Although I don’t get to do it often, I really do enjoy getting the occasional massage or attending the occasional yoga class. Especially now that I am pregnant, I find it really useful in keeping my stress levels down, and my optimism up. And this past week I had the luxury of experiencing both a massage and a yoga class in the same week. Wow, what a treat! However, because the other 22.5 hours in my day are taken up with not stop frenetic action, I always seem to be late for that 90 minutes of relaxation that is supposed to allow me to handle all the frenetic-ness. Tuesday was my birthday so I decided to treat myself to a prenatal massage. But I was also working that day, and had a business appointment that was about 5 avenue blocks away from the massage. The appointment ended up going on forever, and finally as I exited the building in which I had the appointment, I realized that I had 5 minutes to get to an appointment that was a 15 minute walk away. And the walk was 100% up hill. Not a great situation for a pregnant lady with a tendency for excrutiating pelvic pain. So I frantically try calling the massage place, but they don’t always have a receptionist working, so I end up leaving an out-of-breath message that sounded something like this: “Leaving….business appointment…now (dramatic inhalation)….will…be…there…soon.” So now that is taken care of, but as I continue to huff and puff up the seemingly endless hill that is my neighborhood, I suddenly realize that I also have to call my son’s daycare, because since this massage was going to start late, it was likely going to end late, making me late to pick up my child. So now I’m calling the daycare facility, while struggling to breathe as I hobble up the hill. “I’m…so…sorry…but I will be late..picking…Jackson…up…today”. Ok that is taken care of. But now I realize: My parents are visiting tonight for my birthday, and they wanted to come with me to pick up my son from daycare. So then I have to call them to inform them I will be late. Oh man. Can I handle talking any more while my heart rate continues to rise? I make the call, and I know my mom must be thinking, “What a stress case. This girl really needs to relax”. Finally I arrive at the massage location, knock on the door, and this exceedingly calm-looking girl answers the door. “Are you Katie??!!” I almost yell at her. She replies “yes” with a very relaxed demeanor, only serving to further illuminate what a stress case I am. “I am so sorry I’m late”, I blurt out. “I had this appointment, and it ran late, and it was on Third Avenue, and I had to walk all the way up hill to get here, and I tried calling, but no one answered.” She just looks at me, and says in the the calmest voice I’ve ever heard, “Not to worry. Come on in.” I immediately feel stupid for sounding so uptight. The massage was great, and when it was all over I thought, ‘Well, I’m never going to be late to relax again.’
And then came the very next day. I had a yoga class scheduled for last night. And because it was in the evening, I had to wait for my husband to come home from work before heading out, so that he could stay with my son. My husband left work as soon as he could, but by the time he came home, I had 10 minutes to get to a yoga class that was a 15 minute walk away. ‘Here we go again’, I thought. So I rush down there, take off my coat, enter the room, and there are 20 pregnant women all set up with their mats and their yoga blankets and their blocks, and whatever other accouterment are needed to participate in prenatal yoga. They all look so relaxed, so settled, and I come in like a bull in a china shop, just trying to find a place to sit in the room, so overcrowded with pregnant women and their space-consuming bellies. Finally I find a spot, but while setting myself up, I feel like myself and my stress are on display for all the room to see.
After the class was over, I realized I will never be that person who comes 15 minutes early to anything, let alone a massage or a yoga class. The very reason I need the massage and the yoga is to handle the fact that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to take care of my son, take care of my husband, take care of my home, take care of my business, and hopefully – if time remains – take care of myself. So I guess I just need to accept the fact that, just like every other thing in my life, I will probably always be late to relax.