Friday, February 29, 2008

72 Hours and Counting

Five years, and 72 hours ago, I went into labor with The Kid. Yes, that's right. I said 72 hours of real, bona-fide labor. And, no, I'm not joking. I have a Douala, Aqua Man, my doctor, the hospital staff, and numerous friends and family to back me up. If brought up, there are still several family and friends who, to this day, will say "Wow, remember how LONG you were in labor??!! We were waiting, and waiting, and waiting and waiting.We thought you'd NEVER have that baby!" You thought? (Now, just to be clear, in many, many ways, I lobbied for this type of birthing experience. And, also, in many, many ways my birthing experience wasn't anything that I could have ever anticipated, length wise, and other. For me, this was my birthing experience, and I respect if for what it was. But it does blow my mind to remember.)

Aqua Man and I still disagree, five years later, on the labor time frame. He insists that I was actually-from the first moment of labor to when The Kid was delivered-in labor for 78 hours.

For whatever reason, I just can't handle adding on those extra six hours, although he may be right. I have the exact moment of when my labor began somewhere in a journal, but I've blocked it out (Where I put the journal, and the time frame!). I just don't want to internalize more hours, so I've conveniently rounded it down to a mere 72 hours, which apparently, my psyche can handle, thank you very much.

So at some point, five years ago, and 72 hours worth of labor, I gave birth to our beautiful baby boy, The Kid. And now, on this coming Sunday he turns 5 years old. Yes, that's right. Five years ago, I went into labor very early on a Friday morning, and The Kid was born on a Sunday evening. Do I know how to party, or what?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What Worry Feels Like

It feels like a sharp, twangy pain inside my left shoulder cap, and runs across and down the left side of my lower neck and shoulder blade. Just in case you were wondering, there you go. I had Aqua Man drive The Kid to school this morning because turning my head, shifting gears, and generally just sitting up for extended periods were not on my "to-do" list. Grrrrr. I have the tendency to be a I-don't-feel-good-something-is-hurting-me-but-I-still-have-to-get-things
person. So today may be all about annoying myself. Hooray! Although intense pain has a way of making a person mellow, just a leeetle bit, and I take the pain in my neck, back, and shoulders very seriously, in that I listen to it and know not to push it. It's been so long since I've felt this shoulder/neck/back pain that I actually forgot what it was like before I started practicing yoga three years ago--it used to be frequent and intense, and often my back would "give out." I am so freakin' grateful that I don't feel like that all of the time, anymore. I know with some restorative and gentle yoga stretches and breathing today that I'll be able to loosen up the area and get some relief.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What's Your Dosha, Baby.

Last night instead of vegging out in front of the TV, again, I decided to flip through the latest issue of Yoga Journal and read the article "Pampering with Purpose" by Hillari Dowdle. Considering that I haven't had my haircut in months, my nails look like I've been constantly gardening, or such activity-which I assure you, I haven't been-and that the closest I've come to a "spa treatment" is just brushing my teeth, I'd say I was living very vicariously through this article.

Although I don't frequent spas, (but, hey, I'm not opposed to them. I'm just saying, you know, in case the universe wants to send me on an all inclusive spa-trip.) I am starting to learn more about Ayurveda approaches, and thought this was an interesting article. The author gave a web address to Yoga Journal's on-line site, which will lead you here where you can take a quiz to identify your dominant Dosha(s). You'll also find other links on that page where you can learn more about Doshas and yoga.

So, I took the quiz and my dominant Dosha is a pitta with vata as a close second. I wasn't too surprised to discover this. Although, honestly, I didn't realize I was so intense most (read: all) of the time. Aqua Man assures me that I am. That must be why he's always like, "Hey, are you going to yoga class/getting ready to practice yoga at home? You are? THAT'S GREAT!"

How about you? What's your Dosha?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

At The End of The Pier

After dropping The Kid off at school this morning, I drove straight to the river park and walking path to sneak in a quick walk before I went home to get some things done. I needed the stress relief, big time. This Friday will be a day which will give Aqua Man and I more information about whether we will be staying here, in this city, or whether we will be relocating to another state, all together. And if the latter is the case, that move could happen very, very fast. I am excited and nervous; he is excited and nervous.

In the midst of all of the reality, I've made the choice to hold off on pitching new freelance work until the end of the week, but no matter the outcome, whether we stay here, or we move, I'll have to pull in more work. Either way, though, my work will shift, but each place will require different ways in which this will happen, almost all of which, I have no idea what that will really mean until I'm in it. I fully support this move, and believe that equally exciting opportunities will open up for me as a result of it, but it still leaves a lot of big details to come together. It's just a lot of unknowns, maybes and possibilities, right now. All of which are equally exciting and scary. Also, The Kid is turning 5 years old this Sunday. 5 years old! This is just blowing my mind, and giving me plenty to reflect on, as well. Knowing that these "big days" are approaching at the end of the week makes for some interesting ups and downs.

So, with all of this on my mind, I walked until I was eventually able to loosen my grip on my thoughts, and to just enjoy the surroundings. I didn't plan it, but when I eventually tired of walking, I was drawn to the end of the pier. And once on the end of the pier, I was drawn to do some light yoga and stretching, which then led me to a 20-minute sitting meditation practice.

At first I held back a little-a bit self-conscious of who might be looking at me-but slowly I got over that, and it was awesome to be outside practicing. The birds were flying and diving into the water, a rowing crew rowed by, the wind was steadily blowing, leaves were swirling at the end of the pier, and I could hear metal chimes ringing from across the other side of the river. And I felt intimately a part of it all. I was in my own little space, breathing my own mantra in and out, while connected to every ripple of the river, every bird, and every gust of wind. It was just a divine moment of unexpected peace.

The hardest part was coming out of meditation and leaving the outdoors. I truly felt like I could have stayed in meditation for the rest of the day, just breathing and sitting in stillness at the end of that pier. On my walk back to my car, the serenity and peace I had felt was quickly followed by a bit of sadness at leaving that space. I didn't want to go back home, be by myself, sitting inside, and face my work, my tasks, my to-do list.

I'm taking this feeling of being psychically separated from my serenity as a challenge and a lesson. The challenge, I think, is to find this serenity even when I'm not at the end of that pier-even in the face of to-do lists, and things that I might not want to do. I know this serenity always lies within me-as I believe it's in each one of us.

Sitting in my home office right now, typing this post, I can suddenly hear my neighbor's wind chimes ringing, birds chirping, and the blowing leaves, and I am transported back to the end of that pier, when I felt at peace and a part of everything. I wonder, was that chime ringing the whole time I was writing?

And there in lies my lesson, I think: I choose my focus. I can focus on the chitta in my mind, or I can just acknowledge it, and let it go. I can choose to bring myself to calming thoughts. Over, and over, and over, again, (yup, sometimes, its just like that), I can come back to the calm that already lies within.

Monday, February 25, 2008

You Don't Have To Tell Me Twice

I took this photo at the small river front path that is just four blocks from our house, although we can also access the river just one block away. I discovered this area and came upon this sign during the first walk I took while exploring our new neighborhood almost two years ago.

I walked down our street and wound around the corner to discover an opening slightly covered by bushes and trees that then revealed the riverfront. I stepped from the street onto the grass walking path and the feeling instantly changed; it was a bit darker, and the air was slightly cooler. I could see birds flying and sitting on the water, yet there was a strange stillness to the overall atmosphere. I instantly noted the change, but was still mostly thinking, la, la, la. I'm taking a walk, and chilling out. This is so cool to live somewhere so different from where I've lived before, and... whaaaaattttt??!! ALLIGATOR??!! A-l-l-i-g-a-t-o-r???? No, for real. An alligator?!?! Holy Shit!

Now, for those of you who have lived in places where alligators are commonplace this sign would, of course, not be a shocking discovery. But, having previously lived in places that have no alligators nearby--zip, zero--I couldn't believe that this sign was for real. I mean, alligators living in the water about four blocks away? Yes, yes that's right. Well…that’ll put a new twist on outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, and just talking a walk along the water. Wow.

This sign makes me wonder though, what if all potential dangers or repercussions were posted as clearly and prominently in life? Would you take the warning of potential danger or repercussions into consideration before entering into a situation, or making a decision? Would a sign so blatant as this, warning of potential dangers, keep you from traveling down a certain path? Do you think that there are times when warnings have been given to you this clearly in life, but you decided to tune them out and go down a certain path anyway?

I know that in the course of my life, I've ignored some blatant warning signs in different areas of my life. I can look back and see that, although small at first, warnings were often present, and I might have missed them at first. Sometimes, over time, those warning signs would grow larger and more frequent, if I continued to ignore them. And on many occasions, I still choose to ignore them. Live and learn, is how I view those experiences, and I take them forward into my life today.

But when it comes to this sign? Sure thing! No, problem. You got it! This is one warning sign that I will definitely heed.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Happy, Calm, Content

That's how I feel when I look at these flowers. Like everything is going to be okay, no matter. It's a welcome shift in my mood today, as I've been a bit moody, and easy to let fear creep in, slowly churning into a bit of anxiety over the unknown. But when I see these flowers, I don't know, I just have this great response. I slow down a bit, and breathe a little deeper. And soon I begin to realize that everything is already okay, just the way it is. Even in the face of great uncertainty, I am reminded that I can still access the calm within, if I choose to do so.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ummm, Something Up With Blogger?

It's Friday morning and I just put up a post. It took me several attempts to even see it appear on my blog. Then when it did, it was posted under Thursday, instead of Friday. Bummer, since I sent out good wishes for a happy Friday, and it's, um, filed under Thursday.

So, lets try this again.....a happy Friday to all!

Now, let's see where this post ends up.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

(Another) Dynamic Duo

Sure, they are an odd pair, but they look good together.....

 Alert, and ready to spring into action, they are.....
(Another) Dynamic Duo! 

Fish beware. 

(Taken last week at the nearby river park and walking path. This one just makes me giggle.)

Here's wishing all a good evening!


It comes in many forms in my life, but resistance is one of the most present issues that I have to be mindful of, and more often than not, I feel as if I'm trying really hard to overcome it. Which, of course, is counterproductive because even trying to overcome resistance can become its own form of resistance. *jeez*

Learning to observe and just let go of resistance rather than engaging its essence, is really where its at, me thinks. Much easier said than done though, for sure.

Earlier this week, while flipping through books and on-line journals, I found an article at Yoga Journal about overcoming resistance. A few ideas in this piece resonated with me, so I thought I'd pass it on (I have a "Take what you like and leave the rest" attitude when it comes to reading articles, books, etc.). Perhaps someone else may find something interesting, useful, or helpful in this article, as well.

Wishing all a happy Friday, free of (negative) resistance!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2.3 Seconds of this.....

Yesterday, I was goofing around with arm balance poses, and I was actually able to get into this and hold it. For all of about 2.3 seconds. Now, believe me, it wasn't nearly as pretty as that picture. But, I did it! And it was an awesome 2.3 seconds at that. It was really exciting, and surprising, to discover balance and strength that I didn't know I had. I truly had no idea I could do this. 
Aqua Man and I are going through a really trying time right now regarding work, and a possible relocation. Lots of unknowns and maybes and wait and sees. It has required a lot of mental and spiritual fortitude to stay in the moment, to stay positive and to stay detached from a pre-determined outcome that we may think is "the answer."  Honestly, as the waves of maybes and who-knows have come, I haven't always been able to ride them very smoothly. 

Recently, one of my best friends--I'll call her CaliGirl--sent me an email last week with some words of encouragement. She is very wise and funny and always there to share an honest, strong, and positive mind-frame with me. Her words were few and poignant, and they really resonated with me. So I adopted them as my personal mantra. By now, I've probably repeated them about a thousand times: "I affirm the highest and the best for myself and my family." Over and over I repeat these words. While I'm meditating, and any time my mind wanders to the unknown, or fantasies of what may be, I've brought my mind back to these words; "I affirm the highest and the best for myself and my family." 

I can feel a difference from internalizing these words, a shift in my perspective. A focus on calling into my life-our lives-what ever the highest and the best will be. This feels very different from trying to make something work, or spending my time wanting a particular outcome. When I loosen my resistance and practice this perspective, it is freeing, and surprisingly revitalizing. I'm thinking this internal shift has something to do with me unknowingly cultivating a bit more strength and balance, which I discovered in Side Crane yesterday. 

I so appreciate yoga and the lessons it brings. And I am so grateful for my friend, CaliGirl, who is always, always there, for me and with me, along this crazy journey. I am also grateful to my other friends, near and far, who inspire me in so many ways that they aren't even aware of. 

Oh, yea. And I'm also grateful for coffee cause' I can't live without it. I'm just saying. 

Friday, February 15, 2008

In Bloom

Having lived in places where it is -17 degrees during winter, it still blows my mind that in mid-February there are so many colors in this landscape. For this time of year, it has been crisp and occasionally "chilly," but it is still quite warm, and it is easy to find flowers, plants and trees in bloom. The above photos are just from last week when I took a walk at the nearby river park and walking path.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Feelin' The Love

Normally, I'm not big on Valentines Day. I won't bore you with the usual critique, rather just insert what you imagine I might say about it here (blah, blah, blah). Okay, that being said, (and by "that" I'm referring to "blah, blah, blah") since The Kid has grown older, most of the mainstream, commercial holidays have gotten a bit more fun. (Okay, a lot more fun.) Sure we put our own spin on them, and insert our values, but you know, we get sucked in...

Take today. Aqua Man and I went to pick The Kid up from school together, and when he ran up to us, I was all, "Hi. How was the party? Did you get some Valentine's? Was it fun passing your Valentine's to your friends? Wow! What's in that big bag? CANDY?! Yea!!!!" (This is me getting "sucked in.")

So, when we arrived home, The Kid decided to dump his bag of cards and candy on the floor, and frankly, it was like a mini-Halloween. A PILE of candy. I couldn't believe the elaborate candy bags that people gave. (I just brought strawberries for the class party, as requested. I guess the kids will know the boring house to avoid.) Anyway, we kinda just went old school by having The Kid give his friends small valentine cards, no candy. Instead of candy, The Kid attached Spider man tatoos onto each card. The "twist" was that the cards were um, not very Valentiney. They had scenes from Spider Man 3 (which none of us has ever even seen, by the way) on them that included ailen-like creatures with foaming mouths, razor sharp teeth, bulging eyes, disfigured limbs, and such. (Aqua Man and The Kid picked them out. I wasn't there.) I was laughing about how anti-valentine these cards were when we were filling them out, and thinking, 'Hmmm, perhaps these were for older kids' (Between giggles, I was all, "Um, Aqua Man, did you even look at the box before you bought them?"). It was even funnier tonight when we compared them to the valentines The Kid received from his friends. For the most part, they were sparkly and sweet with sappy sayings and Disney characters--one other super hero--but definately no other snarling creatures. 
 The Kid also received a Valentine from his awesome teacher. She attached cool stickers onto the card, and on the inside there was a riddle. Playing word games is a regular thing that we love to do, so I shouted out to The Kid and Aqua Man. 

"Okay, here's a riddle from Mrs. Awesome Teacher. Ready?" 

"What travels hundreds of miles but never moves?"

Without one moment of hesitation, The Kid screamed out, "HOT DOGS!!!!"   

See what I mean? The holidays are so much more fun. Here's wishing you love and light and laughter in your part of the world, however it comes your way. 


P.S. To any reader who can't stand not knowing, the answer to the riddle is: Highways.   

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lovin' Crow

So, things have a been a little bit stressful lately. And when I say "a little bit," I actually mean a whole lot.

I'm not very good with stress. I mean some stress? Sure, okay. But an onslaught of it? Um, yea, that's not my trademark for being in the zone. Generally speaking, I like to keep things even keel whenever possible, but circumstances don't always agree with this. (Damn circumstances.) Right now, some of the stress is coming from negative sources and some from positive sources, if you will. Overall it just gives me a general feeling of running a bit on the high side and feeling, well, stressed out.

During times of concentrated stress and much to do, I usually end up shortening my home yoga practice. But during stressful times, I also like to focus on balance poses during the time I do practice. Balance poses help me, literally, get in touch with how balanced or imbalanced I may be in the face of said stress.

So, today I focused on this pose. I've been working on this one for over two years. Originally, it took me about one year to get to the place where I could get myself up and not fall over. (Several face plants were part of my early attempts, for sure!) Over the two years time, I see that the "quality" of my pose reflects the quality of my inner mind frame.

So, today, I was amazed and surprised to learn that I was steady, strong, and able to hold Crow Pose for longer than I ever have before. It was a true revelation to learn that even in the face of lots of stress that I am maintaining my inner balance. And it was only through yoga that I was able to get in touch with this. Truly awesome. And I am very grateful for this surprising knowledge. Yea, Crow Pose!

P.S. I also believe my "inner balance" to be in better shape than I suspected because I recently had several lengthy phone calls with one of my best friends--who shall hence forth be referred to as BFF1--and my sis and bro, as well. Aagh, the sweet relief of venting. Thanks BFF1 and siblings!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Morning Mush

This morning, The Kid woke up around 6:30 a.m. which is about an hour earlier than his usual wake up time. I was in the middle of my yoga practice, in the dark, on my mat, when he walked into the room and startled me. Well, actually, we both startled each other. After a short hug and moments of answering his questions about what yoga posture I was doing, and what kind of breathing makes that noise, etc., The kid suddenly perked up and said, "Hey, why aren't you snuggling me in bed, Mommy?" At first I didn't get what he was saying, but then I realized that some mornings, time allowing, I would sit on the side of his bed, rubbing his back, snuggling, and slowly helping to wake him up. But over the months this has been less and less as we've gotten busier, and The Kid has grown.

But this morning, since The Kid was up so early he expected his morning snuggle. He was a bit taken aback that I hadn't thought of it myself (Um, okay, listen. You just walked out. It's still dark. Coffee is a distant thought. Work with me, will you?) Yea, what was I thinking? HELLO! You are awake, I am awake. There-fore I should be snuggling you, not practicing yoga in the dark . Of course, makes perfect sense.

So, we lay down together and after a few moments of quiet, The Kid turned to me and began a word game that we used to play when he was younger.

"Mommy, I love you SOOOOOO much."

"I love you, SOOOOOO much."

"Mommy, I love you one hundred-fifty thousand!"

"Wow. I love you one million!"

"Mommy, I love you fifty million!"

"Well, I love you to the moon and back. "

"Mommy, I love you to Kenya. And to Florida and Chicago and New York."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Nickel Has Landed

I am happy to report that The Kid has survived swallowing a nickel, and is fine and healthy. Yippee! And that's all I'm going to say about that situation!

Now, back to my work...

Wishing readers a good day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Restoration Needed

I'm up and at it a bit earlier than usual this morning in the hope of squeezing in some time to put together ideas for my home yoga practice before everyone wakes up. It's still dark out, and I can hear the wind blowing, a neighbor's wind chime chiming, and slowly a few birds are beginning to wake-up. It's so nice to get up this early, and to have this time to myself.

Two factors influenced me to wake up earlier today and to spend some time both writing and focusing on yoga: stress has been steadily building in several areas of my life lately, and my home yoga practice has become a bit stale. It's sometimes tempting to cut my yoga practice in the short term, but now is when I need it the most.

Last night, when I went to bed, I was thinking about what I might want to practice today. The ideas were mostly focused on arm balances. Today, though, I know what I really need is some restoration to my mind and bodies balance. So, after I drop The Kid off to school I will come home and give myself the time and space--despite my building "to-do" list and the anxiety surrounding it--to take time for my yoga practice. I know from past experience that leaving time for yoga, even in the face of having a lot to do, actually helps me manage the stress better, and ultimately I become more productive and clear minded.

Today, I'll draw on a variety of inspiration to give new life to my home practice. I'll take a few ideas from my studio practice, and here, and here, as well as to just let things evolve for what I may need in the moment. Now, if I can just lay off the coffee this morning so that I can actually lay on the mat...

Here's to restoration!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Who Likes To Win? Raise Your Hand!: The Remix

Well, as I wrote last Monday, The Kid started soccer and his coach is, well, um, a little...hyper. So practice was again yesterday, and the kids weren't on the field two minutes before the coach asked for a show of hands revealing those who like to win vs. those who like to lose.

Okay, we get it! You LOVE winning. And your number one coaching goal is to take our 4 and 5 year old children and turn them into lean, mean, winning soccer machines. You dream of us taking our kids home and speaking of nothing but the importance of winning--how great it is; how important it is; how good it feels. All right, already!

Poor guy. It's very comical, actually, as these kids can barely run without falling, tripping (themselves and each other), and talking the whole time. I think this coach might have been better suited to teach older kids who actually understand the fundamentals of the game, and can actually, um, play. Perhaps this would have helped lead him to his ultimate goal of coaching a winning team.

My other favorite "coach" moment from yesterday came from listening to him while he was running a lap with the kids. He yelled out, completely serious, "Come on! Let's go, let's go. If you have the energy to talk, you have the energy to run!" It totally reminded me of the moment from the movie, Reality Bites. You know the part where LeLaina Pierce (Winona Ryder) was being interviewed by the Manager, (David Spade) at the fast-food place? And he said, "If you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean" to an employee as they walked past him during her "tour." 

Yes, it was that ridiculous. Not to mention hilarious.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Five Cents Worth of Scare

Last night The Kid swallowed a nickel while he was in his room--the same damn nickel that we had been telling him ALL DAY LONG to STOP PUTTING IN, NEAR, OR BY HIS MOUTH. The same damn nickel that we had taken away from him earlier in the day. (When he went to bed, he must have taken it and brought it with him as we had no idea that he still had it.) He came running out (thank god), totally freaked out and crying hysterically. We had no idea what had happened to him, and it was a few seconds of being really scared and trying to figure out what was wrong. Thankfully, he was not choking; however he was still able to feel it in his throat, and was totally scared that this object was now inside of his body. We calmed him down, and immediately called our insurance which has a 24-hour nurse available for questions. She ran through what we should and shouldn't do, and what to keep an eye on. Then this morning I called our pediatrician and let her know.

I kept The Kid home with me today in order to make sure things are all good. And now the "fun" begins...and that's all I'm going to say on that front.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Oh, No.

I'm getting a cold/flu. It started last night, and now this morning I'm feeling, not so good. I know, I know. It's not that big of a deal. Besides not wanting to get sick, in general, it's just that Aqua Man's mom is in town visiting, and she is going to take The Kid for a sleep over at his Great-Grandma's place. So, The Kid gets a special night of Grandma and Great-Grandma time. Plenty of spoiling will happen for him tonight!

Aqua Man and I were going to go out alone (yipee!)-something that we rarely do-and now I'm feeling like crap. We also had a family function to attend this afternoon, and guests to entertain back at our house. I know my body and its ability to get over something or get more run down, and right now, I'm feeling the latter.

So, here's my tonic: I'm going to take an easy walk around the block in order to get some sunshine, fresh air, and to raise my immune system. Then, a bit of research. I remember reading an article a few months ago about the benefits of using Apple Cider Vinegar, at the first sign of a cold or flu, in order to help balance your bodies alkaline and pH levels which was said to help your body heal itself. I'd rather try this treatment, first. And if I need something else, later, so be it.

Also, we just found out-three days ago-that Aqua Man's insurance will be changing-and cost $160.00 more per month, beginning March 15th!-and as part of this immediate change over his co-payment card has been cancelled, and a new one has been issued, which we haven't yet received. Um, okay, could you have sent that information out a little quicker regarding the cancellation of cards? What this means is that, as of three days ago, we have to pay out of pocket for any medicine or needed health supplies because our pre-paid, pre-contributed to card has been deactivied until the new one arrives. So far, the mail has not delivered the new card to our mailbox, and today, of course, is the day that some supplies are needed. So all of this will come out of our pocket instead of our pre-paid card. This whole thing with his work's insurance switch is...terrible. The way they told the workers, the lack of choices, the cost. Believe me, though, I realize that we are fortunate to have insurance, especially for our child.

Okay, I better not go down the road of Health Care and Insurance or I'll never get my pH levels balanced! (Healthy thoughts, calming thoughts, healthy thoughts, calming thoughts...)

Wishing a good weekend to all!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Wee-Morning Hour Meditation

I couldn't sleep last night, which is very unusual for me. Those who know me, so know that I can ALWAYS sleep at night. I'm a morning person who pretty much has consistent energy all day until around 7 p.m. That's when my brain starts to shut down, and by 9 p.m., I'm done. I'm tired. And when I'm tired, I can't fake it. I try, though. I smile, I nod, I listen. But...sooner, rather than later, I go down like a ton of bricks. I pretty much have to go to sleep right away. At the extreme of it, I've been known to fall asleep in the middle of conversations with Aqua Man (and that was when we were first dating, way before parenthood, and for some reason he said "that's the gal for me!" go figure.); while talking on the phone with one of my closest friends (post-motherhood on maternity leave); and generally every night on the couch (just regular life. yea, I'm exciting like that). So to not be able to fall asleep is a very strange experience.

To pass the time, I decided to text message a friend in a different time zone to see if she had made it out of her snowy city and had arrived safely at her sunny vacation destination. We texted back and forth for a few minutes, but then our texts stalled. When I realized that I was still wide awake at about 1:30 a.m., I decided to embrace my lack of sleepiness and make it meditation time. I knew that the tension from my day was still coursing through my body, so I decided to stop avoiding it and to just acknowledge it. In the dark, lit only by faint moonlight streaming in through the blinds, I began some light yoga stretching and asanas. When my body calmed, I put a blanket down on the couch, settled in and focused on deep breathing. Eventually I was able to calm both my mind and body while repeating a favorite mantra.

I didn't know how much time had passed, but I awoke to the sound of my cell phone signaling that I had received a new text message. I sat up, totally disoriented, and realized...Joy! I had been asleep. My wee-morning hour mediation had done the trick. Happily, I was able to go back to sleep and stay asleep until this morning at my regular wake up time.

Although, I also realized that, now I would have to officially add falling asleep in the middle of text messaging to my list of rude sleep behaviors. Bummer.