PANIC BEAR

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Finally getting around to writing a bouldering post.

I always knew that I really loved that tree climbing part of my childhood.  We lived out in the country for many years so being out in nature, digging & climbing around was a normal activity.  We also went to the same campground Summer after Summer & I climbed many a tree there as well.  The memory of how I felt when I climbed has always stayed with me.  Similar to the peace I receive during vinyasa, my brain just shuts off & I find a deep purpose in just moving & being.

Outdoor rock climbing never really appealed to me, it all looked just too complicated & hard!  I recently started following different yogis who posted videos of themselves doing something called “bouldering” & I was instantly intrigued.   Most of these yogis do a lot of inversions very successfully so it seemed like a good way to cross train & build that upper body strength.  Here are some initial short observations:

*There are no ropes or harnesses.

*The walls are at 15 foot or lower.

*The floors are padded.

*You wear special shoes.

*You can do it both indoor at a bouldering gym or outdoors if you’re really crazy.

There had been a climbing/yoga gym on my radar because it was somewhat nearby, just a couple small cities over, & about a 15 minute drive from home.  It had been something that floated on the outskirts of my mind, but seeing it so much on Instagram made me get really interested in it.

That & a new student & I were talking about it & he had some extra passes.  That helped.

Starting a new adventure like this is scary!  Like the days leading up to my yoga teacher training program I found my mind filled with all kinds of doomful futuristic thoughts like, what if everyone knows I’m new?  Or, what if I fall on my ass?  And, what if I suck?  And much more of course.  Isn’t that how it always is with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone?  I see it a lot in classes I teach.  I’m always filled with a deep gratitude for students who walk in under a cloud of fear of the unknown.  I am always rooting for them because I know how it feels.

Luckily my desire to try it outweighed my fears.  What I’ve learned in the past two months since I’ve been bouldering on a 2 to 3 times a week basis:

*There is a term climbers use for a person who gets caught at the top of the wall, unsure how to get down & very tired:  Panic Bear.  Yes, I’ve been a panic bear.  It’s not fun.  It’s either grind out the down climb or jump!

*You climp UP then you climb DOWN.  Rock climbers rapel down whereas boulderers (is that a word?!) down climb.  This takes A LOT out of you.  The days after I bouldered the first time it seemed like every single last cell in my fingers, hands, arms, & shoulders were gong to be sore forever.  I struggled to take caps off pens and any other tasks you use your fingers for.  Also many people will hop off of the wall after getting pretty low to the ground.  I’m turning 40 in a week & I don’t want a ton of forceful compression like this on my knees so I try to always climb all the way down, unless I’m being a panic bear, lol.

*Shoes are a major thing part 1:  I rented the shoes at first at $6 a session.  I wanted to spend some time renting shoes because I didn’t know if I would really love bouldering or not.  After realizing I did love it I started looking for climbing shoes online.  After realizing they were muy expensive I started to research used climbing shoes.  I found a seller on craigslist selling 4 pairs at various sizes.  Research online had told me that it’s common for climbers to size down one or two sizes.  Basically if I’m an 8 & a half I might try 7 & a half or gasp 6 & a half?  Ouch.  I guess climbers like their shoes to fit tightly so they can really…… okay uh, I still don’t get this whole part all the way.  Stay tuned.

*Shoes are a major thing part 2:  Soooo I got some 7.5’s & damn gina these hurt my tootsies to no end.  I started noticing people taking their shoes off in between climbs.  I wondered if everyone at the gym was suffering like me!  I kept researching & finally came across the absolute best online article (which I can’t find or I’d link it here) that said in part, why are all the climbers killing their feet?  Get shoes that just fit like a glove.  So this really resonated with me, I couldn’t even focus on climbing because of theses tight shoes.

*Shoes are a major thing part 3:  This is getting silly now, but for me finding the right shoes really made me feel more confident.  Remember that climber student?  He had told me about this mecca called Next Adventure.  OMG this place!  I loved it!  They had new stuff on the main level & all sorts of used adventure gear in their basement.  Climbing shoes galore!  So affordable!  Even kids climbing shoes if H ever wants to tag along someday.  So I got a great pair that fit like a glove & feet are happy.  I do take them off between climbs as they are still a wee bit tight.  Lastly, I’ve been playing around with sockless climbs.  It feels very gross but I do have to say I can ‘feel’ the holds a bit better.

*Still on the same subject of the feet, my feet that feel so nimble & graceful during yoga, feel like awkward, wandering vestages  during climbs.  What in the hell are my legs & feet doing?!  This is a thought I often think during climbs.  And, look here legs & feet, arms & hands are killing themselves here, the least you could do is be a little more graceful!  C’mon!  Nope.  They just kind of flail around sometimes.  Plus, I’m hyper focus on the area around my eyes as I don’t want to be a panic bear or FALL DOWN.  I have seen some climbers hold their feet against the wall or even get some traction with the rubber undersold of their shoes until the foot can contact with a hold.  These climbers are usually the ones looking like they are doing a quick climbing ballet up & down the wall.

*Bouldering is humbling.  One day I went on the side of the gym that is kind of hidden so I could try a V3 hopefully mostly unseen.  I fell off on hold 3 to 5 (fourth of the way up) each time.  What I decided to be a 13 year old girl walked by me and flew up it in 5 seconds flat.  It kind of feels good to be so humbled.  I’m a beginner & I’m mostly okay with that.  I still experience a wall of fear when I park in the lot before walking in.  Climbers all sit & rest in between climbs & if you don’t have your phone with you there’s not much else to do besides watch what’s right in front of you which is other people climbing.  So this has been good for me to face my fear of failure & to let go (but hold on, lol).

*I got climbers arm.  Two weeks ago I started experiencing a fiery pain in my right elbow.  Back to the internet I went & I learned about a plethora of injuries one can get from climbing.  A severe case of climbing arm can force you to stop climbing for months.  Many recommended a serious work out before climbing which I had not been doing at all!  I found some good techniques & now head over to the workout section of the gym & take 15 minutes to warm up before beginning to climb.  I had also been pushing myself too hard.  I wouldn’t rest that much between climbs.  I would sometimes only go for a half hour so would think that I had to get as much climbing in as I could.  The sweet spot for me is to allow at least an hour for a climbing session.  I warm up for 15, I rest a lot, & I get plenty of climbs in.

*I’m afraid of heights!  When I get to the top of the wall at about 15 feet high, whether the route is easy or no, my heart starts beating fast, fear sweats the chalk off of my hands, & I start shaking!  So sometimes I don’t even go to the top.  I just suss out that I can get to the top hold then I head down.  Maybe this will pass, but it’s a thing right now.

I’m sure there’s more, another post or threaded into a different post later on.

Oh yeah, I got a new job!  It’s at the bouldering gym!!!!!!  I’ll teach Fridays at 7pm, I’m pretty stoked.  Climbing & yoga go together like peanut butter & jelly so I’m excited to teach there.

Wishing/hoping/vibing that all of you out there on the interwebs find a way to face a fear or embark on a new adventure soon.

Peace, love, & namaste~

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OH CANADA PART 1

H and I just got back from a trip to Canada, specifically Sooke, BC.  I won a gift certificate at work last Christmas to stay in any of these Canadian chains of hotels.  I learned very quickly after exciting the ferry that Sooke is not pronounced, “Sookie,” but like the zook in gadzooks.  Sook.  It looks like it should be pronounced Sookie, but you will definitely get a weird vibe from locals if you do not pronounce it correctly.  Sooke (repeat out loud: Soooook, if you are still reading it as Sookie in your head) is about 40 minutes up from Victoria.  It seemed silly to get passports for H and I, and take a ferry to the edge of Canada, but I’m all for taking some small adventures.  Originally the name was actually, “T’sou-ke,” for the first nation there, first nation being what Canadians would term what we would call Native Americans.  Sooke is situated across from a harbour (ocean running in) and northern Sooke, which is a curly cue extension of land running in a kind of c-shape.  Really, look it up on a map, it is a bit hard to describe.  Or check out the view from our room.  We’re on the main Sooke side, the harbour is next, and then you see north Sooke on the other side.  This view changed with the time of day.  It was quite exquisite to watch:

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The ferry sitch was rough.  I was late and not knowing what to expect, I hustled all our stuff and H in the stroller and booked it to the ticket window.  You have to drive on, the attendant said.  I went into mom freak out mode, I knew H would bawl and I did not want to unload everything back in the car.  So I asked if someone could drive my car on for me (yes I did!) and if I could just walk onto the ferry.  This was a bad idea as getting up and above from the car area is only accessible by stairs, the vessel was build in 1959.  They obliged me anyways and it all worked out.  My car was the last car out and as I was chasing after a toddler during the hour and a half ride to Canadian soil, I did not think to go potty, er, to the bathroom.  Soooo, I had to pee very badly when we finally hit the customs drive through.  Then the customs agent proceeded to tell me that I needed either H’s birth certificate with just my name on it (this is vital so all agencies can see that the dad has no rights whatsoever), or a letter of some sort.  Well…I pulled the crazy mom card again, not purposefully, I just was stressed.  I have to pee, I have a toddler in the back, and my mapquest is not working, I said.  What can you do to help me?  This makes me laugh, I don’t know how I turned the situation back on the poor customs dude, but I did!  He let me use their restroom and another agent gave me directions to Sooke (Sooooook!).  I did not have service in Canada, I failed to think of that before traveling.  I had to rely on old fashioned directions.  The Victorians in Canada were very kind, I had to ask three different people how to reach Sooke.  In Sooke I had to ask someone at a petrol station where the hotel was.  It was stressful but kind of empowering to find my way around this way.  I thought about calling my carrier to get service, but then thought, what the hell?  I didn’t want to go back to Victoria, I just wanted to stay in small lil Sooke.  The older I get the more I feel drawn to small towns and N A T U R E, and that is the very definition of Sooke:

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This was French Beach, another 20 minutes up from Sooke.  H loves rocks!  He was in his own little rock heaven, I believe we could have stayed hours longer.

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AH, WHICH ROCK DO I PICK UP FIRST?!

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The hotel was insane.  Very posh for this girl.  I brought my mat and managed to get a few yoga seshes in, although doing yoga with a toddler is intermittent, you get interrupted a lot.  I wasn’t in my normal yoga groove.  I was dealing with some feelings during this trip too, I wanted to just let go and have fun.  Not even fun, I just wanted to let go and B E.  I saw someone holding their hand out of their car on the way to the ferry in WA, and I thought, this is how I was to be.  Just letting go and enjoying the world.

I did have a great trip, I was just battling some old demons.  I am really scared about my future with H.  I am so taken care of right now, but I am on the fence between getting a big girl job or pursuing yoga.  Every fiber in my being wants to pursue yoga.  I also can’t escape the huge sum in student loans I have, not having a substantial pay check, or not having any type of retirement savings for the future.  It all feels so insurmountable right now.  What am I going to do?  Yesterday and today I really dug in on prayer and focus.  I taught yesterday and was scattered (three peeps besides my mom showed, yay!), but still a good teaching experience.  I had a great yoga practice this morning, and am starting a new class for two weeks from yesterday.  I am on a new mantra for the next 40 days:  Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Ganesh removing all obstacles and opening up the root chakra.  I’m thinking of switching my nights from streaming shows to practicing yoga and reading before bed.  I feel like if I put my spirituality first all else will be okay.  And sobriety.  Back to a meeting tonight, I am so looking forward to it.  A week away from meetings is too long for this drunk!

And lastly I somehow signed up to do this writing challenge, Wilsonville Writes!  You write a chapter and then pass it on to the next person.  I seem to get a fuller and fuller life.  It is all good, I just don’t want to spread myself too thin, and again I still worry about taking care of H and myself for the long term.  Our master teacher in teacher training, Jen used to say that fear is the opposite of love.  How can love crowd out fear in my situation?

As it alludes to in the title, more Sooke/Washington stuff next post!

Peace and love.  May Ganesh remove any obstacles you are struggling with!

SOCIAL MEDIA & ME

I’ve recently been having a complicated relationship with social media.  Me, who quit Facebook back in 2012.  Me, who keeps a private Instagram, my only social media account.  I am now the proud facilitator of three Instagram accounts, two Pinterests, one Twitter, and four Facebook accounts.  These include work accounts that I regularly (except Twitter which gets ignored quite often!) post on.

What..is..going..on…  That’s what I would like to know.  How did I get to the place of checking each page, logging out under one password to log back in with another, and obsessing over ways to plug, plug, plug.  I am not some type of marketer.  Most of the social media I’ve begun, I am not getting paid for.  So why am I doing it?

Because it makes me feel good.

And not in the watching Netflix all night while eating ice cream kind of way (although that is a well spent night in my opinion).  It makes me feel good to be doing stuff for others.  I haven’t had a sponsee since I moved here, so the moms group I started and the free yoga I’m about to start is giving me a deep feeling of usefulness in this world.  I am not advancing my career or able to buy a house, but I do feel pretty darn good about where I fit into the world right now.

Social media can be weird, it’s a lot of stimulation.  I hope it evens out over time.  I keep racking my brain about who else I can ask to plug my free yoga.  I keep emailing people.  My thoughts run in threes most of the time.  Thinking three things at once is too much.  I’ve also been teetering between ignoring the fact that I will be teaching yoga on a weekly basis, to being overwhelming scared of it.  This Thursday.  What if no one shows up?  This is my fear.  I have to remember I’ve done the footwork.  It’s up to the universe what happens next.  I’m glad I began the Mama Bear Group first.  No one showed up on my first try.  Last week and the week before, four besides me showed.  That was enough.  If that many show up for yoga, I will be fine.  In two weeks it moves from Thursdays to Saturdays as well.  This will help.  I am obsessing about it.  Thank goodness for meditation and yoga.  This has been calming my anxiety about teaching.

Something crazy happened at work.  I was hungry and trying to be patient for the lunch our office was going to at a local restaurant.  Somewhere between sitting down and ordering I had that ancient feeling of being high, I realized that my blood sugar must have just plummeted.  I zipped my lip, I know when I get loopy like that it’s best not to talk.  I did my best to act as if, I nodded a bunch and inserted half words here and there.  As it usually happens the topic of conversation got turned towards alcohol, like what they were going to drink, how much, and how they didn’t like it when they drank too much.  Suddenly one of my co-workers turned to me and said, you don’t really drink do you Liz?  And what did I say?  What could I have said?  I can tell you now.  I could have just said, no!  I fully blame the low blood sugar, there was zilch of pausing and praying, I blurted, actually I’m in AA, I’ve been sober for about 7 years.  Luckily no food had been served yet to them, their mouths plummeted open.  I immediately thought, what did you just say!  You’ve worked with them for a year and not a peep!  Why now?  I certainly didn’t feel like it was necessary.  Necessary is if someone needs help.  I will share anything in that case.

It may come back to bite me later, but the strangest thing happened.  I felt a softness from them.  And then they got vulnerable and started telling me their stories as relates to alcohol.  The food came, we ate, my brain was restored.  They asked for more details, it’s never hard for me to convince someone I should not drink.  All I have to do is tell them one story of what it was like.  It was not pretty.  Again, I don’t know if this will be a good thing in the long run, but it just happened.  It’s like letting my son eat on his own or paint.  Jam and colors everywhere, life gets messy sometimes.  I’m not perfect, and I gotta roll with it.  It was actually funny to me that it happened.

Here is the yoga flier I made:

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I went to the Wilsonville Art Festival last Sunday.  The student art blew me away, very impressive.  H and I had fun, looking at art, playing on the play structure, and eating ice cream.  Being a mom is the coolest thing ever sometimes.  Other pics are from the area surrounding the meeting I love on Wednesdays.  Two weeks ago I drove around after the meeting so I could just pray.  I was taken aback by how serene it was.  I love that I live in a place where I can just drive and find so much beauty only 5 minutes away.

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The inexpensive area.

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Indeed.

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There is a person there picking something. I could not figure out what they were doing and did not want to spook them.

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Life is all a lot right now and very beautiful if that in any way makes sense.  It is full and good.  I am so grateful to be in a position to give to others.  I really hope that I can help.  My teacher Jen would say, do your best and don’t get attached to the fruits of your labor.

If you think of it please send me good vibes these next months to the tune of teaching yoga well.  I’m at the cliff, I’m stepping off!

AN END TO A BEGINNING

Buckle seat belts kids, this is gonna be a long post…

Yesterday was my last day at teacher training with Three Sisters Yoga.  It was hard to meditate (we start out our weekend mornings meditating for 30 minutes) both days.  On Saturday I was teaching my co-students for 15 minutes.  On Sunday, most of us were presenting our karma yoga projects.  Both mornings my mind was abuzz about what I was going to do and say.  I tried to meditate but the planner in me would not shut up!  The 15 minute class went well.  I have to backup to define well.  Last weekend I received some constructive criticism that I wrote about in my last post.  I wasn’t loud or confident enough.  I took it to heart, it weighed me down.  I brought it up to our master teacher, Jen Whinnen (whom by the way is AWESOME) and she set my heart at rest.  I was telling my mom that night, you know how you hear what you didn’t even know you needed to hear from someone?  In a nutshell she basically said that I am enough, if I’m not confident, so what?  Teach until I am.  Keep going, keep trying.  She told me to stand up right there and teach everyone tree pose.  This was the last thing I wanted to do.  She said to stand up taller.  She said, tell them how to do the pose as if you are doing the pose.  C L I C K.  I immediately forgot all of my weakness in teaching and became excited about telling them how I do the pose.  Bravo.  You got this girl past a hump.  I related the class on Saturday to how I would move through the class.  I also spoke the mantra of: C A N.  And I read a quote about fear at the end.  I might as well speak to the fear of teaching while I’m teaching right???  While I read the quote I felt myself tearing up.  It was:

“I will not die an unlived life.  I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.  I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.

~Dawna Markova

I bumbled a couple of times, still wasn’t loud enough, and forgot/was afraid to walk around the room.  At one point I paused and everyone waited expectantly and I had a anxious moment thinking, they’re all relying on ME!  But I did many things well, and I have new faith and hope that I will get better and better.  Something was planted deep inside me somehow.  I want to help people do yoga.  It’s that simple, no bells.  I have a desire to be a yoga teacher.  These declarations make my soul feel light.  I just have to finish the rest of my coursework and blogging commitment, and then folks, I can get my official certification.  We went over the business of yoga the last weekend too, aka $$$.  I ascertained that I will definitely need to maintain a secondary income + yoga.  Why?  Because financial insecurity freaks me out.  And that’s okay too.

On Saturday, straight out of the studio I got into a car accident.  I’ve only been in one other one in my life, and that was in like 2005.  It was strange to feel that metal on metal connection.  I had a hard time driving around today, I felt on guard the whole time.  Yes, I said driving, so obviously my car is drivable which is a good thing.  To go back to the beginning, I was in the most left handed lane on a four laned, one wayer.  The car in the lane to the right of me decided to make a left hand turn.  YUP.  Right in front of little ole me.  I tried to slam on my brakes but he was just too close.  The kicker?  Out pops this tall older man wearing a clerical collar.  He was a charismatic episcopalian priest.  Wha…?  We had an interesting conversation about a higher power (his much different than mine, of course), addiction, and faith.  He was nice enough to stay with me till the tow came.  It was strange.  I was initially shocked by the accident, but rolled with first things first after that.  AA has just taught me to do the next right thing.  I was bushwhacked by the time I got home two hours later.  I really missed H.   It will be so nice to spend more time with him.

I presented my karma project on Sunday, it has been an effort over the past month, I found a space to hold a mama’s support group at the local library.  I wanted to do some service work that was close to my heart.  First meeting this Friday, I hope some mamas that need a break and some companionship will show up!  After I presented, my head was in the clouds.  I kept trying to pull myself back to earth, I wanted to be very present since it was our last day together at the studio.  It was the last time we would all be just what we had been these past 6 weeks.  That right there will never be reproduced!  I wanted to soak in it.  We went to Pho to all eat together.  I seriously couldn’t believe how well we all got along.  I had not felt that easy with other women since my peeps in Long Beach.  It was such a rich feeling, I felt very grateful.

My head kept floating.  I just kept thinking about seeing my parents and H, about them seeing where I had spent so much time.  All the family members arrived.  It was great to see everyone with their loved ones.  There were a bunch of kids!  H wanted to be in the middle of the action, he doesn’t have much fear in that department.  He’s still small though, so we had to watch him.

Our teacher had us introduce one another to our loved ones which was cool.  We all had nice and loving things to say about each other.  She christened us with our own set of mala beads.  I used mine already.  Namaha Lakshmi.  Abundance.  I will seriously miss the camaraderie we’ve all built together, but I will also seriously love having more time back.  A couple of the women are moving out of OR soon.  I’ll miss our teacher.  I’ll really miss her knowledge.  We had a walking, breathing yoga manual next to us!  Google has nothing on her.  And I’ll miss her giant wing of compassion she spread over us these past weeks.  Hold the space, she said.  She definitely held the space we were in.

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This was the light in the bathroom, I just had to include it. Too cool.

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Peace, love, and namaste.

A BEER AND A MESS

The Astoria trip started rough.  The drive over was peaceful enough, my parents headed over earlier with H.  I drove separate because I had to work.

We checked in and walked over to a local pub/restaurant to eat, we were all hungry.  H included, I sat down in a chair next to a plastic skeleton (seemed it was not a waiting area as I had thought at first, but a beer display of sorts) to feed him and managed to knock over a large beer, what I would call a 40.  It crashed and sizzled majestically, every eye in the place peeled over to me.  My, what I’m just trying to feed my baby impression didn’t go over smoothly.  Only the bar maid sent to wipe up had a kind word, “It happens all the time.”  Much irony over the embarrassment of the alcoholic spilling beer.

An hour later we were seated.  We had to remind the server of the soups we ordered in between his rude jokes and long chats with the table next to us.  We had no salt and he tried to argue with us about it while clawing through the condiment holder before grudgingly handing us one.  More stuff happened, but hey it was the end of President’s day weekend, the place was a zoo, of course the service would be harried and spotty.  The whole ordeal just made me feel so itchy in my own skin in a way I haven’t for so long.  Those stares.  The idea in my head that the server was just being shitty because I was the one that caused that beer to drop.  The humiliation in front of my parents, two people’s opinions of me that sometimes weighs heavier than a sack of gold on my shoulders.   My step-dad asked to pay for the beer multiple times.  Each time my ears burned.

I’ve done a lot of work around not saying sorry for everything, and especially not sorry for things I’m not responsible for.  If I don’t know the line I will stay silent until I do.  I was afraid after it happened that me not making a big deal about it or over apologizing would be interpreted as snobbishness or entitlement.  Or, worse than that:  I wasn’t sorry that I had created a mess in the middle of a busy restaurant that would cause someone to clean up after me.

It staggers me to witness other human beings creating messes or making mistakes without feeling overly bad about it.  Why? These individuals are no doubt far healthier than I.   Why did I have it so ingrained within me to be sorry for my very existence?  I have gotten better at it, detachment.  It seems that I have much more work on this to do.

The trip was a dream after that.  The pier next to our hotel housed my favorite spot, a coffee nook called, Coffee Girl.  Since H still loves to wake up at 5am he and I were the lone customers at Coffee Girl when they opened at 7.  Me being too bleary did not take my camera either morning.  It was magical, the sun was out both days and made the water in the Columbia a pinky-blue.  Coffee Girl is on the end of the pier so you have the feeling that you are in a boat when you look out their windows.  The coffee and snacks were amazing.

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We hiked up The Column which was a, er, well column.  The views at the top were gorg, it was very windy so we stayed for only about 5 minutes before heading back down.  You can buy wooden planes in their gift shop and watch them float down.

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The Column. Creative name, eh?

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The views from up top:

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See The Column’s shadow?

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The weather was truly amazing.  The whole place has such mystical connection with so much water, whether it be the Pacific or the Columbia.  Everywhere you look and everything you see seems to just be an accessory to the great blue.  We passed by one sign that read, Cape Disappointment.  My parents said the area was known for bulk shipwrecks.  My step-dad said Lewis and Clark wrote about being depressed here because it was so gray and cold all of the time (paraphrasing with much liberty there!).  We crossed over the bridge into Washington.  The Long Beach Peninsula is a theoretical death trap, if the big tsunami hit everything would be destroyed.

It was uncanny to tour around such a supposed perilous area in such bright dreamy weather.  Besides a chilling bite in the morning and at night it might as well be San Diego.  Okay so that’s a little stretch…

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A shipwreck’s remains.

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I was glad my parents stayed a long time the first day (they just stayed one night, H and I two).  We went back to Astoria to walk around, visit the Clatsop County Jail that now houses the Oregon Film Museum which was in the beginning of the movie, Goonies, and for a late lunch.  Goonies!  Best movie ever.  It is our time.  Our time down here…

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We ate (much better experience this time) at the Silver Salmon Grille.  What beats good food, crayons and white paper tablecloths?  Very fun.  They have an annual coloring contest and professional looking pictures of past winners line their walls.

So Astoria was a beautiful mess of life on life’s terms.  On our way back we stopped by my step-sisters house to pick up more party decorations.  I can’t believe H’s birthday is in less than two weeks!

I have decided too that I need to step up my contrary action game.  The whole mind spiral after spilling the beer was not cool, I have to make AA more of a priority.  I’m meeting with my sponsor on Tuesday and I went to a meeting yesterday.  I felt such a peace when I was there, the dude next to me showed me the page they were on in, As Bill Sees It.  He didn’t have to, he doesn’t know me, but that’s what AA is.  I just have to do the opposite of what I want sometimes as far as my sobriety is concerned.  It’s not about feeling or looking good.  It’s about not drinking.  I made a pie chart at a home group I go to and showed it to my friend.  It was not cool.  Most of the pie was family, H, and work.  A tiny slice was yoga and an even tinier slice AA.

I managed one yoga class last week since we were on the trip.  I had a magic moment while lowering down from plank when I felt super human.  I remember that yoga super human feeling!  I look forward to more.  I signed my work trade agreement and submitted for full payment for teacher training.  Work has surprisingly gotten much better, they asked me to stay two days a week while I go through the training and then we would evaluate what to do when I complete.  The Higher Power works all things out, the best of both worlds for now.  I almost walked out on the job a couple of weeks ago and I let my sponsor talk me down from that ledge.  I’m grateful today that I listened to her.

I am grateful for my sobriety, H, my family, and life.  I have an overwhelming feeling nowadays that I want to grab opportunity and shake it to see what pops out.  Before AA I never had even the shadow of a feeling like that.  I know that if I just continue doing the deal that everything will be okay.  Maybe messy, but okay.

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