Disappointment, acceptance, begin again.

Last Tuesday morning, I was ready:  ready to write a blog entry about May Day, ready to begin teaching a new Nia class the next day.

And then the sharp, shooting pain started, enough that at one point I curled up in a fetal position on the floor. After hours in urgent care, the verdict was kidney stones, which I’d never had before in my life. If I have any say in the matter, I’d greatly prefer not to experience that kind of pain ever again.

That blog post still sits in my drafts folder, but is now outdated, irrelevant.

I had to call that next morning to say I couldn’t teach that Nia class that day, and hoped to start the next week (today). But largely due to past disappointments about someone else not making it to teach numerous times, people ended up losing interest. They weren’t willing to go again. The studio owner called me today to cancel the classes. Completely out of my control, all of it.

Having the kidney stones knocked me down for several days; the pain gradually receded to a dull soreness and exhaustion. Each day, I’ve gotten a little more energy. Now, I don’t feel quite 100% yet, but I’m getting closer.

Part of me thinks: this is a lesson in acceptance. Sometimes things happen and other things happen as a result. I did not hold control or blame in having kidney stones or losing the class. I also cannot pretend that it would have been helpful in any way to try to teach a first Nia class somewhere while that depleted and in pain.

I used to hate when my ex would say, “It is what it is,” but that’s true sometimes (Granted, I used to think that she said it in a way that really meant, “Life sucks, so just suck it up and deal with it.” I don’t mean it like that). Sometimes things happen, and they can be unfortunate and disappointing and invoke all kinds of emotional responses.

Earlier, I had a moment where I wanted to say to the people who wouldn’t try going to another Nia class to give me a chance. But I don’t know them. They don’t know me. My health issues aren’t personal to them. They don’t know that I would only miss teaching a class if I absolutely had to; they do know of the others who weren’t there to teach and disappointed them.

I can reason and rationalize and say that it was a huge unknown anyway, that it was a risk, that I didn’t know how it would go. And that’s true. But meant to be or not meant to be, that class isn’t happening anymore due to circumstances beyond my control. And maybe there is a better opportunity. Perhaps there will be another opportunity. For the moment, maybe not. In the meantime, I’m still teaching my one class per week, learning more routines, and continuing to practice Nia in my living room.

And I can allow myself to be disappointed, to let unfulfilled anticipation slowly ebb away in its own natural time. It’s a new beginning, a new activity that did not come to fruition. I need to step back for a moment before planting new seeds.

Whatever else is true, I have to have a kernel of faith here that my next ongoing class, wherever I teach it, will work out. Faith and hope are crucial for trying again. So maybe at some point,  I’ll reach out to another place, and see how it goes from there. Even in the midst of disappointment, other potential new beginnings are out there.


Friday link roundup 4/20

Prince’s original studio recording of Nothing Compares 2 U.

This website (and its app) can tell you the indigenous history of where you live.

Actress Molly Ringwald looks back at her roles in films such as Pretty in Pink in light of the age of #MeToo.

A women’s journey from doing self-care in the form of Netflix and bubble baths and wine (and a feeling of obligation) to radical self-care.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern wore a Maori cloak during her visit to Buckingham palace. The images of this powerful woman are striking.

Recent songs on my head.

Sounds that have been on my head lately (follow the links if you want to hear more):

I’ve been learning a new Nia routine, called Deep Dive. While a variety of songs from the playlist run through my head throughout the day, this one, called Silence, is my favorite.

I’ve been watching/listening to the clips from Jesus Christ Superstar Live since they appeared on YouTube after the live broadcast last Sunday. Here is Sara Bareilles singing “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.”

So…Disney’s Frozen is opening as a full-fledged musical on Broadway, more complete with new songs by the movie’s original songwriting duo. They just released a video of one of the new songs, Monster,” sung by the woman who plays Elsa. I listened to it once, and later had to remember what it was because some of the lyrics kept on going through my head. And so I listened to it again. Here’s the link. (Note: I think it’s catchy, but not in the way “Let it Go” is. This one’s powerful, too, but more introspective with a little darkness thrown in.)

I hold no responsibility if any of these get on your head as well. It’s completely your choice to click the links, after all. 🙂

I want to remember: Trip to Washington

Two weeks ago, I went to visit my mom in Washington state for a long weekend. From Bellingham, we traveled to Langley, which a town is on Whitbey Island (southwest of Belligham, northwest of Seattle). The trip was refreshing: my mom and I had quality time together and it took me completely out of my regular life. I’m still savoring and holding onto memories from the trip. I wrote this so I can remember.

I want to remember:

The way the ceiling on my mom’s house stretches up,
how the windows frame the forest outside.
How the cat, grower slower and thinner with age, still remembers me
and meows in greeting.
The sight of Deception Pass,
the bridge above, water beneath, surrounding forest.
The fear of heights on human-made structures hit me as we walked a few feet on the bridge,
but the view — clouds, water, and islands —
is beautiful. worth it.
We walk down the path to catch a glimpse of the bridge through the trees
and find just the right angle.

One of the bunnies of Langley, WA

We first noticed the sight of several bunnies, all different colors.
Not wild hares, but said to be the descendants from the county fair from years ago.

Water around, mainland across.
sun peaking through the clouds; a rare day without rain.
Walking on the beach, rocks creating slightly unstable terrain;
sort of like a rough foot massage through my shoes.
We try to walk in the sand, but it is not packed and our feet sink down.
We walk back to the more solid rocks.

water and sky

We peek in store windows,
browsing for places to explore the next day.
Savoring sunset, rays of sunlight hitting the mountains,
ordering pizza for dinner.

We turn in for the night.
Morning is: sleeping in,
breakfasting, a spread of food arranged
Greek scramble with feta
the next morning, it’s breakfast enchiladas
delicious muffins, and fruit.

The room at our bed and breakfast:
comfortable beds,
a gas fireplace where we sit as we look over photo albums,
a balcony that looks over the houses of the town,
the water of the bay at the edge of the view.

I want to remember:
the sense of ease and play.
views of the water in between browsing in shops
the delicious Pad Thai and chocolate caramel cheesecake
at the coffeeshop bookstore (yes, it’s both)

Pad Thai

Tasty Pad Thai

Our evening walk on the beach,
where we saw a heron, a bald eagle, and a loon.
Walking out on the dock, views of the Cascades,
the last rays of sunlight hitting them as the day begins to wane.


The spring flowers: daffodils blooming.
pink blossoms on the trees.
The white buds and flowers on the magnolia tree.
Buds on tulips promising more to come.

Two days of ideal weather gave way to Monday’s rain,
a steady shower.
What we thought was the fire station turns out to be a
glass studio and shop, where the artist works and sells his goods.
Shelves upon shelves show vases, paperweights, flowers
He demonstrates to a customer, twirling the rod with hot glass,
forming something new.

We drive away along the coast, looking through trees
for glimpses of water.
The rain goes from sprinkle to steady drizzle;
our plan for a hike turns questionable.
Still, I want to see the beach on the western side of the island.
Luckily, the rain lightens.
We walk down to the rocky beach,
hear the waves lapping against the shore.
Across the water, we see the Olympic Mountains.
In the water, we see a seal, coming up for air.
Back up to the trail,
my senses heighten with the awareness of forest, water, and sky.

The Olympic Mountains.JPG

I want to remember:
the ease of conversations,
the laughter,
taking time out of our regular lives and
spending it together.

Friday link roundup 3/16

On portrayals of tender masculinity in books and film.

Do you live in a bubble? According to this quiz, I grew up in a pretty middle-class bubble. It definitely gave me food for thought.

Four common myths about the gender pay gap, and a rebuttal for each.

One company’s solution to providing housing for the homeless: Use a 3D printer to create simple homes.

Barbie has created 17 new dolls based on inspirational women.

National Geographic acknowledges its racist past.

On why more and more teenagers are considering trade schools instead of four-year colleges.

A school in a small town in New Mexico is still reeling from their experience of a school shooting that happened in December, an event that received very little news coverage.

About planets without stars.

My spouse and produce shopping.

A moment at Smith’s this weekend:

I’m coming back to the produce section after grabbing a few items from the aisles. I find my husband explaining to to several people why and how he’s been tapping on apples to determine their crispness:

“If it sounds like a ‘thump’ when you tap it with your finger, it’ll be less crisp. If it sounds like a ‘ping,’ or a brighter sound, then it’ll be a crisp. Of course, this doesn’t apply golden delicious apples because they’re not crisp by nature.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve come back to find him in mid-explanation after people expressed curiosity about what exactly he was doing by holding and tapping individual apples. I’m sure it won’t be the last, either.

After the moment is over and the people have gone back to their shopping, I smile at him and give him a hug. “I love you,” I say. After all, how many people can say that their spouse gives produce-picking advice at grocery stores?

Practicing mindful existing.

Watching from the second-floor window of the doctor’s office where I waited for my doctor to come in and see me on Thursday, I noticed a cat wandering around the grounds below. I first saw the cat by the bushes, where it unsuccessfully stalked a group of pigeons. It then walked closer to the entrance of the medical center, where other people noticed it and tried to coax it to come to them (being a true cat, it didn’t).

The sky was a bright blue that began to fade as the afternoon went on. I looked at the details on the nearest palm tree, the patterns on its tall trunk.

I also noticed details inside the room as well, such as the new technology of a tablet-like device on the wall that flashed images and different offerings: from an anatomy library to contact information about support groups. I didn’t go up to it to investigate further, but it still caught my attention every so often.

Sitting on the exam table, I practiced several of the Nia moves with hands and fingers: finger flicks, creepy crawlers, finger extensions.

By knowing roughly the time I got in there and the time I left, I could estimate how long I was in there. But during the time I was waiting, I didn’t look at my phone. I didn’t know what time it was or how long it had been.

In the past, I might have allowed myself to space out while waiting in a doctor’s office. I would drift off, allowing my thoughts to wander from this to that. Ultimately, I would detach from my own experience. That no longer feels like an appealing option, especially since it can mean that I might feel out of my body during the actual appointment, which doesn’t improve the overall experience or how I feel afterwards.

During my time in that office, I was practicing mindful observing and existing. I could have grabbed my phone or my iPad from my purse and given myself something else to do, but I didn’t. It wasn’t about impatiently waiting for the doctor or thinking about what I would do once I got home. I gave myself quality quiet time just to exist.

It’s often hard for me to carve out time like this, as there are often things to do at home, and I often go places with the specific intention to actively do something. But perhaps I can find more opportunities like this and create the space to just be.