Saturday, March 04, 2006

Isn't That Interesting?

Yesterday: Strength class day with the highly ripped and all 'round hot Monsieur M, who (though not on my team, sigh) likes to slap his ass during class and tell us to "give it to him." Yes, indeedy, we are always happy to oblige!!

And the rest of yesterday? I: a) ate crappy food (dried fruit? ALL DAY??? take my word for it: don't do this); b) had a discouraging thing happen at work; c) came home to a discouraging letter; d) checked e-mail late at night, reading one from my "new" step-brother that sent me thru the roof; and e) capped it all off by phoning my extremely old, sick, frail mother and yelling at her. All of which led to f) a nice, insomniac night, full of guilt and scary dreams.

So, when 6:30 a.m. rolled around, I was in no mood. But, the key, the KEY, people, as always, is not thinking, which I happen to excel at. Off I went to week three of my 10k training program with my running group, the D.C. Road Runners. I was planning to try running with the next group up from the one I'd been running with, which, it so happens, is the inimitable Coach Bex's group. Which actually has quite a range of runners in it, including some even slower than me. We ran 45 minutes, up and down some nice big hills, and I ran the whole thing, and ended strong, and I was hell freakin' proud of myself.

Then it was off to Starbucks, with my posse: Madame X and her sidekick, Mistress Y, and my personal trainer, Bex, where we proceeded to laugh our asses off.

And then it was off to see the mother I yelled at. Smartly though, before I went to what was supposed to be sleep last night, I cruised the Internet looking for something, yea, anything that would calm me down. Someone recommended this yoga teacher to me (and I am all about the yoga these days), so I looked her up and you know what she said to me? She said this:
Whenever I can, I try to observe what is happening within me and around me using the curious mind of a sociologist. I observe what others say and do; I observe what I say and do, all with an open heart and non-judging mind. I sometimes use this phrase silently to myself, “isn’t that interesting?” as I observe.
Here are the results of my first attempt:
Mother: "I'm leaving the nursing home and moving back to West Virginia, the place I hate, even though I can't walk yet or take care of myself."
Me: "Isn't that interesting?"
Mother: "My husband is checking himself out of the hospital against medical advice and driving himself and his ostomy and his heart attack home on Monday."
Me: "Isn't that interesting?"
Mother: "Can you write checks for these 30 overdue bills for me today?"
Me: "Isn't this (I had to mix it up a little) interesting?"

"New" step-brother who I specifically wanted to see today, because he is leaving for California tomorrow, and who, when I called him at 1 p.m. from the nursing home, was still in bed: "I think I have food poisoning so I can't see you today." (Why is it that whenever I hear "food poisoning," I always think "alcoholic?")
Me: "Get the eff over here so we can figure out what to do with your father."

Isn't that interesting?


plods said...

bleh! I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Stay zen :-)

nancytoby said...

You can make it all sound funny, even though I know it must be a colossal PAIN IN THE BUTT to deal with all this!!

Take care of yourself!!

Elle said...

Fundamentally I don't trust men who slap their asses...but I think you should think of this person every single time your family does something to mess with you..."isn't that interesting"....yeehaw..slap.

Try it...

I'm with you on the whole food poisoning thing...I've never actually known anyone to get food poisoning...but I know an awful lot of drunk fuckers.

And this probably doesn't help..but what the hell do YOU have to feel guilty about? Nuffin'...

susie said...

Ha, I guess "isn't that interesting" is WAY better than WTF??!!
And I'm with elle. There should be no guilt on your part. None.
Thanks for the yoga link. I always learn something from your blog.
Yeah for Bex's group. Way to go, you.
Hang in there...

21st Century Mom said...

Interesting in a really shitty sort of way. Here's the deal - you can try to help people and you can try to make things right but if grown ups turn down your help and/or sleep all day and abandon you with lies about food poisoning then you get to shrug your shoulders and say, "oh well - I tried" and go to yoga class. Guilt free.

a.maria said...

sometimes i wish life was more like Survivor, and at the end of the day, if you feel the urge, you get to vote them off.

or.. in life's case.. outta your life.

quite obviously not something you'd do with your mom/family (hmm) but i think you catch my drift.

as far as isn't that interesting..

i much prefer WTF?!?!?!?!!!!

tallgirl said...

Hmmm...yeah, I'm not feeling the "isn't that interesting" thing so much. Bad advice yoga lady. She apparently hasn't learned the difference between "interesting" and "royally f---ed up." Maybe that's the next step in her enlightenment.

As for feeling better, I recommend more ass-slapping sessions, and many more jaunts to Starbucks with Madame X. From what I hear, she's so funny she keeps people up at night. ;-) Far better to lose sleep because you're laughing than because you're anxious. But I'm no "spiritual sociologist," so maybe you shouldn't listen to me.

Stay strong, mon amie...

Anne said...

I like the idea of looking back at your situation detached. When I'm in a real bind or just don't want to deal with something that I absolutely must confront, I sometimes imagine my life being filmed for a documentary and it helps me get through what must be done. You can't change other people, and it sounds like you're surrounded by a lot of recalcitrants right now. Hang in there. Keep running and stretching and taking deep breaths.

Black Knight said...

Sorry sorry sorry, calm down and think positive. Running apart I suggest to you: sit in front of the window, watch the sky by night with all the shining stars, listen your favourite slow music (what about Roxy Music or Pink Floyd?) and let your mind free to fly. When you are ready close your eyes and dream. It will work!

Rae said...

Oh goodness, you do need yoga in your life!! And some strong sedatives and a lot of chocolate!!

Dori said...

Way to get assertive with the step-bro! People will take advantage of you for as long as you're willing to let them.

Hope this week is going better.

Anonymous said...

Interestly funny. Try to stay calm and keep your chin up.