You Are Not Alone

The Next Family

By: Tanya Ward Goodman

This morning, in my yoga class, while attempting to transition from Crow pose into headstand, I fell right on my head.  My neck made a terrible cracking sound and for a moment, I was stuck upside down against the wall, my legs flailing in the air.  When I managed to right myself, the room was silent and my teacher was rushing toward me, her wide eyes even wider than usual.

I blinked back tears and tried valiantly to soldier on.  “Man up,” my interior drill sergeant said.  But my yoga teacher trumped him by reminding me to “ask for help.”

Under the gaze of her big, Bambi eyes, I admitted to being over tired.  I admitted to going into the first pose feeling a little shaky.  I admitted that I shouldn’t have tried it by myself.

These things are hard for me to admit.  I like to think that I can go it alone.  I feel like there are two speeds: full ahead and not at all.  There is very rarely a middle ground where I am just paddling along (or better yet, paddling with someone.)

I think part of this stems from the fact that my husband has just returned to work and I’m back to being the full time “homemaker.”  Yes, I am a writer, but I’m also the person who remembers when the field trip permission slips get turned in, the person who buys all the socks and underwear and shampoo and dog food and cereal and milk…  I’m the person who pays the bills and files all the insurance forms.  I drive the kids to the doctor and make sure they do their homework.  In order to be this person, I have to be in control.  But sometimes, I can be controlling. When that happens, I stop asking for help.  I clench my jaw and I do it myself.

That’s what was happening in yoga this morning.  Those legs flailing in the air were not in my control, but what got me in that predicament was my need to clamp down too hard and get it done.

Now, I’ve spent the day alternately icing and heating my neck and thinking of ways to ask for help.  I’ve got a new writing project percolating in my mind, but it’s not one I can do entirely by myself.  My universe is forcing me to ask for assistance.  It’s reminding me in small (slightly painful ways) not to go it alone.

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