Category Archives: Work

I’m not complaining


I taught a workshop last weekendWild Writing, Crazy Wisdom, a mix of yoga, meditation, and writing practice — and only two people showed up. Don’t get me wrong, they SHOWED UP, but…

This is why I got certified to teach yoga, so that I could teach this very thing, this magic mix of practices. I’ve been crossfading, or trying to, from my job at a university for the past six years. Laura Simms talks about the crossfade a lot, that time when you are still working your current job while also trying to grow your new career, so you essentially are doing two jobs. I feel some days like I’ve got what amounts to three jobs, and then there’s the laundry, and bills that need paid, and my floor is covered in dog hair and the toilet needs cleaned and my dogs are bored and I can’t remember the last time I flossed my teeth and I really want to go to the gym if only I had the time or the energy — and that doesn’t even include the things I want to do because I love them, like read a book or watch a movie or take a nap or hang out with my husband.

The truth is, when I teach my 7 am Tuesday morning yoga class, I’m only paid $3 per student, and a few weeks ago no one showed up, and last week my one regular student said she was starting a new job so probably wouldn’t be coming anymore. And my weekend workshops? The yoga studio gets to keep 40% of what I make, and then another 25% might go to taxes, so when only two people show up, there’s not a lot left — certainly not enough to justify a shift to a new career.

And I’ve been blogging like it’s my religion for six years. My weekly “Something Good” post is republished on Yoganonymous — they are partners with Wanderlust, and when I first started sharing my list, the editor was a friend who valued my work and paid me $25 per post. As soon as she was gone, they stopped paying me, offering me the “exposure” instead, which I gladly (sort of) took because the mission of my list is to inject some basic goodness into everyone’s Monday and “exposure” helps me do that, but again… no change in career is going to happen there.

And there are some really good reasons to stay where I’m at — my boss appreciates my work, I get tons of positive feedback, most of my colleagues are really good people that I love working with, it’s that magic mix of what I’m good at being what someone else needs, I have really good benefits (health insurance, paid sick leave, yearly raises, retirement, and summers off), and I have no way of knowing if the new career I’ve imagined in my head will be any more fulfilling or any less stressful than what I’m already doing, (and once I leave, it’s not like I can come right back if it doesn’t work out).

I’m not complaining, just giving you the backstory for my point: recently I’ve been thinking that maybe my university job is what I do to be able to fund the gifts I offer in other ways, that it isn’t about changing careers or making enough money somewhere else or getting anything like fame for myself. If money weren’t an issue, I know what I’d do, how I’d spend my days — but money is an issue, and I can’t pretend like its not.

Gratitude Friday

mcmurrypondsgold021. Fall weather, sunny and cool. The light is amazing and everything is tinged gold. Wool socks, soup, and flannel are all finally appropriate choices.

2. Communicating with Sam. I don’t know if we are closer because Dexter is gone or if I’m paying closer attention for some other reason, or both, but Sam understands and can communicate so much more than I realized. Although, when he stands in front of the TV, whining and talking to the various animals he sees, I don’t know if he’s the smartest dog we’ve ever had or the dumbest.

hikingsam3. Clarifying my new CSU project, being happy enough with it to think that maybe I’ll be at that job longer than I used to think, that I can make it fit with the bigger sense of my life and work.

4. Where we walk. I realized yesterday, as I was Instagramming pictures of the fall colors and naming the locations on our morning walk, that we go through three parks and four natural areas on our route, that we simply open the front door and go, get to visit all these beautiful places. One thing I didn’t get a picture of yesterday was the three white-tailed deer we startled in the fog, who ran from us, leaping, tails raised high, like giant bunnies.

one of four

one of four

5. Open Heart Project. This evening, we will start our second annual virtual retreat. Susan schedules time for creating and resting, along with meditation and dharma talks and discussion. I can’t wait.

Bonus Joy: Eric. Two specific things this week made me stop and think how incredibly grateful I am for him. One is I’m reading a book Brene’ Brown recommended, Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up, and it’s making me realize how good we have it, because so many of the issues the book works with are things we just don’t struggle with, or that we worked out already — not to say we are perfect by any means. The other was I noticed he’d recaulked the bathtub while I was away at my retreat. He’s always doing stuff like that, taking care of things, and not bothering to brag on himself for it, like I probably would. In just a few short weeks, we will have been married for 20 years. Partnering with him was the smartest thing I ever did.


yep, we eloped and wore green