Friday, December 19, 2014

A common Jewish blessing *

I'm pretty sure I've whined about my shoulder/arm injury on this blog before. Probably more than once. But you know, it's so interesting to hear other people's complaints, isn't it? Especially when it's about their failing, sad human bodies.

I know! It's riveting. So you're welcome in advance.

But really, I'm not so much going to complain about my pain, or my disappointment and irritation at my body and its limitations, but talk about what has come about since I decided to do something about said pain.

You'll hear many a yogi say something like, "My injury was such a blessing, it taught me so many things, for instance, blah, blah, blah, and more blah." And while that sounds like total bullshit, on some levels this has been true for me.

I don't feel as though the pain itself has taught me shit, other than getting old sucks. Not an especially feel-good sentiment, brilliant insight, or something you would feel compelled to share with anyone.

However, my quest to try to remedy my injury has led me to some new people, who I have very much enjoyed getting to know, and who I think I may know for some time to come.

I definitely found a new teacher, which is exciting. He knows a lot about the human body. He's been a masseuse for more than 15 years and is also a decades' long yogi and co-owner of a yoga studio (with his wife, also a lovely person) and active yoga teacher. He teaches upwards of 10 classes a week, plus privates, etc. He's helping me rehab my shoulder using a TRX system and has been generally all around helpful.

Fine, good, whatever. But don't stop reading yet, because these facts are only setting the scene, this is not what I want to share. Instead what I want to offer up is something he told me the first time I went in for a massage. In the course of our conversation he told me, in total, complete, President-during-the-Sate-of-the-Union-Address seriousness, that he plans to live to be 120.

120? Years old?!? Really? Now, I can say with complete confidence that he is the first and only person to ever say that to me.

I mean, 120?

Is that aiming high, or just plain crazy talk?

Who wants to live that long anyway?

But this goal of his, well, it shapes his life. He is in it for the long haul. At 50 he's not even half of the way there. Therefore, it stands to reason that he does not view himself as old. Shit, he has a decade until he reaches the start of middle age. Kind-of refreshing. (Or total coo-coo nutzoid.)

I was pretty much speachless upon hearing the news, but the next week when I saw him again, after having had time to contemplate his crazy life plan, I asked him what his wife thought about his goal. His reply was something like, "She doesn't share my in my enthusiasm."

Ha, well, I can't say I'm surprised. But I can say that it is one of the most thought-provoking things I've heard from anyone in a long time. Maybe we should all be living our lives like we're gonna be supercentenarians.... I'd probably need to make a few changes, how about you?

*I guess in Judism, "May you live to be 120 years old," is a common blessing, which I did not know prior to writing this post.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pub Crawling

Well, we did find ourselves in Westerly after our walk on the beach last weekend. Why wouldn't we avail ourselves of that lovely little town's lovely pubs and bars?

A stranger's table and his olive oil. Mistah loved the light.


We had heard a motley crew of 15 or so had taken the train from New London to Westerly -- about a 20 minute ride -- that morning for "Christmas Shopping". Everywhere we went the bartenders were texting eachother about the crew's location. Westerly may never be the same.

See Miles in the reflection?

Kind of Blue, and the Epitome of Cool.

More signs of New Londoners in Westerly.

Our favorite.

Who knew cheddar and jalapeno stuffed pretzels could be so fabulous?

I'm a new fan of the cool little city across the river -- thanks for the Rhode Island fun, Westerly.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

not to be outdone by 2008

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

checking it twice

I've been sitting here for a good 10 minutes trying to think of a clever way to introduce my kids' Christmas lists. I don't think they made lists last year, we were much too focused on packing for Hawaii. It was last year when we first started dropping hints that Santa often went light for kids who had great travel plans. Don't ask me to explain, it's magic! The year before that, though, in 2008, my boy presented an epic list that made blog history.

Go ahead, take a little remember, I'll wait:

My boy's 2008 Christmas list


This year, we've once again been quietly promoting a less is more attitude. Christmas is different this year. They feel it, too. We'll also be away from home on the day itself, which presents the perfect opportunity to create new traditions that overshadow the logistical challenges facing poor Santa. Don't even start with me about Santa. I will hold my ground as long as there is breath in my body.

Despite the understanding that we're keeping it modest, I encouraged my kids to make their lists as usual, ignoring their attempts at conspiratorial winks and knowing glances. "Ask Santa for whatever you want," I insist, "just don't expect to get it."            

New traditions, perhaps... right alongside the legacy of awesomeness: