By now, one can probably tell I am a creature of habit, and that is the way I like it. I enjoy routine. I can do spontaneous, but it is usually within the unplanned sections of my day rather than throwing my usual out of the window. Our Halloween Party, as great as it was, threw out my Tuesday morning spin and my Tuesday evening yoga. Sitting on my mat this morning, after 18 hours in my bed, I was genuinely grateful to be there. My body needed a sound session to get fresh blood pumping through my system, waking me from my heavy slumber. Today, our focus was core. Our charismatic instructor reflected on the importance of our core for stability and growth, both our physical selves, and our own values. I delighted in pushing further today, knowing every part of my body needed re-energising. My weekend falls on Wednesdays and Thursdays in Banff and my Wednesday morning class is core to my feeling relaxed, refreshed and renewed. My upward dog came along well, and this has placed me in a better position to fully engage in my downward dog. There is something about being right in one step that strengthens you in moving forward, both inside and outside the studio. “Yoga helps us to be strong in our foundation, but more importantly, strong in our love” she said. When I do something I love as much as yoga, it leaves me smiling for the rest of the day, bringing love into all my weekend activities. I enjoy being strong in my core, my routine, my day, knowing my next step and enjoying getting there.
Then she threw a spanner in the works. She placed the word “excitement” beside my mat. Excitement? I eyed the card like I would an approaching stranger I only know off by his dangerous reputation. Excitement is not something I seek. I prefer the slow release of new experiences, taking them slowly with reflection and time out, rather than jumping into the unexpected head on. I was excited about leaving my job, preparing for Canada, actually leaving, but it was intermingled with nervousness and a peppered with fear and I breathed slowly through all 3, taking them all as the same. I believe my shunning of excitement is packaged within my love of routine; when I arrived in Toronto, I kept working out in the mornings, and have done since, part of a routine of a former self, something of a time before that allowed my to feel more calm in a strange country. In my mind, I compare the Banff National Park, Canada to Ards Forest Park, Ireland to seek out the similarities between them, finding a little alcove in the woods here that reminds me of a tiny little spot there. I have found my favourite cafe and compared it to its sister in Donegal. I embrace newness in as much as I can compare it to the older version.
Excitement to me invokes memories of Christmas Eve, where I sat secure in the knowledge that Santa would come, because he always did before, and in the morning there would be something new awaiting me. I was excited about the whole magical night, even when I tried to figure it all out in hot summer days. I was safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t be let down. Now, older and wiser, I realise that every event that brings excitement can also bring disappointment and failure, and I wonder will I ever experience excitement as I did as a child.
Embracing excitement now means accepting the risk that comes with it. It means accepting the fear of failure, the disappointments that may come with it, the changes it will bring. It means being strong enough to push through all of this and attaching myself to the excitement and saying “that is what I want, and I am going to get there”. Maybe choosing to stay up all night at a party is my starting point to throwing caution out the window and embracing a little excitement.