Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Swimming Home

Sexy goggle face!

You know what, you guys, the sun is coming out like crazy these days and for the most part I'm happier than a clam.  Because the sun and me we are besties 4-eva.  But  my other nagging friend "anxiety" is always there, lurking.  Even when I'm glowing with the joy of the every day sun there is that little nagging, scary worrier in the back of my brain.

Usually I can beat her back with gratefulness, and work, and friends and love and just be present in the moment.  But lately she's been creeping up on me more and more.  The work stress is a lot.  The questions about the future.  Future family, future jobs, future life.  Am I ever going to be doing something else, be somewhere else, be able to travel, have kids etc etc etc.  My brain.  It can go for days. And some days it just nags and nags and nags.

Work picked up like insane crazy in March.  And my gym routine went out the window.  Along with any kind of relaxation or normal sleeping patterns.  And then we went to NY and my anxiety and sleeping patterns went straight, on the express train, to hell.  But quietly my muscles were talking to me.  Along with my spirit.  Move Sarah.  Just move.  You're so worried about being stuck...then get up and move.  But the gym takes too much time, and then I have to shower and then etc etc.

My gym membership also allows me to use the pool.  What you may not know about ms. sarah is that she used to be a swimmer.  A bonafide water polo player/swimmer/diver.  If it was a sport in the water, I played it.  I've been a water baby from birth.  I loved swimming and would stay in the pool or the ocean until my lips turned blue.  I love(d) the water.  

And yet I probably haven't been in the pool in years.  Maybe to splash around a little bit.  But it's probably been nearly 10 years since I've swam laps.  Since i've moved my body up and down the pool.  And when I thought about going back to the pool I was filled with insane fear.  Inexplicable irrational fear.  

So it took a couple of months of self coaxing.  (And coaxing from SP)  But on Monday I finally put on my big girl pants (or bathing suit rather) and went to the pool during lunch.  

And it hurt.

Every muscle screamed with lack of use.  My breath burned in my lungs.  It was pathetic you guys.  

But it was amazing.  My body knew exactly what too do.  The slow slap of my hands entering the water, my arms stretching out in front of me.  My breath.  My rhythm.  It was deliberate and mindless simultaneously.  And I could just feel the anxiety wash off my shoulders.  I could feel my mind move back into my body, and out of that crazy anxiety space.  The sensation of the water around me. The sun and the slight wind.  That was it.  Just me.  In the sacred space of the water...surround by nothing. I could have swam on forever.  Except my shoulders wouldn't let me, paying for the years of neglect.

But I went back today.  And it was even better.  It was glorious.  I just slipped into the water and everything melted away.  And it didn't hurt as badly.  And I just released it all, everything, into the water.  Every moment, and fear, and naggy nag.  I shed a "skin" of worry with every lap.  I pushed it until I was absolutely going to be late back to work, just to have another minute.

I can't even explain it.  It's a feeling I haven't had in a long time.  The serenity of the ache in my arms and the feeling that it isn't for anything.  Its not even about losing weight or exercising or anything.  It's about therapy.  It's about not talking and just losing myself in the movement and the feelings and the repetitions.  It's about being home in the water...and also in myself.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Wherein I drink the NYC Koolaide

SP and I spent the last week in New York.  First in the middleofnowhere New York visiting my Grandma (she's 93!) and other relatives.  And then onto NYC.

3 Generations

The "Grand Canyon" of the East

It was a touch on the cold side in Western NY

The dichotomy of the 2 places, I can't even explain.  First the country - cold, rolling with space, and full of human connection (aka I'm related to half the town my grandma lives in)  And then the city, shiny and gritty and bustling beyond belief.  I thought I would hate it.  I mean, I'm no country bumpkin - I don't really like the nature on me and I definitely don't like being too far outside of "civilization" for too long.  But I'm not a city girl either.  I'm pretty clausterphobic (fun fact), I don't like to be in big crowds where I feel like I can't escape, I always look for an exit (I count the rows to the exit in an you see an OCD pattern here)  So New York City, while inviting in its vibrancy, I wasn't sold.

Until I got there.

You guys.

I'm in love.

SP and I spent the first day there wandering around Central Park.  Which was bursting with spring and busting at the seams with city dwellers who couldn't get out of their apartments fast enough.  The people, the sunshine, the pretzels from a cart.  Love.  Smelling in the fresh, crisp air, and the flowers and the people.  I could sit in Central Park and people watch for the rest of my life.  Perfection.

I also apparently was on a mission to eat my way through the city's italian restaraunts.  We started with dinner at Patsy's.  Love again.  The pizza.  Heaven.  And a caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes the size of my head.  Did I say Love yet?  We wandered through the city and ate a cupcake at Crumbs.  And as the sun set we headed for Ground Zero.  Did you know that you have to pay to see the memorial?  What kind of bull honkey is that?  I can't think of anything tackier than paying to see a memorial.  I didn't like it one bit.  But the new world trade center tower is gorgeous.  Sleek glass and its going up quick.  Most of all though, I loved this one firefighters memorial we found.  Unassuming.  On the side of the building.  Touching, important and there as a reminder for all (not just those who buy tickets)

Tired people on the subway
Firefighters Memorial


When I died and went to Heaven at Patsy's!

We slept hard that night and the next day we went to Carnegie.  SP's aunt is an Opera singer.  Like a famous one.  So we got the backstage tour.  The dressing rooms, the stage, the rehearsal with a chorus the size of my graduating class (well maybe half)  It was overwhelming.  The music is so large.  It just fills you up.  And that building is beautiful.  We trecked all over the city that day.  Determined to continue my pizza consumption we headed to Eataly.  I'm pretty sure Eataly is heaven on earth.  Its like Italy in a building.  Markets and restaurants and people speaking Italian.  We ate a cheese plate and a pizza straight out of a woodburing stove in front of the bar we ate at.  L.O.V.E  That second day took us to every conner of the city.  Bryant park.  The library (mixed with Eataly this would ACTUALLY be my heaven)  It was like a book nerds paradise.  The architecture.  The volumes and volumes of books.  We saw grand central station and hit up Union Square for a walk through the farmers market and a sit in the sun and some more people watching.  It was glorious.  That night we got to see a real preformance at Carnegie hall.  And as we sat in our box (perks!) high above the stage and the music swelled and filled the hall I promptly burst into tears.  There are no words to describe that transcendent feeling when the music takes you.  It sounds cheesey and stupid - but for me its true.  It takes me away and my senses are overwhelmed.

 Oh Hello NYC, my lover..

Bryant Park - we Fancy HUH?

Eataly & Feet?

 Heaven Part II: LIBRARY

The next day we picked up our tired bones and headed into the city again to let her punish our feet and fill us up again.  We walked around the adorable adorable Village (please can we pick up a block and put it in the CA sun?) and had a beer at a hilarious mexican food place with a half a taxi in it.  We saw stinky dirty times square (skip it...)  and ate pasta (maybe I'm Italian?) on Columbus Avenue.  And then Newsies on Broadway - because I hadn't had my mind blown enough by the City yet.  While the music was no carnegie hall, the dancing was off the charts.  And I love me some good dancing.

Oh the Cuteness...I die.

View from THE VIEW
And then I was spent.  And completely and totally overtaken with I-want-to-move-to-new-york-city-itis.  I went so far as to innocently (?) look at housing prices.  HAHAHA.  And then reality hit me hard.  $10,000 out of pocket to get into an apartment the size of a postage stamp.  Astronomical cost of living.  It SNOWS for goodness sake.  The clouds and the grit and the hustle and bustle.  And the stress.  I'm not sure I could hack it (or would want to).

But NYC in the spring with millions of dollars....

It's nice to sip the koolaide occassionally and dream a little dream of a different life.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Dranderson Easter

Easter was lovely again this year.  And these hazy sunlight pictures describe it pretty well.  I made my mommy's braided easter bread and it was delicious and made me feel close to my family (who were far away this year)  We ate delicious food, played with cute kids, watched an adorable egg hunt, and simply enjoyed each other's company - practically perfect in every way.

And now... strap in for a photo heavy re-cap:

Rollin the dough for the Easter Anise Bread.  Yum!  It made 99 loaves!

Our First Easter Tree!  Next year maybe a little bit bigger...
 Bakery a la Drandersons.  I'm getting pretty good if I do say so myself!

Mr. Mustache Bunny
Dressed up in Easter Love
Grandparents and the grandkids and some rice krispie treats!

And to top it off - An Amazing Double Rainbow!

Hope your Easter (or Passover) was just as sunlit and filled with happiness!