Sunday Special, Vol. 15

Happy belated Turkey Day y’all! I am thankful to you for being here and reading the things that I write. I hope you enjoyed a tasty feast and some time with your loved ones.

I was hanging out with this crew all week while their parents were out of town:

English bulldogs

Health

It was Thanksgiving, so I am not even going to go here… but my belly was happy and everything was delicious! (-)

Family

I missed my fam around the holiday, but I had looked up plane tickets to fly to see my mom in Savannah for Thanksgiving, and they were $860. No thanks! I’ll be looking forward to going home for Christmas. (-)

Friends

I got to experience my first LA Friendsgiving events and they were such a treat! I’m grateful to everyone who checked in on me to invite me to their homes or to make sure I had somewhere to go. I feel very taken care of. (+)

Mission/Work

I had a much needed small pause from teaching this week, because most of my usual classes were canceled at the gym. I did pick up a few subbing opportunities here and there, so I didn’t completely turn into a melted puddle of mush watching Netflix on the couch. There was just the right amount of balance. (+)

Finances

A financial tip for you: if you stay in your house every day nesting and resting, you are way less likely to spend money on stuff out in the world! That worked for me over the long weekend. However I was susceptible to some Black Friday/Cyber Monday email temptations. It feels like the deals have spread from one day into a two week shopping spree! Yikes! (+)

Adventure

Not too much, unless you count binge-watching a new show as an adventure… I did have some fun explorations going out in Hollywood during my time off, though. Glad for new friends who like going out on the town. (+)

Hobby

My crochet skills have progressed from bags to bathing suits and I made a cute little bikini with cactus appliqués. I don’t think it can be worn in the water, unfortunately, so it may just be a suit for show. (+)

Spirituality

As I get deeper into teaching and my schedule of classes has been filling in, I realize that it’s hard to practice yoga on your own when you’re also teaching 2-3 times a day! Especially when you’re teaching at different studios and driving all over the dang place. On Thanksgiving Day I went back to one of my favorite neighborhood studios (Namaste Highland Park) and took an amazing class that helped me to reconnect with my practice. It’s important for me to experience my own practice outside of teaching, and I am glad to have room in my life to do that. (+)

Emotion

Delighted! This week/weekend was the perfect amount of time to recharge, hang out with friends, enjoy yummy food, crochet, and chill. I feel prepared to be productive this week and (hopefully) to eat not quite so many carbs. (+)

How-to: Campfire Thanksgiving

This is coming a little late, but fortunately for you and for all of us, campfire meals needn't be limited to the end of November. Here's how to make a good one at any time of year, and particularly for that one special day when turkey is required.

1. Spark it up

Light a fire, bring a camp stove, or, better yet, combine the two and cover all your bases. We cooked our sweet potatoes, sausages, and dessert over the fire and saved room on the stove for crucial sides like stuffing and mac & cheese.

2. Improvise

Unless you are much better at packing than we are or you are camping in your yard, you probably won't be able to roast a whole bird over your flames. We ended up with turkey sausages, but you could try breasts for a more authentic experience. There's also bacon, cold cuts, or the option to become a vegetarian for the day. 

3. BYOB

You can skip cranberry sauce and still get your servings of fruit by adding juice to your mimosa! Bonus tip: this will help shield you from any doubts that your meal might be subpar and erase any homesickness about what your relatives used to make*.

 

*Dad, if you're reading this, I hope you will still make me real turkey at Christmas.

Thankful

I'm about to head out to West Texas to visit Marfa and Big Bend for the rest of the week, so of course I'm thankful for that. And to have the week off of work which allowed me to sleep until 10:00 the past two days. Praise be.

But this past month for me has been sad! The world is in a strange place, my roommate and dear friend is en route to move to the East Coast, and the person I love more than anything told me he's leaving, too. No one wants to read blog posts about missing friends or hurting hearts. How whiny! How boring! How trite!

And so I think when people ask, "How are you doing?", they expect the standard, "I'm well. How about you?" Or we feel pressured to say, "I'm doing okay", or, "I feel sad, but things will get better". But sometimes we're just plain old sad. And we know things will get better, but then they'll probably be sad again someday, and get better again, and the cycle will continue on and on forever because that's how life goes.

We learn grasp for the good. Like when Eastside Yoga let me rent out a room to give Lainie a proper send off with her closest Austin friends. Or an unexpected adventure to another National Park. Or the fact that friends and strangers will even ask how you're doing at all.

So I hope you find that it's ok to say when you're sad, and then stop there. And instead of wishing it away so quickly, discover that it can be interesting to sit with a feeling, to find out how you respond to it, and what it has to teach you. That way, probably not today or next week or even by 2017, but whenever you're really ready, you might start to see the goodness glittering around its edges.