Beer or Milk for Breakfast

School’s back in session and Jeb and I are finding our way into the routine. This means a drop at the bus stop before 7am and the chance for me to walk Moodah the dog before getting into my own work for the day.

Still dialing in our auto-pilot mode, yesterday was a bit of an oversleep. Jeb loaded in the car with one shoe on and one in hand. We were out of milk and I had not yet had my coffee.

Moodah paced inside the car between front seat and back, not sure where to go in the excitement generated by Jeb’s encouragement, “Just go Mom, we’ll miss the bus…just go.”

We made it to the bus stop just in time for loading. I breathed a sigh of relief and defiantly rearranged morning priorities. Choosing coffee over exercise, I pulled into the parking lot of our local convenience store, which happens to be across the street from the yoga studio where I stopped practicing about six months ago (I’ll spare you my reasoning here).

At 6:45am, the mini mart is full of early-bird shoppers and the yogis will soon begin sun salutations. I tell myself there is no need for non-yoga guilt, but can’t help but feel a slight impulse to slip quickly into the market, unseen.

A van towing sea kayaks pulls up next to the store, and I try to make it inside before the stream of sleepy-eyed tourists in day-glow rash guards stream inside. No such luck. I don’t beat the locals either. When I enter the mini-mart, there is already a line at the register of men buying styrofoam cups filled with coffee and packs of cigarettes.

They do sell organic milk, so I grab the last one on the shelf and take my place in line behind the guy in a t-shirt, jeans and scruffy work boots. The mini-mart is abuzz. People from town recognize each other and talk story between the chip aisles. The touring kayakers wander the shelves looking for anything familiar.

The line moves and the man in front of me puts down on the counter his Spam musubi (it’s kind of like a Spam sushi roll), cup of mini-mart coffee, Bud Light in an extra tall can, and asks for menthol cigarettes. It’s not yet 7am.

Non-yoga guilt is given new perspective.

photo courtesy of Mac Walsh
photo courtesy of Mac Walsh

If I’m completely honest, I would have to admit that when I see my fellow patron’s purchase, a judgment comes to mind. So quickly these thoughts pop into the head. But after I paid for my milk and went towards my car, I realized I was judging myself, as well.

And even if I know I shouldn’t care, I’m thinking that others may be judging me too.

Because, there I am, walking out of the convenience store, going home for coffee instead of doing my morning practice. And in my hand, a half-gallon of (gasp!) dairy product. No bonus points for organic when your yoga instructor’s vegan. I can see those flexible yogi necks shaking heads in disapproval, as they catch a glimpse of me through their steamy windows.

There she is, she used to practice…looks like she fell off the wagon.

Bud Light or milk for breakfast. We all get choices in life’s spectrum.

That morning, I had my reasons for my choosing. Life will have natural consequences for my actions, guaranteed. So, who’s to judge?

In the end, I got my coffee and Moodah and I took an abbreviated walk, where we both soaked in some Vitamin D and fully respirated.

One could say it’s all a yoga, really. Even the early morning mini-mart scene. All the humans doing their do. Actions, reactions. Choices made in every moment.

My greatest practice these days, is to notice.

photo courtesy of Fox Kiyo
photo courtesy of Fox Kiyo

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