Tuesday, June 8, 2010

21.5.800 21 Day Challenge Day 1

Dear Readers - I am taking part in a 21 day challenge to explore writing and yoga. I will be practicing yoga 5 of every 7 days and writing 800 words per day (I hope!). These writings will be personal thoughts and are not intended to influence any of you in any way. I will post this purple badge on the top of each post pertaining to this challenge, so if you are not interested in reading what will probably prove to be late night ramblings, please feel free to skip these posts. 

My Yoga: My oldest son has asked me everyday for two weeks to do yoga with him. I have been so busy preparing for this trip to the mountains and finishing other obligations that I have not felt like I could take a moment to stop and be with him in this way. Well this challenge and the summer have both begun and he and I, along with the other two kids if they so choose, will be completing the yoga portion of 21.5.800 together. I anticipate this will be special.

My Writing: 21 days...800 words per day. Wonder if I have that much to say? I wrote a dissertation once, but that didn't exactly expose my personal thoughts and beliefs. Here's the first day's entry.

Tonight, after unpacking the car and spending a couple of hours organizing our belongings for our summer at the Farm, I found that there was no hot water. I had forgotten to flip the hot water heater breaker in the kitchen which controls the hot water heater. Reeves needed a shower after removing his shirt and wallowing in the dust of the gravel road like some chinchilla. So, I flipped the switch and he cleaned him up with baby wipes and a cold rag, and then went about my business fixing dinner. As I began washing up after a lovely meal in which all participants ate second helpings, I realized with growing dread that there was still no hot water. It was nothing as grand as a blown water heater.  We’ve actually gone through that scenario here before and it was not our most enjoyable stay. No, the cold sweat was my slow realization that I was going to have to go into the cellar and flip the main breaker for the water heater.

How hard can it be, right? Lift the cellar cover, duck under the support beam, climb down the steps, open the door, turn to the left, open the panel cover, flip the switch, close the cover and the door and back up the steps. Well, the steps and support beam are usually covered in spiders and those leggy crickets that just look creepy without the decency of making the comforting chirrup of the ones in children’s stories.  The creaky old door at the bottom usually leads to a an room empty of all but an old furnace, some empty canning jars on a shelf, the electrical panel, and the aforementioned water heater. But occasionally, there are carcasses of poor dead animals that made it into the cellar, but never out. I’m not sure if I hesitate more in meeting one of those poor dears who didn’t make it, or one who is surprised by my convenient, sudden making of an escape route. Whichever it is, I do not especially care to visit this location in my beloved retreat in the country.

As I chatted with an old friend on Facebook tonight I mentioned my frustration in having to make this imminent trip to the underworld. With delight he pondered my willingness to admit this fear because he remembered me as such a “badass” in elementary school. Apparently I intimidated him? This is humorous to me because I remember elementary school as such a time of unease for me. I went to school in a small country elementary school and my class of twenty students stayed pretty much the same from fourth through eighth grade.  I was never sure of being liked, though I had friends, and I never viewed myself as one to set trends of fashion or coolness. I made good grades with little effort, but this friend I mention; he was the brains of the class. Everyone liked him in a little brother sort of way, and we all were intimidated by his intelligence. So, how could I have been viewed as a badass? Me?

I pondered this thought and his admission that I was somewhat intimidating. How had my own fears of social isolation manifested into this? I’m sure not everyone in the class thought of me in the same way, but over the years I have heard similar remarks concerning my self confidence and willingness to live my life as myself. I wonder if all those whom I admire for the same quality have as many fears about their lives as I do. Do I really seem to be so self confident? Am I a badass to the world?

I am not so fearless in reality. Who is? I have an unfounded fear of sharks, and a creepy crawly aversion to unseen chemicals and pesticides bombarding my children. I am afraid of the camera because I see myself in ways that don’t match what I see in still images. I have a fear of someone I love dying. Oh, and ticks.  Honestly though, those are about the extent of my regular fears…real and make believe. 

 I no longer care for the styles of others but have settled into a style that may or may not be right for me or up-to-date, but is comfortable and allows me to express myself for the most part. I do not fear betrayal, though I am sure it would be painful. I do not fear the judgment of others for my choices in career and parenting. I do not fear change, though I do fear no change. I do not fear taking on the responsibility of my children’s education. I do not fear showing weakness to my children, though I do struggle showing it to others…I don’t ask for help well…remember, I am a badass!

So, why do I fear the cellar? Maybe I fear the fear of others…animal or human. I know that the breaker was thrown by my husband in his own fear. Though we have a breaker in the house that controls the water heater, throwing both breakers guards against his own fears…better safe than sorry…protection against something going wrong in the one place on Earth we call sacred…that’s another thought for another time.

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