A friend of mine in AA once said, “You know you’ve become a woman in AA when all you talk about is yoga and cats.”
And, as I looked down at my legs, clad in skin tight black leggings, in my yoga workshop today, I noticed that they could hardly be called black because they were absolutely covered in cat hair. They were covered in cat hair, because as I sat on the couch talking to my mother on the phone about yoga, and my cat, I pet my sweet, shedding feline simultaneously.
After a great yoga workshop, I sat in my car smoking a cigarette, trying to figure out who exactly I’m becoming. A smoking, Chinese Medicine health nut who takes yoga classes three to four times a week between AA meetings and applying for jobs. That’s who I’ve become. Now, more to the point, do I like this person?
I have plans to quit smoking the day after my birthday, as a present to myself. I’m making ambitious goals to take better care of my health and my body, I intend to get going on my 4th Step, and I hope and pray that I’ll get a fabulous job soon that will be worth my time and passion. That’s a lot of plans, all of which are in flux. I still smoke, I’m doing my best to keep to my Chinese diet plan, I’m going to yoga, I think about my 4th Step all the time, I attend at least five AA meetings a week, and I’m applying and interviewing, but, to no avail yet, so, it ends up looking like six mountains that I have to climb, all of which I’ve scaled about a quarter of the way.
What gives? My morale has been generally low. That’s hard, because I do have this immense faith. And, I’ve seen great things come out of the small accomplishments. But, the big picture is still overwhelming. The grand scope of how I want my life to look still seems so far away. And, there are days where it seems so clear, the answer, the way out, the road map for fixing all these little things that still seem broken. Then, there are mornings where I wake up and I can hardly bring myself to get out of bed. It doesn’t even feel like highs and lows anymore. It feels normal. That is the thing that scares me. This constant flux, normal? It can’t be.
But, the truth is, it can be. While at one of my AA meetings the chair person talked about change and how it’s just something we have to accept and get used to, because whether we like it or not, it’s inevitable. The more inflexible I become, the more things seem like they’re not going my way. In the hard moments, it’s difficult to step back and see that I’m being rigid. It’s hard to say, hey, this isn’t how my plan was supposed to go, I’ll just change gears to accommodate the ever-changing elements of life.
It’s that addict way of thinking: If this, this, and this are aligned like this, then everything will be perfect, and I’ll be happy.
No. That’s the thinking that sets us up for failure. Because, truth be told, most of us who make these pre-weighed, pre-routed, pre-packaged plans, plan them out in such a way that we can never truly get what we want. And, this means we have reason to never be happy. I don’t know about you, but, I want to be happy. And if that means I have to match my plans to fit what’s going on around me, I’m going to have to try a little harder to be flexible. Turn things over. Trust in God. Trust that what I’m getting out of my life is what I’m supposed to get right now.
And, if that’s cats and yoga, well fuck, it could be worse.