Yoga and Nannying: The Lessons to be Learned
It's midsummer. I have officially been a college graduate for almost two months now.
I figured it was time for some sort of update. Some insight to what this summer of in between has taught me.
At the beginning of summer, I was lucky enough to go on an incredible Alaskan cruise with my family to celebrate two of the best people in my life, my grandparents, as they glided into their 55th year of marriage. Alaska was incredible. Seeing real glaciers, breathing some of the cleanest air in the world, taking a photography class amidst the snowy mountain tops of Alaska and Canada with a professional photographer, and spending evenings having incredible dinners with my family. It all made for a perfect vacation. I find myself wishing I could go back often, as it was such a relaxing week.
I got back from the cruise and had a few days of figuring out exactly what this summer should entail. As most of you know, I will be leaving my favorite city soon to discover what it is like to live in a city where I don't speak the language and don't know the customs.
For the summer, I landed a great nannying job with three creative, spunky girls. I bought a yoga membership. Things are pretty normal around here these days. The majority of the time, my days consist of nannying all day and going to yoga afterwards, making a healthy dinner, and then either reading or watching my beloved show, Gilmore Girls (for the fourth time, it's fine), and going to bed early. This routine life has suited me well this summer.
Between nannying and yoga, I have begun to dig deeper into things that have stayed surface level for me for many years.
As for nannying, I am taught to slow down. With children, as any parent reading this knows, life is full of the small moments. It's the little things that excite children, things like getting to have a piece of chocolate after dinner or jumping on the trampoline. There are little achievements constantly made, "look!! I can do a cartwheel!". Everything is an adventure for kids. Everything is still new. Common, everyday words are still being discovered. Why is asked often. And this allows me to ask myself why more often, too. We slow down with kids. They teach us to live in the moment. They remind us to get excited about the little things that truly make us giddy with excitement. Life shouldn't be a big web of getting caught up and stressed about politics and the economy, as important as these things are, they take away from the childlike wonder that we should all hold close.
And then there is yoga. It's funny because I normally am rushing to a yoga class directly after nannying. I walk into the studio and it's dark and quiet, the opposite of how my days are with three young girls. And again, I am taught to slow down. My yoga practice varies constantly. I have been practicing since I was sixteen years old, for six years now, and still there is no regularity in my practice. My thoughts while I flow vary. This summer, I have been trying so carefully to truly live in the moment. To be in moments and not let technology or small talk distract me. It is hard. It will always be hard, but it's a necessary ideal that we should all try to achieve more often. My yoga has become more advanced, and with that I find myself alive with childlike excitement. Ah, holding a headstand for ten seconds with straight legs? That is exciting. It's exciting in the same way that doing a somersault when I was seven was. That first time you really achieve something and life is suddenly a little less monotonous.
My yoga practice and my job this summer have somehow become intertwined in each other - teaching me similar lessons. Reminding me to embrace small moments, embrace learning new things, and remembering to stay excited about life. My last semester of college was fine, but it was monotonous. It was also constantly waiting for something, making living in the moment a task. It was constantly waiting to see Kyle again, applying for jobs that I didn't necessarily want but felt I needed to have, studying for exams that I was so done with, and anxiously waiting to graduate. It was wanting the next best thing and being excited to get there. Now I have more time. More time to slow down, more time to enjoy music the way I used to, more time to read, and more time to get to know the 22 year old self that I have both slowly yet so rapidly become. In just a few weeks, things will shift again. I am trying to gear up for it while at the same time moving as slow as honey through this summer. Embracing free time, embracing time alone.
As always, I am ready for the next best thing. I am packing my bags, I am looking into international phone plans, and I am trying to figure out how I am going to get my thyroid medicine while living in Prague (does anyone know anything about pharmaceuticals in different countries?). I am excited and ready for August, but living in this very moment and not wishing time away is my main pursuit right now.