TIME! I just don't seem to have enough of it these days. Can't remember when I felt so stretched. I don't know how some women do it; women with several kids, a full-time job, volunteer work, all of that.
I work full-time, have one kid, don't volunteer and only try to say yes to invites that I really want to accept. I have learned over the years how to say no when it means I will risk becoming exhausted or left with no time for myself. This is the time that is being snatched away from me lately. The all-important time to myself.
It cuts into my work-out time. This is not acceptable. I worked really hard to get in the shape I am in now, which is nothing out of this world, but I am at a comfortable level of fitness, weight and good health and I want to keep it like this. As soon as my exercise routine is disrupted it is only a matter of days before I start feeling sluggish, unmotivated, fat. Nine days have passed since I last lifted a dumbbell. I already feel less toned. I have been flat out sick with a head cold and have had little energy other than to drag myself through my work days, missing only one half day at the worst of it. It is amazing to me how quickly the deterioration can begin.
So, today is a day off and I had a meeting cancelled this morning which gave me a chance to write a quick blog before I set off on a good long hike along the Humber River and lunch with a friend. Wonderful, glorious, precious time for myself and with a friend. These times are really appreciated so much more when you are clamouring for it and declaring it more important than chores or other less soul-feeding activities that are hovering around in the back of my head nagging to be tended to. Screw it. My mental and physical well-being are way more important than scrubbing my toilet or vacuuming the crumbs around the floor of my kitchen island.
I had dinner last week with an old friend who I only see every few years and when we get together, we catch up and it is like we never had any time pass in between. She said something to me once she heard a detailed account of the last couple years of my life which has stuck in my head for days now. She said,
"Deb, this is how I see your life. The word no is just a speed bump on your way to yes."
I thought about what she said. And the more I thought about it, the more her analogy struck a chord with me. I suppose it means I am determined. That is true about me. I don't even like the word no. The word no to me is like a gauntlet being thrown before me. It made me recall several instances in my life where it was life-changing for me.
The time I got a decline letter from Ryerson University when I applied to get into the Journalism program there in 1982. I was devastated. No bloody way, I thought. This HAS to happen. It is what I had my sights on. We will see about this, I thought. I called the Chairman of the Department. He agreed to meet with me. I pleaded my case, sold my attributes, convinced him I was worthy. A week later, a new letter arrived. I was in. My friend was right. That decline letter was just a speed bump.
More recently, I was declined by another landlord for a condo lease in this building. He did not see me as a good tenant for whatever reason. Once again, screw you buddy. I found another BETTER space several floors up and that landlord thought I was fine. No one was keeping me out of this building.
Another time, a professor at Humber College declared the first day of classes that he never gave perfect scores on papers. Really? We will see about that. It nearly killed me buried in research, but I ended up with 3 perfect 100% papers that year. Ask me anything about the History of Furniture and I will likely have an answer. Or, I could break out the 1000 pages plus that I turned in that year and look it up. I still think I should make a coffee table book out of all those pages.
Am I competitive? Is that it? My mother thinks so. My tennis opponents think so. My kid brother thinks so - just ask him about every board game, every tennis match, every race. I play to win. I am a much better loser now than I was at 8, but I still try to beat him and celebrate when I do. We both do. It's fun, we have fun doing it.
I suppose I should sit back and analyze this about my nature and sometimes I do ponder it and try to figure out how much of my ego is involved. As I mature, it matters less and less, but I have a sneaky suspicion that there will always be a little part of me that wants to compete. Nothing like a good solid fist pump between friends.....right bro?
Winner take all.....most of the time anyway.