“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”
If Carl Jung is right (and he probably is), I haven’t been a blogger lately.
I had high hopes to post frequently in August. After all, I had a few weeks’ break from yoga teaching. (In contrast, last summer in Pune I was immersed and extra alert (first time at RIMYI, first time in India). But I averaged a mind-boggling (for me) three posts per week. Then and there, I was compelled to write.)
When I don’t write and my blog stagnates, I feel a bit guilty—as I do when some of my New Year’s resolutions remain undone. With only four months left in 2015, I got to thinking about what I have done, what I have not done, and what motivates me.
Stuff I do if left to my own devices
- Reading Reading is like breathing to me, but was my proposition to finish two books per month doable? Almost. Since January I’ve read 15 books and thus have a fighting chance to catch up. (I admit that my list includes two of Raina Telgemeier‘s graphic novels, discovered through my little niece: I couldn’t put them down!)
- Yoga While traveling, my practice might be minimal, but I never fall completely off the wagon (cf. blogging). It’s hard for me to skip more than a day because my body feels it. But have I fulfilled my resolution to vary my home practice more? I could do better. I keep hearing the old running adage in my head: Vary the terrain. (Probably likewise with asana and with life in general).
Stuff that is challenging, but rewarding to me
- Blogging The inherent difficulty of writing? First, it’s creating something from nothing. Second, it’s putting myself out there. A tall order.
- Iyengar yoga assessments After practicing with fellow teachers preparing for Intermediate Junior assessments, a sharp-witted colleague said in jest, “Well, that was demoralizing as usual!” I had to laugh out loud. She was joking (we are super supportive of one another!). But this highlights what candidates face: performing for peers, hearing criticism, confronting bad habits, being forced to rethink. Still, we choose to do this. Why? Because the learning is invaluable.
- Work My work as a yoga teacher and as the managing editor of a peer-reviewed urban planning journal is a given, a commitment. So it always gets done.
Stuff neglected, but important to me
- Keeping in touch My family is far flung. With the Internet and cell phones, keeping in touch could be easy, but I’m an irregular communicator. FaceTime? Not into it. Facebook? No. I agree with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni who, in “The Myth of Quality Time,” wrote, “There’s simply no real substitute for physical presence.” In August I did return to Hawaii and to California—to see family and friends. But I could do much better with email, texts, calls, and even handwritten letters (enchanting to receive nowadays).
- Gardening In theory, I like to garden. In reality, I’m an unreliable—let’s face it, negligent—gardener. My seasonal bursts of planting and pruning are insufficient, I know. I really enjoy reading gardening tool reviews, even electric chainsaw reviews, I know I may never use one but it sill interests me. All these reads inspire day dreams of a spectacular garden meadow
- Clutter clearing Instead of a major paper/clothing/junk purge every few years, I must simply avoid accumulating unnecessary things. What about computer clutter? Passable, except for my teeming email Inbox, possibly a lost cause.
Stuff that others enjoy, but not me
If a resolution remains undone, month after month or year after year, maybe it’s time to forget about it. Take camping: I’ve never gone camping in a tent. Never. I like to imagine that I’d like camping. But, if so, wouldn’t I be an avid camper by now? We are what we do.
Skip the tent camping. Trust me on this; I know from experience. Try cabin-in-the-woods camping—all the loveliness of nature plus plumbing and (maybe) electricity and a fighting chance to defend yourself if there’s a zombie attack.
For my 40th birthday I thought I would like to go tent camping (I’ve been maybe twice). Instead my husband took me to a resort in Ucluelet where we hiked on pruned trails with our dog and I saw a whale blowing in the ocean. Then we retired to fine dining and a king sized bed. I think it worked out in the end… and I have given up the dream of loving camping!! (And gardening, by the way, just give that up.)
Thanks, Laura and 4cats, for commenting. I’ll add cabin camping to my to-do list, ha! It can join learning to knit. As for gardening, it’s second nature to my mom and especially to my dad; I feel compelled to carry forth the legacy!
That’s how I feel about gardening too :). I’m thinking of taking the Master Gardener course in my area next year but my brain might fry doing that with the course load I will be taking in school next semester… might just opt for the Master Composter course instead which requires less hours.
Tent camping is something everyone must do once. I did it… exactly once.
De-cluttering is near the top of my list. as it helps to clear the mind (same reasons to clear props in yoga practice). Clutter clearing also helps me to take stock of what I have – reuse or recycle – helps to save money and reduce my carbon footprint 🙂