Monday, September 24, 2012

New perspectives

 A few days ago I wrote a self-pitying blog post about how I don't feel like I have time to think anymore.  Can't afford the gym and am compelled to graze all night, so I feel like a fat-ass. Can't find new music to listen to.  Can't find a book compelling enough to finish.  Can't even fathom the idea of sitting down to write something meaningful.  Between work and home I feel like I have nothing else to give, so I was becoming accustomed to the idea that this was just how life would be, that you just kind of give up on everything else and keep your head down and watch your body become that of an old person.

I've been revisiting that draft post in the last few days, and I think I've done a pretty good job of taking concrete steps to combat it.  To wit:

1. I joined the gym at work and signed up for two classes on Sunday.  I went for the first time yesterday and it kicked my ass.  My body is sore all over the place now.  I felt so happy to be moving and sweaty.  At one point we were doing push-ups and the floor around me was slick with sweat that I could barely keep my bearings.  The last time I was in this gym was in 2005, in a boxing class that I loved, and it was a very odd sense memory to return to this place in a completely different life.  While I feel guilty about being away from the family during that chunk of time on Sundays, I think it's worth it in the long run, especially since A is usually napping and L can use the time to herself.

2. I bought "David Copperfield" at the bookstore and so far I'm loving it.  I was trying to read all these contemporary books that just felt very transitory and slight.  I like reading something that has endured, and Dickens is weirdly accessible to me -- it is popular entertainment, after all.  I'm excited to have one big fat book to chew on for the next two months.

3. Alice and I are doing a dance class at Alvin Ailey on Sunday mornings.  Bringing Alice to the studios where I used to do hip hop is hilarious.  Yesterday I could hear a hip hop class thumping in the room next door to us and it broke my heart (as we ran around with jingle bells tied to our wrists and sang songs about butterflies).  But I like having our own little thing together, and Alice enjoys it and I think it's helpful to teach her the basics of rhythm and movement.  L noted that Alice has been nicer to me since we started doing the class together -- it's our own little adventure, her and I.  The funny thing is that I feel weirdly competitive with the other little kids and their parents (mothers), like I want the teacher to be impressed that I've mastered these exercises designed for 2 year olds.  See me twirl the scarf!  I know what sound a froggy makes!  Watch me gallop!

4. Yesterday we also went to see the big new public art spectacle down at Columbus Circle, in which a Japanese artist has built a living room around the statue of Christopher Columbus on top of a six-story obelisk in the middle of the intersection.  I found the piece more powerful and compelling than I expected.  It was neat to see this old hunk of marble up close, and the views were great.  It raised interesting questions about private ownership of public art/spaces.  And it was amusing to watch Alice ignore the tremendous statue dominating the space so she could flip through the coffee table book at its feet. 

And that's it.  Right now I'm just trying to fight entropy and reclaim some things about life that I enjoy.  If it doesn't happen now, before this new baby comes, then I think we're in trouble.

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