I’ve had a few hard weeks of narrating pretty much around the clock. This is due to the publishing push for Christmas books and a few books that had late manuscripts. This has meant I’ve been waking up at 3 or 4 AM, recording in my little booth, taking the kids to school, driving an hour to a studio and recording there, picking the kids up, doing mom stuff like cooking and homework and bedtimes, recording an hour when the kids are tucked in, and then waking up at 3 or 4 AM to start all over again. Plus, the same schedule on the weekends, because…weekends don’t exist when you freelance. But in all this craziness, I’m also trying to carve some time to take care of myself. You know, walk, and breathe, poop, get a pedicure, say hi to my husband. Important stuff. (Especially the pooping.)
The schedule is lightening and today, I met with a yoga instructor to go over postures and everything I’ve forgotten. As she gave me instructions to warm up “Move you right elbow under your left”, it took me a moment to get my body to respond. I have spent so much time being perfectly still and NOT moving, that there was an actual delay in every move she asked me to make. My brain knew what it wanted to do, but my body just couldn’t respond right away.
I felt sort like the Tin Man before his, uhm, lube job. Is that the right term? That can’t be the right term.
Take two: I felt like the Tin Man before Dorothy greased him all up and got him ready to perform.
I felt rusty.
I folded over, I swayed like a rag doll, I slowly remembered what side of my body was LEFT and what side was RIGHT. I tried to make myself breathe audibly instead of silently. (It’s hard to unlearn breathing quietly, and something I try to do when narrating.)
Then…well…she asked me to expand. Not in those words. She told me to stand and spread my legs out as far as they would go, then reach my arms out as far as they would go…and really R E A C H. Then I was to look up and breathe. Audibly. I did all of this. I stretched, I reached, I looked up, I breathed a breath of a goat…and then…I started to cry. Little tears. Maybe she didn’t notice, but inside I was shivering.
I have spent so much time trying to take up as little space as possible. In my booth, I try not to move, I sit quietly, I give myself over to the words in front of me (words that don’t belong to me).
But it’s not just in the booth. It’s…my LIFE. How, in life, I try not to take up too much space. I obsess over my increasing weight (hello, 41!), I try to be pleasant and quiet and meek. I try to smile and agree and not-rock-the-boat too much. I kvetch to my husband but in general, I try to be small.
What a revelation it was to open my body wide, to take up as much space as possible, to breathe annoyingly loud, to suck in all the oxygen I wanted to and expel all the crap from my lungs.
What happened today when I expanded?
I started to feel again.
And it was such a relief.