Upon turning 49, I had a terrible realization that I only had one year left before I was 50. I'm not sure what great difference there is in being 49 and being 50, but that voice in my head was screaming, "Hurry up and do something before it's too late!" Turning 29 had the same effect on me and left me scrambling to enjoy ever last minute of a decade that would soon be gone. So, as I sat here last night, perusing my birthday gifts of perfume, blinged out slippers, a jar of cash and a bottle of tequila, something hit me. I want to enter my fifties as if I was 29 again and not be some sloth on the couch overwhelmed from work, heat, bills and other weights of the world. Renewed with a goal, I donned my shiny slippers and got my body in motion.
Suddenly a woman on a mission, I tore open the entertainment cabinet and dug out the old Deepak Chopra tapes and unopened Zumba DVDs purchased during a late night binge of cookies, milk and infomercials. Then I found it.... "Beginner's Yoga." My yoga mat had been safely stored behind the entertainment unit for more months than I prefer to admit and was a tad bit dusty. I plopped it on the ground in a cloud of dust, popped the DVD in and began my journey to look like that woman on my television who stood before the Hawaiian shores filled with focus, grace and anything but chocolate chip cookies and high fat beverages. Granted, she didn't have sparkly glitter shoes, like I did, but you can't have everything.
She welcomed me and I looked around to see who might be witnessing me befriend a character on my television and took comfort that I was alone in my madness. The dog walked in and took its place on my yoga mat and I promptly nudged her off with my yoga feet. My new friend and I stretched our arms to the sky as we welcomed the day. I realized it was ten o'clock at night but my DVD broke and I can't skip chapters, so I have no way to select the evening yoga workout. I am permanently stuck with the "Morning Yoga" routine until I invest in a new DVD. I felt fairly successful stretching my spine and lengthening my body until the yoga teacher threw in new requirements.... soften your jaw....lighten your eyes... honor your space... inhale, exhale, over and over. I was twisting and breathing and stepping on the dog, trying to exhale the bad and inhale life but it was masked by the glorious smell of birthday cake from the kitchen. I learned the Downward Dog and Sun Salutation poses and as I tried to balance on one hand, locate the television screen with my head under my arm and stretch my spine, I realized that these were not new moves to me as I had used these same skills in a crazed game of Twister with my children. Downward Dog was pretty much the same as left hand yellow and right foot blue. I could do this if my eyes weren't covered by my leg or the dog wasn't wedged underneath my feet. As I twisted into odd positions and the dog had taken over my yoga mat beneath me, I spied the bottle of tequila sitting on the counter next to the birthday cake. Both looked terribly inviting and I abandoned my focused stretching, donned my shiny shoes, left the dog to sleep on my mat and wandered off to find my family to join me with some late night birthday cake.
Today is 49 plus one day and I will greet the world with giant stretches meant to open my spine and return my youth. If I fail to make it all the way through the morning exercise routine again, at least I will have sexy shoes, light eyes and a soft jaw. That has to count for something!