(So I am surrounded by piles and have a mental list of things to do that makes me panic, but the kids are napping at the same time. This usually only lasts for ten minutes, so I have to be fast. They don't let me get on the computer when they are awake, so I am ignoring everything else to write. I am determined to get myself blogging regularly, so my creativity doesn't atrophy. It was bad enough when eighth graders were rotting it away. With toddlers and Elmo, I practically feel my writing ability pouring out my ear.)
We joined the Y as a family. John's swimming to train for an Iron Man, and we're taking the kids for parent/child swimming lessons. So there are lots of benefits to a membership. One of them is childcare while I workout. No longer do I have to get up hours before the sun to run. There are people, usually other moms, who care for my children while I workout. Huzzah!
I have been to the Y twice and discovered that I like water workouts. Somehow I think they have gotten a cheesy reputation, maybe because the average age of participants seems to be 70 (Good for them, I say.). But I have found both of my classes to be full body conditioning and cardio. I am sore in the right muscles afterward, and my heart rate was up. And no sweat! Well, yes, sweat, but hey, I'm wet anyway. It is totally less gross.
The side benefit is what really has me hooked. In some of the exercises, my ears go underwater while my face stays out. Suddenly the world is muffled, not just the physical one around me, but the one in my head as well. Somehow it seems to be connected to my auditory sense just like physical hearing is. For those moments, I can think about what I want to think about and not what I need to think about. I think we can all agree that this is platinum. It's not something we get to do a lot in the world of adult responsibility. And it's not about shutting my brain off and not thinking. That's something else, and something I am not good at and really don't need. Part of me stays focused on my body, making my muscles optimize every movement, feeling my heart pump to help them. Then the other part stops worrying about how fussy the kids are in the childcare room and what chores I have on my list, and just thinks about stuff. Writing this blog, working on some fiction I will get to again someday, movies, tv, books, anything I want. Superficial is OK. Deep is OK. But need goes away. Want stays.
Then my thirty seconds are up, and we are on to the next thing which might not be as cocooning, and that's fine. I find I don't need a lot of these moments. As much as adult responsibility can be heavy and wearing, I chose it because it is absolutely the most fulfilling. There is nothing I will do in my life that will make me as joyful and content as being a wife and mother and dog and cat owner and daughter and big sister. These roles fulfill these needs because of how important and meaningful they are. They are the big moments that need me as much as I need them. But I like my little moments of want too. They make me want the need.