A rambling post about rain and attitude adjustments

I am suddenly fond of hoods on jackets, which is lucky, because last night it spitter-spattered harder than I anticipated on my walk home, a fine mist that steadily turned into a shower before disappearing altogether. I was just tucking my hair under my hood, marveling at how quiet the streets of SoHo were -- it felt like the neighborhood was all dressed up in holiday gear, with no place to go -- when I passed a mother and her pre-teen daughter. Arguing. "Adjust your attitude right now," the mother seethed. I couldn't help it -- I laughed. That line had been a favorite of my dad's when I was a kid.

My parents are fascinating parents. (Fascinating people, too, but that's a different story.) Without getting into too much detail, they both come from non-traditional (for the fifties and sixties) family homes -- one from a single-parent household, one from a twice-divorced household -- and now, as an adult, I glom on to those bits of their childhood, their life, whenever I can, because what they experienced is so incredibly different from the childhood they gave me. I honestly don't know if they made this decision consciously or not, but their mandate as parents has always been very clear: our children come first, and we will break the cycle; we will build a family of best friends.

It's amazing how well they succeeded. I sat at a long makeshift table last week, lined with 25-ish people, my favorites, my flesh, my heart. One of the centerpieces caught fire, and my former-fire-marshall father just laughed. And I thought about attitude adjustments, and how I felt loved and cherished and special just by simply being a part of them, and how that's the only attitude I really need.

Anyway, back to the angry mother-daughter pair in SoHo. Oh, darlings, I know your pain; I remember it well, the way I would pick and pick at my mother's scabs until she would snip at me or, worse, cry. (I am not proud.) It's funny, the way we can get so mad at the people we love most. Like loving them gives us the permission to also hate them, even for just a moment, simultaneously.

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A kindred month

(Is that even a thing?) I am not a yoga evangelist necessarily, but I do love taking a class 1-2 times per week, and how (at a minimum) it's fixed my hamstring/sciatica issues and super-improved my lower back pain (and no, I am not an old lady, why are you looking at me like that?), and, too, it, along with reiki (my amazing practitioner is here, please do yourself a favor and go see her), has improved my life in ways that are hard to explain.

That is why it pains me to admit that sometimes I fail at yoga.

Earlier this week I was in class with my favorite teacher. She announced we'd be focusing on feet. Well, ouch. I think I must keep a lot of tension in my feet, which I suppose is better than keeping it elsewhere? Anyhow, we did lots of new, foot-focused things. It became clear early on that my feet were having none of it. An all-out rejection of the poses, in fact. I stumbled and nearly fell. (More than once.) My foot began cramping up. I got a weird ache in my left knee, and my right ankle. I flat-out couldn't do several of the poses.

I am human. I don't like not being good at things, especially things I am normally okay at. But it felt like one of those days where I couldn't get my head in the game. I left class feeling the opposite of how I normally feel after yoga.

It was disconcerting.

That scattered, dreamy feeling is still with me today -- which, let's face it, isn't unusual. I have learned over the past few years to accept my spaciness, the need I often have for something or someone to ground me back here to the dirt, the cement, the falling leaves. I like the push and pull between earth and sky; how I am usually balancing on a wire between the two. I like the view from here. I like the people that catch me on either side, and I'm grateful for them.

This morning, in my dress and cardie and sandals, a gust of wind scattered some leaves off trees and I realized mid-August is also on a wire, bleeding thunderstorms and heat waves one week, and cool rain and shadows the next. And for the first time, maybe, I respected her a little more than usual.

Image via lululemonathletic