Monday, January 6, 2014

Glitter and Butterflies

Despite what I said about being okay with who I am, with loving myself unconditionally, with going easy on this tired old soul, I am feeling the need for some turn-of-the-year resolutions. Typically, this list would include gym memberships, diet plans, and an ungodly number of bags set aside for Goodwill, the neighbor girl, the animal shelter down the road. This year, I won’t be doing any of that. I won’t be committing to that which is more for others than myself. I have never been a gym person. The thought of walking on a treadmill for an hour while staring at a wall, a window, a screen is enough to make me want to keel over on the spot. I prefer the woods, the birds, grasshoppers and turkey vultures. I prefer a nice breeze and the warm sun on my bare shoulders. Indeed, I won’t be committing to whittling inches from my waist. This year, my resolutions are for my soul.

A friend once asked, “What are the glitter and butterflies in your life?” I was having a down time. I had lost my happy. I had forgotten the joy that is usually me. It was a draining time full of obstacles and misfortune. The Universe had sat on me, twisted my arm, and was not letting me up until I called, “Uncle.” My friend asked simply, “What are the glitter and butterflies in your life? You need to do more of that.” Before I could answer, she had spoken for me, “They are laughter, romance, flowers, art, food, music and words.” She knew me well. She knows me still. This year, these are my resolutions. I am going to do my darnedest to bring more of these things into my life, to laugh, to write, to read and sing and play, to eat beautiful food in beautiful places, to fill my life with things are pretty to the eyes, pretty to the ears, and absolutely gorgeous to the soul.


I am going to add yoga. Unlike other exercise, yoga calms me, centers me, soothes my soul. I have never understood the frantic, fast-paced, feel-the-burn sort of workout that is so loved by some. I seem to be able to manage that sort of energy on my own. I have always been a nervous sort. I have always operated on high speed, jumping from here to there in the blink of an eye, doing eighty things at once, mind turning a thought, turning many thoughts, too many thoughts, over and over and over. I am like an Energizer Bunny who has no need of batteries to maintain her manic state. What I DO need is someONE or someTHING to come to me, look at me, take me by the shoulders, and tell me, “Tammie, you are becoming a freaking lunatic. Take a breath.” What I need is yoga.

My current course of study toward my doctoral degree is a computer course, a computer course in a psychology program. I am not happy about this. Computers are NOT my glitter OR my butterflies. Computers are NOT the way my brain works. My brain flits about the stage in its tutu and tights blowing kisses, smiling for the camera, and flinging feathers and pixie dust. My brain is not a fan of sitting its backend in a chair with a “Listen HERE, young lady. There is a time for work, and there is a time for play, and THIS is a time for work.” My brain is not the nerd in the taped up glasses. My brain is the seventh grade art teacher wearing the flowing skirt and the bangle earrings that she made herself out of beads and wire and clay. My brain will not be happy in pressed plaid shirt and pocket protector. My brain will need to breathe. My brain will need yoga.

Don’t get me wrong. I can do things that are serious. I can do things that I have to do in order to get to where I need to be. I can push forward, hurdle obstacles, and persevere in the face of a challenge, but why should this be my matter of course? Why should I subject myself to a life that is not my own, to a life that pleases others more than it pleases me? And yes, I DO love myself, I AM okay with who I am, but there ARE improvements I need to make. But, no longer will I push the needs of my soul to the back of the to-do pile in order to look, think, or act acceptable in the eyes of others, in order to measure up to some societal standard, in order to please, placate, pacify. No longer will I feel pressure to drag my booty and my gym bag to a sweat-stinking locker room when there is a field and a woods and a sky full of blue just sitting there waiting, just waiting for ME.

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