Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Simple Truth (Richmond, VA)

I promised myself that this year -- finally and absolutely -- I would simplify my life: leave work when the workday ends; just say "no" to requests to join more groups; refuse to schedule more than one after-work activity in any given evening; allow time to decompress; and, yes, even clean and clean out the house on weekends.

So, you might ask, how am I doing?

Not so hot, I must confess.

The problem is that, to be honest, I enjoy being busy and engaged.

I don't think it's my Protestant work ethic (I'm not Protestant) that makes me remain at work until I've finished the job at hand and gotten a healthy start on the jobs at wrist, elbow, and shoulder; it's that I like my job(s).

And as far as participating in groups (and I'm not talking on-line groups but ones that hold in-person meetings), I only join those that deal with topics of interest to me (other languages or cultures, for example) and that inevitably turn out to have members who are smart, funny, talented, compassionate, and who sometimes, become my friends.

I don't think I should have to count my night job as an evening activity; therefore, going dancing at 9:30pm after a 10+ hour workday is just one activity, right? And the things I do in between my first and second jobs, such as working out at the gym, meeting a friend for coffee, etc., don't count either, correct? And on those evenings, such as this Thursday, when I'll dart from a 4:00 private dance lesson to meet Spanish speakers (native and wannabes) at 6:00 for conversación and bonhommerie, and then sprint to (arrive a bit late at)a dance event and stay until 11:00, well, what's the problem?

And decompression sounds SO boring and kinda scary. (Compression doesn't sound so hot either, but maybe you can squeeze in a hug? Sorry!) What would I do to decompress, anyway? Stay home and read? I do that when I eat or before bed. Watch TV? Don't get me started. Listen to the radio? That's why God made cars. Lie down and take a nap? That's why God made the hours between midnight and six a.m.

Weekends are when I can pack the most in! For example, just on Saturday, September 25th, I can grab coffee with a buddy at a cafe, hit a coupla yard sales, see two African films before 3:00 p.m., and spend the rest of the day at a festival -- eating, watching dance performances, and taking a zumba lesson. (Zumba = aerobic exercise that combines Latin dance moves with more perspiration than you can imagine streaming from your body, blinding you, and leaving puddles so big you might drown if you don't have a heart attack first or disappear altogether from all the calories you've burned in the 10 minutes it's taken you to realize that you can't breathe or walk, much less zumba any longer). Now doesn't that sound more appetizing than decompressing?

As far as cleaning, I'm with Phyllis Diller when she said, "I hate to mop the kitchen floor. Six months later, I've got to do it again!" If I have to clean when company isn't coming, then I think I need to move into a smaller space, get rid of virtually everything I own -- including my husband, and get a new (or another) job that will leave me with enough money to pay someone else to do my dirty work.

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