Field of Dreams?

Lately the hubs and I have been just terrible about staying up late at night. For him it is grading papers from school and the start of baseball season. For me it is the reading, reading, reading quest of my ever-present book list and, on some nights, the mountains of dishes and/or laundry that I’ve put off for days and finally have to deal with because, you know, people who don’t live here are coming to my house the next day and that’s about the only thing some weeks that gets me to attack said mountains.

In case you were wondering, the children still get up way too early every day. School also means B & HD have to be out the door bright and early, so why we think staying up late, for any reason, is a good idea is really lost on me. Especially today when I have a jam-packed schedule of teaching but we thought it would be wise to stay up past midnight last night at which point my brain was really on GO! Mode and I should have just kept reading my book because it had to have been close to 2 a.m. before I was finally asleep. Am I rambling? Am I awake? Can’t be sure at this point in the day.

All of this is to say, I might be a little out of sorts right now. Ben, too. But we both agreed this morning that we’d have to dig deep today and not let our tiredness turn into pure crankiness, and certainly not directed at the children who would probably prefer us to be more well rested, too (although, if that were really the case, they could also try this fun thing called sleeping in on the weekends. I hear it is great.). Tired and potentially cranky-making factors all considered, we are still at so far, so good for the day. Granted, we’ve both been caffeinated and were probably counting down the hours until bedtime all day long, but even with self-inflicted sleep deprivation, the Welschies pulled out a pretty good day, in part because we’ve all been outside, enjoying the fresh, warm air that Spring seems to have (finally) brought for keeps.  Geez – the Faulknerian sentences again. It’s like I’m back in Senior Sem at Doane again!

Of course, because this is Nebraska, it was windy again today which kept us close to home this morning, but this afternoon I decided to declare my own little Walk to Work Day which I decided would also be the jumpstart of regular walking that I hope to do from now until the end of my pregnancy. Yoga is awesome, as always, for my body and soul, but since I can’t quite do everything I’d like to on the mat right now, I need another way to work and release tension from my physical and emotional states. After today’s kick-off, I would say Mission Accomplished, on both accounts.

Since our house is a little over a mile-ish from the studio, I thought walking myself down prior to teaching my second class of the day (prenatal) would be a great idea; the bonus of there being Family Yoga today (i.e. B & the kids would be joining me later and I could catch a ride home) helped. Even with walking into a direct, sometimes rather strong wind, the whole way was enjoyable. It felt good to get moving like that and just be with the thoughts in my head. No music. No phone. No talking. (no books!) I need more of that.

After set up and prep for class, I settled in at the front desk only to realize ten minutes later that no one was coming to join me. This has happened once before since the start of my prenatal class and it just goes to show that even in a town the size of Hastings, getting the word out about a new opportunity can be tricky, especially when said opportunity is directed at such a niche, target audience. I waited a bit longer just to see if any mamas-to-be would breeze in late, but when it was clear I really was on my own for the day, I packed up my things and decided to walk home. If I’d had a book to read, I probably would have stayed there and waited for my next class to start but since The Bump and I enjoyed the walk down, I figured we’d enjoy the walk home, too.

About half-way back, I was trucking along thinking about all the things I could say after surprising my husband by turning up back at home already, some of which included a line of “What am I doing wrong? Why aren’t people coming to class?” questions when I quickly realized I needed to stop. Not walking, but that kind of thinking, for sure.

Attendance at a class, whether it is full or a goose egg, is not all about me. There are so many reasons why individuals choose to go to a yoga class (or any fitness class) and while instructor preferences/styles may play a role for some, I know in the end I can only control myself and my actions; I am not powerful enough to control others. And that’s a good thing. I don’t want to carry that much weight on my shoulders or feel that sort of pressure. I do want to bring my best and strongest offering to each class I teach (yes, even on days after nights that were too late and too short), because that’s what I can do – that’s what I can control. I can also take ownership of my attitude and response to both full and goose egg days, knowing that so long as I keep showing up, so will others, and again, it is about them, not me.

It was a totally a If-You-Build-It-They-Will-Come-sort-of-pep-talk-to-myself moment.

Before I had gone another block, a helicopter suddenly came into view. It was headed for the helipad at Mary Lanning which I happened to be walking by at that exact time. Along with the intensity of sound that accompanied the chopper, came a huge wave of pregnant-lady-emotions that startled me more than anything. I’m always one to say a quick prayer in my head when I hear sirens (I figure that those at both ends, receiving and giving, need all the good thoughts and well wishes they can get and have been doing this for most of my adult life), and having lived near enough to ML for long enough, I now do the same whenever I hear helicopters, too. Today had to be a first, though, of having one come in to land directly over top of me. Among the rush of thoughts that went through my mind were: “Holy crap. That is scary-loud noise.”; “What if that thing is flying in for somebody I know?!”; “I need to call everyone I love and tell them what they mean to me!” (which, for the record, I did not do).

OK. Laugh if you like, because those are some pretty dramatic reactions (may I refer you back to the aforementioned pregnant-lady emotions and lack of sleep???), but my eyes welled up with tears and my throat got super tight as watching the helicopter go over head instantly put everything about the day into perspective. I am blessed that my family has never needed such medical attention. I am blessed to live in a place where I can walk to work without constant fear of fights or gunfire. I am blessed to do work that fills my soul and continues to teach me about life, even when the days do not go as planned. I am blessed.

Thankfully I also had a handful more blocks to go so I could let my weepies and sniffles come and go before I had to take off my sunglasses and talk to other people. The walk gave me just the right amount of perspective, not to mention exercise, and big dose of gratitude. Not bad for a day of running on just four-ish hours of sleep.

Post Script: Day Two of Walking Mama

Day Two after a crappy night of sleep is usually my worst. I’m at my most sluggish, most cranky. Today should have been that day. It doubly should have been that day (wait, triple, because Hi, Monday) as Ben has been gone all evening/for part of the night yet for parent/teacher conferences. PTC nights always mean long days for me because not only am I running herd on the herd all day by myself, but I then have to do supper and bedtime for all three solo, too [to be a single parent? I cannot imagine.]. Because bedtime is so not my thing, these nights sometimes feel extra tedious, especially if I am on a Day Two of Tired.

In today’s case, I am grateful for PTC and the rest of the busy week that lies ahead. Because of our hectic schedule this week, I looked in advance for a babysitter who could come today and relieve me for a bit so I could in fact charge through a long day/evening and still have something left for the rest of the week, too. That this foresight happened to help on a Day Two? Well, as Ben says, sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

Luck also came my way with today’s picture perfect spring day weather. Warm sun, gentle breeze, gorgeous smelling trees (although most are a bit overpowering for my pregnant super sense of smell) – the day was begging for a walk. And so, once the sitter arrived and was ready to take on the kids for a bit, I left to go for a walk around the park. Again, no music, no distractions. Just walking and enjoying and even running into a friend on the way home from picking up her own Little from school which was such a lovely bonus – it was all fabulous.

As for the rest of the evening? Well, we spent some time in the yard, ate supper, played a bit more outside (perhaps not the best idea for Lincoln who was super mad at me for then making him come in to get ready for bed), and then did the whole good night thing with very little drama. No one yelled, screamed, or cried. Not even me. 😉 Once again, walking saves the day.

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