Friday, May 17, 2013

How to be better, a little bit

It's a bit of a trip when you realize that not every thought that pops into your head deserves its day in court. Yesterday I got an e-mail at work that made me want to dive off a highway overpass or at least move to a remote fishing village and take a shot at subsistence living. This is embarrassing to admit but when I feel my anxiety whipping up into a stiff pudding, I do yoga breaths (in through the nostrils, out like Darth Vader, right, Parker?)  and say: good things are temporary, bad things are temporary. And then here's what I do: I let the shame or sadness or panic wash over me like I'm caught in a summer downpour.

Yet even with that awareness, it still truly feels bad. Your hair is slicked to your face and your mascara has turned you Juggalette and your clothes are see-through and clinging tight to your soft human belly. You imagine yourself as muck-covered John Goodman wailing up at the sky in "Raising Arizona". You sure look insane.

But do nothing. Just, and I know I'm wearing out the metaphor here, but don't go throwing bricks through storefronts in search of an umbrella because you think it will be raining for the rest of your sad, soaked little life.

Eventually the rain lets up and it is just something that happened to you, like a cancelled flight or a flat tire. You can tell a story about it later in your life, and you don't even have to mention the part about the remote fishing village.

I didn't know that until, like, 3 years ago! But I know it now, mostly. Oh, and so that work e-mail turned out to not even be a thing. 


  1. YES YES YES YES. Thank you. Does it sound cheesy to say that yoga taught me to feel big things and not run away? I'm fairly certain this is true. I'll never forget showing up at my first hot yoga class in the midst of depression, and looking at my awkward self in the mirror, complete with foggy glasses. It was truly a humbling BE HERE DON'T RUN moment. I didn't know this until, like, a year ago. And I keep having to remember...

  2. Okay, so for a totally different reason I was in literal seconds before reading this...thinking about that Raising Arizona scene. What are the odds?

    I had the movie on the mind because I'm working right now to be technologically capable enough to get a clip of a certain scene I want to use in a breastfeeding class I teach. I think you know the scene. Unfortunately my technological knowledge is failing me and I'll be asking someone else to help with the project.

    1. Ha! How funny! Great movie. I wish I could tell you how to get the clip! I am not good at stuff like that.