Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I swam before work

Never Done: I swam before work

It is hard to spend two hours commuting and still have time to work out. Even, I admit, with a gym and a pool in the building. Once the day gets going, I have so much to do at work that I find it near impossible to dash down for a swim, even though that is just what I did when I first started. So I set the alarm an hour earlier than usual (5:30 instead of 6:30) and was out the door by 6:40 and on the train by 7, and I should have been at my office by 7:35 and in the pool by 7:45 and at my desk by 8:30 but at 42nd Street, a yelling man got on the train, in my packed subway car. The yelling man yelled, "You can't touch. Me, that's it, that's my right, I gotta go where I'm going, that's it! Don't touch me! Call whoever you gotta call, just don't touch me!" The entire train car tensed up. People started looking at their watches. The woman next to me said, "Just get him off." I couldn't stop thinking about all the iterations of self and other. I felt compassion for him, the other, because it sounded like a cop had grabbed him. I also felt frustration that he was holding up a couple thousand people's commutes (also the others) and in particular, mine (I'm the other too.)

I realized that I was feeling a lot of fear -- fear that he might go off in some extra violent way if he was pushed too hard. Fear that he would be physically removed from the train. I also was afraid that I would be late, and that I'd miss my me time. When he finally got off the train, still yelling but not removed physically, the entire car exhaled a collective sigh of relief. Including me.

There is just much opportunity to not aggravate a situation with wasted grief. I want (need) more sleep, I want to spend more time with Josh, I want time to talk with friends, I want to clean the apartment, I need to reprocess the tomato sauce I made because I forgot to boil the jars in a hot water bath, I want to watch Friday Night Lights and US Open tennis, I want to read my book (whatever is the current book), I want to go shoe shopping with L, I want to spend more time outside, I want (need) to find a new apartment that is big enough to adopt in, I want to adopt (and then we'll see if I have time to get to the pool!), and so much more. I actually thought of all these things when I woke up at 5:30 so that I could get to the pool by 8, but I told myself to be patient and not aggravate the situation by dwelling on everything I was giving up, but rather to focus on what I had chosen. I did not have that awareness a year ago. Thanks to my Mussar practice I now do.

1 comment:

  1. It's hard to find the time for all we want to do, especially when the list is long. I belong to two gyms,one with a pool because I wanted to swim, and one without...and have not been to either in quite some time.

    I love to swim, but hauling everything that one needs in order to do so, from home, to work, to the pool and home again is a monumental task. (Which would be easier if the pool gym had lockers you could keep, but they don't.) I would like to think that if my office had a gym of any kind, I would use it, but who knows if that would actually happen.

    With very few substitutions, my list is a similar one. (It also includes a once-in-a-while screaming, scary person on the subway.)

    All one can do is prioritize what are the most important on any give day in the hope that the rest will happen somewhere along the way....and enjoy them when they do!