Morning—How are things behind the signs?
Monday morning looking east out of the window behind my students I saw a ladder extend up and up. I couldn’t repress my excitement: “The signs are here!” It’s no surprise my students didn’t know what I was talking about, but I explained. At Radiant Om Yoga we had space for signs on the front and back of the building. There’s also a cabinet sign, one of those columns that announces each of the businesses in a given building. After being anonymous and hard to find for nearly a month, it’s time for people to see us as they drive by on Hickman Road.
As my students settled in for Savasana, the quiet pose at the end of the practice, and I moved about covering them in blankets, moving excess props out of the way, and adjusting shoulders, one of them smiled up at me: “I bet you can’t wait to get out there and see.” I tried to sound casual, “I’ll get there,” but of course she was right. I was dying to see the signs going up—the studio opening its face to the world.
We’ve been holding classes just about four weeks. Caring for the studio absorbs me completely, just as my newborns once did. In the weeks after Twelve arrived, the world outside stopped. The newspaper came in the house and went back out, often still folded over on itself. I didn’t turn on the television news or the radio, unless it was NPR during classical music hours. The mailman delivered the mail through a slot in our front door and there were days when it remained piled there. Twelve’s father would arrive to discover we hadn’t been out of the house to the park or the grocery store as planned. We might be still in the clothes we had slept in the night before. It was a twenty-four hour roller coaster ride and I rode around that clock cradling my baby, oblivious to anything else.
Eventually Twelve started sleeping reliably; I lifted my head to look around and to figure out not just what was happening in the world beyond our tiny Bethesda lawn, but what was happening to me and my connection to the world. It was an election year—2000—and I was on leave from my faculty position: there was a lot to think about. So much so, that it was all too easy to repeat the pattern when Nine was born. If a soccer mom, as defined by politicians wooing potential voters, feels somewhat overburdened but nonetheless puts the needs of her family and particularly her children ahead of anything and everything else, then I had all but bought the minivan.
It took a decade to find some semblance of balance. Becoming a mother launches a whole series of transformations—physical, emotional, professional. In my professional life, I evolved from college English professor to freelance editor and yoga instructor. Along the journey I discovered I could, in fact, honor my own creative inclinations as well. And in time I found room to read the paper and listen to the news and to consider carefully the happenings in the world. I re-established my connections both to the world outside and my world within.
So I didn’t know I would disconnect again, but it turns out this new business is very much my newest baby. While I’m not up teaching yoga at 1 a.m. as I once was nursing and changing my newborn’s diapers, my mind whirls with yoga studio matters all the time, even as I do my best to put them aside.
Weeks have gone by and I haven’t made time to check in with world events or even the weather forecast and the funnies. I like to complete the Sudoku that runs in our newspaper—it’s one of the elegant ones that cracks slowly and then solves like a dance of the pencil across the page. Usually it’s my reward for reading the front page. It’s a good thing the children enjoy the comics and Twelve delights in the business news, or right now our newspaper subscription would be nothing more than expensive fire starter.
I’m hopeful that this new baby will age in dog years rather than human ones. That’ll bring along the moment sooner when the baby settles down and starts sleeping through the night. I look forward to working toward better balance. In the meantime, I’m like a new mother in another way, too. I want to tell everyone every detail about what’s happening. There are aspects to being the owner of a small business I never knew existed, and I find every burp and developmental milestone fascinating. One day last week, for example, I met with my new accountant, talked with another small business owner who would like to do some cross-networking, and got a request for 30–50 schedules for a wellness display that needed to go in the mail by the very next morning. Maybe that sounds like so many wet and soiled diapers to some, but to me it’s intriguing and amazing.
While drafting this a few days ago, I took a break to read through the headlines of the Washington Post online. Largely because of status reports by friends on Facebook about world events, I realized I had a passing knowledge that groups occupy Wall Street, Steve Jobs had died, and so had Gaddafi, leaving questions about his demise. I have heard that our president’s popularity ratings are low and that the economy shows little sign of a speedy recovery. As I prepare to post today, the news cycle has changed and I’m not up to speed. I confess, I am not yet drawn to read more than the headlines. My world, the physical world through which I move and manage, is all I can think about just now.
I am reminded that being a citizen of the world is a practice, like so much else that we do. For any one person there are still only twenty-four hours in a day. Moving a family and a baby business forward, showing up to my writing, and maintaining some sense of physical harmony by exercising, eating well, and aiming for good rest soak up every twenty-four hour cycle and then some. They won’t forever, but my version of today’s top news is all located between the desk where I write and the studio floor that I once again need to mop.
Wishing you a glorious new moon, new light, new energies, Rxo