This weekend marked my return to the land of “shoulda, coulda, woulda.”
Except that it’s mostly “shoulda.” As in, I really should be reading that textbook-doing that laundry-editing that work report-doing those PowerPoint slides that were due last week-cooking in advance of classes starting-working out-filing all those documents from 2008, instead of sitting and reading a really good book-going to a movie-reading about wineries in Sonoma-sleeping in.
And yes, you read it right in the paragraph above — school starts again tomorrow. Hence the abrupt end to weekends and nights where I don’t feel guilty, where I don’t have work that I could — should — be doing perpetually hanging over my head.
It was an incredible feeling when I turned in my last paper for last semester, in December. (It feels like it was yesterday, but the calendar confirms that it was actually five weeks ago.) It was the first time in 16 months that I hadn’t had an assignment due, whether for work, school, or my book.
The last few weeks have been a true luxury — filled with lots of reading (for fun), TV, cooking every once in a while, hanging out with B and Clar, catching up with friends, catching up with myself. I even made it to a few of my beloved yoga classes.
And as I often do (and have probably written about all too often in this space for some of your tastes), I was moved by something the teacher said. We were in tree pose — the pose that prompted my favorite yoga-related post, actually — plenty of us swaying, touching a toe down and standing again, and she said, “Remember — balancing is a verb.”
She’s so right. Balancing isn’t static. It’s active, requiring small adjustments and sometimes larger course corrections. As you’ve read about plenty here, it’s not something I’ve been great at, but I keep trying.
So I’m keeping her reminder in mind as I come back into another season of “shouldas.” Maybe what I really should do is cut myself a little slack, and remember that everything won’t be in perfect equilibrium over the next few months, and go with it. After all, it’s only a few more months.
And then life will be more about the “couldas.” As in, I could read this book, or that one, or I could cook this really detailed recipe, or I could train for another race. I can’t wait.