Five days in Oakland

I was supposed to be landing in Phoenix right about now on my way home from Oakland, CA, where I came to meet my newborn niece and kick it with my soul sister, who is also my sister by blood. But because of a giant Midwest ice-storm, instead of breathing stale airport air and hustling from one terminal to another, I’m lounging on the bed in the spare room with the sun streaming onto me from the window, open to the sounds of the street just a few feet below. From my perch I can see the trees surrounding Lake Merritt and the bus stop equipped with the belongings of the mute homeless guy who calls it home. When the breeze blows just right I can hear drumming from a large group of men playing not far from here, and in the span of a few minutes I can hear a multitude of languages spoken by the passersby below. I can smell the inside scents of a 100 year old building and the outside scents of the sea and the Mediterranean restaurant next door. Continue reading Five days in Oakland

the smartphone: control and communication

Our children may be at risk for developing a primary attachment to electronic devices rather than human beings. And so may we. “  –Jon Kabat-Zinn

And so may we.

Maybe this is the part of the equation that has got me so flabbergasted as to how to negotiate the world of social media when it comes to my 12 year old. Maybe this is more about me and my attachments than it is about him. I know that’s what he thinks, as he asked me just yesterday, “Why can’t you let me have a normal teenager’s life instead of one you have to control?” Continue reading the smartphone: control and communication

the universe via Rosemond (and yoga)

I hung up the phone with TJ this morning, a bit teary and immersed in self-doubt. I had voiced my frustration to him about Max having missed school basketball tryouts last week and Ted walking up to school today late and upset because his homework was incomplete. I said something to the effect of “I feel like every time I glance away from our kids for a split-second everything falls apart.” Continue reading the universe via Rosemond (and yoga)

Crossroads

I got in my car after teaching lessons at King Elementary on Tuesday, still a bit flabbergasted (but much calmer than when I arrived) and checked my phone. There was a text from my friend, Maureen.

“Hi, Katie, I’m kicking myself for not telling you to take a photo of her license plate. Anyway, I got a pocket dial from you after you left and wanted to try you back.”

Ha! Pocket dial, that’s hilarious. Who says POCKET dial?

But, um no, that wasn’t a pocket dial, Maureen, I had actually called you, and then I had actually forgotten that I had called you, not remembering that I had called you until I heard a prompt asking if I was satisfied with my message. Shit! No, I’m not satisfied with my message, but I’m clearly not in the right mind to leave a message. I’ll hang up now and try again when I’m more composed.

Composed. To be composed I must breathe. I know this. I can certainly breathe, for that is what I’m heading to do in my car with a missing tail light: teach children to find their breath.

God damn it! How embarrassing. I am ashamed that pulling out of the parking lot heading to teach mindfulness I mindlessly backed up into someone. I am ashamed, and I am embarrassed that two people I know (and another I had just met) were sitting on the patio, witness to my blunder.

Damn it, damn it, damn it. I will breathe and I will feel my shame. I will feel my embarrassment.

Because I have a choice.

I can let this be a minor finder bender, or I can make this be BIG, HUGE. I can rip myself up and down. I can tear myself apart.

I am at a crossroads, and I have a choice.

I feel liberation peaking out behind the abating shame.