Exercise for today: yoga
It's been a very long few weeks in the W household, folks. Between the government shutdown, October blues, and James' hospital stay, it's been way more stress than a 5 month pregnant woman should have to deal with. Now, normally, when I get stressed, a good run, a bit of ice cream, or just stepping away (mentally and/or physically) from the issue helps. When worse comes to worse, there's always crying - a good cry solves everything. And in general when I'm stressed to a breaking point, that's how I react - I cry, and it's overly dramatic, but then I get over it and I'm fine.
Well, pregnant Kathryn does not handle things that way. Pregnant Kathryn seethes:
Now I am not normally a temperamental person. Well, I have these flashes of anger that quickly dissipate to make room for more important things like yogurt parfaits. But this week, the smallest, most innocuous things set me off.
Things that have made me furious this week:
- Zoe, any time she comes up to me to let me know she needs something that's probably not all that important any way (you know, like food, or water, or to go outside).
- Zoe, any time she growls at another dog or a small child on our walks.
- Zoe, in general.
- NPR for doing their fundraising week this week instead of reporting non-stop on when/how the government shutdown ended.
- Household chores, especially when James doesn't contribute. I mean, he can't really help with dishes since our kitchen is too small for two people, and it would be foolish for him to clean out the guinea pig cage because he's allergic. But clearly he should be doing these things anyway, right?
- Virginia drivers. Seriously, people, learn to use your blinkers.
- Myself, when I get so angry I can't function and just need to step away.
So suffice to say, after dragging myself out of bed at 8:30 this morning (furious at Zoe and James for getting to stay in bed later than me), I wasn't in the best frame of mind to go to yoga. But I haven't been in a few weeks (since I've had to do infuriating things on Saturdays like research daycare and take care of my sick husband), and my body was sore from yesterday 21k steps day (note to self: no more 21k step days). So I ate breakfast (irate at my Special K cereal for having an inadequate ratio of red berries to cereal), drove to yoga through the crowded farmers market neighborhood (irritated that there's still a farmers market going on because who even needs decorative gourds these days anyway), and finally pulled in at the yoga studio. My instructor greeted me with a bright and shiny good morning, and I greeted her with a bright and shiny no comment as I gathered my supplies for class.
And then, as class commenced, the instructor asked us all the share something going on in our lives this week. And without thinking about it, I shared that I was incredibly angry at everything and everyone and I didn't want to be that way anymore. It helped so much to hear the other moms-to-be in class share that they'd gone through similar weeks during pregnancy, and that they passed. There were a few good suggestions on how to deal with it - take walks, take deep breaths, take yoga class. The best, though, came from the instructor herself. She started talking about all of the forgiving things we do for ourselves when pregnant - we give in to cravings, give in to naps, accept help when we maybe wouldn't have before. This is obviously something I've talked about a lot on this board in terms of exercise - I'm much more patient and forgiving of myself and my sometimes lame exercise attempts than I once was.
The instructor pointed out that we should feel the same way with our emotions. Forgive the urge to cry at random songs on the radio. Forgive the urge to yell at our husbands when they do something inconsiderate like bring us a cup of earl gray tea when we'd asked for english breakfast, dammit. Forgive the urge to wake up our dogs when they're sleeping because they'd interrupted our naptime earlier. She wasn't say to actually cry, or to yell, or to bully our animals, but rather to be forgiving of the impulse toward anger.
That message, coupled with a good yoga class, was what I needed today. Today hasn't been perfect. I rolled my eyes at James for having the tenacity to ask me refill the cat's food bowl. I lost my patience with Zoe when she decided she'd rather roll around in leaves than come back inside from our walk. But by consciously thinking about my anger, and whether or not it's legitimate, I've given myself the space to acknowledge I am angry, which conversely makes me less angry. I'm still really hoping that this stage of pregnancy passes quickly, because I am over it already, but at least I have a more balanced outlook toward it than I have had the last week.