Life in a snow globe

No I didn’t move to the Arctic. I’m still in Florida where I belong.

I had snow globes when I was a kid and they were absolutely fascinating. Shake them up and watch it all float back down.

Not all of it floated of course. Just the snow. Or confetti or glitter or whatever it was. The bulk of things stayed securely fastened at the bottom. Where it was supposed to stay.

It may have been this exact one!

Unless of course your snow globe was some cheap-ass souvenir you got from your Aunt Carolyn when she went to the Ozarks – or wherever she went – and then it was a different story. If your snow globe was like that, it could not withstand the shaking. The fixtures were not so fixed, and soon the unglued scenery floated around with the snow.

Of course we thought this was hilarious which only prompted more violent shaking from us, the masters of the snow globe. It looked like the aftermath of a tornado when everything settled.

Eventually, everything settles.

This is what it feels like, doesn’t it? It feels like the world is being shaken up and everything is confusing and out of sorts and a lot of things we once thought as permanent are now floating around.

It’s sad when you look at the things that were once solid. Like spring semester of your senior year of high school. Sports. Prom. Graduation. These milestones that were once fixtures are now up in the air for so many, including my beautiful niece Macy.

Macy, class of 2020. Photo credit Andra Travis Photography.

My world is affected on a much less heartbreaking scale. Even so, I know it’s important to acknowledge and to name those things that I’m grieving, no matter how petty and frivolous. Here’s a short list:
-Not working at the office with all of my coworkers.
-Delaying my orthodontic treatments as planned.
-Not finishing my pottery class which is totally cancelled.
-Not eating in restaurants.
-Not taking a hot yoga class (but thank you Adriene!).
-Cancelling the trip to Paris scheduled for the summer.
-Seeing the hundreds of faces that belong to my church family.
-And the thing that aches most is NOT visiting the cutest baby ever.

If he gets a tooth or starts crawling before I see him again… I’ll just sob.

All of these are now hidden behind the swirling snow (and social distancing directives). I just really want everything to land where it belongs, and don’t we all?

Perhaps, while things are still swirling, we can take a look around and assess what REALLY matters.

Like what? Everything is still swirling! And this exactly why I need to also name the things for which I am grateful right here and now. Some of these could come unglued too, as no one is immune or exempt.

Remembering my faith in God and returning to a regular prayer time. Checking in with my family and friends regularly (thank you FaceTime and Zoom). Having time and space to spend with a new special man. Time and energy to be back in my studio painting. And also access to a private beach during the best weather of the year.

What are the takeaways from this post? Other than the obvious admiration of Baby Ellix and jealousy of the private beach?

Recognize we are in a snow globe right now. Take inventory and name your grief and your gratitude, no matter how big or small. Reach out to your people and let them know you hope they are still there when it all stops swirling. And see what they need in the meantime.

Hang in there everyone. It’s all gonna be okay.

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

PS. If you are really struggling right now, there is help. Check out this message from Dr. Henry Cloud and this message from Dr. Brene Brown.

Sign me up for that!

It’s New Year’s Eve and I couldn’t let this occasion slip by without observation. I’m not doing a 20 things for 2020 list, or telling you how to reach your goals.

My take on entering 2020 is as simple as this photograph.

You could say I was excited!

More specifically, my expression reveals something worth considering as I set goals, make lists, break in my new planner, and generally prepare for a fresh decade.

It’s this: if I am not THIS excited / energized / enthusiastic about something, it’s a NO. It’s coming off my agenda, my calendar, my mind and heart, too. I am no longer interested in anything or anyone who produces a mediocre half-ass response.

Okay, I’m not referring to grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, or filing paperwork. We know these are necessary. Maybe sometimes I can smile like this afterwards – that I did something I didn’t really want to do. But this isn’t about chores, this is about all the OTHER stuff. The extra things, the recreation, the enrichment, the glorious things of life.

What I’ve realized over the past year is that I have had a lot of free time. Some of it was wasted on things that were really not fun or fulfilling. Or spent with people who did not bring out my best. Life is too short! My energy and time are too precious to waste on anything that doesn’t bring this expression to my face.

Or yours! When was the last time you were SO excited about something?

My friend invited me to an aerial yoga class, which I had been curious about, but had yet to try. It was every bit as challenging as it was fun, AND afterwards we grabbed a bite and had a great time catching up.

So it was a perfect GNO, and I was delighted to be where I was, doing what I was doing, and with whom.

I want one of these for my house!

That is what I hope and plan for 2020. That I can be enthusiastic with the endeavors of my choosing that lie before me, and that any company I keep will bring additional joy. As I ponder the future, I know I am going in with a fresh perspective and an optimistic smile!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

Ten things to be sure of when doing hot yoga.

For those unacquainted, you pay perfectly good money to enter a sauna-like heated room to practice yoga. As opposed to turning off the air conditioning, or simply going outside. It’s a dry heat (100 – 105 degrees), and this allows for deeper stretches and more calories burned. It’s challenging for sure, and these tips may help you to not die.

  1. Be sure to hydrate the day before. What did I do the day before? I sipped lime-flavored White Claws all afternoon at the pool, and then in the evening enjoyed a couple of glasses of sangria with dinner. So yes, hydrate before hand, or be very sorry during the workout.
  2. Be sure to have a full bottle or two of water at hand during the class. What did I have? A measly 12 oz. tumbler, which was nearly dry halfway through the class.
  3. Be sure to have a full towel for your mat, and another towel for your face, and another towel to sit on when you leave. What did I have? Just a small hand towel for my face. The upholstery in my car needs a good shampoo for sure, and my mat needs a solid wipe down to counter the sweat it absorbed. Gross.
  4. Be sure to place your mat carefully upon arriving at class. I prefer to be near near the air conditioner vents. This will save your soaking-wet-self during the last 10 minutes of class. At this juncture it feels slightly less hot because they bring the temperature of the room closer to that of Earth instead of Venus. You might begin breathing normally sometime soon after.
  5. Be sure to have the most handsome instructor to ever walk the planet leading the practice. Bonus if he has a sexy accent, say, from somewhere south of the Equator. This will keep you from walking out or giving up without at least trying to hold the poses. And you don’t want to embarrass yourself. You don’t want to leave his very presence. It was definitely hot yoga…
  6. Be sure to remember your form, and watch your alignment in the mirror. If you have the most handsome instructor leading your class, feel free to modify. Perhaps it’s okay to hit a pose IMproperly so that he has to come by and correct your posture, with his hands right on your body.
  7. Be sure to have your friends come with you. I went to the first class solo, but will definitely be sharing this with my crew. I’m not selfish.
  8. Be sure to have plenty of time afterwards to go home. You will be drenched and disgusting and in desperate need of a cold shower and more water. Do not plan to be seen by others right away, especially if you get a tomato-face like I do when I am overheated.
  9. Be sure to say prayers of gratitude for your body, and that you did not actually die during the class, though you were convinced of this likely outcome about 7 minutes into the 60 total you just endured.
  10. Be sure to be kind to yourself the rest of the day. And go ahead and sign up for the next class while the image of the most handsome instructor is still fresh. Delaying your registration could coincide with the soreness of your body, keeping you away forever more.

Maybe I’ll review the other studios in town, write about them, and eventually become a secret shopper who writes amazing reviews. I’d need to remove my photo in case people recognize me and start giving me extra goodies in exchange for my writing talents. This could spill over to restaurants too, where I could enjoy free food. Maybe I’m onto something…

Stay tuned for more – there are a few other classes I’m taking while my 10-day pass is good. If you’re in SRQ and you’re curious about this particular studio, send a message and I’ll gladly share.

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

Ten for ten…

So this morning I successfully completed my tenth day in a row of a morning yoga practice. This has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I’m so very proud of my little self for setting my alarm and getting up early enough to squeeze it in.

My New Year’s Resolution was to begin a regular exercise routine. Of course my actual plans began on February 1 rather than the typical January 1 because of travel. I was being realistic y’all.

So if you do the math, you’ll notice it’s not Feb. 10th. Hmmm….

Because the first two weeks of February, I tried to make myself go to yoga class. I tried to make myself get up early and go for a walk. I tried – and I failed. It was pathetic.

When I was confessing this to my mentor, she made a revolutionary suggestion (lean in and I’ll share). She said, “Why don’t you just surrender that to God? You know, the whole exercise-and-eat-right-thing. Just ask God to help you desire that.”

WHAT?? Are you kidding me? Surrender it to God? Who ever heard of such a thing?!

Why in the world would God Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth and all things, care one hoot about whether or not I get up early enough to do some down-dogs and eat a healthy breakfast? Shouldn’t he concern himself with big things like earthquakes and hurricanes and other global catastrophes? Certainly he should not be bothered with such minutia.

I don’t claim to understand why. But I know it’s true. He does care. And for the past ten days and counting, I have craved (mostly) healthy foods, drank ridiculous amounts of water and hit my mat each and every morning.

Only ten days in, and I feel stronger, more confident and more flexible. My mind has more clarity. My posture is better. And I haven’t gotten on a scale yet, but I know that if I continue this little regimen, I’ll fit into that gorgeous dress in time for my daughter’s graduation.

I’m just gonna be grateful here. The God I love and serve cares so much for me. He helps me manage even the basic routines of life in a way that is pleasing and good. It’s truly miraculous. I tend to think that God only cares about the big gigantic things. The ones that I really know I can’t do. But the whole “take care of yo’self” bit I should be accomplishing on my own, right?

Clearly that wasn’t happening. Until I gave up and gave it over to the one who can, and does. So even though I didn’t want to “bother” God with this little thing I needed, I did it anyway. I’m learning to accept what I cannot change, I’m changing the things I can, and asking for wisdom to know the difference. It’s really that simple.

So whatever you may be struggling with today, can I make a suggestion? Let it go. Ask God to help you, even if you think it’s silly. What have you got to lose? For me it’s just ten pounds by June. For you maybe it’s small too, like helping keep the laundry under control, or making a decent meal for you (and your people). He’s there on the small mundane levels as much as the lofty ones. He’s not too busy, and it’s never too hard.

Give it up. Let it go. Let him move you!

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri