Post-Holiday Hangover

Happy post-holiday hangover! The holidays were pretty easy this year. My parents hosted Christmas Eve so I didn’t have to move much. My mom’s side of the family (my dad’s side doesn’t come because they live in Maine and they’re Jewish, duh) is SO LOUD. I had to retreat to my room at one point to meditate and decompress because it was so goddamn loud. I had a lot of fun playing with my parent’s kitten, though. She’s so energetic! 

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Though my mom might be Catholic, we still pretty much celebrate Christmas like Jews. We have the morning presents and relaxing and then go to the movies and out to eat Chinese food. We ended up seeing La La Land which was So So Painfully Bad. Apologies to Pasek and Paul, but the music wasn’t memorable and the storyline, though not their fault, was horrifically cliche. The opening number really had nothing to do with anything and was so terribly awkward I wanted to shrink down in my seat and die.

I traveled back to the city with my mom on Monday and J and I met my friend Elliot and his girlfriend to see the [random] matinee of The Encounter, which was again a wonderful experience and all enjoyed it. Today I am getting back to yoga at my studio and trying to finish up a quick book. I’m allowing myself to eat and drink whatever I want this week, within reason, until New Year’s Day. Because… new year, new start? Then I’m reigning it in. Back to not drinking more than one day a week and cooking. 

And I’ll be entering lots of ticket lotteries this week with my partner in crime, @endotique. Who never posts on Tumblr anymore and really should, right guys? 

Here’s to a week of freedom before new beginnings. 

A Leap of Faith

Ever since I was surprised by a layoff in early November, I’d been contemplating doing a 200 hour yoga teacher training intensive with one of my favoriteeeee regular teachers (the inspiration Chrissy Carter!) for the month of January because it just so happened to be almost perfect timing. I just need a way, other than unemployment, to sustain myself until then. 

But then I’d been woo’ed by a recruiter to take a temp HR Generalist position at a tech start-up. The pay was pretty low, but it looked like a cool company, so I said I’d do it. The recruiter also said it had potential to be permanent and as soon as I saw the office and they gave me a bag of swag, I was like, “OMG I’M STAYING FOREVER,” and my yoga teacher training dreams disappeared faster than the color from my cheeks from the 4 AVENUE WALK from the subway to the office that the temp job was in. 

After about two weeks, I started to get pretty miserable though. It became clear that this wasn’t becoming a permanent thing in addition to the pay being stupidly low, and despite my “boss” being a lovely person who I had things in common with (meditation! rose water spray! rolfing!), she arrived late every day (her own schedule, whatever!), spent most of the day in meetings, and couldn’t answer my questions as she didn’t know a whole lot about HR – she had been thrown into her role with no flotation advice just as I had been. She gave me projects to do with no instructions and she wasn’t there to answer questions.

As I sat at my desk last night, I realized I was miserable. I knew I didn’t want to stay and I definitely wanted to have another plan, which was a surprise to everyone, including myself. Ever since college, when I interned and/or went to classes during the day and worked selling merchandise at Broadway shows at nights and on weekends, in addition to volunteering to do other production related things, I looked forward to the day when I’d be able to have a “regular” 9-5 job after which I’d be able to have my life and see shows, do yoga, and whatever else I desired. 

But after the last couple of weeks, I started to kind of admit to myself that maybe that’s not what I want to do after all. Maybe, as much as it kills me to say it, a “regular” job isn’t what’s right for me. Or maybe I was just in the wrong field. But instead of trying yet another job, I decided to sign up for yoga teacher training. I input my credit card number, submitted my application, forwarded the confirmation to my yoga teacher, and left for the day after offboarding someone.

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I arrived, as previously scheduled, at my yoga studio that night for class with my teacher and when she arrived she gave me a hug and told me congratulations. Shortly after, I received a phone call from the recruiter telling me that my assignment was over because they’d hired a generalist. The universe had my back and things all synced up. I’d found a job for the interim weeks before training and now I was free from it. 

I’m really excited for the training. It’s a big step and it’s a big commitment, for sure, but it’s better than sitting around and taking another job that I might end up hating. All of the reasons that I didn’t think I should do it are still there (I don’t really want to be a yoga teacher, per se; I’m not flexible enough; I can’t even do a handstand!; It’s expensive!; My arms are short!; I’m not fit enough!) but they’re at least fading into the background now that I clicked the ‘confirm’ button.

If you’ve done 200 hour yoga teacher training before, I’d love to hear some tips and insights, if you have any. 

Come on, people.

My yoga teacher, Chrissy, said something incredibly sad at the end of class on Monday night. She was talking about using yoga as a way to really strip off our layers that we build up by living in the world. She added the addendum that hopefully when the layers are stripped away, hopefully you’ll simply be a nice person.

She added when class was over and we were putting away our props that she knows the holidays are hard for everyone. She told us she was checking out at JCREW earlier in the day and the woman at the desk said to her, “thank you for being nice to me!” So sad. Let’s get it the fuck together, folks. Yes, Trump won and a lot of people would like to sit around and mourn all day long for the next 4 years, but that’s pointless. 

That’s a reminder to everyone, and my impatient ass especially, to be extra nice to people you meet. Especially during the holidays. And especially to people who are working shit jobs dealing with disgruntled customers all day.

Stop, drop, and meditate.

I’m going to try not to be too dramatic, or make this all about me, because it’s not, but these are my feelings right now. You know those moments in movies when the a pivotal character dies or gets a life-changing phone call? I had one of those tonight. No, I didn’t die, but I got out of a great yoga class with my favorite teacher, turned my phone on and had a text from my mother saying to call her immediately so I did. She told me that my oldest best friend in the world, who was more like my older sister than anything else, was being rushed to the hospital with multiple brain tumors.

I am still absolutely shocked beyond belief. They won’t know anything else for another day or so until more tests have been run, but I never expected this in a million years. I told Justin first and then a couple of other close friends. Because I didn’t want to sit with the weight of this on my chest (I know how self-centered that sounds, believe me) and not allow myself to confide in the people I love most.

Truth be told, there’s nothing I can really do right now but wait. I’d ask you to pray, but I don’t even pray so I’m not going to ask you to do something I wouldn’t do. But I did the only thing I know how to do which was to stop, drop, and meditate. I Googled for an appropriate meditation and found one to send healing energy to loved ones. I don’t believe in gods, but I believe we’re all energy so I believe in sending healing energy. As the saying goes, where your attention goes, the energy flows

So, if you feel moved, send some energy and positive vibes my friend’s way. 

Cat/Cow Pose with Actual Cats

Last Thursday, I headed down to the LES for yoga and kitty time at Meow Parlour. I haven’t been back since my first trip there in the winter and I was look forward to it a lot. Before the yoga class begins at the Meow Parlour, everyone gets 45 minutes of kitty time so I first got to know the cats I’d be hanging out with. 

There were two ginger wobbly cats there (cats with a neurological disorder that makes it hard for them to balance, hence ‘wobbly’), as well as two tortie kittens, an older white cat, an adorable tabbie kitten, an older ginger cat, and Willie, an adult tabbie who has been at the Meow Parlour since the very beginning and probably hasn’t been adopted, according to the folks at Meow Parlour, because he takes longer than usual to warm up to humans. I loved him instantly.

As soon as the yoga mats came out, the cats that had been sleeping in the front of the store came running to the back. For some reason they love the yoga mats. 

The class was an advanced beginners class for the most part. It made me feel good but didn’t tire me out. It was definitely the most distracted I’ve ever been in a yoga class though, with the cats walking around and brushing up against us. Distracting and adorable

For $20 and a long ride down to the LES, it was totally worth it to get my downward dog on with the cats and support a great organization. 

Still Breathing.

If I’ve been a little quiet the last couple of weeks it’s because a) the atrocity of the election, and b) I was laid off two weeks ago. The first part of that sentence makes me way more sad than the second part. 

My layoff was not really a surprise. There was a hiring freeze, so there was no recruiting to be done, and running the office and HR for a staff of 15 was not a full time job. Honestly, I was bored and just sticking around so I wouldn’t look like I was jumping around again on future resumes. The office felt cold for the last few months. But I do miss most of my colleagues. They were (are) a good group. 

Since I have savings, I decided to take a week off before I dove into job hunting 100% and after the election on Tuesday night, I could not have been happier to not have to show my face to the world or be forced to talk to people in an office. The Democrats fucked up and nominated a bad candidate (not saying she was unqualified, just not a good candidate because she was too strongly disliked). I never thought Clinton had it in the bag, despite what polls told us, and my deepest fears were confirmed that the American people are, collectively, pretty stupid. Clinton included. She didn’t even GO to Wisconsin. Come on. 

How did I cope on Wednesday? I ordered a Trump cat toy off Amazon so she could scratch his face off and went to yoga. 

The toy didn’t go as planned. She likes to sleep with it. I pretend she’s smothering it.

I’ve spent the last two weeks going to yoga daily, cooking, sending out resumes, chatting with recruiters, and hanging out with my cat (her birthday is tomorrow, so I’ll tell her you all say happy birthday). I’m also shocked at how much fun unemployment is with a cat. Speaking of cats, I’m volunteering with a few adoption organizations to clean and feed cats who are waiting to be adopted at the UWS Petcos. This is also fun. And kind of sad. I might adopt 5 more cats. Who knows. No promises.  

And while contemplating my next steps, given my savings and severance, I’m considering doing a 200-hour yoga teacher training course in January with one of my favorite teachers. I don’t know if I necessarily want to teach yoga, but it’s been a constant thing in my life for so many years now and I want to deepen my understanding of the practice. So, I might sign up for that and do temp work until then to keep myself afloat. 

Lastly, I’ve been sucking at this blogging thing lately. I’m still backlogged on my Poland posts and I have so many things that I could just ramble about. So, I’m going to try write once a day if it kills me. Starting today, starting now. Here’s to post #1!

(Really, lastly, don’t forget to donate to Planned Parenthood.)

Election Day 2016

My polling place on the upper west side was busier than it ever has been before! I went by around 8:45am and luckily, I only had to wait around 20 minutes or so, but I hear it got bad in certain parts of my ‘hood. Hopefully everyone voted!

I spent my day in meditation, then a kundalini yoga class, then I cooked lunch, followed by catching up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, and then we went to an Urban Zen yoga class. Everything was about stress reduction and it was lovely.

This election has been awful. Donald Trump is an atrocious excuse for a human being with some (emphasis on the word some) of the most awful, racist, misogynist supporters out there. But for those supporters who aren’t the bottom of the barrel, I get it. Sort of. You want lower taxes and you don’t want the country flooded with immigrants from cultures that don’t easily or at all assimilate. I don’t agree with the lower taxes for all. I believe that the super wealthy should start paying their fair share (again). But we’ve been seeing how loads of immigrants haven’t been assimilating into European countries and so it’s understandable and reasonable that some Americans don’t want that here.

That said, I’m not giving the nuclear code to a man who is so volatile that questions about his statements regarding a beauty pageant winner send him on Twitter rants at 3am. He is attention deficit disordered narcissistic misogynist fuckwit. I know people like him because he has no experience in government, but that is not a plus for me.

So, I empathize with the other side, but truly, I hope he loses. I hope we can wake up tomorrow to a world where it is no longer unimaginable for a little girl to dream to be president one day. HRC has a ton of baggage and is not perfect by any means, but she’s what we got so I hope she wins.

Now watch your alcohol intake tonight, please. 

Gabby B via Livestream

Last Tuesday, Gabrielle Bernstein kicked off the tour for her new book, The Universe Has Your Back, in New York at a church in the East Village. Since I’d just been to her last talk a few weeks prior, I decided to buy a streaming ticket so that J and I could watch it live together. I wanted him to experience but I figured an entire in-person night might be a bit overwhelming. 

The only thing I was curious of is whether or not Gabby’s presence would transcend my TV. She talks a lot about presence in her lectures and especially in her newest book. I knew it wouldn’t be the same, but I wondered just how different it would be. After eating some sweet potato noodles, we settled onto my couch with Playbill tuned in, literally. 

Luckily, it was still worth it. She brought her A-game and she delivered as she told stories, a lot of which I’ve heard before but J hadn’t, and the meditations rocked, too.

If you don’t live in a city where Gabby tours to, fear not, and buy a live stream ticket. It’s almost as good, which is better than not being there at all.

5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight

OK, nevermind.

Remember how I’d been going to the gym and using the elliptical 4 mornings during the week? Well, according to the above article that may have fucked up my metabolism and have a part in screwing up my weight. 

BUTbut… I ran 5k twice last week and I almost enjoyed it and I’d like to keep doing it at least once a week. I ran for 31-33 minutes at a time so I’m thinking that might not be overdoing it too much. 

This above article really drove home the need to do more weight training. I went to an Ashtanga/Iyengar-heavy yoga class last night and aside from my Saturday morning class, I’m going to do my best to stay away from Vinyasa/Power/Fire/Body Assault yoga classes. 

And then, this morning, I used my arm weights and did a couple free weight exercises and then put on my Barre DVD and worked on the arm module and about half of the core module. I’m going to use the shit out of that DVD.

This morning I also noticed that eating cold foods in the morning don’t sit well in my stomach. Back to oatmeal for me! #protein 

5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight

Workin’ It Out

I haven’t posted my exercise regiments for the last week or two because with my vacation, but I had a good run this week. I actually made it to 5k! I realized that I just have to slow way down when I run. J runs too fast for me, so I’ll have to slow him down when we run a 5K in early November.

I ran in Riverside Park and, as usual, I missed every entrance to the path along the Hudson, but what can you do? 

I’ve been to yoga twice this week and I’ll probably run again tonight, rest tomorrow, and yoga on Saturday. My FitBit alarm didn’t go off on Monday or Tuesday, so I didn’t go to the gym in the morning and I was totally lazy the last two mornings. I need more core work though. Any suggestions?