Aloha

You know ‘aloha’ means both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’.  I’ve always liked that about it.

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written.  A little update: my month of ‘no internet’ lasted about 2 weeks, but I didn’t Facebook or blog for the entire month, so that’s something.  I did watch the office on Netflix, and wasted time looking at school districts and neighborhoods in LA, and at jobs and apartments/homes for sale in Austin.  Looking at homes for sale in places I want to live is one of my favorite time-wasters.  What can I say, I’m a daydreamer.

My dad had the brain surgery and came through with flying colors.  He’s still got the rotten lung though, and another tumor in the brain that is too far imbedded to get to.  They’re going to try to treat the remaining tumor with radiation.  He’s been officially diagnosed with metastasized adenocarcinoma lung cancer.  Apparently ‘adenocarcinoma’ is the most common type of lung cancer in people who smoked for a good portion of their lives.  The most common type period, I believe, and very deadly.  The prognosis for survival is minimal.  We’re looking at (optimistically) two years, max.  But my dad is a stubborn SOB, so he may surprise us.

This summer (starting June 17th), K and I will be driving down to Austin while B studies for and takes the bar.  We’ll spend as much time with my dad as we can, as much as he can stand us, and B can study like crazy with us out of the way.  (I thought life would be cooler once law school ended, but bar-study sucks).

As far as where we will live when the sumer is over, that’s anyone’s guess.  I’m dealing with that as well as I can, which is to say – not too well.  I am a lover of the ground, stability, sureness.  I don’t like routine, sameness, predictability – but I need the earth under my feet to be stable in order to grow.  I need to be able to plant my roots; I can’t grow without them and I’m having a hard time with that.  I feel lost, like I’m nowhere.  I can’t be fully here, in Sacramento – we’re not staying here.  But I can’t be anywhere else either, because I don’t know where we’ll be.  All I want to do is go Home.  To be in Austin with our family.  To be with my dad and family and friends.  I recognize very clearly that family and friends are THE most important thing.  But I am not in charge here.  It’s a daily act of letting go.  And even harder to think about the next move and its potential effect on K.

I’ve taken a break from teaching yoga to deal with and take care of myself.  To figure out what the heck is going on with me and what I’m about.  I’ve been through a cycle of anger and depression and helplessness this last month.  I suppose it’s all normal, considering the circumstances, but I really needed to give myself time to get down in it and feel.  Maybe it helped.

I’m still frustrated over my lack of power over my own future.  I feel a strong desire to be Home with my family, and sorry that I can’t make that happen.  I feel an almost psychotic need to plan (the move, the summer, next month!, where K will go to school, where we will live, the packing, the traveling!) and maddened that I can’t plan Anything.  Even if a plan is just a gigantic illusion, it still makes one feel better to HAVE A PLAN!   I am so tired of waiting for someone/something else to decide my life, and yet – I know I need to be patient for just a bit longer.  Soon, we will know.

I’m looking forward to spending time with K and my dad, my sisters, friends and family in Austin this summer.  Perhaps it will be bittersweet, and perhaps it will only be the beginning.  On the other hand, I’m already sad about leaving Sacramento and all the beautiful people here, the life we created and the folks who came into it.

I hope our Sacramento friends always know that they are welcome and encouraged to visit and stay with us, where ever the heck we end up.  Aloha.

My Dad. Time.

I had planned on writing in today to say that I’m taking a month off from internetting.  It just doesn’t serve me right now, it’s too easy to get sucked in to the computer in a moment of boredom.  I have an iphone, which makes it all too much easier.  I find myself in this hole of interwebs, with no idea of where the time has gone, and the feeling of waste.  Is any of it REAL?  It’s a screen I’m typing into, not a life.  Internetting has begun to seem like Life, wasted.

So I planned to take a whole month off; I prepaid my bills online, wrote my appointments down on paper.  I planned to delete the mail from my phone and disable the wifi.  To shut down my laptop and put it in it’s sleeve and not look at it or open it for a month.  I was really looking forward to it.

But I found out today that my dad has cancer.  It’s very aggressive.  He went to the doctor for headaches that he’s had for the past 2 months, and they told him that one of his lungs is completely collapsed (although he feels fine and climbs ladders for a living, no problem) and that he has a ping-pong sized tumor in his brain.  They biopsied the tumor and it’s cancerous.  They think the cancer started in his lung.  They say the cancer is in his blood; it could attach anywhere now.  He is having the tumor removed on Monday, in four days.  They’ll talk about the rest (prognosis, ‘treatment’) then.  With my dad’s encouragement, I’m going to wait until after Monday, when he has more info, before I fly back home to Austin.

In any case; I may need the internet to book a flight or to look up a phone number.  For those things, I’ll use my husband’s laptop.  This laptop is going away.  People are more important; real, live people.

Sometimes we get arrogant and think someone is always going to be there, living on a sunny ranch in Texas, with the pond, the chickens, the goat, and the happy dogs.  With a smile and a healthy body.  But that isn’t always true.

Please, go hug someone you love for me.

Hi

Just a quick note to say hello, and I’ll be back soon.

Spring Break in Austin, TX for South by Southwest was a blast; fantastic music (will share thoroughly later), morning yoga in the burning Texas sun, and many friends – old and new.

But now I’m sick.

I used to ‘never’ get sick, and now every time I return from Austin, I come down with some sort of illness.  Until now, it’s just been something like a sore throat and fatigue that usually lasts a couple days.  I have wondered at this pattern.  Do I come back ill because of too much fun?  too much rushing around and trying to see everyone?  the stress of going home?  the stress of coming back?  too much recycled airplane air?   I don’t know, it’s a bit of a mystery and has definitely become quite a hindrance.  There is always a lot of emotion wrapped up in going home and coming back again, and emotion/stress certainly affect the body.

This time, however, I’ve come down with a monster of real sickness.  I attribute this to our last sleepless night in Austin – almost getting beat up by drunks and having to spend the night in the car in the 38 degree weather, trying to sleep – only to fail miserably – dragging ourselves into the airport at 4 am to ‘sleep’ in chairs (at least it was warm in there).  And we weren’t the only ones who looked like we’d been up all night, only us – not by choice.  (I’ll tell ya about it later, it was quite dramatic).

In any case, I haven’t been REAL sick in a looong time, and I am not taking it well.

I miss the blogging, I miss yoga at the studio, the studio peeps, and that wonderful (too often unappreciated) feeling of health and wellness in my body.

Thank goodness for supta BK, hot lemon water, time, and a warm bed.  All the simple things.

Many, many blessings.

Gratitude and reflection

For Life.  It’s so good.  It’s been a very (emotionally) busy 2010 thus far, but things are quieter now.  I’m reveling in this space of reflection and gratitude.

January 2010 was such a rush – physically and emotionally.  The first weekend we were in Big Bend/on a plane.  The second weekend we were unpacking and recovering from Christmas and Traveling.  The third weekend we drove to Santa Barbara (on a whim!) and got officially hitched.  The fourth weekend we bought a new vehicle (a completely consuming process, which took all weekend and all the previous weeks and months of research).  The final weekend, we prepped for 6 visitors from Texas and threw K his 9th birthday party.  Wham-bam!

In between all that I actually subbed my first 3 yoga classes ever! (a gigantic milestone for me).  And I co-taught a “free friday” at the studio with the lovely Donna.  Wonderful times – but really BIG times as well.  It was a monumental month, with lots of learning and growing involved.

February went by in much the same (yet different) way.  More learning and growing (ouch!).  Certainly, the month was dominated by the fact that I was subbing the SUNDAY class at It’s All Yoga for my teacher Michelle, who was on recess.  I’ve got to say – I’m glad it’s over!  Not that I don’t utterly appreciate the opportunity – because I do!  I learned so much from this experience, and it really helped me grow my teaching legs.  But it was HARD.  The Sunday class is a big deal (pressure!).  When Michelle teaches it – it’s like the biggest class of the week (pressure!).  The people who come are truly wonderful yogis who know what great yoga is (they get it from Michelle – duh).  I was subbing for my TEACHER: the person who inspired me to love Yoga, a truly gifted yoga teacher and yoga soul (PRESSURE!) and I don’t want to let everyone down (um . . . Pressure anyone?).

I don’t think I can express what an intimidating experience it could have been for me, BUT for the absolutely wonderful presence of the students who came to the Sunday Sub classes.  They were amazingly sweet, kind, patient, helpful with comments and constructive criticism, and so so very generous.  They couldn’t have been more wonderful – to have kept coming and trying me out – even after some ‘not the best’ classes.  Some folks came every week, rain or shine.  Beautiful, beautiful people; I thank them from the bottom of my heart, they really made the experience a wonderful one.

Still, I’m glad to be done, and SO grateful to have done it!  I am awed by my brave and wonderful teacher who let me do it, thankful to my husband who encouraged me to say ‘yes!’, and utterly humbled by the wonderful community of students at It’s All Yoga who came out to support me and all the other newly budding teacher grads who subbed for Michelle during the month.  I am swimming in Gratitude.

Aside from the dominance of The Sunday Yoga Sub-Class, there was K’s birthday in February, then my birthday (my 30th – another big deal) and the week-long presence of six of my family and friends who came to celebrate it with us.  There was also substitute teaching corporate yoga – a new experience for me altogether, and other sub classes and another Free Friday!   All in all, I was able to teach 8 classes in February – what a wonderful opportunity for a new teacher!

2010 has been Gigantic thus far, but March is looking sweetly . . . ease-ful.

*Yesterday was my husband’s birthday (gratitude!).  *We booked our plane tickets to South By Southwest (a week of music and music conferences in Austin), we bought our wristbands, we lined up a friends house to crash at, and we are SO looking forward to a week of adults-acting-like-children-seeing-their-favorite-music-fun!  *I booked a campsite for Yosemite during K’s Spring Break at the end of the month, 4 nights/5 days in the park and we’ve never been – so exciting!   *And our friends who married us might come up to visit from Santa Barbara next weekend, and we love them.   *I’m subbing for Tamara this Sunday at 11am, sweet!

I am truly and utterly in awe of these blessings, and although they are far from ordinary  – I came across this last night while reading Pema Chodron, and I hope to come back to it at a time when my blessings are a little less obvious, and perhaps hidden under difficulty:  “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite.  It actually takes guts.  Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”  -from The Places That Scare You

. . . but for today: Unabashed Rejoicing in obvious Blessings and swimming laps in Gratitude!  (to the ridiculous tune of “happy-happy-joy-joy” from Ren and Stimpy)

some ease in my mind

Feeling better today, thanks to time, and a friendly conversation with my fellow TT Grad and fellow February Recess Sub, Bob.  Nothing like a chat in which you explain to someone how neurotic you’ve been to make you realize how flipping neurotic you’ve been, especially when you’re talking to a calm and grounded person with some perspective on what you’re going through . . .

. . . onward to work on patience, kindness toward myself, and perhaps some digging and svadhyaya.

Thanks Bob.

uggh! blizzah! umph!

That kind of day.  Monsters on the loose.  Covered, smothered, drowning in self-doubt.  Feeling lame, sad, scared.  Thinking I stink at teaching yoga, feeling like the pressure of being ‘good’ is stealing the joy.  Wanting to run away (to Mexico of course) and disappear where no one will ever find me or know my name (except B and K – they’re coming too).

It’s a dirty day.

sweet morning, listening in

As many of you know, I turned 30 this past week, and I had six (yes six!) of my closest family and friends come up from Austin for the week to celebrate the milestone with B, K and me.  (They were also here for K’s birthday – he turned 9! the day before my 30th.)  We live in a 2 bedroom flat though, and things were a little tight around here.  There were six extra bodies scattered about the floor of our house.  Oh yah, and we only have one bathroom :).  My poor, sweet, trooper of a husband had it the worst, being surrounded by all those girls (girls everywhere, girl clothes and girl shoes and girl hair products, and girl razor blades, blowdryers, chi irons, undergarments, and on and on . . .)  He rocked it though and we all made it through.

Everyone left the day before yesterday and I’m just finally feeling like I’m semi-resettled in my home.  I really missed my yoga and my ‘yoga space’ and my classes at the studio that I didn’t go to while entertaining everyone and being entertained.  I actually came down with a bit of a cold from all that fun and neglect.

This morning, I went to sweet Madeleine’s class and felt like things are finally easing down toward earth.  This afternoon, I’m working on my Sunday class outline/sequence/ideas.  I loved having all my people in town, but at the same time, it’s difficult to stay centered and clear among so much chaos.  It’s something I need to work on: balance between my old life and the new path I am choosing.  Equanimity.

I’m really enjoying the quiet today.