The Yoga of Julia Child

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Ugh.  This morning I had to send a text to my husband.  You know, one of those texts.  One of those, “I’m really sorry I was a raging shrew last night.  Forgive me?” texts.

I hate those texts.

It was true, however: Last night I had been a raging shrew.  On one of the coldest nights of the year our furnace went out.  While trying to fix said furnace, my husband actually broke off a part of the furnace.  Broke it right off.  In three pieces, no less.  It was nearly 11 at night, our kids were sleeping, nothing was open and here we were in a tiny, old, cold, falling apart house with no real options.

Let the Bitchfest begin.

I’m not exactly sure what it was that I expected him to do.  I somehow had gotten myself all worked up over past homeowner horrors (that I thought I had forgiven or something,) and was already writing my verbal assault in my head about the disaster this would turn into (that would certainly never be forgivable,) and in the midst of all of that managed to turn into an emotional iceberg intent on sinking him.

Classy, eh?

So, this morning, my husband goes out and gets a replacement part and returns home to fix the furnace.  Fix it, he did.  As he rambled off to work, I started to thaw out (figuratively and literally,) and like butter, I soften when I reach room temperature.  As I warmed even further, I started to melt.

me: I’m sorry I was such a shrew last night.  Sometimes I feel so f***ing hopeless.*  I shouldn’t have lashed out.  Forgive me?

husband: Yep, I feel that way a lot.  Forgiven.

* Owning an old, falling apart house will do this on occasion.

 

I have loved Julia Child for as long as I can remember.  I watched a lot of PBS when I was growing up and was always kind of amazed at this yodeling blurbering giant of a woman making the most bizarre foods in a big blue kitchen.  Half the time I didn’t know what the heck she was saying, but I kept wanting her to say more of it.  As I grew a bit older and discovered the joy of early Saturday Night Live (you know, when it was good,) I laughed so hard I cried at Dan Aykroyd‘s portrayal of Julia.  It still makes me howl!

Eventually, Julia became more than just funny to me.  I learned to be curious about her foods instead of confused.  I started to understand her and what she was saying, both literally and figuratively.  And I learned that sometimes, you’re going to drop the damn chicken on the floor.  Or break the deallywhopperthingamajiggy on the furnace on the coldest night of the year so far.  It’s part of the flavor of life.

I spent last night curled up on the furthest edge of my side of the bed wearing knee socks and a sweatshirt when I had a natural heater not 4 feet away from me huddled on the furthest edge of his side of the bed.  What  loss!  Would Julia have done that?  Nope, nope indeed.  She’d have laughed, smooched her man, had a big ol’ glass of wine, and said, “BALLS TO THIS!”

Amen.

I think we sometimes live life halfway at best.  I think we see the glass as half empty because we feel so damn much pressure to make sure the glass is always completely full.  Not seem completely full, mind you, but pressure to make sure the glass is always completely full.  In reality, no glass in the history of glasses has always been like that, I don’t think.  Honestly, I think it would be much more sad if there was a glass that was always completely full because that would mean you weren’t drinking from it and what the hell is the point of a glass if you’re not going to drink from it?

Life: either drink from it or go freaking crazy.

Julia was bigger than life.  She was loud and raucous and adventurous. She wasn’t afraid to be less than perfect, to make a mess, to make mistakes, to drop the chicken, to ruin a pie crust, to burn a crepe.  Her glass was always mostly empty because she was drinking from it in big, thirsty gulps, dribbling it down her chin and staining her clothes with life.

Isn’t that what we try to draw into ourselves when we lay down our mats?  Aren’t we wanting a bit more acceptance, a bit more joy, a bit more … everything?  Don’t we lay our problems down on the mat in order to not pick them up again?  Don’t we stretch and bend and kneed and twist and rest and heat and stir ourselves into something more than the sum of our parts?  I think we do.  I would imagine if Julia were still alive, she’d not be afraid to try arm balances or even challenging standing balances.  She’d probably fall and laugh and get back up and try it again and say, “Oh, Paul, isn’t it MARVELOUS?!”

Yes ma’am, it sure is.

There’s a lot to learn from Julia.  I know that I want to live more like she did (minus the smoking and calves brains, but I’m still undecided about the spy thing… might be fun!)  I want to grab my life by the wings, so to speak, and shake the guts right out of it.  I want to get messy and spill and lighten the hell up.  I want to sauté my fear and stress with sherry and mushrooms and butter and parsley and turn fungus into fabulousness.  Yoga helps me to do that.  And so does Julia.

Bon Appetit!

 

Just a little note:  Yes, I have read Julie & Julia and have also seen the movie. I loved both!

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