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How I Strove For Balance—and Could Have Been Knocked Out

A mom's quest for a more balanced life encounters an unexpected "plot" twist.

How I Strove For Balance—and Could Have Been Knocked Out How I Strove For Balance—and Could Have Been Knocked Out

This story began as a nice piece about a good way to pamper yourself, but along the way it acquired a cautionary plot twist that is also a welcome reminder to cherish every moment we have.

It all began while perusing Eagle Rock Patch this past Wednesday morning, specifically, the article titled “ 5 Ways to Weave your Way Through Wednesday.” There it was, "Body and Soul" class—the art of yoga, stretching, breathing and meditation at , 6:30 p.m., all for free. What a perfect post-work, pick-me-up. Perhaps a bit healthier than the glass of vino that calls my name each day after juggling the kids, the homework, the bills ... life itself.

Now, I have tried this sort of thing before and here’s how it usually goes. I put it on my calendar. I think about it off and on through out the day. Then LIFE happens. Somewhere between my glass of Two Buck Chuck and Good Night Moon, I jump out of my Mom routine and shout, “ I was supposed to go to yoga class tonight!” Or: “Tonight was that opening down at !”     

Not tonight, I said to myself, determined to go to that Body and Soul Class. First thing, make sure the husband is around tonight to watch the kids. Check. He says he is ready and willing! Second, mark my calendar. Third, write myself a note in the kitchen, where I’m more likely to see it.

I actually managed to get dinner on the table on time. Then I announced, miraculously: “I am going to class now!”

“What class,” says forgetful husband.

“The Yoga class. We talked about it this morning.”

“Hmmm. I don’t remember,” says forgetful husband. “But that’s okay. I’ve got the kids.”

Forgetful, but very helpful. That’s my husband.

Yes! I am out of the house, temporarily unfettered by small people squabbling at my feet. I am alone and strolling to St. Barnabas and it is a lovely night. I am going to get healthy and be one with the universe. As I approach the lovely little church, I see a sign on the front door. “Body and Soul Class Canceled Today,” it says.

Holy Crap! How can this be? I stomp around for a few minutes and then turn and head home. Then I spot Orion up in the stars. I breathe deeply. I hear a baby crying from inside one of the houses. I slow my walking and enjoy the time I have. Guess what? I really enjoyed the walk home. I’ll try to make it to the next class, I tell myself, but I have to say, sometimes just a simple walk around the neighborhood is enough to jump-start your body and soul. 
I came home early to see Mr. Fancy (aka forgetful husband) standing in a reasonably clean kitchen, with two happy kids decorating Gingerbread men (99 cents at Trader Joe’s). The household has not crumbled in my absence. Next time I’ll have time for a yoga class and a detour over to .

Anyway, that was the original story, a fluffy “Mom” story. Now here comes the cautionary plot twist. I wake up the next morning to read on Patch that an “Eagle Rock Jogger” was “ Brutally Assaulted” at Yosemite Rec Center, right next to , where my two kids go. Yikes! I was not far from there.

This was the first night in months, maybe years, I have strolled around Eagle Rock at night by myself. It was a peaceful, rejuvenating experience. Hours later, a man who was doing the same thing could have lost his life.

I wish I had a better ending for this story. Treasure every moment because we don’t know what the next hour brings. Kiss your loved ones often. And carry a big stick if you go out walking.

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