constricting to him.  He chuckled about it and I found his sense of humor humbling and humorous at the same time.  After the thank you he sat down and the translator read several questions that people had for him.  Some were very political questions and some were more personal.  Things like did he ever learn to drive a car.  The answer to this question was quite funny as he told a story about getting behind the wheel when the driver of the car had stepped away. 

One thing I noticed and thought was quite cool on the way out was this.  12,000 people were making a mass exodus from a venue and it was dead quiet.  I had just seen Elton John a few weeks prior and that was not the case afterwards there.  I realize that these were two entirely different types of events but still, it’s something that I noticed.

I had a really cool road trip with really cool people and the destination was great.  Truly a day that I won’t ever forget.


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Silver Springs

I love this song.  It’s been around for quite some time.  I suppose this song is about some other chick.  But I’ve always thought of the “she” in the song as alcohol, the drinking kind. 

So when I hear it today and when I heard it way back then, I still think of alcohol, the drinking kind.  I wish everyone and anyone dealing with this problem, peace and wellness, now and always.  You deserve it.

I still think this is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, even if it’s a sad one.


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A Day Of Silence

Little Portion in Republic, Missouri is where I spent my Sunday.  It’s where I spent the entire day, on a silent meditation retreat.  I’d never been on anything like this before.  I’ve spent weekends at yoga workshops practicing meditation and pranayama but never a whole day of meditating and being silent.  If you’ve known me for very long you know that I have the tendency to be, well…a chatter box.  This has shifted quite a bit over the last several years though.  I’m hoping I’m a much better listener than I used to be.

We started our day in that white barn that you see.  It has been converted into a bed and breakfast if you will.  Complete with a kitchen, public use room and bedrooms that were private and what not.  This piece of property has three buildings.  The barn, the yellow house that you see that used to be a milk house and a neat stone house where some nuns still reside.  This property also has several acres, a few beautiful gardens, a huge rock, and a stream that runs through the entire place.  Beautiful location.  And just a short drive from my house.  Who knew?  I want to go back here again.

We started out as a group meditating upstairs in a public use area.  I led us through some gentle yoga stretching to prepare for our sit.  We sat for awhile as a group together.  I don’t know how long.  I quit wearing a watch when I quit punching a time clock and purchased my video store.  After our group sit, we were free to continue sitting indoors, or go outside.  We all went outside.  The morning started out cloudy and a bit on the dewy side, but it cleared off nicely for the afternoon.  A few  of us chose walking meditation like we do at the studio.  Some of chose to sit on the benches by the water, or rest in the hammocks on the property.  I chose walking meditation with my camera and it was awesome.

Walking and meditating.  One person did this barefoot, awesome!

The creek.  Sun reflecting on the water.

Frodo.  Take me away.

A view of one of the beautiful gardens.

Someone asked me the other day why I meditated.  What did I get out of it?  And was it worth it?  My only answer at the time was that I liked it.  That question reeled out of control for the rest of my day as I continued to think about it.  I like the way I feel afterwards.  I like the way I feel while I’m meditating.  I like uncluttering and clearing  the junk in my mind.  I like the mental clarity that goes with that after I’m finished.   I’ve received answers to questions that I haven’t asked yet and that can be kind of scary.  I’ve also received explanations to things that have happened in my life.   And perhaps why they happened in the order that they have.  It’s cool, it really is.  And I do see now why some people come to class a few times and never return.  There’s a truth that happens during meditation not at all unlike the truth that you experience on the yoga mat.  It can seriously creep you out.

 

I left the retreat about two and a half hours early.  I had to teach a yoga class at MSU that evening and I didn’t want to stress out about it, or be in a hurry.  When I arrived home our son was at work and my husband and daughter were fishing together.  I was thankful.  I had a few hours to spend in silence and adjust to the tasks that had to be done in due time. 

So.  Do I quit meditating and forget all this stuff that keeps coming up over and over again?  Or do I stick with it?  Do I follow my heart and deal with the pain and other feelings as they present themselves?  I’ve answered my own question already.  I’m not qutitting.  I’m sitting with it.  Where I’m going with this I have no idea and I actually kind of like it that way.  I’ve lived my life without a plan for a long time now and it seems to suit me quite well.  I know that if I have enough money for today, I will be OK.  I know that if I have my health at this moment, everything is damn near perfect.  I know that if I get a “thank you” after I teach a yoga class that that’s all I really need for the rest of the week.  It’s all good.

I’m staying on the path.  It’s a good thing and I’m happy about it. 

 At the moment anyways and that’s all that counts really.


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Lunar Energy

Last night was clear with minimal clouds.  The moon was framed in the branches of our gigantic walnut tree and there were a few bright stars out as well.  You can see one to the left in the photo.  By the time I decided to play with the camera, a ring showed up around the moon and the air started to feel damp.  I like noticing these things.  I like feeling connected to my surroundings.  The weather got quite warm and the sun was out yesterday in the late afternoon.  I hopped in our hammock swing, kicked my shoes off and let my bare feet touch the cool earth.

I had a quiet day, doesn’t happen very often.  Both of the kids were gone and Frank was out in the woods.  There were several things I needed to catch up on around here.  But instead, I found myself distracted.  Luckily, that passed quickly and I was able to get back on task.

This evening, someone I know is offering yet another Restorative Yoga class.  I’m going.  I need it as prep for the holiday.

Risk-taking, trust and serendipity are key ingredients of joy.  Without risk, nothing new ever happens.  Without trust, fear creeps in.  Without serendipity, there are no surprises. -Rita Golden-Gelman, Tales of a Female Nomad