Listen for Your Own Drumbeat

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.

2 thoughts on “Listen for Your Own Drumbeat

  1. I find that having a gym that has regular classes that require me to be there at a specific time is key for me. If there aren’t classes set up, I’m very likely to either not go or to leave after 30 minutes if I do make it there. I’ve always been good about exercising regularly, but only in environments where other people are providing structure. I get bored easily otherwise. Long runs are boring, even with good music on my iPod; machines give you a good workout, but I get bored even if I get to watch tv while I use them. What I need is somebody telling me to do things over and over, and switching what I’m doing pretty quickly. This also explains why I only like some kinds of Yoga (the Iyengar isn’t for me, but the Ashtanga is my speed).

  2. Hey, Vim! I hate routine, too, but like you I guess I need a scheduled environment with someone telling me what to do. (And Barb from today’s movement class assures me that EVERYONE looks awkward at first.) It looks as though you’d do quite well in our Monday and Thursday Senior Sneakers movement classes! We only do 2 or 3 sets of any movement before moving on to the next. I can do that. However, I think the other women there would resent your perky little ponytail just as I might. There are wall to wall mirrors so no one is immune from seeing how they really look! But I’ll bet the men (yes, there are a few there who can still walk) would love you! : )

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