Monday, December 1, 2008

Taking a Moment to Breathe

I really wish that I had taken more than one yoga class. I wish I had read more of the book I bought on meditation. I wish I had saved that article in Redbook on deep breathing for relaxation. But I didn't. So now I am sitting in the aftermath of the Thanksgiving holiday, the remains of what my guests left behind. The tablecloth and napkins have not made it into the wash, my roaster is sitting on the stove, clean, but not stored away. I have leftovers I think I need to toss but as soon as I do, someone will be asking me why I threw away something they were craving all day. Personally, I like to make something new with leftovers. But everyone just keeps picking, warming up platefuls of cold turkey and dressing, making sandwiches and nibbling on leftover pie. I can't wait for it to be gone and my fridge is back to order, no crumbs or unsightly plastic storage bags filled with things that look to be for a science experiment. However, once I clear this refridgerator out, it's going to be quite bare since I had to clean it out to fit my 21 pound bird and all the goodies for the trimmings in it.
Well back to the deep breathing issue. I feel ridiculously anxious. Why now, you ask, the holiday is over? I guess it's that feeling of things coming to a standstill. For a week (or more if you count all the clean-up fix-up projects I had) I have been running around like crazy to get everything ready, make everything perfect. And it was. Right down to the turkey coming out of the oven 3 hours before dinnertime. Yes, the opposite of our worst fear. Blame it on my lack of knowledge of my convection oven. Oh well, the warm gravy made up for the room temperature bird. So here I sit, the usual Monday morning mess around me; newspapers, half empty bowls of oatmeal, stray socks and shoes...oh yes, the breathing thing. What does one do when all that adrenaline runs out? What brings back that frenetic energy? What fills that empty space in our minds that usually says "go, go, go, move it!"? Have I become lost without that drive to plan, prepare, create, worry, despair ? This past weekend I didn't do much. It is very cold here in Chicago and we had some snow last night. The husband and Abby and I sort of lounged around in sweatpants reading, nibbling here and there and keeping the fire going in the fireplace. Even the dogs didn't want to go out. Well that was lazy and decadant. But now it's like the calm after the storm. I'll clean up the half empty oatmeal bowls, throw out 3 days worth of newspapers, maybe take a long hot bath and dream about...blank. Okay, the Redbook article is coming back, breathe in slowly through the nose deep into your abdomen and slowly out through pursed lips. Ahhh! Well we have Christmas in 25 days. I probably have close to 15 boxes to carry up. We need to go out for a tree before all the good ones are gone. My little Christmas Village has grown considerably and that can take hours to arrange. Abby has a Christmas dance next Friday and we'll need to go for a dress and shoes. We are having a cocktail party on the 13th and I have no idea what I will serve. And of course other people will be having parties and the invitations will start pouring in and, oh yes, doing my Christmas cards! I nearly forgot that 3 hour ordeal. Hey wait a minute, I feel a little panic! What could this be? Adrenaline? Newly found energy? No time for this deep breathing stuff. I've got to run.

A quick quote that makes me smile inside:

"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings"

Victor Hugo
(French Writer)

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