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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sleeping with a Cat (When you’re stiffer than you should be at your age, for goodness sake!)

There's A Nap For That Bumper Sticker
One of the great blisses of old age is the nap—the bumper sticker with sleeping cat which says “There’s a nap for that” just about sums things up for me. Even when I was small, I don’t think I ever did too much fussing about the approach of naptime.  For me, tucked away on a smooth sheet in a room with a tree outside the window was as good as it got, in this strange new world into which I’d so recently been dropped.  Naps were a time of quiet rumination, of drifting away into Asperger’s heaven, without facing unsettling and unpredictable human interactions. 

Today, after an illuminating session of senior yoga with Kate, I arrived home relaxed, despite having had a spat with sig other before I’d gone to the class. Those spats are a feature of married life, or maybe just, this married life, but I am always left feeling as distressed as sig other is. Anyway, when I arrive in such a state  for Yoga, I think the best thing I can do is put it all behind me and JUST DO THE POSES.

“I love Yoga” our instructor announces with a blissed out smile.  It’s an invitation to join in her game. I-- and the other attendees--we’re no longer  “seniors” in any of our gym classes. We are all treated by the instructors as a crowd of very stiff, worn-out, yet tight-wrapped of kindergarten kids. This shiny faced instructor thinks that besides stretching, we also need to remember how to play again. We also need practice at smiling at the others with whom we share our circle.
Even after years of life, it’s hard to look others in the face and remember their names.  I continue to fall down at the task, even while calling myself “lazy” and “rude” and other worse things. It’s either “old” or “woman” that causes this “memory” failure—if that’s really what it is, and not some egregious character flaw. I am now working on the association thing: “Amy with the great sneakers” is also pretty and short, definitely a Little Woman.

 I can do the smiling part. Most people in this Yoga class are like me, so that’s easy, and a nice first step toward sociability.

Then, having stretched sufficiently--and sometimes, yes even in senior yoga it can happen, over stretched--you’re home, lunched on too much curry, rice and Brussels’ sprouts. Next, you are weary, heading upstairs for that retired folks’ mid-day lie down.  

Outside the window, breezy clouds flip the switch on and off as they pass. You reach your sleeping spot, but there atop the bed, head comfortably upon your pillow, is a twelve (at least) pound cat. You are going to have to readjust your plans for collapse, but you are ready because sometimes the cat switches things up like this—you have developed a strategy.  The knee pillow goes under the head, while you lie flat on your back with a prop in the “small”, catawampus, so you’ll fit, all because, after all, there has to be a good-sized sleeping rectangle for the cat.

~~Juliet Waldron

http://amzn.to/1UDoLAi    Books by JW at Amazon

http://amzn.to/1YQziX0  A Master Passion   ISBN: 1771456744