Snow day, tea, and yoga

I woke up this morning prepared to go to work. The kids had a snow day, but the latest weather forecast I’d heard (before going to bed last night) had warned of 1 to 3 inches of snow so I wasn’t terribly worried about it. I’d be home by 2pm at the latest, and three inches spread over an entire day is really nothing.

At 9am, I started my shower. There was no snow at all, not even a flurry. About halfway through my shower, my daughter told me it was snowing. Still, I wasn’t worried. A few flurries on my drive into work wouldn’t be a big deal. When I got out of the shower, though, I knew this would be a quickly accumulating snowfall. The scene from my front window was vastly different before my shower than it was after my shower, and it had only been about twenty minutes between glances. The forecast at this point was predicting up to 8 inches, mainly early in the day. Early in the day is exactly when I work, so… I noped right out of getting ready for work and declared a snow day for myself. I work part-time at a warehouse. Although I love my job, it’s not worth risking injury or death by driving in inclement weather. Besides, reports of accidents were already popping up, I drive a lightweight compact car without 4-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, and I have more than enough time off to cover one missed shift. Today’s a great today to use some of that time off and cozy up with another cup of tea.

And that, kiddos, brings us to Day 4 of 30 days of yoga. It was hard to get motivated today. My toes were cold despite the fact that I was wearing shoes and socks inside, so I wasn’t feeling inspired to take them off. After a while of contemplating whether or not it would be fun to walk barefoot on a hardwood floor in this drafty house, I realized my toes weren’t getting warmer while I sat there thinking, so I had nothing to lose. Well, except for maybe my toes! Off came the shoes and out came the yoga mat, and it was the right decision. Day 4 is all about yoga for the back, and anyone who’s ever met me can attest to the fact that my back hurts all the friggin time. It was another shorter video, and I felt so good afterward. It even warmed my toes! Imagine that – physical activity increases blood flow (and warmth) to extremities.

With a relaxed back, rested mind, and warm toes, I steeped another cup of Earl Grey, climbed into my reclining chair, and watched through the window as the snow continued falling softly to the ground.

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30 Days of Yoga: Days 1 through 3

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

As with before, I’m using Adriene Mishler’s videos at yogawithadriene.com. Oh, and she has a friendly and helpful welcome video that I highly recommend to anyone who’s never practiced yoga before.

Tuesday was Day 1: I felt like I was suffering through many moments, while other moments were easy.

Day 2: About the same as before, but I felt that overall, it was an easier experience.

Day 3: About the same, hah! Right, these descriptions are getting boring, I know. That’s partly why I’m not posting daily updates. This video seemed incredibly short compared to the first two.

Overall, I’m not yet an expert on all things yoga. There are some poses I simply cannot do yet, I lose my balance frequently, and I’m getting a daily reminder that I have never in my life been flexible. Seriously, I’ve never – ever – been able to touch my toes. The hardest pose for me? Sitting cross-legged, believe it or not. It’s a sitting position that has always caused me discomfort. My legs have simply never wanted to fold that way, so I never sat that way. I’ll get there in time.

At the end of each practice, I’ve felt simultaneously relaxed, refreshed, and revitalized. Each day, I ended up with more energy after practicing yoga than before starting yoga. It’s only the third day, I can really feel that my abdominal muscles have been put to work. They’re not painfully sore, but they are a bit tender. In a good way, if that makes sense? I feel good.

The flowers that don’t give up

This coming August will mark our 13th anniversary of living in this house. At the time, we had a toddler who’d turn 2 the following month, and a baby on the way who’d be born in three months. It was a busy time for us, and very hot. Because August is hot enough when you’re not moving to a new home, not pregnant, and not chasing a nearly two year old. Anyway, we were busy and hot and overwhelmed and landscaping didn’t matter. The family who previously occupied the home had the lawn and everything in it pretty much mowed down, so we didn’t know what to expect the following Spring. We didn’t even think about it, at least not in respect to the fenced privacy of the back yard. We had a lawnmower, so we could easily, albeit temporarily, tame any surprises that popped up.

Then came February. Surprise! We found tulips that couldn’t wait until Spring. Every year, no matter how harsh or mild the Winter has been, these tulips pop up in February and they keep growing through the season regardless of what Mother Nature throws at them. Ice storms? Snow storms? Tornadoes? Hail? Drought? Excessive rainfall? Record breaking heat? It’s the Midwest. These flowers have seen it all (sometimes all in one day, haha). These tulips don’t care. And, we’ve never done anything to encourage them, either. We don’t weed, feed, water, or otherwise foster their growth. We leave them alone, and they’re just happy to carry on with their wild ways.

Today, as I type this, they’re merrily sticking through thick white ice leftover from the ice storm we had two nights ago. Schools have been canceled, but these tulips soldier on. Next month, they’ll be blooming.