Monday, September 22, 2014

Blog Hop 2014

Last week I opened an email from my good friend and fellow blogger Natalie over at May the Schwartz Be With You. Now I love Natalie dearly, however, her email made me groan and want to throw things at her.

Natalie sent me what was basically a chain letter (they still exist?) inviting me to participate in a "Blog Hop." A blog hop is where one blogger nominates other bloggers to answer a few basic questions.

Ugh. But Natalie is smart and she knows me well enough to know exactly what to say to get me to agree:
"The point is, I really like you and would like to see your answers to these questions. Mainly because I know you need to write more.  It's cathartic and therapeutic."

Double Ugh. But when I saw Natalie at dance that week I agreed to write the post. So here we go.

Why do I keep a blog?

Well, my even beginning to blog is because of Natalie as well! She was blogging and I enjoyed reading her posts. I had told her that in my pre-mom days I was a writer and I missed writing. But that blogging was kind of dumb and narcissistic. I don't care what celebrity bloggers have to say and who would care what I have to say?

But she convinced me to at least give it a try. My first post was August 25, 2012. I wrote about my experience with Bikram Yoga, titled Yoga, Tuna & Heat. It's still one of my most favorite posts and, interestingly, still frequently pops up on my stats board as being recently being read. 

With that first blog I was bitten. The urge to write was reawakened within me. I didn't know what to expect and I honestly figured no one would read it anyway.  I had no idea where the blog would lead. The nights I'd write with tears falling on the keyboard during my mom's death from cancer.  The times I'd ache to write but couldn't get the words out during the unexpected ending of my 23 year marriage in a divorce.  And even the times I was so excited I was writing the posts in my head before I could get home to my Mac. 

This blog led to another interesting place too. It turns out a few people did actually read my blog. The right people liked what I wrote and invited me to write for Elephant Journal. Those posts led to being invited into a writers group. And finally it led to me writing my own book

(Shameless plug: Creating A Joyful Life: The Lessons I Learned From Yoga and My Mom available for purchase - well someday. )

So I guess I really owe Natalie for helping me fulfill a life-long dream and writing a book. I hope she will accept payment in ever-lasting love and gratitude.

What motivates me to teach yoga?

This sounds all new agey and woo woo, but I feel called to teach yoga. When I'm teaching is one of the rare times I feel content and confident. Similar to blogging, I kind of fell into teaching yoga. I was
Legs Up The Wall with
my class for savassana one night
a high impact cardio girl that just happened to also teach Pilate's. One day the yoga teacher didn't show up and so my boss asked me to fill in. I had no idea what I was doing. But I figured OK I'll get some training and see where this goes. By my second training weekend I knew this yoga thing was for me. A year or so later I made my first trip to Los Angeles to train and after that week everything changed both for me and within me.

I was a yoga teacher. This feeling, this activity, this "thing" is what I had been searching for. I have said before and I will say it again, yoga saved my life. Although I was all smiles at the gym, I was in a bad place in my private life. I truly believe if I hadn't found yoga when I did that I would not be sitting here right now the (mostly) sane, (mostly) confident, (mostly) put together woman I am.

What is/are my greatest strengths?

I never know how to answer this question. People tell me all the time how strong I am being a single mom of six kids.  How brave I am for fighting for what is right.  How proud they are of me. 

I don't see it. I see only that I've done what I needed to do to keep my family healthy, safe and happy. I've held my kids as they cried and turned into psycho mom defending them when someone tried to hurt them. I've done what all good moms are supposed to do. I hope.

Being organized, sometimes to a fault, is one of my strengths. It has to be with a large family. I've been told many times I'm "controlling." Well yeah, of course I am. How could I not be controlling with six kids and an alcoholic husband. It was the only way to tame the chaos. 

I am very guarded but also very loyal. Once I allow you into my inner circle you are in and I will fight for you till the end. I've stayed loyal to the wrong people for too long in the past, but I believe I now have a better sense of who to trust and who is worthy of trust.

What is my proudest moment?

Well, I'm pretty proud of my six kids. They are smart, funny and kind. Like all siblings do, they fight over everything. And I mean everything. But they will also turn and defend their siblings in a heartbeat. In fact we have the story of a broken hand earned in a fight by Kid 2 defending his younger girl cousin. And many stories of the brothers coming to the aid of their siblings during times of distress. 

I'm proud that I finally wrote my book. I can remember from the time I was very young saying I'm going to write a book. It took a long time, a really long time. But I did it.

Look closely at the kids hands. They each chose a word
to describe our family. 
I'm proud of the life I've built for my kids post divorce. My home is a happier place to be now. My kids now know that home is a place you should never feel afraid. Everyone in my house, and in my life, gets told regularly that I love them. And that's not a phrase I use lightly. If I tell you I love than it's real. I love you.  

If forced to pick just one, I'd say my proudest moment is when all six kids, and maybe some assorted
friends, are all in my house and I hear their laughter. Yes, that's definitely it. My proudest moment is happy, healthy kids.

Geez that was more work than I thought it was going to be! But now to nominate two bloggers I'd like to introduce you to.

First is Anita at Moon Fairy Life and Dreams. Anita is a fellow yoga teacher and soul sister. We both have a large family and full time jobs so we don't see each other nearly as often as we'd like. And, because it's true, I'm going to steal Natalie's line here: I'd really like to read more from her and because I know she needs to write more. It's cathartic and therapeutic.

Second is Rick Watson at Life 101.  Rick and his wife Jilda are both writers, singers and songwriters. Rick also often posts amazing pictures he takes with his iPhone of rural Alabama where he lives.

Natalie thought she would get an award for procrastinating because she didn't post until one hour before her Blog Hop was due. Well, my dear friend,  I did what you asked. And I did it with a full ten minutes to spare before it's due date!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being a good sport. You do need to write more and you know it. :) I also tried to give you questions to let your reflect on how strong you are and how much you have to be proud of. I know this was a rough summer and I wanted to give you a chance to reflect and find some joy. I hope you did. I liked doing this. It was fun getting writing prompts from someone else. We may have to do it again.