I’ve begun to do something I thought I would never do: let my exercise routine slip. I haven’t devoted myself to five or six days a week of rigorous 30-minute to one-hour cardio sessions combined with weight training for a little over one month. As a result, I think my breasts are bigger (they are just hyper-sexualized fat deposits, after all) and my butt looks rounder (always wanted that), but my stomach has forcefully, purposefully, and unapologetically reappeared, much the way I had hoped a job would by now.
I blame my recent apathy on two factors. The first is my favorite Zumba instructor’s departure to another state. I’ve raved about Zumba on this very blog, but since my favorite instructor’s final class on May 19th, I have only been to one Zumba class, and I found that one less than thrilling. Trying to perform my former teacher’s choreography on the carpet in my apartment has proven treacherous to my knees, and I guess I could get certified to teach Zumba myself and do the choreography I remember him doing in front of my own class, but I don’t know that I have the patience to just let people have fun without correcting their movements. I went back to cardio machines and free weights for about two days before being bored out of my mind, and about as soon as I added jumping rope to semi-daily walks around the neighborhood and park, it got too hot outside to blink without sweating profusely. I miss Zumba, but I’ve taken the class with all the other instructors at my gym, and no one else has the music or the moves that my former instructor did.
The second factor is living life laid off. See, my gym membership is attached to my mom’s, and she pays for it. If I were employed, I would look for another place to work out because I hate my gym, or at least the branch of it that I’m closest to now that I’m at home most of the time. I had an appointment near my favorite branch of the gym earlier this week, so I packed my gym clothes and stopped in for old times’ sake. I was suddenly surrounded by professional people running in on their lunch hour for a 45-minute workout and a 30-second shower before running back to their desk responsibilities, and it felt great! As I told another member who remains a part of the downtown lunch-hour workout crew, I come to my favorite branch of the gym, and even though I’m unemployed, I relate to the professionals downtown. The housewives near my home, not so much.
And yet, I live like a house-wife in training, and there are some elements of my life I actually enjoy. When I worked out steadily, I liked being able to stay at the gym—even that gym—for two hours at a time, hours that were outside of the normal 9-to-5er’s pre- or post-work rush hours. I like avoiding those same time constraints at the grocery store or in the park. I like being able to go to the bank and the post office any time I feel like it, instead of at lunch time or on Saturday. I like having enough time every morning to make a spinach and mushroom omelet if I want, to have a meaningful private praise and worship session, to fully dissect a bible verse I’ve been studying or thoroughly research something for this blog. If the unemployment compensation checks were in an amount that allowed me to have as much fun as I want to, or if I had a husband who made about five times that amount, maybe I would be content with my life.
On a local news station the other night, the anchor welcomed the meteorologist back from her four weeks of maternity leave. Four weeks? I thought. What kind of maternity leave is that? Isn’t it just a little barbaric to take a one-month-old away from its mother’s breast and leave it at least 10 hours a day with strangers you just assume will take care of it? If I ever have children, I’m not sure I could do that. Eight months ago, I never would’ve considered any of that, not having children, not the hardship of being apart from them, not the savagery of leaving them with strangers.
I must take the time to remind myself here that housewife isn’t my only option. I also like being able to jump on the rare freelance assignment that comes along and to take a day to go shadow an attorney, or mold my own schedule to a busy professional’s schedule to get the story. I like having access to a venerable Who’s Who of the city, meeting people I would otherwise never come in contact with as an educated, intelligent, unemployed young woman. I like when an editor says I’ve done a good job.
Hmmm. A good job. If I could just make this freelance writing thing steady …
And stay away from housewives.
© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.