Do you have children? Do you love them like you never knew you could love anyone; forgive them unconditionally, root for them always, want them in your life for all time? Are there times, though that you would gladly watch white paint drying on a white wall, rather than hear their sweet little voices ask for your attention for ‘just one more thing‘?
Maybe I am ‘the worst mother ever’, or maybe I am stretched so thin between four little kids and all that goes with that-- but I need an hour to myself everyday. For the past three years I haven’t had that, or even a quarter of that.
It was this sense of mental desperation, coupled with the fact that Dana told me that there was free childcare, that drove me to join a gym.
As I have said here before, I have always hated exercise. Really, really. But I love food and am quite fond of wine, too. Closing in on forty, I haven’t the svelte figure I once did. And the idea of taking a shower without one of the kids pulling me out under the guise of an emergency, only to find a few moments later (as I stand in the kitchen dripping, cold and wrapped in a towel) that what felt like an emergency to them was actually just the need of a tall person to reach the chips up on a high cupboard shelf-- was pretty good motivation to join.
So I joined four days ago and have gone four times. And I can say in all truth, that I don’t mind the exercise bit. I am so shocked by this, that I am beginning to wonder if I am doing it wrong; you know, moving wrong, jumping wrong, running wrong.
But what I look forward to the most during my mornings at the gym, is that after I work-out, I get to sit in complete silence in the sauna. It is meditative. It is food for my soul. It is Heaven.
And then I take a shower, by myself (if you don’t count six other women in shower stalls next to me). No one tells me that I have to get out to break up a fight or make microwave popcorn because they are ‘starving (!!)’.
I dry off, get dressed, walk up stairs (feeling the burn in my thighs) and I get two giant hugs from the twins, as I walk into the play room. You’d think I was the Easter Bunny-- they are that glad to see me. And you know what? They look a little cuter to me, too. I am genuinely excited to see them, to hear about what they did in that two hours.
In the car on the drive home, I want to listen to all their stories again and again, and never once do I wish I was watching paint dry.