“Yoga newsletter. Negative emotions.”
This is one of seven prompts I have set for myself of random things that I’ve thought of, in an attempt to push myself to write more. For a moment, I couldn’t figure out why I was having negative feelings about a yoga newsletter. I mean, I feel frustrated that the current schedules and locations available don’t work with the time I have available, and where I’m working and living. But then I remembered.
It was a note about how one of the instructors is often asked about positions and practices that can help cleanse the body of negative emotions. And how she has to gently correct those inquiring – while yoga as a practice can help the body and help bring wonderful emotions, it’s about being in the moment and experiencing all of life, in her view. That includes things we often call “negative” emotions, like fear, sadness, and anger.
I was really glad to read that, actually. Yes, those feelings are uncomfortable and no one enjoys having to experience the breath-stealing moments of fear, the electric hot fury of losing their temper or the bone-weary darkness of deep sorrow. But they’re part of life.
It reminded me, a little bit, of the movie Inside Out. Joy can’t figure out what Sadness’s job is. She feels like her fellow emotion doesn’t help. And then there’s a moment, where Bing Bong is very, very sad. Joy tries to be silly to cheer him up, and it isn’t working. She’s frustrated, and beginning to panic and turns away for just a moment. In that moment, Sadness sits down beside him and affirms what he’s feeling. She touches him, sits close, and listens to him just talk about it. She reassures him by being there with him in that moment and accepting that he feels sad. She allows him the space and time to feel. And it works. After a moment, the worst bits of the sorrow pass, and he takes a deep breath, says he’s better, and gets up to go on.
Joy is very confused, and doesn’t understand. She even asks Sadness what she did.
We need that. We need moments to be allowed to just BE whatever we are, even the so-called bad things. Should we wallow in those moments, and let them feed on themselves and grow beyond what is needful? No. Like everything, balance is needed. But sometimes, a good venting of anger, a good cry to release a sad feeling, or allowing our hearts to race with fear, and then take a deep breath and go on are exactly what is needed to help us stay mentally and emotionally healthy.
It’s stressful to be happy all the time. It feels forced, because it is.
I sometimes wonder if we get burned out on being happy, or upbeat, and that’s why people have to do progressively more extreme things to cheer themselves up or experience excitement.
I love giggling so hard I can’t breathe and cry tears of joy. But I just as much appreciate a movie that moves me to messy tears of grief, because in that moment, I can re-experience something in my past, or an important part of a story. I don’t enjoy being angry, but I can look back on how I’ve dealt with myself at various points of my life, when I was angry, and see how I’ve matured (or not – and thus have something else to learn and work toward as a goal). I don’t like scary movies, or being scared in general, particularly; but the moment of relief when I realize all is well or that I’ve at least made it through? That is wonderful! The feeling of being safe and sound is a wonderful thing to experience.
Sometimes, we experience all of these things at once. It’s what happens as we get older and grow. I loved that Inside Out showed that as well, with the core memories. I hope that slowly as we all age, we can all learn from people like the yogi who wrote the newsletter that turned up in my email as well. And learn to embrace, as best as they can, all of the emotions they have as well.
I know I can keep trying to do just that, on an almost daily basis.
We saw Ghostbusters on Saturday. I’d decided I really wanted to see it over all of the other things we want to see (we’re hitting that bit of summer where there are All The Films), in part because I was getting frustrated with a) marketing, b) people whining about gender-swapping and my stubbornness about what gender-swapping is and c) I really wanted to just plain give it a chance.
Yeah. I’m someone who was hesitant about it. I loved that they were casting women. I would have been okay with a gender-swap (although that’s not what this is, or what it’s been marketed as). I am not actually a big Melissa McCarthy or Kristen Wiig fan. I wanted someone different. Didn’t even have to be new actresses, but since this director had worked with these actresses before, I was really terrified I was going to get Bridesmaids As Ghostbusters or The Heat as Ghostbusters. I did not want that. I’m not a fan of the toilet humor or the stuff I reflexively turn away and hide from the screen from that both of those women excel at. It doesn’t make it bad humor, and it doesn’t even make it not funny. But it’s not funny for me. It’s painful to watch. So I was less than thrilled. I wanted someone quirkier and dryer. Someone unabashedly brilliant, or innocent, or yes naughty but of a different level. So I was nervous.
I ended up liking it. In some ways, I liked those two just fine, and their parts just fine. But I noticed that the bits I grinned or laughed at were the parts no one else noticed (or at least didn’t appreciate in the way I did). Some bits the audience laughed uproariously at, well, yeah. I cringed. But I didn’t hate the movie. Others have noted that the plot was thin, and it was! But no thinner than other summer movies. And the reason it still mostly worked was because the character interaction was there and consistent.
The supporting cast (which was made up of a lot of really fine character actors and actresses, plus some awesome cameos) did an awesome job. Some of the bit characters were so awesome I couldn’t wait to see them on screen again (the mayor!). The bad guy was great at what he did, and honestly I had a little bit of sympathy for him. Kate McKinnon really was good – and worked with some physical comedy that I didn’t appreciate as much as others (the dancing went on just a little too long for me a few times, but the leers and the gestures were gold). Chris Hemsworth was brilliant and played against his current type perfectly. Leslie Jones was really interesting, but again, the lines I loved of hers almost seemed to be intended to be throwaway lines where she’s muttering to herself or mentioning something in an aside.
The cameos made me crow each and every time. I pointed at the screen and squeaked I was so happy.
I’d watch it again. I’d definitely let it grow on me. Is it better than the original? I don’t know. I didn’t enjoy it as much, but there’s a lot of nostalgia built into the original for me. It’s its own film. It’s not a gender-swap. This isn’t Egon and Ray as women. These are their own characters who are brilliant women. Even Patty (Leslie Jones) (who is arguably the “dumb” one) isn’t, knowing more about the city than anyone else. I’m not even 100% sure I’d agree it’s in the same universe. It’s definitely not in the same timeline. It’s shifted just ever so slightly.
So I’m glad I gave it a chance, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone on the fence.
Yesterday, I had an 8 year old in the house for about 7 hours, give or take. Plus about 20 minutes travel time. It was my godson.
My turtle-man is an interesting dude. He has incredibly firm opinions on things, and is incredibly sure he is correct in those firm opinions. If he doesn’t have a firm opinion on a thing, he will pretty much state that unequivocally and either ask you about it until he decides what he thinks/doesn’t care or simply state I dunno and I don’t care. It’s refreshing, in the way that kids can be refreshing. It can also be exhausting.
Yesterday was pretty good. I picked him up from his mom on her way out of town, from the restaurant where she’d fed him lunch. He was incredibly excited because he’d been bugging us for a sleepover for a month or so now. I did not understand this extremely persistent desire, but finally gave into it because a) there wasn’t any reason not to other than scheduling (which finally lined up) and b) it was useful in the moment because mom was going out of town and dad had an unpleasant farm chore that no one really wanted the turtle-man to have to experience up close and personal. Plus, they don’t live that far away, and if he had a panicky-wanna-go-home impulse, I could take him home or dad could grab him, depending on when said impulse happened.
We discussed the fact (before he even got picked up) that Sundays in my life are not about church. They are about chores. It would not be terribly exciting at our house for an 8 year old, and he might even get roped into helping. He generously offered to even clean toilets without complaining! (We did not make him clean toilets.) So, when he came back to the house, I had him help me strip the beds for washing the sheets, and even remake one of the beds.
I think in some ways he liked it. There was a little bit of Goldilocks – “This bed is VERY soft!” in response to the bed my honey and I typically sleep in, which is large and has a reactive gel top; “This bed is very tall! The mattress is so thick!” in response to the pillow-top in the spare bedroom. Also, he wanted to know whose room the spare room was. I explained it was the guest room. So friends, my sister who visits, and even he could sleep over. But that sometimes I slept there too, for random reasons. (My sweetie snores, I snore when I have bad allergies, sometimes I just want a colder bed, or even if I’m sick and feel like being alone.) He laughed, and said that his dad snores a lot.
When we were done, he noted the Wii. He almost always notes the Wii, and almost always has to be reminded that we have essentially no games. I have the Wii for the fit-board that I don’t use as regularly as I should. So not only are there no games (it came with MarioKart I think), but the batteries are almost always dead in the controllers and it is a big mess to get running. There would be no Wii. This I think, was his first reminder that Mama Trina is just a boring old grown up, in addition to being godmom.
Her hubby however, was perfectly willing to let an 8 year old help wash cars. This was fun. He seemed to enjoy that. And when he got back in, we made cookies.
Cookies, for me, can be very soothing but I can also be … detail oriented about them. It’s a very different thing for me making cookies with a child, because I have to let go of a number of things that I find relaxing about baking (namely, the gentle repetitive nature of some of the steps), and just get in a good dough base and let him go nuts. The cookies ended up being … stuffed. Flat dark chocolate disks, mini milk chocolate chips and lumps of caramel all got dumped in, for about 8 ounces of extra interior goop than the recipe really called for. Also, he got to size several trays to his choice, rather than the size I usually make (which he deems as very much too small). They all came out just fine, and I sent the majority home with him.
Then, we had soft tacos and a movie. He hadn’t seen Big Hero 6, and we’d just bought it, so it was still wrapped. He seemed to enjoy it, and we certainly did as well. Sure enough though, as the movie and some of the extra features were wrapping up, he sat straight up, and demanded to know, “Hey! Isn’t my dad coming to get me?”
“You don’t want to spend the night?”
“No! I want to go to school on time in the morning!”
“Okay, we’ll call him, although he was going to check in soon…” and just as I reach for my phone, it rings. His dad was just waiting on his sister to get home from church and he wanted to see how things were going. I explained, and they came out to get him.
I even got a bit of fiction writing in before my bedtime, after they’d gone. Part of me thinks the baking helped with that. Part of me thinks having someone young and different around helped.
I still think, mostly, that I was a convenient excuse to try to get out of hanging out at home and then he had second thoughts. But I don’t mind. I remember having second thoughts myself as an 8 year old on a sleep-over. And the turtle-man got to see a film, see how a different set of grown-ups do chores (he has a lot of experience doing chores at his house, but they are more farm-related and involve feeding pigs, chicks, goats, ducks and dogs), and take home cookies, which he associates strongly with me. So overall, not a bad Sunday.