Today’s Positive Note: I am strong, smart, beautiful, and worthy. My body does not define me. I have lots of valuable things to offer the world and I can and will use my talents to make my environment a better place. I am making a promise to talk nicely to myself and to others.
I shall be starting a new type of daily note at the beginning of my posts tomorrow, since it’s a new month and I’m running out of nice things to say about myself.
Yoging: (noun) refers to any adventure in which yoga and running are dually involved.
I may or may not have just made that word up, but it’s the best way to describe my adventures today!
All ready to bake!
I find baking to be very soothing. It’s just so rhythmic and even. And tasty.
All done! These babies were very chewy and flavorful, and I love when you can taste the cinnamon in a cookie. I have a confession, though: I thought I had butter, so when I went to the store I didn’t get any. I came back, discovered I didn’t have any, and was not about to venture back out in the ten degree bitter cold. Solution? 1 cup of vanilla yogurt. I’m not lying. Both the consistency of the cookie and its taste are totally fine — excellent, even. I don’t know if this will work for all recipes, but it sure worked here.
Okay, onto my yoging. I thought about running first thing this morning. I even had my outfit all laid out:
Yep, it was that cold. I ended up going later in the day so I didn’t need quite that much clothing, but still…
So. My cousin recommended that I try out the 12:15 donation class at Shala Yoga Studio. I already knew my cousin was brilliant because she has about eleven degrees including a phD and she’s now doing a post-doc (which is higher than a phD — who knew such a thing was possible?), but I did not know she was this brilliant. She told me the class is usually not very full, but get this: I was the only person there. And I paid $3 (I wasn’t trying to be stingy, that’s all I had). So basically, I just got an amazing private 90 minute vinyasa class in a beautiful studio with a fabulous teacher for $3. In Manhattan. I am not making this up. I have photographic evidence.
Yes, that happened. If you’re a New Yorker and you don’t check this class and/or this studio out, you just might be committing a sin. Although I’m not sure they have sins in yoga. Well, you’ll be maligning your chakras, I can tell you that.
Here’s where the yoging part comes in. Before heading to the studio on the train, I sneakily planned out a running route from the studio, around lower Manhattan, and back up the West Side to my dorm. I needed to get in ten miles, but I had to do some guesstimating. I left straight from the studio (which is near Union Square, in case you were wondering), jogged down 12th street (forgetting that West 4th street intersects with 12th street and getting horribly confused), and over to the river. I knew from the start that my little leggies were very tired. I kind of felt like how Murphy looked this morning. The yoga class had actually been a bit intense, with lots of warriors, chaturangas, and balancing poses. So I decided that today just wasn’t going to be a speedy run, it was going to be a getting-the-miles-in run. My miles probably averaged out around eleven minutes each. Slow, but steady (okay, not really, I was super exhausted in the last three). I also had not had enough water in the morning at all and went through about four bottles during the run and ended up feeling over-hydrated. Ick. But I made it, eventually, and I’m pretty sure I did closer to eleven miles. I am actually kind of excited to rest tomorrow.
Came back and had some cereal and this tasty little sandwich. Okay, so maybe it doesn’t look tasty, but it was. Promise. PB and apple slices on my new bread, all heated up in the microwave.
I was super wiped after my four hour yoging adventure, so I took a little well-deserved nap.
Okay, so I haven’t done much “writing” writing on the blog lately, so it’s storytime!
Storytime: My Beautiful Sister.
There are probably hundreds of ways to describe how my sister and I exist together – as foreign bodies, as two moons on a shared path, as strangers who have suddenly found themselves alone on the earth and in desperate need of love. But I think, mostly, we are any two things that are so disparate as to be practically the same. A friend, Molly, once told me that you couldn’t have love without hate or hate without love. That they each presumed the other’s existence – I was 12 and did not believe her, but now I know about people better. My relationship with my sister has nothing to do with hatred, I am just trying to illustrate how sometimes, opposite things are intertwined. Our names say it best: Caronae means the seashore; Darya means the sea (as it fades into the distance). I’m constantly digging under her. She’s always whispering away from me. She is gentle, I am harder.
The day I came home from the hospital, all wrapped up in my mother’s arms, she made my infant self a special offer: she had created a cozy little nest in her favorite tree, an ash tree, in the front yard, and I was welcome to sleep there tonight – this was November in northern Michigan. My parents, thankfully, did not take her up on this offer. For the longest time, I saw her suggestion as mean and spiting. But she wanted to give me a nest – baby birds live in nests. Maybe I was a little baby bird friend for her.
When I was about 8 and Darya was about 12, we had a little accident with the toaster. Our parents, notoriously stuck in the 70’s when it came to household appliances, had a non-functional TV and this dangerously old toaster. We didn’t grow up with many electronic things. So, my sister and I were home alone one morning trying to make ourselves some waffles (probably eggo cinnamon toast or chocolate chip, our shared favorites). This is something we did with success fairly regularly, but this time, some of the wires in the toaster started sparking, and before we knew it, the whole thing was up in flames, and then the wooden cabinets beneath which it sat halfway on fire too. And we were terrified. I don’t remember the details of that day very well at all, but I do know this: my 12 year old sister insisted that I wait in the front yard. She was trying to save me while she fought the fire herself.
I used to think her matted, curly hair was weird (she did cut it eventually), her friends were weird, her beliefs, even. But these are the things that make Darya. She has worn down pages of the Bible, I have stacks of running shoes and normal clothing. So, yes, we are terribly different. But I still have dreams in which she dies, and I never ever fall back asleep afterwards. I never ever will unlearn how beautifully wild she is. Like me, in a way.