Per your recommendation, I have started reading the book Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte (read: 3-4 sentences each night in bed before I pass out - it's taking me forever). It is a great book, full of all sorts of reasons why we, as a society, need to take back our leisure and personal time. This is particularly poignant for us now, as we both struggle with trying to take time for ourselves in the midst of raising little ones and working. Even on days off, isn't it so hard to leave the kids for any length of time, be it to grocery shop or go for a run, without feeling at least a little guilty at the unnecessary absence?
But then I read your letter from the week before last and it is helping to reinforce the notion that taking time for myself - 100% selfish time – is not really selfish, but an important part of my own happiness and well-being. Not to mention that my lack of an exercise regime is a depressing sore spot in the life of someone who used to consider herself at least moderately sporty.
So, today, I went to hot yoga. Now, I have been to maybe 10 yoga classes since college (I still remember the lady at the YMCA we all went to who was so killer – I have yet to encounter anyone half as good), so I didn’t have high expectations to begin with – at least on a personal level. But, I went to this great studio, minutes from my home, that gets all sorts of accolades and costs a small fortune per class, so I assumed it was going to be the epitome of hot yoga. Like Haute Yoga. I was so excited to sweat and stretch and feel like I had taken important time for me.
But, oh. It was SUCH a disappointment.
What's that you say?
1) The room was cold. Cold. Uhm. ?.
2) The instructor’s lipstick matched her underwear. You are wondering how I know this. Well, her thong slid just above the waistline of her Lulu Lemon pants during minute 2 of class and she never once attempted to reposition it into a more modest location. Both were hot pink.
3) She watched herself in the mirror the whole time. LITrally. No adjusting the students or walking around whispering comments of encouragement and spiritual guidance. She just kept checking herself out and seemed to pick the positions that would most allow her to do this unencumbered.
4) Numbers 3 and 4 aside, I’m not sure she knew what she was doing. There was a lot of holding each pose for a really long time. And when changing between poses, it seemed as though she was trying to come up with what we would do next as it was happening. So the sentence would go: “Now (pause) slide your left foot (pause) back to meet your right (pause) foot (pause) and (pause - quick hair check) turn your head (pause) to the left (pause - cleavage ok?) then lift (pause) your right, no, your left (pause) arm towards the ceiling…” I (pause) just (pause) can't tell (pause) you (pause) how (pause) annoying it was.
5) You know that unspoken rule in yoga, pilates, barre, zumba, what-have-you, that whatever you do on one side, you also do on the other? Ah! Not so in this class. To the point where if I continue to go, I will be able to do splits on my right side, while my left leg will have Herculean-like muscle definition.
6) We rested in child’s pose for 10 minutes at the end. This is not an exaggeration. Ten minutes of a 60 minute class were spent with my ass on my heels, and my head on a stinky mat, pretending I wasn’t annoyed. I could have done that at home and called it Date Night.
So, essentially, I left the class freezing, frustrated and feeling like I would have been better served buying new lipstick and matching underwear. I was NOT rejuvenated.
But, when I got home, both June and Harvey were napping – the parental equivalent of an orgasm. I knew this was someone's way of giving me a second chance at Me Time - so I decided to reset my attitude there and then with a favorite lunch.
This sandwich is not fancy or difficult. It's not even that interesting. But it is soooooo good and satisfying. It has been a staple menu item in our house for years - I came up with it when pregnant with June and on a major cucumber kick. Often, I mix it up by adding different roasted veggies, pesto, something spicy or our favorite veggie chips for crunch (full disclosure: Tygh discovered these and I scoffed and teased for a good few months before trying 'em but they are strangely good - particularly on sandwiches), but the base is always the same: hummus, cucumber, cheddar and seedy bread. The picture doesn’t do it justice but I promise it will satisfy.
So maybe the lesson here is that Me Time is going to look a little different for awhile. Not to say I have given up on hot yoga, but maybe locking myself in the bathroom (with a drink?) a few times a day will have to suffice (as my lovely mother-in-law once confessed to doing in an attempt to get a moment or two of peace while raising my husband and brother in-law - and, hey, they turned out great!). Or, at the very least, maybe I just need to pick better classes, like vegan beef jerky making (it exists) or adult ballet. I don't know. Maybe I just need to stop wasting Me Time and freakin' eat this sandwich.
Favorite seedy crusty bread, slice and toasted (for everyday, we love Dave's Killer Bread)
Favorite hummus (we heart Sabra)
English cucumber, thinly sliced
Cheddar cheese, lots
Walla Walla Sweets, sliced super thin (unless you're me - I like a chunk o' onion)
Spread bread with hummus. Layer with cheese, cucumbers, sweet onions and any other add-ins. Mangez!!