Permission To Say No, Sir

So I mentioned the yoga class a few posts ago. I went the first week and it was nice. Not spectacular but okay. The teacher didn’t really “teach” and didn’t seem to pay attention when the majority of people there said, yes, this was their very first yoga class ever. She didn’t demonstrate the poses beforehand, just went into them, instructing everyone to follow along which is tricky when you’re faced away from her. No music. Unless you count the music blaring from the aerobics class next door.

But, otherwise, it was fine. I forgot to bring a blanket to cushion my knees. My knees can’t do yoga and some teachers can handle this without breaking a sweat. They offer alternate poses. This one kind of did after it was clear I couldn’t do what she was doing and that pigeon pose. Forget it.

But, otherwise, it was fine.

Except, the next week was sandwiched between long days and I didn’t want to get home and leave again since it was the only night I’d have at home. For all of us to relax. So, I didn’t go. I mowed the front grass instead. That was my workout.

Plus, I didn’t really have the money to spend.

Last week, I skipped it because…same deal with the not wanting to be out late three days in a row. And the kids had colds. And I was exhausted. But still felt guilty all the same.

Later, I wondered why I felt guilty. Why I felt I had to make excuses (to myself) not to go in the first place. Why did I need to do that? Why did I feel I had to go to a yoga class anyway? If it wasn’t providing anything amazing, why do it? Wasn’t it time to pay attention to what I really needed to do? Which was to stay home and relax and be there with my kids? Couldn’t I just do the yoga in my room on my mat whenever I felt like it?

Why did I like the classes in the first place? Once upon a time, a number of factors played into it. First, I had a fabulous teacher. Second, it was an escape from a home that I wasn’t happy being in. Third, it was the only night of the week we were out at night. It was my escape.

Now, though, I don’t have anything I need to escape from. You might say, “Well, duh!” but it was an epiphany when I realized this. I was so busy making excuses about why I wasn’t doing something I didn’t want to do that I thought I was supposed to want to do, that I hadn’t realized that it wan’t important any longer. It had been then. It wasn’t now.

So, I’m not going back to yoga class. I’ve started looking into meditation instead. Well, maybe not instead or as well as. But I’m reading about it. I’ve downloaded a few apps (god – if you’d told me I’d be downloading apps a couple of years ago, I would have laughed. In your face.) with various meditations and I bought a book on the recommendation of a friend (Full Catastrophic Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn) and I can stay right in my nice comfy home, plug in my earbuds and lie on the bed or my sofa or my carpeted floor for 20 or 30 minutes – WHOLLY UNDISTURBED BY HOUSEHOLD TEENS – and meditate. Or nap. Whatever.

I like this new person I’m becoming and I like letting go of all the things I use to cling to that I simply don’t need any more. I don’t really have to ask permission to not do something I no longer need. I just need to recognize that I don’t need it.

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5 thoughts on “Permission To Say No, Sir

  1. When I was about 13 I paid for and attended Ju-Jitsu classes; I wanted to be the star just like the older but smaller red-haired girl, “Jean Stanley,” in the class who was shown off by the 45-year-old men running the classes as a child prodigy. I wonder what Jean Stanley is up to these days. Anyway, at the point where I had diarrhea before every class, I thought about it and realized I didn’t like getting hurled through the air and thrown flat on my back by 220-lb. men. When my middle-aged class partner had her leg broken by the instructor and I helped her hobble out to the car so she could be driven to the hospital, it suddenly dawned on me that I could just quit and there would be no repercussions other than my wounded pride. And I was the only one invested in that.

    I realize it’s not the same thing. Let’s see… what have I learned to say no to lately? Just today someone accused me of being an idiot and even threw in F-words three times to make his point cogently. I decided that I truly (not just saying this) don’t care about his opinion. He has some points; I have messed some things up. That’s where he and I part ways, though – he can conclude that I’m totally incompetent due to that; I say that’s way too harsh. I’d guess, if I had to, that he’s a complete loser, but it doesn’t really matter. He could be three grades above me in skill (but I bet he wouldn’t waste his time criticizing me, if so) and I still would not place undue value in his opinion. So there’s something new I’m practicing: Sincerely not being bothered by someone’s negative assessment of me. I’m not saying I don’t care what ANYONE thinks, or that I don’t consider it under any circumstances, but I don’t care what this person thinks, this time, and that’s a good start, huh?

  2. It’s all about getting comfy in your own skin. I told my mother that a few years ago when she asked how it was that I’d gotten so content. With apologies to Sally Field, I like me, I really like me. OK mostly I like me. You get the point.

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