Stretching to Grow

This year has brought a lot of new changes to my life, and it’s stretching me.

First off, we have a new addition to our family. Not a baby (thank goodness), but rather a 16-year old exchange student from China. Suddenly, we are a family of five. Things are different. I see my routines in a new light. I’m trying to be a better person. Maybe I’m even succeeding, at least some of the time.

A friend of mine has gotten sick. She’s one of those friends that is always there for EVERYONE. Suddenly there is a two-year old who needs watching on a regular basis. So I am riding an elevator up and down 15 times so that the sweet toddler can press the button again and again. I’d forgotten how tiring tiny children can be. I’d forgotten how loving they are, how full of wonder they are, how much you have to read their body language.

Finally, there’s the literal stretching. After a long hiatus, I’m back at my beloved neighborhood yoga studio, where they casually ask me to drape my leg over my shoulder or balance on one foot while folded over for what seems like an eternity and I do it, because that’s what’s going on at that moment, and, surprisingly, I CAN DO IT.

I’ve clearly lost control of my life. Surely, I could say no, right? At some point, I could have said “our family is perfect the way it is” or “you will need to find alternate arrangements for this child” or “are you crazy, I don’t bend that way”. But I didn’t. Through these stretching experiences, I find out new things about myself. I continue to grow. I stay young, or at least, younger.

How are you being stretched? How are you expanding your horizons and experiences? I invite you to say yes to the unexpected, and see how you grow.

Becky Maas teaches fifth graders the wonders of science. She has two children of her own, and can frequently be found singing, reading, or picking dog hair off her clothes.

6 thoughts on “Stretching to Grow

  1. Maryellen Berry

    Stretching…I love that word. We often talk about risk taking, but I think stretching is even better. It takes our familiar and extends our knowledge, experience, patience, and skills further. We ask our students to stretch every day. I love that we can stretch as well, demonstrating the power of a new experience, a sore muscle, or a toddler view of our commonplace.

  2. Thank you for reminding us to stretch literally and figuratively! You definitely have control of your life and thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I love the metaphor and the advice, Becky. It reminds me of the saying that “you are only as old as the last time you changed your mind” 🙂 Stretch On!

  4. Javonne Stewart

    That’s one of my big goals this year! I’m planning on doing all the things that I loved so dearly, but easily fell by the wayside once family commitments came into play. Thanks for the reminder :). Watch out world! I’m coming out! (in my Diana Ross singing voice)

  5. Becky, remember, you can only stretch yourself so thin! I love that you’re willing to take on new challenges as they’re presented. Keep stretching, but remember to wrap those lean stretching arms around what’s important to you!
    Thanks for sharing! Marsha

  6. This post was a much-needed inspiration on a rainy Sunday! Thank you for being such a great example of metaphorical (and literal!) flexibility to your students! 🙂

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