Friday, September 20, 2013

Made Up Mind

Last-minute road trips are the best. The first one I remember was when my mom said she wanted to go to her friend's house in Louisiana when I was really young. Last minute.

We went, and I made friends with the friend's child, Sarah. 

Fast forward 15 years, and we become roommates at Ole Miss. And throughout college, we took road trips all of the time. Interstate, back-road, beaches, cities, other colleges, her home, my home, short ones, long ones, red ones, blue ones. She's the first road warrior I met. She loves to drive.

I had so-so feelings about driving. I liked it all right, but I wasn't like "hell yeah, put me behind the wheel! I'll drive all night!" But she was. She is. She is such a driver that she developed a very close relationship to her white Volvo station wagon, whom she named Pearl. 

We all loved Pearl.
Pearl has since passed on, may she rest in peace. But that doesn't mean we stop the road trips. 

I told my mom we were coming to Nashville tomorrow, last minute for my other friend Virginia's engagement party, and she said, "Of course, Sarah. She loves to drive. Becky [her mother] drove a ton too." I've already written about the Vizards and their home. 
They're country folk, but cultured country folk. 

Now I am officially also a road warrior. It's a country folk thing. Shoot, we take road trips every day. Little ones, mind you. But we are not strangers to driving. For the most part, I enjoy it. 

There's just one important ingredient, well two: a fun friend and good music. That's all it takes.

Sarah in Mother of Pearl, her new Volvo SUV, which will take us to our destination tomorrow. Sorry it's weird. I took a picture of a picture. So whatever.
This is last minute. But it ain't the first last-minute trip for us. For all I know, the days of spontaneity are numbered for me, as present conditions seem to be insinuating. (I've been doing this thing where I'm acting like a part of me is dying. I totally look forward to this new chapter, but that doesn't mean I can't be sentimental and dramatic about the old chapter closing--it makes it more fun. And I know the fun isn't over. It's just helpful to act like "this might be the last time." Plus it gives you a good excuse to go ahead and do things, you know? Man, long explanation in parenthesis). 

Anyway, she's driving right now from New Orleans in the night and rain, like a true road warrior. We leave tomorrow at the crack of dawn. We're coming right back on Sunday, and we know it will be worth the trip. We've made up our minds, 
and we'll be singing some Tedeschi Trucks Band:

I've got a made up mind,
It's made up all the time.
Sure as the moon and the stars gonna shine,
I've got a made up mind.

Love this album. Like I said, good music is a very important, inspiring ingredient. Here we go!

Liza Jane

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lay Down Sally

Rest here in my arms,
Don't you think you want someone to talk to.

Thought  I was out of the tired stage. Turns out I was out of the narcoleptic stage. 
Especially after meals, I'm all "I think I'll lie down for a bit" instead of "I feel great, let's keep this train rolling!"

You know what though? This is normal (it's got less to do with pregnancy than with real life). After you eat, you're supposed to lie down. Don't matter if you fall asleep, but if your schedule is jam-packed as is every other American, no doubt you will fall asleep. 

The trick is to have enough willpower and self-discipline and overall greatness, really, to get up after 20-30 minutes. Because after that, you're done, son. Go past 30 minutes and you are swimming with sharks. Grogginess rolls in, and she's just as bad as that fatigue you experienced after your meal. She's an all-consuming bad mood mixed with a little laziness and PMS. Your head is going to be so empty, you'll feel a little piece of sand rolling around in there, like the one in my iPhone. Plus, you'll be talking like my husband talks in his sleep, "Just let me fix it!" "Ayatoddy (?) I'll feed the cats." Not much sense, and a lot of fits and outbursts with leg kicks. 

This is going straight into your gastrointestinal tract. This information. Because it's all about digestion. Digestion is put on hold if you are in sympathetic (fight or flight) mode, which is how we all are about 70% of the time, even though the only danger, really. is how we're treating ourselves, most of the time, except, of course, if you live with a lion. 

I live with one.
You know what else about lions? They sleep. Right after a big meal. Actually, they eat meat so they are forced to sleep through most of the day. Just like big Jackson.

What's needed then is the parasympathetic mode for optimal digestion. And listen buddy, the calmer you are, the better the whole thing goes for you. The more optimal your digestion, the higher your energy. Because the gut takes a big cut of it when it does its thing, which takes a long time, believe me.  So if you can start it off right with a little bitty nap, why not? So I imagine that lying down after lunch and supper (unless you work the night shift, most likely you'll be going to sleep after supper), is the best thing to do. My dad told me to do this a long time ago. Take a nap, not too long, after lunch, and your whole day will go better.

Because people are not home in the middle of the day usually. The modern-day workplace does not condone curling up into a ball for 30 minutes under your desk like George Castanza. 
 I can't imagine just lying down under a shelf in the bookstore like a bum after I eat at work. Or during one of my yoga classes--lying down and not talking. "I just ate. So this is a silent yoga class. Y'all do what you want while I just lie here. I'll teach you for the last 30 minutes if I wake up." Which would easily make me the worst yoga teacher ever.

 Which brings us to our pose of the day:

This is savasana. Pronounced SHavasana. We do this pose in every class. It's very simple--just lie on your back. But you know? It's always at the end of class for the last 5-10 minutes. Why? To soak up the benefits of the poses done before. To meditate on the body. Maybe it's necessary to stop and lie down after every nourishing and helpful thing you do for yourself--eating, yoga, walking, laughing, feeding the dog, taking a shower, talking to friends. Imagine. Productivity wouldn't be high, but we'd be jolly as could be.

So I pronounce to the world (maybe disregarding Spain because it looks like they already do this), to enforce a nap-time. I hereby introduce the Nap Time to Prevent Brain Funk Law. We could definitely call it something better, but I don't have all day. We'll let the House and Senate deal with nomenclature. All companies must give their employees the opp to nap after lunch. It would be best to have a nap/yoga room with cots and bunk beds, and no funny business like Grey's Anatomy. If I ever run a company, you better believe employees will get 30 minutes of R&R after lunch. No more than 30 minutes because I've been to the dark side. I'm actually there right now. Nap gone wrong. 
Nap gone long.
I took this from my friend Caroline's blog. I like it a lot.
So for the sake of productivity, let's keep it with eating and yoga. If at all possible, do an experiment and see how much better you feel if you should be able to lie down for 20 minutes after your next lunch. Close your eyes. See where it takes you. Right out of brain funk, no doubt.

Liza Jane

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Leaving On a Jet Plane

I'm leaving on a jet plane,
Don't know when I'll be back again.

I just kept singing that song, well those two lines (the only ones I know) over and over again--back in July, when I took off for Bali. It was a month-long deal, and I was already missing my husband and dog and home. At least I was taking the unborn fetus with me. 

When Will dropped me off at the airport, everyone was giving him dirty looks like he had beaten me up because I was crying so hard. HARD. It was actually kind of weird. It was such a horrible moment because I have major feelings for the guy. But I had to do what I had to do, 
and yes, it was a good move.

At the retreat center outside of Ubud, Bali.
The first peaceful "yes, you are doing the right thing" feeling came when I heard ole John Denver in a C-store in the airport. Just the song I had been singing all week. For some reason, when things like that happen, I know everything is all right, and I'm walking my path.

The second one came when I saw the scene above. An infinity pool overlooking rice fields that flanked the path that led to our yoga pavilion. And the third came when I met some wonderful people, including my roommate, Samantha from New York who is SO New York. I loved it. She actually never left Bali. She is still there. Although I wish I could talk to her, I'm happy she's being a gypsy.

Sam on her bed. I do not miss my bed, and I don't miss the food.
But I miss Sam, and I miss that room for some reason.

Outdoor shower--pretty awesome.
And so, besides for the ENORMOUS geckos that were mating and reproducing on our wall, this outdoor bathroom was top 7 of my favorite things about this journey. 

Black sand beach.
 No, this thing was a day-in and day-out deal plus homework at night. But we had a day off. A group of us decided to go to some beach somewhere. I had no idea where I was, but I had a fabulous time.

Just in case you wanted to see my feet in the sand. 

Yogis pulling tricks.
I did not get out there and do tricky poses on a pool wall. My pregnant butt was already in mommy mode, taking pictures and being a cheerleader. "Beautiful Jess! Let's see it Ebonie!" 

We got Canada, London, Sydney, New Jersey, California and Mississippi all representing
at this random beach club somewhere in Bali.
Back to the intensive. It was intense. But I signed up for it. We worked hard. We did our best. We praised, we complained, we got confused, we got relieved, we got happy and then we got certified.

Path to the yoga pavilion--silence and meditation each morning.
I had some wonderful yoga classes that will most likely remain top 10 in my life for me. I learned a lot of important things that have already improved my teaching. Still, it was the people who made this experience memorable and wonderful. Wouldn't have been the same without them. 

Ebonie and Kara in Ubud.

Working in our pavilion. 

Ebonie getting attacked by an aggressive monkey.

Monkey transfer. Kara's got him. I was like, "Am I safe down here? Keep it away." 
At that point, I was not used to aggressive monkeys and had been attacked
 and was trying to watch my back.

Little monkey babe.
It was like adult yoga summer camp. A long period of time, spending every waking hour together. Swatting bugs and swapping bug sprays. Enduring through heat, bad food and physical exhaustion. Homesickness and snacks and emotional breakdowns. Friends you make and love and wonder if you'll ever see them again. Crying when you leave them. 

The thing about camp and conditions like these is that your friendships are on fast-forward. It's like friendship turbo mode. It's not that you want it to be like this, but there's a closeness there that naturally happens in these types of circumstances. Far away from home, there are so many emotions and feelings. You've got to lean on someone, and someone's got to lean on you. And immediately I think back to real summer camp at Riverview, where a bunch of pre-puberty girls swayed arm-in-arm, singing "Lean On Me," crying their little eyes out on the last night in front of a bonfire. Tribal victories won, ropes courses conquered, and we were all bawling like we did the first day.

So bittersweetly, we took hold of our passports and went on our gypsy ways (from Bali, not Riverview--I'm back in modern day).

And that's it. That's all I have to say.

Well, except for, if you're ever thinking about something and wondering if it's right, just listen for John Denver or whomever you've been singing that week.
Signs are everywhere. Everywhere a sign. 
Blocking out the scenery, something something my mind.
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

And if you're not singing, you should definitely start.
Liza Jane

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

When Doves Cry

Rain? Not much. Men? Yes they're everywhere, and they're freaking out. 

Labor Day weekend in the Delta = men in  a frenzy about football, hunting, golf or maybe all 3. If you're a woman blessed with a man who relishes all 3, God help you. 

The men in my life are pretty happy right now for a number if reasons.

The weekend started with some Rebels taking over some Commodores in a terrible ship I call Vanderbilt stadium. I mean the place is like a ship for real. No one can get out, no one can get in, it's hotter than hell, and good luck going to the bathroom or finding something to drink or eat. Needless to say, after a very close fight, our team won, and my father above is a blissful man.

So after that, I finally came to the moment I've been waiting for--I met my nephew. The most beautiful human being I've seen yet. I cried immediately. And love him immensely. Oh pregnancy. But a part of me knows it's not preg. It's family. Check out my brother in a football/golf coma. Looks like Will's got some daddy going on.

Most likely though, football is the only common denominator while golf and hunting usually take seasonal shifts depending on the man. We all know this one over here will take hunting over a pot of gold or even a bowl of lucky charms. 

But look at how far this girl has come. I was like, "I'm so zen from all this yoga in Bali, I just want you to be happy and celebrate this youthful, free time in your life." And then I called some friends and told them to come up and get dirty!  If you can't beat 'em, join me. 

Hot and pregnant and wearing my husband's  humongous clothes.

It was hotter than hell. The Vanderbilt stadium had nothing on this dove field. A little girl time doing boy things. And this pregnant lady did not wimp out.

And then one of us--Sarah got one!! She was more excited than I am with a chocolate milkshake! It was a big moment for her, and I'm happy to be a part of her happiness. 

Anyway, good weekend. Good start to the week. 

A whole bunch of bliss flying around in Mississippi right now. It's that time of year.
Liza Jane