A Funny Thing Happened When I …E X P A N D E D

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.


Enjoying the sun


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.

That One Time In Yoga Class

I’ve been trying really hard to lose weight. I mean, REALLY hard. I’ve stopped complaining and I’m just doing it. First thing I did, starting about two months ago, is I got a Fitbit from my hubby for Christmas. I’ve been walking about 5 miles a day consistently, and while my legs are a little stronger, I haven’t lost a bit of weight. So, I’ve also added in actual yoga classes twice a week and the dreaded idea of counting calories. It’s all very annoying, BUT I’m feeling good about things, and eventually, something’s gotta give. Hopefully, my weight will drop and not my sanity. On Monday, I attended a Vinyasa Yoga class. I’m still pretty new to the whole idea of deep breathing without expecting an orgasm, so I sometimes get a little lost. I was doing well in the class and have even mastered Downward Dog, and then dropping to the floor in a push up (Plank), and then pretending I’m a snake (though I’ve been told I don’t actually have to hiss).

I was feeling really proud of myself on Monday for keeping up with the mostly 60 and 70-year-old retirees, until the yoga instructor had us all sit down and then she said something in Sanskrit or something and all the 70-year-olds suddenly flipped their legs over their heads and planted their feet on the wall. My face flushed with heat and I actually had a mini-panic attack. I mean, it sorta looked like they were trying to put their face where it had no right to be.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 2.20.56 PM


Here is the quick conversation that happened as the class held their position and breathed deeply:


Are you okay, Tanya?


Yes. It’s just…


Just flip over. You can totally do this.


I’m pretty sure I haven’t done THAT since I was like ten, and it was probably an accident.


I’ll help you. One…two…See! You’re doing it!

ME: (strangled voice)

I. You know? I’m not. Supposed. To do this.


Are you okay? Your face is kinda red.

ME: (whispered) I’m stuck.


Hmm? What was that?


I’m stuck! Stuck!!!


Then she patted my lower back that was pretzeled over my head and said “That’s okay. You can just rest for a while.”


I couldn’t rest until she awkwardly helped me flip back over and then helped me into a fetal position so I could hide my shame.

For the rest of the class I rested. And dreamed of drinking a martini.

Maybe I’m just meant to be the way my body is right now without the aerodynamics. Unless I start losing weight, then I’m totally doing that again.

I Promised I Wouldn't Whine...

Wait. What? WHAT? I went almost a whole month without a blog? What is going on here? What kind of insanity is this? Is this another dimension? Is this another dimension where people wear shiny unitards and talk into their watches? No. All is well. All is very steady and well and slightly boring. I also made a promise to myself to stop whining so much and, uh, you can see the effect of that on the blog…or lack thereof. I mean, I THOUGHT of plenty of topics. I wanted to whine about trying to lose weight and seeing a dietician, and the new yoga classes I’m taking, and trying to cook healthy foods like quinoa and hating it…but in all those blogs, I just sound sorta douchey.

Then I wanted to blog about being rejected for the seventy-sixth time for my memoir and be all “What? My childhood isn’t painful or interesting enough for you?” and “Why are all the agents mutherfuckers!” and “Why won’t someone just give me a CHANCE?” But that just made me want to punch myself in the face.

Then I thought of blogging about everyday issues with the kids, and why bread makes me feel bloaty, and the trouble I’m having with this new book I wrote. It’s great. I love it. But it’s only 20,000 words and if I want to be published ‘for real’, like a ‘real’ girl and not Pinocchio (aka self-publishing), then I need to add 60,000 words to it. And. I. Don’t. Want. To.

See, though? See? Even my blog about not whining has turned into a massive whine of the old SNL skit Pat variety!


In short, I’ve lost the focus or point of this blog. I don’t like pushing my fiction because I feel like a bully when I do it. And I don’t like writing too much about narrating, because I don’t want to get in trouble for saying too much or not enough. And I don’t want to whine. And I don’t want to be a dink. And I just want everyone to get along and be happy.

So. Ehm. Maybe it’s time to revamp my Dip Blog. Maybe I should put all my angst into THAT. MMmmm. Angst Dip. Good with gluten-free crackers.

If you have any input here, let me know. Why do you read this blog? Do you like train-wreck Tanya, or slightly-mal-adjusted-Tanya, or bloated-Tanya the best?

I’m trying to figure everything out. It’s making me tired. But I’m not WHINING. I’m really not. That high-pitched sound is just a mother fucking LEAF BLOWER.


I mean, amen.

What Happens When I Try To Sign Up For Yoga

After years of wearing yoga pants, I thought it was time to finally take a yoga class. A friend and I walk around Reed’s Lake (4.5 miles) every weekend, but the winds are a blowing and winter is coming. A nice, relaxing yoga class indoors sounded perfect. Plus, I can be a teeny, tiny bit high strung, so finding my Zen might be really nice. I called to sign up. Here is the conversation: (Yes. That is Elvis.)

ME: So, I’m looking for an intro-level yoga class either on Saturday or Sunday that me and a friend could take. Do you have anything like that?


ME: Uhhhh…

REYMA: We have one on Saturdays at 9 AM.

ME: Okay. Sure. Okay. Sounds good. How do I sign up?

REYMA: Oh, there’s no need for that. Just stop on by and you can join the class. It’s for all levels.

ME: But what if it’s full?

REYMA: We’ll work you in. No worries.

ME: No. But wait. What if…like…the class is FULL. Shouldn’t I, like, sign up to make sure it’s not full? I don’t want it to be full and be all ready to do yoga and then have you tell me I can’t do it.

REYMA: No worries. It’ll be fine. You can just stop on by. Or not. Whatever. However you want to work it.

ME: Well, I want to sign up for the yoga class and I’ll plan on being there next Saturday at 9AM with my friend.

REYMA: Sure. Maybe we’ll see you then.

ME: No. No! Uhm, no. It’s on my calendar. I’ll be there. I’m signed up. This is me, signing me up.

(Pause. Sound of the guy doing deep breathing techniques.) ME: Okay. Thanks. See you then. Thanks.



I think this dialogue pretty much shows why I need to take a yoga class and why I’m probably going to be really horrible at it. I just felt know...there are RULES, and you have to follow rules. Plus there was that one time when I was seven or eight and got up to the movie theater to get the tickets to see The Muppet Movie and they sold out. The kid right before me got the last ticket. And I just don't want to feel that way again.

I wish I could take a yoga class with the Muppets. *sigh*