In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Whoa. Has it really been this long since I blogged? I guess it has been. I think when you’re unhappy or too focused on something, that you actually quit doing the things you love. Enough said. That’s what happened to me. I slowed way down on yoga. I quit blogging entirely. I focused on where I wanted to be and what I needed to do. I said it out loud to people that I knew. The universe finally dropped it in my lap. Sort of. Not without my help of course. It has been exhausting.

I think I have a ten year attention span for things. Things like jobs. Things like relationships. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m done trying to figure it out. All I know is that where I was – was where I didn’t need to spend the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t a bad, dark, evil place. I just knew in my heart I needed and wanted something different. And I got it. Finally!

You may remember I cleaned a movie theater for an entire year or more. It sucked but it got me the money I needed to be where I am right now. I’ve had a dream of owning my OWN place for a very, very long time now. And I’m happy to say that – that time is pretty much now. For as I write this, I pen from my computer on my OWN sun porch in the house that I bought with my own blood, sweat and tears. Nothing has felt more complete. Huge stress on the nothing, that’s for sure.

I’ve been on a house search for years now. A secret house search that my husband was unaware of. I know. I’m terrible. I knew what kind of place I wanted to live in. I knew how I wanted to live. The place I landed at with him just wasn’t cutting it. In more ways than one. So. I saved some cash. I got a full time job that doesn’t pay super great, but it pays enough. I don’t need nor do I want a lot anymore. I like simplicity. Food. Shelter. Gas. You get my drift.

A few years ago I found a house. I loved it. My parents had this great realty lady. She showed me the home. I told her my yoga income and all the sources from which it came. Not a happy thing. So. I kept looking at homes. I kept searching for a full time job. I got the job. And in March of this year, I got the house. It had been listed for two whole days. I’d been getting extremely antsy. I wanted to move. I wanted a bungalow that wasn’t too old. One that wasn’t too big. One that didn’t need too much work. I wanted a garage. A fireplace with windows on either side and a pretty, but small kind of yard. Too much too ask? Pretty much. I started looking at houses openly once I told my husband of my intentions. So with my daughter in tow, we looked. We looked in great hoods, we looked in bad hoods. I was about to give up. And then I told her this. I told her we will find a place just for us, in a place that we never considered living. It will have everything we need and everything we want. She rolled her eyes and pretty much told me we would be moving to the ghetto.
I laughed and seriously thought she might be correct. I thought about getting a gun and the permit that would be necessary to carry it in one of those purses we sell at my work. I hate guns.

We found a house. It was on the NORTH side. OMG I know. How would I deal with the flack? How could I leave my lovely, clicky neighborhood of Phelps Grove Park? Easily. That’s how. It just felt fantastic from the get go. The house had everything I wanted with the exception of a fireplace with windows on both sides. But it does have a gas fireplace which I have learned to use and totally love!
house

It was spur of the moment. We were out looking at several ranch style homes in the center of town in the school district that we needed. I said I’d like to view this one so I can forget about it because it’s on the north side…lol. Off we went. It was perfect. Then the realtor said, “What a shame, it’s such a pristine property, I can’t let you live over here with your daughter all alone.” OK. The street’s a bit janky. There are about 5 homes on this street that are vacant. But you know what? It’s freaking quiet as hell. Long story short she finally said, “Let’s walk.” So we did. First house we hit was a dude wearing a bathrobe. He was smoking on his front porch at 2 p.m. Child molester? Probably. Turns out he was a bartender at Parlor 88 where she’d had a party a few weeks ago and he remembered her. He had just got out of bed. OK. Good sign. Let’s walk some more. So we did. We met several folks, most elderly and most had lived here for like 45 years. Rock on. We sat on the couch in the house, we checked the crime reports. Pretty much about the same as the hood I was leaving. My thoughts were, we’re buying the house. And so we did.

We’ve lived here for almost one month now and I don’t think I’ll ever get unpacked. I have a shop out back that measures 18×30 so that pretty much takes care of all the clutter. I have a carport and an attic. I have a fenced in yard and dog door for my animals. I have a garden shed with skylights and a beautifully landscaped but small enough to take care of kind of yard. I have hardwoods and carpet and an awesome bathroom and kitchen as well as a big front porch. Built in 1954 when ranches were a big deal, but it looks like an older bungalow. The place was completely remodeled in 2009. How lucky are we?

I think when we say things out loud they are more apt to come to us. No lie. I did a lot to help this along the way, but I also put it out there into the universe. I waited. I worked. I saved. The people that lived here before me had a lot of crystals, rocks and books on Reiki. I told Lauren that I thought that these were “our people” and oddly enough she agreed. She’s 16 and she’s probably smarter than I give her credit for.

So. If you’re not afraid to travel through the ghetto to the “north side” stop by and clink some glasses on my back deck, front porch or kitchen. Life is amazing when you just let it unfold. Cheers.

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Earth Day, Yoga Day

For the last several years, I have been responsible for bringing one of my favorite yoga instructors to town.  I do the promoting, and all the arrangements.  This year we closed our studio and one of the guys that taught with us opened his own place.  He has a beautiful studio but it’s just not the same of course.  Meaning it’s not downtown in the heartbeat of the city.  But none the less it’s awesome. 

Since this was his studio, I let him take care of all of the event stuff.  That also meant that he would receive the split of cash and I was very much OK with that.  All I had to do was write a check and show up this year.  I didn’t have to check people in, I didn’t have to meet the caterer when she brought lunch.  I didn’t have to make sure folks were feeling OK – too hot or too cold?  Who cares?  I was taking the class.  And a great class it was.  What a way to celebrate Earth Day with Thomas.  Nothing like 6 hours of yoga to make you feel vibrant and ready for spring.  Thanks  Thomas – see you again in November.

yoga kirsten 3 yoga kirsten 1 yoga kirsten 2

 


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Punching The Time Clock

Tonight I taught my last Tuesday night class at the hospital in Mt. Vernon, MO.  I’ve been driving there for a tad over a year now on Tuesday and Thursday nights to teach.  This Thursday will be my last evening to teach there.  Last week was my last week at the YMCA downtown and my last week to teach at Immaculate Conception school.  It feels weird.  I’ve been teaching yoga for at least 10 years now, maybe a bit more.  I love it.  I really do and I’m also pretty good at it.  But in the town I reside in I really have to drive from one location to another to teach as much as I want to.  That said, I was starting to feel burned out but didn’t realize that’s what it was.  Yet. 

I actually started looking for jobs last year at this time.  I ran across seasonal employment and a couple of things that would’ve required me to totally give up yoga.  I was like no way.  What I did do was participate in a medical study (which was way cool and I’d like to do another one someday) and I did take a job cleaning.  Several of you know I’ve been cleaning a movie theatre for almost a year now.  It started out to be a weekend job which turned into Fridays as well.  I actually ditched teaching a Friday morning yoga class to clean.  I know what you’re thinking.  Kirsten has lost her mind.

Maybe I have, or already did.  I don’t know.  I also started cleaning a cool office building a couple of nights per week.  Why?  Because I passed it on my way home from teaching yoga in Mt. Vernon.  But now I’m not going to clean it anymore as it’s out of my way.  I also picked up a small office and one more large building that I clean every Saturday.  I take my kid and teach her what you have to do in order to buy lunch at the mall.  So far, so good. 

Cleaning can be really meditative.  When the theatre isn’t totally trashed, it’s very quiet and peaceful and I have lots of time to think.  Cleaning isn’t always mindless though.  Sometimes you have to play maintenance person and sometimes you have to shift gears and play security.  One time I was supposed to be playing security and didn’t shift gears fast enough.  Just imagine if you were the boss and received a text that said, “I just gave my alarm code to the Russian translator.”  I won’t even elaborate on this, but you proably get the general idea.  It was all cool in the end.

Cleaning it turns out is a lot like yoga in the driving department.  For the past several months I have been teaching 10 yoga classes per week (at 5 different locations) and cleaning (at 4 different locations) as well.  And to make matters even worse, three more places recently called me to teach yoga but I couldn’t do it.  Why you say?  Because everyone wants their yoga classes at the same time.  If I could clone myself I could have a sweet yoga career, financially speaking.

Since I am old and getting even older as I type this, I knew I needed to make a shift.  I’ve applied for so many jobs it’s not even funny.  I have every job search engine you can imagine saved on my computer.  I’ve applied through Craig’s List and elsewhere, you name it.  I’ve gone on several job interviews.  One interview (this was hilarious) was at a hotel.  There were 1,000 people  there to apply for 85 jobs or something like that.  I didn’t get that job, or any of the other ones either.  I usually got an email back that said “Thanks but no thanks.”  Most of the time I didn’t get any response at all.  A lot of the jobs I applied for weren’t even real, but you couldn’t tell that until after you spent 30 minutes of your life filling out crap online, only to be redirected to some employment web site.

At least when I went in for the interview for my cleaning job (which I did get and still have) she actually asked me what in the heck was I doing in her office and why I wanted to clean.

On my birthday, I applied for a job on Craig’s List, on a whim mind you.  I found out the day after my birthday that I closed my email out so fast that it didn’t go through.  So I resent it.  I had my birthday lunch with my yoga teacher and told her my ideal work situation would be this.  Read on – I could work full-time and have full paid benefits.  I could wear jeans (very important)!  It would be close to my house.  I would be able to leave and go teach my noon yoga classes at the new recreation center at MSU.  I wouldn’t have to work late at night if at all.  The job I wanted to take wouldn’t be in a cubicle at a massive corporation, nor would it be big time retail.  My teacher asked me where I wanted to work and I told her I had no idea.  We both laughed.

Later on that very same lunch day, I got a call for a job interview.  It was at a place that I’d frequented but never thought about working at.  The interview went well.  It seemed too good to be true, so I didn’t get too excited.  The job offered (get this) everything that I mentioned above aobut my dream job situation.  I went back and talked to them again.  Then I started to get a little excited.  They offered to let me come in and work a little between yoga classes to see if I liked it before I gave anything up.  After the first day there I was making arrangements for other people to take over my classes.  Just like that.  In a heartbeat.  My life has shifted.

Starting next week I will be working this job full-time.  They close at 6 and I will only work Monday through Friday so I can clean on the weekends if I want to.  I will be teaching 3 to 4 yoga classes per week.  I think it’s important to voice out loud on occasion to others what we want and what we might be looking for, even if what we’re looking for seems out of reach.  Hopefully I’ve found that balance between passion, personal growth and finances.  Perhaps this is what I’ve been searching for but didn’t realize it. 

I don’t seem to be grieving over the loss of teaching so many yoga classes.  I actually feel relieved.  I am taking that as a good sign in the right direction.  

 

 


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Yoga Rocks

A few weeks ago I had some energy I needed to release.  I love yoga and it’s a good way to gain and let go of energy.  It can work either way for me depending on what I choose to practice.  So.  I wasn’t really feeling angry or anything, I just felt…..I don’t know.  Like rockin’ out.

So.  I threw down my yoga mat and put on some classic rock and roll.  I know what you’re thinking.  What kind of yoga practitioner/teacher is this?  The non-traditional kind I would guess.  But.  I wasn’t teaching a class was I?  I was simply throwing down my mat and throw down I did.  To AC/DC. 

I didn’t meditate obviously.  That would’ve been mighty hard to do with Back In Black blaring in the background as, yes indeed it was.  I decided on sun salutations, the perfect way to release pent up energy and sweat at the same time.  All the while – while staying incredibly calm.  It worked.  Totally.

As I cruised through the greatest hits and others from AC/DC , I couldn’t help but think this.  What if right now, this was a real yoga class with this kind of music?  Hilarious!  I like music in a yoga class.  In fact I use it in almost all of my classes.  I won’t ever forget the first time I had my class totally choreographed to a CD and then low and behold the CD player didn’t work.   Hence was the first time I had to teach without music.  From then on I told myself I’d never choreograph another class and I really haven’t.  Though I still like to teach with music and take a class with music, I’ve learned to take it or leave it.  I’ve learned to teach without it and at times the silence is very welcoming.

Back to my experience of yoga and AC/DC.  As I cruised through, I don’t know how many sun salutes and strong standing postures I started to think.  What if we actually opened a heavy metal yoga studio?  We could call it Metallic Yoga or something like that.  My imagination started running wild with crazy ideas.  What if all the students had to wear spandex or some form?  What if all the teachers had to have big, rock and roll hair?  Everyone would have to have a bandana tucked into their pants or on their heads.  In our boutique we could sell ripped up tank tops with big arm holes.  Only for the women of course, because the dudes could wear a vest or go topless.  We could offer yoga mats with lightning bolts, skulls or roses painted on them.  I’m sure we could find a student who would do the art work for free.  We could sell black and black light nail polish.  Big skull/crossbones and snake finger rings.  We could place a big chain around everyone’s neck upon entry.  Chains that we would charge a rental fee for of course, but a mandatory rental fee.  We could gauge the integrity of their Chatarunga (yoga push up) by the clanking of the chain on the floor.  Too loud means you went too low and too fast and so on.  We could offer an Alice Cooper and Kiss class.  This of course would include yoga in full facial make up, eye liner, white paste, the whole deal.  Maybe we could offer wigs and goatees and mustaches as well because, they’re in you know. 

Of course this would have to be a fairly intense class because of the nature of the music.  I’m thinking for our softer postures, and I’m talking the stuff we do on the floor like forward bends and twists and such, we could play a long, drawn out instrumental.  I was thinking Eruption by Eddie Van Halen, but then I changed my mind.  We could go with Jeff Beck’s Bolero instead, a little less intense.  Yeah, that would work.  And maybe for final relaxation we could break out Led Zeppelin’s Going To California and Tangerine or something. 

We could play the Allman Brothers instrumental Jessica on constant replay as our signature welcome to our studio song.   What would we have to pay out in royalties?  It wouldn’t matter.  We would be rockin’ our yoga in a space of at least 8,000 square feet with rent of $5,ooo per month and we would still have a ton of dough left over.  We could spend a fortune in dry ice and fog the place out in a theatrical haze.  Instead of cute little lamps we could use Lava Lamps in a variety of colors.  The studio would be painted black of course and be located preferably underground.  Like a basement for sure.

Then the CD quit.  I rested in my sweaty shavasana/relaxation for 15 minutes.  I left the cloud of rock and roll and re-entered the real world when my dog decided to lick my fingers and one of my cats decided to dig her claws into my foot.  Ouch.  Wake up call.  What in the hell just happened?   I suppose I just had a dream but I was awake.  And Wide Awake I was. 

Hey.  Isn’t that a song by Katy Perry?  Oh wow.  Now we’re opening studios depending on the genre of the music!  I may be onto something here.  Ahead of my time and exhausted just thinking about it.

What did I do next?  I put on Alanis Morrisette and cleaned my house.  Acoustic version if I may add.

For those about to rock……………we salute you!


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Seriously Sushi

I am still cleaning.  And I am cleaning more than I ever thought that I would. 

When I started cleaning the IMAX theater, it was just Saturdays and Sundays.  That’s now turned into Fridays too.  I also clean there on Thursdays whenever needed.  I’ve decided that I have a tendency towards craving and aversion with the theater.  Total love hate relationship for sure.  When I wake up at 4 in the morning and drag myself out of bed, I often ask myself, “What was I thinking?”  But that goes away pretty quickly.

I don’t have to look good and I can wear whatever I want.  I have also lost 11 pounds since I started this job.  Woo Hoo!  I am getting an amazing workout and I am getting paid to do it!  Very cool.  I can pretty much run up and down the IMAX stairs now, without the fear of tripping over a cord and breaking my neck.  I’ve learned what I can and cannot sweep up.  For instance, napkins, straws, soda pop bottle lids, licorice and the plastic that 3-D glasses come packaged in, can pretty much wreck your day.  What I can sweep up pretty much and a lot of, is this.

I mean really.  This is actually a minor popcorn spill compared to some that I’ve seen.  I do realize accidents can and will happen.  I think otherwise.  So bascially, I hate to admit it, but yes.  I’ve developed a bad attitude towards 80% of the movie going public in general.  Some people leave everything they bought or brought inside the theater.  The stuff that people bring in there is mind blowing.  Curious?   I thought so.

Bottles of liquor – all sizes.  I even found an empty fifth of 7 & 7.  If it wouldn’t have been empty, I would’ve been tempted to finish it off.  Granted it would’ve been like 5:30 a.m……just kidding.  Cans of beer in lots of cool and interesting varieties.  Lots and lots of Skoal, in cans and unfortunately in spit cups.  Gross!  Packs of cigarettes, brand new and opened.  Some folks don’t/can’t eat the popcorn shell, or kernels.  So they chew up the popcorn and then just spit out the kernels on the floor!  I know, gross.  The kind people put it in a napkin and leave it there for us.  The really kind people, take it to the trash can on the way out.  Lots of candy, some of it brand new in the box.  All I know is this.  If I paid $5 for a box of candy, I’m taking it with me when I leave that place!  Jackets.  Cell Phones.  iPods.  Hats.  Debit and Credit Cards.  Spare change.  Thank you all for the tip.  Please leave more, we totally deserve it! 

The list goes on.  Wallets.  Hair bows, bobby pins and headbands.  Dirty kleenexes.  Fingernails.  I know.  I guess 50% of the public actually bite their nails at the movies.  I suppose they think that those things just disappear when the lights come on.  Food wrappers from Subway, Steak-N-Shake, McDonald’s (fries still intact).  The biggest and funniest thing I’ve found so far was this.  A round sushi tray, complete with chop stix and two artifical flowers.  Awe.  What a sweet date night!  But really, that thing was the size of a pizza pan.  Speaking of pizza.  One time we tossed out 14 pizza boxes from the IMAX and found pizza slices on the floor.  I often wonder what was the average age of the people who saw the movie the night before.  Is it only kids who trash the theater in this way?  I don’t think so.

Let me tell another little story.  I am in line at the grocery store.  Some ladies are talking about going to the movies.  They said they took their grandkids and just told them to leave all their crap in the theater because it was so incredibly expensive.  Nice.  I was very tempted to say, “Hey.  The theater has to pay a cleaning company to pick that crap up and maybe that’s why the treats are so high!  The longer it takes us, the more it costs them.  But I get paid by the hour, so go ahead, leave it all.  Please drop a $5 with that mess if you don’t mind.”  But I kept my mouth shut.

I like the job.  I do.  I also started cleaning another place, a commercial building.  It is sheer heaven compared to the theater.  I think cleaning anything would be heaven compared to the theater.  But I had no idea because this is all new to me.  Well.  I have seen that film Sunshine Cleaning, so that would be worse I guess!

Yoga is still rockin’.  I drove to Mt. Vernon yesterday and did a restorative class for 2 1/2 hours so that was pretty decent dough.  I am thankful I have yoga and I am thankful I can clean when I’m not doing yoga.  I love the idea of being flexible and getting into something I really never considered doing.  I have met so many cool people through this job. 

For instance.  I clean with one person that’s just about totally deaf.  I’ve cleaned with one person who’s also a probation officer and worked as a corrections officer.  I’ve cleaned with single mom’s, college students, high school students and people with a couple of degrees.   I totally think differently about people who clean for a living now, that’s for sure.

Off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday.  The theater’s clean, but I teach yoga at 4:00.  Did I mention that I don’t have a complete day off anymore?  Big deal.  I am heading to Florida on June 11th and will be gone with my kid until the 27th.  And I am really appreciating the fact that I’m going on vacation this year, much more than the year’s gone past.  My brother is flying to Florida as well and it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen him so this is going to be a super cool and very fun time.


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Nature of Yoga

I’m stalling. 

It’s raining here and it’s raining where I’m supposed to be traveling to here in a bit. 

I am scheduled to teach yoga for the next four days in Arkansas, on a mountaintop, at a music festival.  I wanted my sister to come up and go with me.  That was the original plan.  But someone asked her to have 8 chairs reupholstered by the end of the month.  So her travel plans were pretty much nixed.  I am going alone.  In a tent.  For 4 nights.  The good news is this weather will be over by tonight and the next 4 days ahead look absolutely fabulous.

I started a new yoga job last week at the Rehab Hospital in Mt.Vernon, MO.  What a great place and what awesome people!  They turned the chapel there into a wellness center and it is really lovely.  I like the way they left the stained glass windows as they do not have any religious connotation to them.  The healing garden outside the entry is really pretty as well.

I think I may get to add a couple more classes there.  The one I started is pretty full so there’s talk of possibly adding another class right after the one I’m teaching now.  And the maintenance guys need to stretch too, so I’m told.  But they don’t want to go to a class called yoga.  I suggested we call it Maintenance for Men.  We’ll see what happens.  I love how my job opens up new possibilites all of the time. 

Just look where I’m headed here shortly!  All because I teach a free class on Tuesday mornings and an event planner attended the class.  Looking forward to just teaching yoga one hour a day for the next four days.  The rest of the time?  I’ll be reading, napping, visiting, hiking and listening to music and enjoying the great outdoors.

I’m sure I’ll have some great things to blog about when I return.


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Get Your Groupon!

Whoa.

We just put out our second Groupon at the yoga studio where I teach. 

If you have a small business I think Groupon is a cool way to spread the word.  Groupon is something you sign up for and it comes in your e-mail box almost every day when there’s a deal in your area.  You have about 24 hours I think to purchase the deal, then it closes.  We received a decent response from the first Groupon so we thought we’d try again.   This one was a different offering.  An offering of 24 classes for $24 with a six month expiration date.  Our response has been crazy.  So much that I actually had someone teach for me last night. 

I know.  That’s pretty lame.  I taught 3 classes on Monday and in between each class all I did was this.  Answer my cell phone and return e-mails and texts from Groupon folks.  Tuesday was pretty much a rerun.  I only had one morning class on Tuesday.  After that I spent the rest of the day returning calls and e-mails.  I picked the kids up from school, I made dinner and did a little grocery shopping too.  Twice on the last one because I forgot something on the list like I always do.  Classic Kirsten style.  By the time my evening class came around I was exhausted.  I was supposed to teach at 6, but I let someone else do it for me.  I was spent and needed to wind down.

The phone has not quit ringing yet.  I decided to put up a  Groupon holder information page on our website to help with all of this talking.  It’s working.  People are e-mailing and sending a text message to reserve their spot in class.  Cool.  I like it when I have decent ideas and they actually work!

I am off from teaching all day tomorrow.  Good deal.  I will be able to use my cell here at the house instead of while I’m walking in to teach a class or driving down the road.  It’s amazing to see so many people interested in yoga.  I’ve been teaching a FREE class at the studio for two years now and though that class is large, it’s nothing like the fall out from the Groupon.  We sold a total of 448 and that’s quite a few.  I had no idea there were that many people in our area even interested in the practice. 

One of us even received a phone call about whether nude yoga classes were available.  Not the first time that’s happened.  I think if anyone out there is interested in starting a nude yoga class, there’s a niche for it.  It might just be the million dollar income you’ve been looking for.  Don’t look for me to be teaching that one, but you just never know.  I might show up in your class.