It’s almost 11 o’clock a.m. on this middle-of-the-week day, and so far I’ve had my wake-up coffee, my breakfast and I’ve read two morning papers, all very important elements of beginning a good day. I’ve watered the flowers on the backyard deck and the balcony in front; there’s a load of laundry tossing around in the washer downstairs. And I’m sitting here at my keyboard typing away. Where I should be, and where I expected to be when I was planning out the rest of my week yesterday, is at the yoga stretch class with Sandi.
Last week I signed up for a one-year membership at the local Bally’s Gym. Not only is it close to our home, but they have a seniors’ schedule that allows me to work out at a level agreeable to my ability alongside others that look more like me–in other words a lot more comfortably than I did when the girls using the machines alongside me in the University gym were mostly very young women sporting perky little ponytails wagging up and down in my peripheral line of vision, or in front astride the elliptical machine. Those ponytails seemed to say it all in their sing-song way, “yah yah yah yah yah ya!” (“You don’t look like I do!“) What I wanted to reply in the same sing-song but couldn’t, because my hair’s not thick enough for a ponytail, perky or otherwise, was “umh umh umh umh umh um” (“Just you wait ’til you get old!”).
So I was sort of looking forward to going three times this week to my “Silver Sneakers” classes, one for movement and balance on Mondays (which I did this week)and again on Thursday, plus yoga stretches on Wednesdays (today) at 10:40 a.m. The problem was that I woke up late this morning having slept very little last night, due to the heat we’re experiencing. In spite of air conditioning and an overhead fan, the bedroom was about 85 degrees last night.
We have one of those clocks that projects the time on the wall or ceiling with large, lighted numbers so you can read it in the dark without glasses, so all night I tossed and turned and watched the clock digitally change. Twelve 0-something, then 1:14 a.m., 3:44 a.m., and on and on until finally at around 4:58 a.m. The next thing I remember I was waking up and I can no longer see the numbers on the ceiling. It’s light outside and the regular clock on the wall tells me it’s nearly 8 o’clock.
Oooooooooh, I have so much to do today, finish the laundry started yesterday, catch up the ironing from two weeks ago, go to the gym, water all the flowers the sprinklers can’t reach, prepare the raspberries, blueberries and strawberries we picked up at the market yesterday to freeze, help Hubby with the strawberry jam making he’s planning after he comes back from the gym. By now it’s already approaching 10 o’clock; I’m already tired! Right away I know I don’t want to go to yoga today. But how to tell Hubby? He’ll be disappointed and might even point out that I’m quitting even before I get started good. “I’m not quitting,” I’ll say, “I just don’t want to go today!”
Whatever the ramifications, I realize as I’m dressing, there’s no way I’m going to leave the house today. There’s just that damn little girl inside who finds it difficult to stop listening out for the fatherly voice that tells her what she must do today, then feeling resentful later because she didn’t get to the things she wanted to do. So there it was! I was still letting my drumbeat be drowned out by my father’s. In another Zen-like moment, I remember that I’m no longer that little girl and my father’s drum is silent. Rationally I know there are too many things I need to do at home today. I think I’m beginning to hear my own faint little drumbeat again. Hubby says goodbye and sets off for his gym. I’m sure he’s aware that it’s past time I should have left for my own, but he doesn’t say a word. He’s not my father.
I think of the woman I read about in the local paper one day this week in yet another campaign story on Mit Romney, the most covered presidential candidate in this state, I might add. She, a Mormon, was asked whether she would vote for what she believed was right, or vote at the direction of the church elders. She replied that she would use her own judgement if there had been no announcement by the church, but if the church came out one way or another then, without question, she would vote the way they advised. Too many women, I believe, are programmed from birth, as I and this woman was, to believe that there is always somebody else who knows better than we. It takes a long time, sometimes a lifetime, to be able to let go of that programming!
Next week I’ll begin the yoga, and when I leave the house to drive there, I’ll remember to take my water and I’ll carry my own little drum along.