Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Of Yawns and Smiles

I did a lot of yawning over our getaway weekend.

Lots of smiling, too!

Goodness knows, there was nothing boring about my first weekend getaway with JoyDad since the kids were born. (Yes, that would be seven years, for those keeping score.)

Even the drive to my college reunion was lovely, with a big long chunk of roadway between wooded bluffs on one side and the Mississippi River on the other. And time alone to talk with my sweetie! Luxury! And then a whirlwind of activity, catching up with friends and roommates of 20 years gone by, attending lectures and receptions, dining, running...

Not boring. And not over-doing it -- we had to take things a little bit easy, since there was only so much that JoyDad's rapidly-healing foot could take. So no late-night dancing or bonfire or concerts. But lots of yawning.

I think it may have been an accumulation of tired, catching up with me just a little bit. Though nobody seems to have the full answer to the functionality of a yawn, one theory is that it's an attempt to acquire an extra burst of oxygen. I needed to breathe deeply!

And then there was the smiling. How I could I help that, with as much time as I got to spend with JoyDad, and with my roommates (one in particular)? Lots of smiles passed around at the reception at the library too, where I worked as a student and where I now have colleagues with whom I occasionally cross paths at conferences.

I was surely breathing deeply and I think I was smiling as I crossed the finish line of the 5K that was an early Saturday morning feature of the reunion. I came in dead last of the 27 runners who started at the whistle together. Apparently only the hard-core runners come out to run in the bright sunlight at 7:30 on a warm reunion morning! I ran within seconds of my top pace, though, quite a triumph since I haven't been training specifically too well lately. And the rest of the pack hung around to cheer for the stragglers, so as I crossed the finish line alone, I had a whole cheering section to myself! Thoroughly smile-worthy!

And then there was the PowerPoint presentation by an alum from the class of '84, a fellow who'd been something of a wild-child during his years on campus but eventually gave up his drum set and took off for Thailand to become a Buddhist monk. He now leads a monastery in New Zealand. He simply radiated peace, groundedness, and gentle good humor. With an incredibly high-wattage smile.

So many reasons for good cheer this weekend, uninterrupted by the need for child-centered vigilance!

Then after we got home on Sunday I dragged the family off to church in the evening because the guest pastor was someone that I knew from way back when. May as well keep the reunioning going on, right?

One of the points he shared during the sermon was a recommendation, something that his wife taught him and practices faithfully herself.

When you get up and get yourself ready for the day, smile at yourself in the mirror. You are part of the work God is doing in the world. Smile at yourself. Acknowledge it.

I'm going to try to remember. The regular ruteen is back at full-blast, after the capable and much-appreciated interlude of the grandparental help last weekend. It's not easy to jump back in... more about that in the next post...

Meanwhile, the yawns are still pretty frequent, though the context is different. Will work on the smiling, too.


mama edge said...

You've made me smile (and yawn) with this post! So glad you were able to get away. The monk sounds like a real hoot. Isn't it amazing to see what paths people have followed?

Welcome home.

pixiemama said...

I'm one of those crazies who yawns when other people yawn, or even say the word yawn. I think of it as empathetic overkill; thus, I am empathy yawning for you (oh, and conveniently avoiding a project I'm not digging).

I'm also cheering your last-place finish! Yay, JoyMama! I haven't been running at all, so I'll steal a little of your runner's high.

Yay! for the child-free get away. Much deserved.

& I love the smile at yourself suggestion. I'm going to smile at myself in the morning and say "yes."

Quirky Mom said...

Your weekend sounds lovely.

Yawwwwwwwwwwn. So does sleep! I hope you get some, now that you're back with the girls

Anonymous said...

So glad you had a great weekend, JoyMama. And way to go on *finishing* the race. That's more than I could do!