The Time I was Five Minutes Late for Yoga

I tend to have an all or nothing attitude in life.  While it can encourage me to try harder to achieve whatever goal I’m currently striving to attain, it can sometimes get in the way of things.  For example, running.  I have a hard time running since I know that I will never be a “good” runner.  A 12 minute mile would be decent for me and while that would get me in better shape than I am now, knowing I’ll never get it under 10 (or 11 even) makes me feel that it just isn’t worth it to try.  Being willing to try, even if I’m never as awesome as I wish I could be, would not be a bad thing.  But my want to “get things right” stands in my way.This happens in my daily life when things go off kilter.  I may mentally plan my day’s schedule and if I happen to fall off a little bit, poof I let the whole day slide.

Today, I had planned to go to the 1:15 postnatal yoga class.  It was in the northwest part of the city, about 15 minutes away.  It was my first time at this studio, so I wanted to get there early to have time to find parking, complete the necessary paperwork, etc.  Lucy and I returned from our morning errands around noon, I fed her and changed into my new yoga clothes, planning to leave around 12:45.  As I thought everything was ready to head out the door, the phone rang.  It was our insurance company and not a call I could blow off.  10 minutes later as the call ended, I discovered Lucy had a diaper blow out that clearly couldn’t wait.  We weren’t walking out the door until 1.  Normally this would have made me call the whole thing off.  No way I’d make it to the studio, find parking and complete the paperwork before the start of class.  If I couldn’t get there for the start of it, it just wasn’t worth going to the 90 minute class in the first place.  I pushed these thoughts out of my head and put Lucy into the car.  After all, this was postnatal/mother-baby yoga.  Everyone would have a small child and would understand being a few minutes late.  I was likely to not be the only one running a little behind.  Off we went.

We made good time across the bridge and even found parking across the street.  I walked into the studio to discover I was the only one there.  The postnatal class was new to this studio and still developing a following.  Lucy and I were the only students in attendance today.  Shelley, the very kind yoga teacher, gave us an abridged personal class with stretches and relaxation (free of charge as well, since it wasn’t really a full class).  She rocked Lucy when she fussed and helped me work on the lower back kinks having 2 kids can produce.  Even though it was only 30 minutes, I left feeling relaxed and rejuvenated – exactly what I needed.

If I had allowed my “all or nothing” attitude to prevent me from getting out the door and to yoga today, I would have missed this great opportunity to work with Shelley and give my body some special attention.  In many aspects of my life, learning that something is always going to be better than nothing is becoming a valuable lesson.  Exercising, even if only a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood with Cal and Lucy, is better than not getting off the couch.  I don’t have to run a marathon to make the exercise count.  Eating a cupcake will not derail my diet if I make smart choices the rest of the day – it isn’t an excuse to stop paying attention to what I eat and decide I’ll never lose another pound.  Sending Lila to day care a few days a week while I’m on maternity leave doesn’t make me a bad parent – it gives me the chance to have alone time with Lucy, care for the house and be a better parent to Lila when she is home.

This may seem like “of course it’s not all or nothing” to some of you, but to me this is really a learning process and something I am continuing to work on.  I hope next time I feel like not having something go 100% to plan is an excuse to give up, I remember the wonderful personal yoga session veering off schedule gave to me.



  1. Aunt Joan says:

    You my friend are a true perfectionist ,or so it surely sounds.I have been married to one of your kind for 43 years and over the years he has learned that some of my anti-perfectionist ways are not totally wrong.Of course,saying that,we still have our moments when my lack of urgency to do everything to the max is very trying.Example:Thanksgiving day road race with our sons who are runners.I will run but mostly walk and wish I were elsewhere.They finish race and come back for me.Uncle Allan is already stressing next years race and working the machines at gym to the upmost.He really gets uptight to not finish in top of over 60 group.I will celebrate my last place.This what makes life fun.

    • Just got home from lunch with Sarah and your birth announcement was in the post.Your children are so pretty.Lucy is a baby who could be one of my mom’s;she looks like a little Ex. girl.

      • Washington Woman says:

        Glad you liked the announcement – funny you think she looks like Andrew. At the Super Bowl party this weekend, a friend swore she looked just like me. Perhaps a perfect mix of both!

  2. Glad to see the growing and learning process is continuing, you are a great parent already but a little “It doesn’t have to be perfect” attitude will come in handy in the years to come! Happy to hear your Yoga experience worked out for the best.
    Mom and I love the birth announcement card also.
    Love Dad

Speak Your Mind