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SuperWoman Panics in the New Year (and Becomes a Yogi)

January 3, 2013


SuperWoman knows that the beginning of January is the time to take stock. Not for soup, but for life.

SuperWoman tried to do this on New Year’s Day. She woke up after only five hours of sleep (children don’t care how late you got to bed celebrating), drank tea, went to yoga, read a little poetry. (Doesn’t this sound fun?) Finally, after convincing TalkMonster and WonderMess to take a nap, she sat down to read a self-help book about spirituality, some sort of chakra of the spirit thing, some sort of “you bring on your own health problems” thing. How interesting! SuperWoman thought. There is so much to learn about merely thinking your way out of all future illnesses! What a great way to start the year!

Then SuperWoman had a panic attack.

It did not feel super.

So already, SuperWoman has learned two important lessons in 2013. Number 1: SuperWomen are not immune to panic attacks. Number 2: SuperWomen needs to avoid another one of those at all costs.

And, she supposes, Number 3, which she has decided to quote from her 5 year old, a boy who adds the dramatic flair of tears every time he says it; “Life is not easy for me!” (TalkMonster, Encyclopedia of Kindergartener Phrases, November-December, 2012).

Last year, SuperWoman chose the word “acceptance” to focus on for the entire year. How did she do? The elves are still tallying. 2012 was, in fact, one of the most eventful years in a long time for the family of SuperPeople, and there was much to accept. Two new jobs, entirely new schedules, one kid in kindergarten, the other learning to pee on a pot and sleep in a human-size bed. SuperWoman also got several brand new and expensive teeth (biting the heads off evil villains will take its toll), joined the hoards of people taking public transit, published her first short story, watched all of Homeland Season 1 (which is like crack), and pretty much altered her entire wardrobe (she has way too many scarves).

This year, with a little help from the yogis who write cute sayings on her tea bags from Whole Foods, and the real life yogis from her local yoga studio, and the Quakers she’s become surrounded by, SuperWoman is going to apply all the lessons she’s learned from such a dramatic year. To avoid, you know, that panic thing.

Lesson 1. Let go.

(Not sure of what yet, but this is what the yogis like to say.)

Lesson 2. Laugh at yourself.

(SuperWoman suspects her sense of humor fell under the couch, next to the Legos and cracker crumbs.)

Lesson 3. Breathe. Deeply. Again.

(Deep breaths can actually work, and are much cheaper than that Shea butter soap she’s been buying.)

Lesson 3aBuy more Shea butter soap anyway. It’s a small luxury to combat winter coldness. If yogis cared about worldly things like shea butter, they’d definitely buy out the store.

Lesson 4. Go easy on self.

(SuperWoman is not sure how one does this, but she’s going to try. Take pills? Move to Colorado, where marijuana is legal?)

Lesson 5. Be mindful and present. Stay on your mat.

(This is kind of hard, especially when you have to go to the bathroom.)

Lesson 6. Choose simplicity.

(Despite what SuperWoman wants to believe, simple is not easy. But when she achieves it, she gets this little frisson. So much better than that panic thing that made her think death was imminent.)

Lesson 7. Enjoy practice and process. Avoid focusing on the end result.

(This last lesson comes from an unusually tall yogi.)


Seven is the magic number in the great land of Amaza, from whence SuperWoman hails. And so she hopes to remember these seven lessons all through the year, or at least until the first of February, when the winter shit really starts to hit the fan.

Inquiring SuperWomen want to know: what lessons did you learn in 2012?


Editor’s note: Recent findings from SuperWoman’s oracle suggest that she did not have a panic attack, but her “chakras were too open.” Go figure. Lessons still apply. 


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy January 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Ah 2012. What a year. I thought 2011 was bad and then 2012 came along. What lessons did I learn? 1.) There is life after divorce, 2.) It’s best to get out of bed because the day is going to come and go anyway, 3.) Friends are critical to survival, 4.) Sometimes the bad things turn out to not be so bad and 5.) the constant reminder that perspective is the best medicine.

Happy New Year Jana – I like the Yogi – will try to practice the same.


Elizabeth Mosier January 4, 2013 at 11:07 am

Amen, sister. Here’s something I learned yesterday, about physical losses and conceptual losses (identity, sense of future, etc.): “Loss is the absence of something we were once attached to. Grief is the rope burns left behind.” Resistance to grieving creates more rope burns. Let in the “new normal.”

Happy New Year!



GP MikeP January 6, 2013 at 1:36 am

Yogi’s and Shea butter soap sound nice… but Quakers shouldn’t object to reading the Bible… A scripture verse to start with -Matthew 6: 34 ( also read passage on worry 6: 25-34). All will benefit in the new year!


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