>Down-Time…I Asked For It!
>Some writers will advise against fitting writing time in amidst laundry loads, exercise routines, picking up children, and the thousands of errands that we women run in a day—all that “stuff” can suck out our creativity and at the end of the day, we are left with minds of jello…sweaty, Sunday afternoon, green potluck jello, no less. I have been looking for the right moment to sit my butt down and crank out my next blog that has been solidifying (dare I say jelling) in my mind since we got back from our trip to the “happiest place on earth,” a.k.a., Disneyland. But, alas, I’ve been very, very, busy. AND, I have been feeling very, very awful. If I could just have some down-time. You know the expression: Be careful what you wish for. I got a case of shingles (I know—who under 80 gets that except me?) and now I have nothing but down-time. Unfortunately “down” would be the operative word. So, I’m going to go “cognitive psychologist” on myself and act “as-if” I were feeling “in the mood” to write. This is a trick in the writing business and psychology, so I may as well give it a whirl. Plus, any day now a pretty little van from the memory care unit of the “recovery center” is going to pull up and tell me I’ve wandered off again, so I’d better crank this out before my internal drive crashes for good.
We went to Disneyland. I know, I’ve blown your mind. You’d have to know me and particularly my husband to know what an accomplishment this really is. Some people our age are doing what I would consider actively hostile and aggressively competitive things such as training for full marathons, including The Iron Man. My policy is that running is not necessary unless a mountain lion is chasing me and yes, I know, you are supposed to stand still and look big, but you go ahead and do that—I’m running. Really, when someone very thin, in Spandex, announces that they are training for a half, full, or triathlon, and that I can’t possibly know what I’ve been missing, that I will see God when I hit mile 8, and on and on, I feel assaulted. Bitch-slapped, if you will.
I grew up, predominantly, with my grandparents serving as my parents and thus so, I was surrounded by “old people.” “Real” old people. Not hair-dyed, face-lifted, tummy-tucked, label-wearing, tight-bottomed 65 year olds. No! I’m talking cookie baking, arms that waved long after their arms stopped, women who wore housecoats. Remember housecoats? I distinctly remember thinking, “I can’t wait until I’m 55 and can let myself go and live in a housecoat to cover mounds of flesh.” Now, I think they’d send social services out or at the very least my health insurance would cancel me. It’s an aggressive time to be aging!
I get it…people were less healthy “back then”; people live longer now; 50 is the new 40; blah, blah, blah…but I have no intention of doing a marathon…EVER. The three day park-hopper: that was my marathon. Hands down. My husband estimated that in the three days we ran from ride to ride (with a very organized friend who made use of the ride ap on her iPhone, which was divine, I must say) and darted from park to park, we walked an average of seven miles a day! That’s 21 miles in three days. Give or take a few miles, my friends, and you’ve got yourself a full marathon and I didn’t even have sponsors! It was very exhausting. I don’t remember Disneyland being so tiring as a child. Then again, back in the 70s, we had that awful, limited packet of tickets and once you were done, you were done. Too bad if you didn’t make it on Peter Pan’s Adventure. Go ride It’s a Small World one more time and sing that song into your psychosis.
I really did have a wonderful time and I recommend going with another family because it makes you behave better when you’re tired (and a nap seems wonderful but the hotel is just too far away to get to), hungry (but refuse to pay $7.00 for a salad), and angry (because some stranger just pushed their ten-year-old in a stroller over your foot–get up and walk, brat–we had to walk when we were at Disneyland—they didn’t even have strollers when we were kids…okay, they probably did, but, you get my drift…)
The next time one of these superior women boasts of her next marathon, I am going to reply, “Really. I just finished one myself. In fact, I trained so hard that I got shingles.” I’m sure this will elicit all sorts of sympathy and maybe Ms. Tight Buns will offer to make me a meal (probably vegan and tasteless, but I will receive it because it will make her feel better about herself.) Then the competitive button will be triggered and she will want to know which marathon I’m speaking and I’ll strain and squint my eyes to recall the name. “It’s an obscure one in Southern California around Easter. Something with the word hop or park. I’ll have to get back to you.”
Then I’ll go rest.
It’s fun to imagine the possibilities. Come on, I have to do something while I have all this down-time!