What is it about these two words that fill me with dread and paralysis? Is it my age? Is it my nature, to be opposed to the things that can make me healthy? Maybe happy, although that’s a stretch. It seems cruel, because I love writing and I actually love to exercise. OK, that was a lie. I love how I feel after I write and after I exercise. I can’t say that the process is all that enjoyable. Except sometimes, when you hit that place where a scene comes out of you so clearly, it is like you are a hidden video camera in the setting and you pick up all the details and nuance and it is just right. Or you are walking and the sky is purple gray and a flock of geese fly overhead in a perfect V with their baritone voices lifting inside you like an opus and a cool sweat, red face and deep breaths make you feel like you are the person you want to be.
I love those moments. They are like no other and yet to get there, to find them takes a constant effort. An ability to get up and do it again and not let anything else take precedent and you have to accept that you can’t shine everyday. That most days it is routine, like brushing your teeth or taking off your makeup at night only to slap it back on in the morning. It takes maintenance, and I think I suck at maintenance. Or have only so much in me, so that getting ready for work, signing the permission slips, writing the check for school pictures, rummaging around for wooden spoon puppet materials, wiping up the dog vomit, running to the 24 hour CVS at 10pm for deodorant or knee-high stockings, finding healthy snacks, scheduling the dentist appointments, setting the new alarm clock so the ocean sounds don’t go off in the middle of the night…theses things and more just suck the living crap out of me. And then I go to work and act professional and knowledgable and like I care. It is exhausting.
Now, they say that exercise and writing can give you energy. Can fuel you to face all the other stuff and keep you moving. And a small part of me knows that but so small as to not be able to stand up to the part of me ripping into a Fritos bag and watching Greys Anatomy. And my other half is a workaholic so I am often left to my own devices. I ask you, how do you get off of the hampster wheel? Do you jump?