Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Alpine Slide

Do you ever have days when everything just requires more energy than you think it should? There are days when my alarm goes off in the morning, and all I can think of is the fact that I can’t possibly do all of the things that need to be done between now and when I can be under these covers, with my head on this pillow, again.

And I am young and healthy, as well as reasonably industrious and inspired. If I feel that way, how do people do it when they have other issues complicating the matter? I don’t even know.

It’s lucky, though, that when I’m having one of those days that drains my life essence to be able to sit down, watch random shows on TV – currently one about the curse of the Kennedys – and just relax. Relax in body and spirit.

What’s the balance supposed to be, I wonder? What’s the fine line between industrious and exhausted, between contributing to the world energetically and spinning needless wheels? Somewhere along the way I came up with the practice of Vacation Moments. Making the most of what you’ve got while you’ve got it, and finding your places to actively choose Relaxing. I think a lot of it came from my mom, who instinctively understood that a cup of tea and General Hospital was really the cure for pretty much anything that ailed you. She knew that having that to look forward to could definitely help you survive another 8th grade gym class volleyball game and math class with Gary Schofield. Now, it can be the Indigo Girls and a caramel latte in the car on the way to rehearsal. Or the time mid-day where I make my students read for a half hour and I just read along with them. It’s sacred. Or this. Sitting on my couch, watching last week’s Glee on my DVR, a festive beverage beside me, and my cat purring at my ankles. You just have to recognize the moments, love them when you find them. And the more you do that, the more often you find space for them in your day, and your week, and your life. There’s room for all of it, if you choose it. It’s my own little celebration of the Law of Attraction.

I made a writing goal for myself, to publish on this blog at least every other day from now until Thanksgiving. So far, so good. I’m three blogs in two days. (And yes, they do accumulate.) I have no idea what they’ll be about, but I am committed to the goal. I have always worked best under pressure – from the days of Mrs. Kellem’s English papers to lessons prepared the morning of to entire song and dance routines made up on the fly. Everything gets energy and attention when its turn comes. Right now, in this choppy-blue-sea phase of my life, writing is getting its due, even though there are other things out here with me. Its time has come, and it brings a lot of good energy with it. More journaling, more perspective, more connection with the people I love who read something and reach out with a “Yeah…me too…” from time to time. That’s all so inspiring, propelling me forward through this journey I’ve always wanted to take.

This summer, I was so super excited to ride an Alpine Slide, down a mountain, on a perfect summer’s afternoon. I researched the place and the time, the cost, and organized the whole plan during the summer camping trip with my best friends. We waited in line, feeling grimy from not having showered, and cross from sleeping on the ground, and finally rode the chair life to the top. One daughter panicked, the other insisted, and the latter went down the mountain safely settled between Sean and Andrea.. Abby had to be comforted, and sent back down in the chair lift with Daddy, glad to be heard and glad to be in his arms. They had a lovely ride together. I climbed onto my strange little sled thing, very trepadatious and feeling quite alone. I decided to just enjoy the journey – Amelia was fine, Abby was fine, I could just go for it.

But a very little ways down, my sled got stuck. I kept thinking…I’m too big to be riding on the sled. I hope Amelia didn’t get stuck. I hope that Andrea and Sean helped Amelia if she got stuck. Am I allowed to get out and walk? God, remember that time Chris accidentally made me ski a black diamond on my second skiing run ever? The woman behind me began yelling at me to go, move, get out of the way, she was going get hurt…I kept yelling back that I was stuck, I was trying, I was doing my best…finally, the sled began to move, but I was so shaky that it was hard to feel safe to just let go and slide the rest of the way down. I was going too slow around the corners, and I could hear the woman behind me saying to her son, “Sam, just go. You shouldn’t have your ride ruined too just because she’s in the way…” Yeah. Humiliating. And I was thinking about a grandson and granddaughter I had earlier noticed sliding down as I rode the chair lift up. I could only hope that that grandfather, following and safeguarding his little pigtailed sweetheart down the mountain did not have a shrewish woman screaming at him, too.

Why has that stuck with me? Why did it rattle me so much? It was a violation, that’s why. It was something that was supposed to be pure and joyful and fun, and it was crushed by someone who had her own particular set of “issues” that needed to be appeased, and I was the target.

I mention this because I am currently in a very similar life- situation, and have been for a long time. I have had someone on the slide behind me, criticizing me for my driving and draining all of the joy from the journey. I’m speaking up, though, and I’m hollering back, over my shoulder, while focusing on the journey and trying to enjoy the trip. It’s one piece of my life right now.

I have so many other wonderful things in my life – a husband who supports me, charming and healthy children, amazing relationships with beautiful people, and a general belief that it’s all going to turn out swell. “Blow a kiss, take a bow, honey, everything’s coming up roses and daffodils…” (Puh-lease. Like you didn’t see the showtune coming.)

To wrap up the metaphor, despite the challenges and uncertainties, I’ve got to keep my eye on the track. Many things are in front of me, but writing every other day is there amongst them. So far, so good. Thanks for reading.

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