Today was a whopper. Seriously, as bad as the sandwich- everything seemed to go wrong.

I couldn’t get out for cross training early enough to beat the heat, so I had to hack it out for three miles on my bike and an additional mile on foot in oppressive humidity. I spent my morning and early afternoon looking forward to an Independence Day gathering that I was unable to attend because I am a single mother, and evening childcare is hard to come by. After some sniffling texts to another mom-friend asking if she’d ever had a similar experience, I joined my Mum and Emily at the GAP….where Jack and Carolyn had a dual meltdown. Back out to the car, all three of us in tears, where I ran into Mumsie. She kindly held a fussing and squirming Carolyn while I dug out my keys, and it was a ray of light in the dark to hear her tell me she understood- that she had been there, that I was doing okay.

Mum and Emily finished their shopping and joined me in the car, where my mother presented me with two dresses and a shirt she had picked up. Amazing woman. We swung by Starbucks for decaf coffees, turned a corner, and…my car broke down. In the middle of the street. In the 90+ degree heat. Thank god Rob was around the corner to help me push it into the Pat’s parking lot, along with a saint of a man passing by with his two little dogs. Rob jumped my beloved Subaru, and I was able to make it home, but my spirits had plummeted. I was ready to wrap it up and pack it in for the day.

Slogging through the two hours before Jack’s bedtime seemed impossible. He dumped his dinner onto the floor, ripped open an expensive package of dried chanterelle mushrooms, and peed in the porch. But each time he would cry, “uh oh!” in his little voice, and run to grab the broom and dustpan. You’ve never seen someone so intent and excited to be sweeping up a mess. I didn’t have it in me to be angry, but still, everything seemed so darn heavy. Carolyn had been crying for hours. I just wanted the day to end. By 8 o’clock, I was totally crushed.

So I hit the mat. My mother took Carolyn, and I mapped out a custom routine with my Mac’s Yoga app- lots of deep stretching and poses aimed to challenge. I didn’t want to have room to think about my day- I wanted to work it out. I rolled out my Lulu  mat on the floor of the (freshly scrubbed) porch and let my palms meet in front of my heart. Namaste.

For the next thirty minutes, I contorted myself into poses I never dreamed of achieving. Nothing crane-esque, though I did spend a minute balanced on my shoulders with my feet pointing straight up into the air (niralamba sarvangasana). So intense. I worked my way through my program, and then I sat and meditated. For ten minutes, I cleared my mind and focused solely on breathing and redirecting my mind back to my breath whenever it would wander. Then, for five minutes, I sat in muktasana and listened to the fireworks popping in the areas around my house. I couldn’t see them, but I didn’t need to- they were there in my mind, whenever I closed my eyes.

What I learned today: that I can’t expect everything from everyone. No one is ever going to be 100% all of the time, but if I learn to expect from each person only that which they are able and willing to give, I can create a beautiful patchwork of support for myself and my children. Also, there is always a silver lining. ALWAYS. Sometimes it’s an extra hand in the parking lot, or a stepfather with jumper cables, or a mother lending an hour of help. And sometimes it’s gorgeous GAP dresses that fit like a glove 🙂


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