High Fives and Cussing

You might be having PMS when you get to work after no sleep and you realize you left your delicious Christmas-y flavored coffee in the coffee press on your counter AT HOME, and you cry in the car. You actually lie your head on the steering wheel and you cry. Because of a coffee.
You might be having PMS if you’ve watched nothing but mushy love Hallmark Christmas movies for 24 hours and you decide that you need to date a harmonica playing barista. Preferably with his own coffee shop, but whatever, you’re not that picky.
You might be having PMS if the sound of ice swooshing around in your kid’s drink of water makes you want to MOVE. Houses.
You might be having PMS if your underwear keep sliding down inside your jeans and you have to keep reaching down inside the ass of your pants to jack them back up and you really want to punch someone EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
But you don’t punch anyone, because that would be wrong. You choose to wipe your tears, deep breathe, and know that tomorrow will surely be much better…a new day, with new underwear.
You stop crazy coffee crying and you strut your ass into work. On time. With cute hair. WHAT? Yeah, you rocked it, girl! You are damn impressed with your ability to get your shit back together.
You high five yourself.
You sit down at your desk and take a big ol’ drink of icy cold water to wash down some drugs, and the water does that sploosh directly out onto your face thing and even gets you in the maa effn’ eye.
Fuck it. I’m punching people.
Yours, with high fives and cussing.
Nicole xx

Year 46 – Life Lessons

My eleven year old daughter likes to share “Life Lessons” with me when we are on long road trips, and she drops little pearls of wisdom like “If you only focus on the negative things that happen to you, like that you stepped in dog poop and got it on your new boot, you’ll miss the positive things. You could have gotten poop on both boots!” Yes, she’s amazing. You’re welcome.

Now that I’ve been around the bush forty six times, I’m basically a wise, rather sage-like being (hardy har har), and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite life lessons that became especially clear for me this year. I hope you dig ’em. I also hope you learn them long before age forty six. But if not, it’s never too late, boo. Here goes:

  1. You can eat too many pickles. Trust me on this.
  2. If life takes a sharp left when you wanted to go right, just hang on, you never know what might be around that corner. Like donuts, there could be donuts.
  3. You don’t actually have to mow your lawn all that much. Hi, neighbors.
  4. It’s important to experience life out from behind the camera. To be in it. To not get stuck trying to capture the memories in a photo. This is a hard one for me. I have very few photos from my childhood, or of my mom and I, and I am a bit photo obsessed with my own kids. But I’m chilling out a bit in year forty-six. I know they’ll remember me and all of our moments. With or without photos. If not, I’m TOTALLY haunting them. That’s right, kids. Start locking those memories in if ghost Ma ain’t your thang!
  5. Frose is the bomb diggity. I can’t get the accent on the e, but you get me.
  6. Be with people who really see you.
  7. Smile more. It doesn’t matter about that crooked tooth.
  8. Sometimes your heart will get broken. Sometimes you will break a heart. Both feel horrible.
  9. Funny can fix almost everything. Except heart break. You need crazy glue for that shit.
  10. That belly roll, that loud laugh, that way you can’t leave the house without fixing the couch cushions, the way you crack jokes at a funeral, the way you lose your keys, purse, phone, every single day, the way you act all tough but truly want to be protected and taken care of – – it’s perfection. And the one who sees you, will get that.
  11. Stay close to people who make you feel good.
  12. Stay away from people who make you feel as though you are broken and damaged, or hard to love.
  13. Be kind. Especially to the unkind.
  14. Listen to your mother. Really listen.
  15. Hug longer. With both arms. Mean it.
  16. Kiss like it might be the last time. Every single time.
  17. Tell people how you feel. Be vulnerable. Even if you don’t know what their response will be, say it.
  18. Eating the icing out of an entire row of OREOS is not a smart decision.
  19. Eating the peanut butter middle out of all the Pirate oatmeal cookies is a smart decision. No regrets.
  20. I can cook. I just don’t really want to.
  21. I can order take out like a mofo. Embrace what you’re good at.
  22. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you love. Watch how it changes you.
  23. You can fit every single thing in the dishwasher.
  24. Washing dishes by hand is for chumps.
  25. The laundry will never be all done, and that’s okay.
  26. Worrying about whether you’re a good mother, means you ARE a good mother.
  27. You don’t have to keep people in your life who make you feel bad. No matter who they are.
  28. You’ll turn into your mother. Whether you want to or not. I sponge stains off my kid’s clothes. I can’t remember the correct names of anything so I make shit up. And I hate asking for help. Thanks, Ma.
  29. Weed your garden. The actual garden, and the metaphorical garden of your life. Keep the people that make you grow towards the sun.
  30. Embrace the things that have happened to you. The obstacles, the adversity. If it happened, it was meant to happen. Focus on what good came from it, or what it may have saved you from. There is always something.
  31. When you are uncertain, pause. Just pause. Sleep on it.
  32. Lessons can come from joy as well. Remember this. Lately some of my best lessons have come from joy.
  33. Meet people where they are. Don’t expect someone to change to be more like you. If you love them, simply meet them where they are. Complete acceptance is a gift. Give it to others; give it to yourself.
  34. Don’t let fear be your loudest voice. Let love shut that effer up a little.
  35. Never settle for anything less than you deserve. Ride or die, baby.
  36. As my bestie Oprah says, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” Ask for all of it. You deserve it.
  37. There is true love that is exciting, secure, safe, romantic, and fun. Always, always wait for that kind of love.
  38. Accept the wisdom of children. Some of the lessons my children have taught me have been life changing. Life. Changing. There could always be more shit on your boots.
  39. Love yourself more. Nope, even more. There you go.
  40. Do what you love. Even if other people don’t understand, or think it’s foolish. They’re probably not your people.
  41. You are good enough. Right now. Right in this moment. And always.
  42. Don’t ignore the red flags. If something feels wrong, it is. Pay attention.
  43. Let it go. This applies to all the things. Except pie. Hold on tight to the pie.
  44. Don’t be afraid to start over. Live the life you want. Sometimes I start over weekly. Sometimes daily. Okay, okay, hourly.
  45. Life is less what you make it, and much more how you take it. Find the funny. Find the lesson. Grow.
  46. Sometimes when you feel as if you’ve lost yourself, when you’re wandering around in the middle of nowhere, thinking Sweet Baby Jesus, how did I get here? Did I hit my head? That is exactly when you will find yourself.

I’d love if you would share some of your life lessons with me. Leave a comment, send me an email, by carrier pigeon if you must.  I’ll soak ’em all up with love and pie, and I know year forty six will be FIRE (as my awesome teenager would say).

With a high five and some cussing.

Yours,

Nicole xx

Run, Nicole, Run

An oldie but a goodie…originally posted in August 2010 on my first blog, The Colie Chronicles, which I wrote for nine years, almost daily. It remains so close to my heart because of the people it brought my way, and the laughs we shared. Read on and let me know if you want me to share a few more flashbacks.

***

So I woke up this morning, clearly bat shit crazy, and decided to go for a run. I leave for Italy in a month and I plan on eating and drinking A LOT, and I can’t afford a new wardrobe, so evil exercise it is. I tiptoe to the bathroom and get myself all geared up and then tiptoe back to the sleeping husband. I poke him to tell him I’m going for a run. Just so he doesn’t wake up and think I was abducted in the night, and to prevent me from arriving home to find him blowing up the celebratory balloons (because I’ve finally gone missing without him having to slowly poison me – which I’m quite certain is his plan).

The husband gave me a crazy squint squint look…one eye open…trying to focus on my lovely glowing face at 6:30 am…then he looked over at my side of the bed and looked back at me hovering over him…squint squint squint again. Yes, I said I’m going for a run. A run! No, you are not dreaming. If I’m not back in an hour, call an ambulance.

It’s a beautiful sunny morning, the city birds are cawing, the street is quiet and peaceful…and off I go. I start out walking because let’s face it, I don’t want to drop dead from a heart attack before I even reach the end of my driveway. That would be embarrassing. I really should have asked the husband move my body a kilometer or two away from the house before calling 911. I’ve got my music playing and I’m so impressed with myself that I’m practically skipping.

I reach the path between the houses and I set off running. I’m all, “oh yeah, who won the 100 meter dash in 1980!!??” Yeah, that’s right, I did! Mmm hmm. I was all that and a little red ribbon back in the day, folks. This adrenaline rush lasts for all of 7 seconds. Then my feet start hurting. Must be why all those fit peeps stretch first. Silly me. I forgot to stretch. So I stop and stretch against a telephone pole. I’m feeling all lean and mean. I’m checking out my shadow and thinking, not bad Colie, not bad. I set off running again and I pass a couple walking their dog and I’m all “Wheeee hoooo! I rock!” Those losers are only out walking at this hour to prevent the dog from pooping in the house. But not me, baby, I’m running just because. Just. Because. Check me out. I choose to run.

It’s about now that my inner dialogue begins to change…Oh sweet baby Jesus.

Must.

Stop.

Running.

Whoever invented running is clearly in cahoots with the devil. Time to walk. Breathe and walk. Quite sure I forgot to breathe. Breathe, breathe. Breathing is important. I have a pain in my right shoulder. Frig. Is that a sign of a heart attack? No, I think that’s the left side. Okay. Why did I buy these cheap ass sneakers for my big flat Flintstone feet? My arches hurt. My god. Is that my knee cracking? How old am I? Man, I really hate sweating.

Shut it woman.

Get moving.

I turn up music.

I am blasting Eminem now – thinking how I love it when he lies – okay, getting kinda distracted now. I swear to you I am dancing as I walk – head bobbing – skipping a little bit – hands in the air – a little Flashdance-esque run in place from time to time just for fun…I’m finding myself quite amusing…okay, I’m good now. Ready to run again. I’ll run to that street corner…yep, I’m running…running…my shadow looks like it knows what it’s doing. Hey! I’m taller in my shadow…that’s cool…crap, that corner seems a bit far…maybe I’ll just run to the parked car. Right in front of me…okay, made it to the car. Sweet cabinet making Jesus. I need another pole stretch. I spot another dog person. Look at me stretching. Dog walking dude probably thinks I run. Maybe I’ll run past him? Yes, yes I will. Look at me go. Sucka. Okay, he’s gone.

Oh heavenly walking.

I’m now bee bopping along to a little Dixie Chicks (shut up) and then there’s a break in the music and I hear a wheezy old man behind me – holy frig. I didn’t even tell the husband my route! My mother always taught me to tell someone my route! What if I’m murdered out here by the heavy breather and buried in his back yard? I would really hate to eat dirt. I whip around, ready to give him the don’t mess with my stink eye, only to realize that I am the heavy breather. Turn the music up louder.

Maybe walking on the first day out of the gates is a better idea…much better than eating Fruit Loops, right? And then I see this man running up the hill that I’m walking down. He’s running UP the hill, people. He’s checking a gadget on his wrist and he’s all sweaty and fit, and so I have no choice but to trip him. Okay, not really, but I thought about it. Freaking show off.

I decide to run again and off I go down the hill…I make it to the next pole and have a little sit down on the curb. I’m just sitting there enjoying the morning, smelling the roses, soaking up the sun. Who am I kidding? I’m dying. I briefly contemplate calling the husband to come get me. Serious question – how did Forrest freaking Gump just start running? That shizz was NOT realistic people.

I’ve been gone about 45 minutes by now and with some musical encouragement I manage to walk/dance my way home. When I stroll into the house the 6 year old sweetly greets me with “Mommy, are you running because you’re fat?” and the 2 year old leaps into my sweaty arms and smooshes my face. Both just so happy I’ve actually returned alive from my walk. And honestly, it was touch and go for a while there.

Oh oh oh! I also rode the exercise bike tonight. Who AM I?

I won’t be able to walk tomorrow but I’m determined, so, if you see me sitting on the curb outside your house or stretching on a pole near you, give me a little “RUN, COLIE, RUN!”, won’t ya?

Or you could invite me in for Fruit Loops. That’s more my speed.

2018 update: I still don’t run. And at this point, even if someone was chasing me I’d probably be all, meh, I’ve lived a good life. I’ll just lie here and make it easier for ya.

 

 

Proceed With No Caution

Forty five is weird, yo.

I’m working really hard on embracing getting older. On accepting myself, just exactly as I am.

Ever have one of those days when you look at yourself in the mirror, and I mean you really look…you sit up on the bathroom vanity, with your feet in the sink,  you lean in a little closer, pull at your skin, examine each eyebrow, your teeth, each new line, every sun kissed freckle, scrunch your face, unscrunch your face…
And then you spot a hair.
A grey hair.
No big deal, right?
I’ve actually stopped dyeing my hair, and I’m all kinds of good with a few sprigs of grey on my head. But this bad boy is sprouting from what was once an adorable Cindy Crawford-esque mole on my cheek!
Yes, it’s a mole hair. And it’s about an inch long.
SARAH JESSICA PARKER!
How in the name of all things holy did I not notice that mother effer before? Every day I stand in front of this huge bathroom mirror to do my hair, brush my teeth, put on my eyebrows, moisturize my eyes, face, neck (because forty five, bitches, forty five). Did it just appear overnight? What kind of evil sorcery is that? I initially hoped it was unattached, perhaps actually belonging to the dog. Possibly stuck to my face with last night’s French Mint Laura Secord chocolate bar remnants. Surely, I could just flick it away.
But, no.
What the actual f*ck?
It brought back a memory of the time I was pregnant with my oldest child; I couldn’t see the bottom of my belly anymore, and the (ex)husband panic whisper-yelled to me after my doctor finished her exam: *Cough, cough* “You have a BIG DARK HAIR GROWING ON THE BOTTOM OF YOUR BELLY!” He was horrified. At the time I thought, jeez man, couldn’t you just ignore it? Maybe discreetly yank it out while lovingly caressing my ginormous belly, which houses YOUR CHILD, and an obscene number of Hershey’s Chocolate Hugs? Tell me I have never looked so glowingly beautiful, even with a new gross hair, and my belly button freakishly sticking out (it went back in, don’t worry). I am very busy and important, growing your child up in here, doncha know? I don’t have time to worry about the underside of my belly! Pffft.
But, now, to the ex husband I say, thank you. Thank you for telling me. Because who knows how long I have been walking around thinking that I was the bees knees, with my grey mole hair, just hanging off my cheek, flapping in the wind. And no one said, “hey, Moley H. McMoleyton, you better check yourself. And what really gets me is that I didn’t see it! I’m like those men with spidery leg nose hairs peeking out from their nostrils. The ones they seem completely oblivious to (okay, that gave me the heebie jeebies just typing it). I’m now sorry for judging you, fellas. I will still completely judge you, but with much more empathy. Because, now I know, hair happens.
I’ve actually been working really hard on embracing getting older. On accepting myself, just exactly as I am. With the exception of facial hair, that is. That bastard is long gone. But the rest. I’ll take it. The grey hair (on my head). My not twenty five year old boobs. Stretch marks on my hips from growing two perfect babies. The paunch above my c-section scar. All the new wrinkles. Yes, please. They’re from a life lived full of laughter, after all. And I’ve even come to accept the fact that my underwear keep sliding down inside my jeans. Because perhaps I’ve laughed my ass right off. Or my ass has morphed to a front bum and explains the paunch? I’m unsure if this is actually related to being in my mid forties, but it’s a new development, and I am blaming it on aging. Or poor underwear manufacturing.
Forty five is a little weird, yo.
Thankfully though, most days, I feel younger than I am. I’ve finally reached that stage where I’m more content in my own skin. Every scar, every stretch mark, every wrinkle, everything that is this vessel that I’m lucky enough to exist in, it tells a story. And each year that passes is a chance to add more to that story. To deepen the lines around my mouth from smiling, because I’m lucky to have the life that I do. And I’m hopeful that the best is yet to come. I’m hanging my hat on it.
Or on my mole hair.
“Aging is an incredible process, where you become the person you always should have been” – David Bowie

Take a nice long soak in my bath water

Today marks eight years since I’ve had my mother to talk to, and I so wish I could ask her what she remembers about the days when Barbie and I took a dip in her bath water…

 When I was a little girl, I remember getting into my mother’s bath water AFTER she bathed. I would play with my Barbies while she got ready to leave for work as a bartender, our face cloths laid out on the sides of the tub as beach towels, and the tub the Barbie’s ocean; I can still smell the Ivory soap and her Patchouli perfume, and remember how I longed for my cheeks to be bronzed and glowing like hers. Yes, she “highlighted” long before all the YouTube beauty gurus taught us how.

 As I got older, I realized I was basically bathing in the filth she washed off her own body, but at the time, it was perfection.

And then last night, I was soaking in my bathtub covered in bubbles, reading my wet puffed out book, and my daughter popped in to tell me three random riddles, because a peaceful bath is non-existent with children, and I am totally okay with that. After a far too lengthy discussion about why I cover my boobs with a cloth, and how she is not impressed with inheriting my nipples, she asked to get in my water, after I got out. At first I thought…oh Hells naw. I’ll run you a new bath. And then I thought…hmmm…my damn water bill has been outrageous, and it never killed me when I was little…so yes,  my sweet girl, you can hop on into my dirty bath water.

While she bathed – which included a full 360 naked spin with legs in the air – we talked about make up, and skin care, she told me funny stories about her friends at school (who are pure awesome), she razzed me about my dating track record, and she asked me to put her hair into braids for curls the next day –  and I wondered what my mother and I talked about when I was exactly my daughter’s age, taking a nice long soak in her bath water.

Today marks eight years since I’ve had my mother to talk to, and I so wish I could ask her what she remembers about the days when Barbie and I took a dip in her bath water. I cherish that time that I got to spend with her, just the two of us in the bathroom. My kids almost always come in the bathroom with me when I’m getting ready for work, or getting ready for anything really. My daughter swiping on my lip gloss, telling me my brows look super fly. My son complaining about how the hair spray makes him unable to breathe, and usually playing basketball in there at the same time. It’s not a very large bathroom and some days it drives me crazy to have all three of us crammed in there. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that those are our moments.

I hope you will take some time today to enjoy those little moments, my sweet readers. For, as they say, someday you may look back and realize that they were actually the big moments.

 

My Near Arrest Experience

I calmly got out of my car, walked over, and punched him in the throat. Then I walked back to my car with swagger that could rival Walt from Breaking Bad when he blows shit up…
 

So I was running late for a medical appointment. Because I always am. There is no good excuse for my lateness, other than I often underestimate how long it will take me to get someplace, or I can’t get my eyebrows just right.
I arrive at the underground parkade at my doctor’s office and I’m five minutes late, but five minutes late is actually on time for me, so I’m high-fiving myself all ‘check me out! I made it! I am totally kicking today’s @ss!’ And then the parking machine which spits out the ticket, won’t work. The older fella working there says he will write down my license number, and then he’ll come find my car and put the ticket on my window so I can pay when I leave. Righto!
Behind my car he goes to WRITE down my license plate number. He takes 4 minutes. FOUR.  MINUTES. It’s 6 digits, people. He wasn’t memorizing it. PEN AND PAPER. I’m now gonna be ten minutes late and that really is late, late, not just pretty much on time late. I park and book it to the doctor, where she confirms I’m batsh!t crazy. Kidding. I have just enough crazy to make me one of her favorite patients, and a very good social worker.
Did I mention the only parking spot I could find was two levels down and wedged between a wall and a giant concrete post and it may have said motorcycles only? Yeah, that. I had to crawl out the passenger side and I couldn’t fit my purse out at all. You know what this means? My purse is bigger than my butt! Yay! Getting back in the car was even more troublesome. As though my butt GREW?! NAY NAY to that. Only Flat Stanley would have been able to get into the driver’s side – – or my 14 year old, he’s a twiggy little thing.
I get the ticket that the parking lot attendant has left on my window and I go to pay. Take ticket to pay station and…wait for it….it SUCKS THE MOFO TICKET RIGHT IN and says “CALL CASHIER – your ticket is invalid.” SONOFABITCH!!
At this point, I want out of this underground Hell. Like right now. It’s hot and smelly and people are coming and going paying their tickets and trotting off, yes TROTTING, all LA LA LA LAAAAA watch us go while you sit here ticket-less stuck in hot pee smelling murdery parkade! LATER SUCKA!!
I push the little help button and say “Heeeellllpppp…my ticket got sucked in.” “Really? That’s never happened before”, they say. Like I’m making it up. “Well, it happened now, so can someone come let me out, please.” “Sure, sure, our maintenance guy will be right there. Oh, where are you?” I’M IN THE PARKADE. AT THE PAYSTATION. *MOTHER EFFERS* (*that part was in my head). Where did they think I was?
I wait.
No one comes.
I wait some more.
Buzz buzz. “Me again, I’m still stuck in the *F#CKING* PARKADE” (*also in my head).
And then he comes. The license plate man. This does not make me hopeful that I will get out of the parkade in 2018. He’s so slow, he’s Tim Conway shuffle slow.
He opens the machine – finds my ticket – HOORAH!!! Then he closes the machine and every alarm known to man screeches so loudly that I’m quite certain my ears are bleeding. Tim Conway looks frazzled. Keeps opening and shutting door. Pushing all buttons. The most annoying high pitched BAAARRRRRMMP BAAAARRRRRMMP alarm I’ve ever heard continues. I’m holding my ears now. It’s beyond ridiculous. I yell, “Can you just open the gate? I need OUT. I have to get my children.” “Oh no, dear” he says. NO? NO?!!? What the actual f#cking f#ck f#ck?!
About twenty five minutes pass, and Shuffley McShuffleton is making no progress. And I’ve gone deaf. I ask again very sweetly to please be let out. “Oh no, dear, you have to pay to get out.”
“BUT I CAN’T PAY!!!!” I scream.
“You’ll have to wait, dear.”
ME:…… very dramatically acts out hanging self.
“The gate CANNOT open without a paid ticket, dear”.
Have I ever told you how much I HATE being called “dear”? Every time he said it I mentally throat punched him. HARD. And I envisioned slamming his head in the door of the machine a time or two. May need to go back to doctor for anger issues?  Or insane alarm ringing tipped me right over the edge.
So my sighs got louder and louder – – although completely pointless since he couldn’t hear them over the incessant alarm screeching.
I finally stomp off and go get my car. I drive it right up to the exit gate. I park. I give Shuffley the side eye glare. I very seriously contemplate busting through the gate. I’m getting later and later to pick up my kids. Would I get arrested for busting out of a parkade, I wonder? I’m pretty sure my sister told me someone she knew got arrested for a gate bust. Today is not a good day to be on the news. I have a hole in my leggings and not enough highlight on my cheeks to give me that J-Lo glow.
So I walk outside to the little ticket taking machine and buzz the buzzer there. I say “I have been trapped in this MUTHA EFFING parking garage for over half an hour with the alarms going off and if someone doesn’t LET! ME! OUT! RIGHT! NOW! I’m gonna lose my mind and Shuffley McShuffleton Tim Conway the no-maintenance-man is gonna be the first one to get a punch.”
She says she’ll open the gate.
HOLD UP. The same gate that Shuffley McShuffleton Timmy said can’t possibly be opened without a paid ticket? Yes, that gate.
I go back to my car and Tim yells angrily at me; he’s so loud that I actually hear him over the alarms still blaring – “SHE IS OPENING THE GATE!! GET IN YOUR CAR RIGHT NOW! AND GET!! OUT!!”
Seriously Shuffles? I was TRYING TO DO JUST THAT for the last 45 minutes!! Was it your $4 that I didn’t get to pay? Sweet baby Jesus. Chill out Timster.
I’m a little hurt that he didn’t add a dear on the end.
I calmly got out of my car, walked over, and punched him in the throat. Then I walked back to my car with swagger that could rival Walt from Breaking Bad when he blows shit up.
Or, in truth, I gave him one doozy of a stink eye, and the boomboom fist bump swear from Friends, and I left. It was pretty bad ass.
*Side note: may be watching too much Netflix.

 

Restored

My sister called and invited me to a restorative yoga class and because “Namaste home ’cause I’m busy eating my kid’s Toblerone bar”, did not seem like a good enough excuse to not leave the house, off I went.

I had no idea what to expect of restorative yoga, I imagined all my rusty bits getting an undercoating, or someone sanding away at my bootie to uncover my 25 year old ass, maybe chopping my hair into a mushroom cut, restoring me to my original condition. But, no. It’s not that kinda restoration.

Just as we placed our mats down, wisely at the back of the class, a man walked in with a giant duffle bag and set up camp in front of me. He pulled out every piece of yoga equipment known to (wo)man, and some things I’m not certain were part of yoga at all. I looked on expectantly, waiting for him to pull out a puppy, or a small child. Then he constructed a wall of yoga items around himself on his mat. Another woman asked yoga man if we’d actually be needing all those things, and he was all “Oh yes, you’ll need props for this class. You’ll definitely need a belt.”

A what now?

I give my sister the “What the frig do we need a belt for? My yoga pants stay up just fine!?” look, and she gives me the “I have no freaking idea” look. Yes, we’re telepathic. We then give each other the “sweet baby Jesus” eyes for the 10 minutes before class started…but my mind was open…my body in need of restoration…

Ohm.

Then class began and I forgot all about duffle bag yoga man and I entered blissdom. Yep, that’s a thing. #Blissdom (Let’s start it trending).

Let me tell you about restorative yoga, people…there are eye masks; there are head rubbins; there are cozy blankets to be tucked into. COZY. FREAKING. BLANKETS.

There is BLISS. Dom. #Blissdom

The instructor was a phenomenal woman, with a beautiful, bold, blue mohawk. At one point, I was lying down under the blanket she kindly tucked me into (I mean, come on!), with an eye mask on, blanket rolled under my neck, a big comfy pillow tube thingy under my knees (why yes, that is the proper yoga term, just ask duffle bag yoga man), breathing….just breathing…feeling better than I have in a very long time…and then she asked a question.

Do you want peppermint oil?

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!
Well, I had no idea what she was going to do with the peppermint oil, and I couldn’t see a thing with my lovely eye mask on, but my answer was a hearty yes. YES! YES! YES! Bring on the oil, baby! Soon, I smelled it wafting across the room and my desire for a Mint Aero chocolate bar became pretty intense…but I’m breathing…breathing…feeling pretty zen…I was vaguely aware of movement around the room, but I was so completely blissed out that I didn’t care to move, or even peek. #Blissdom
I eagerly awaited her visit to my mat.

And then – brace yourselves – the instructor rubbed the peppermint oil on her hands and then she rubbed it into my temples and my hair. And she gave me a freaking head massage! Only myveryfavoritethingintheentirefreakingworld!

We lay in this blissful position for a few more minutes until she told us to slowly sit up, and as I removed my eye mask, I discreetly glanced over at my sister. She appeared to have just seen heaven, and probably Ryan Reynolds was there, baking cupcakes. Her hair was all poufed out and crazy-like, and she obviously got the head rubbins too. A minor burst of hysterical laughter ensued.

The class continued on with one more blissful relaxing pose after another, until we ended with the most touching Celtic prayer I’ve ever heard, which we initially spoke, and then sang. The instructor’s voice was so beautiful that it made me cry. I couldn’t sing the prayer after I heard her sing, because her voice struck me to my deepest core, and all I could do was stand there with my hands in the heart position, as I let the tears stream down my face. I felt restored.

In the end, you sing the prayer to yourself, then to the others in the class, and lastly, you send it out to someone who needs healing. It was magnificent. I hope it reached you.

So, that’s where I’ll be once a week. Being restored. Mind, body, and soul. Because sometimes, you just have to put down the Toblerone bar, as delicious as that nougaty chocolate is, step out of your comfort zone, and step into the light.

Also, we didn’t need a belt.

Namaste, friends.