Gym – Don’t Make Me Go!

I hate going to the gym. That might be a little too strong, but I detest it. Detest might still be a little strong. I just plain don’t like it. It’s not that I think I shouldn’t exercise but I’d rather exercise at home. First, I don’t like that you have to get dressed, whereas I can wear my pajamas when working out at home, and when I’m really pumped I put on my compression pants and take the 10 or so steps into the little den that I turned into my exercise room. The idea of putting on clothes that match and looking good to go to the gym is mind boggling to me. Why can’t you just throw on whatever you have? But nooo… you have to plan an outfit, sometimes the night before. The gym becomes another “getting ready for work” task. How many of you shower before going to the gym? Well, my spouse takes a full shower with perfume. I find that to be ridiculous to go to the gym to get sweaty and you have to shower when you get home. I say that every time she goes to shower before the gym. I just wash the parts of my body that smell and I’m done with it. I don’t like having to leave my house early in the morning to beat the early morning crowd of people exercising before they go to work. I have joined many gyms in my lifetime, and when I walk in, there’s always someone (usually a woman) that’s made up with mascara, lipstick, and false eyelashes, whose hair looks like she just left the hairdresser. I wonder, if she looks like that to come to the gym, what does she look like going to work? That’s too much work for the gym. When I get past the fashion show at the gym, I trudge myself over to the treadmill, and about 10 minutes into my 30-minute routine, I feel somebody on the next machine taking sideways glances at the stats on my machine. I guess that’s why people put a towel over the part of the machine that shows your stats. When seeing your stats doesn’t work, the person on either side then tries to speed up their routine as if we were in a race. My spouse likes that secret competition with the person next to her. I like being home where it’s me; only me. Have you ever noticed that gyms keep their windows extra clean for the outside world to look in. You do realize that’s free advertising for them, letting people look at you pouring your heart out on the cardio machines. Then there’s women and men exercising in the same facility at the same time. I sometimes wonder, is it a place to get fit or is it a place to be social and meet your next significant other? I like being alone. Even when I wasn’t married, I still preferred being alone. I could not wrap my head that the gym as a place to meet my next date. The next thing I hate about the gym is because when people finish on a machine, how many of them actually wipe them down properly or at all? Most gyms have towels and solution to wipe down the machines readily available, but some people are in such a rush to get to the next exercise that forget about hygiene. Yuck! At least I know that at home it’s only my spouse and me using the equipment. These days, with all kinds of diseases, why can’t people be more responsible? When a person leaves a machine and doesn’t wipe it down, that means I can’t just continue my workout on the next machine, I have to wipe down the machine I’m using, plus the machine they used. Then the space allowed to workout in is usually so small because they have tried to cram every machine that they can into the gym that there’s nowhere to walk. I know that most gyms have a room for group exercising but then you have to find out when there won’t be a class so you can use the room. Now it’s no longer your schedule but theirs. Unless you are taking a class, you can do most exercises from home. There’s Peloton, which is cycling, and my favorite cycling is Virzoom, which allows you to play games or ride through different countries. When I exercise with Virzoom I enjoy cycling through Africa or somewhere in Paris. It makes the time fly by. Virzoom also has games. I really like the tank shooting games. I have weights and use Stealth, which is another piece of equipment that allows you to play games while you plank. I just bought a Dribble Up medicine ball. There’s an app that goes with the ball and you get timed exercises. The object is to stand about 6 feet from your phone screen and follow the trainer who shows you how to do each exercise. When you have the routine, then you move the ball to hit each circle using the form the trainer gave you. Have I spent a lot of money for exercise equipment, whereas I can go to the gym for $10.00 a month? Nope; I don’t think so, because my equipment will last longer because it’s only me using it. I don’t have to wait for a machine when it’s rush hour at the gym. I can just ease on down the hall 10 steps to a clean machine with no waiting line. I have now put it out there why I hate the gym. I only go when my spouse insists that I go with her. Why? I don’t know, maybe I’m so slow that I make her look good. Bravo to her, but please don’t make go with you to the gym!

Have you ever wondered what if this or that? Of course you have. It is our nature to think that the grass is always greener on the other side. Let’s play the what if game for a minute… If you’re married, and there’s trouble in paradise, you start to wonder, ‘What if I wasn’t married?’ and if you’re single, you think, ‘What if I’m was married?’ When you look at being married or single you believe the grass is greener on the other side, but is it? I said what if in both scenarios and find that it’s what you make it. Really, married or single, you should think about yourself and what will make you happy, or at least content. Some people say contentment is settling, but what is settling but being comfortable? There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable. It feels good like an old bathrobe that you snuggle into and wrap yourself in. It feels good. Here’s another: ‘What if I was rich? I could move, pay off my bills and travel the world.’ Again, poor people want to be rich, but you never hear of rich people wanting to be poor. Why is that? I actually don’t understand that because generations ago people lived simply. It was not richness they wanted, but freedom and rights for themselves. You do realize that rich people have problems and their biggest problem is staying rich. Their problems are usually more expensive and can sometimes be the source of embarrassment when they’re played out in the media. When I say poor, I am looking at society on two levels: rich and poor. There’s no middle class. Again, what’s wrong with settling, being comfortable, like old slippers that are raggedy but when you stick your feet it’s soothing? You need to just be able to take care of you and yours; nothing else is needed. You appreciate what you have more when there’s some effort in getting it. When you want to go on vacation and you’re poor, you scrimp and save. If you’re rich, you take it for granted because you can go on vacation anytime. I prefer to savor my vacation by saving. One more what if is children. Now, this is a big one. A person I worked with wanted children very badly. She wanted her own, not adoption or any other method. I had a daughter and though my daughter was a good girl. I still sometimes wondered ‘What if?’ in moments when she wasn’t so good. When I compare myself and my friend, I realize that everyone wasn’t meant to have children. There are the obvious ones that shouldn’t have children, which we read about every day in the newspaper. I am not going the religious route, but when I sit here and think about it, there is no real answer to the question “What if I had or didn’t have children?” because this is God’s choice for women. What if I didn’t have my daughter? Then I would not have the ability to shape another life that could benefit the world we live in in some kind of way. I wouldn’t have a life to wrap my arms around; someone that’s a part of me. My friend still wonders what if she did have children, and to her, a part of her is missing. I do feel for her, but that was God’s plan; his roadmap for her life. She could have stopped for gas on the road and adopted, or used another method to have a child, but she stayed with God’s plan. There is no point in asking what if the plan was made. The point of all this is to stop the what ifs. If you’re comfortable single, married, money, no money, have children, or have no children – just be thankful. It is all right to settle. It’s all right to be comfortable. It’s all right to snuggle into you. I’ve learned this as the years have gone by – to just get my old robe and my raggedy slippers and be okay with that.

A Grandmothers Dilemma

This is my dilemma: I have three grandsons; the oldest is 16, soon to be 17, and it seems the relationship I had with him has faded. How many of you find that as your grandchildren have gotten older there seems to be a disconnect?
Every generation strives to be better parents and grandparents to the new generation. It is not easy. I grew up in the age when being outside was the thing to do. You met your friends and went to the club and danced the night away. Now, with cell phones and video games, there’s an isolation that seems to be happening. While some still go to the club when they are of age, just as many are content to stay in front of a video game or have their face in the small screen of a cell phone. I can see that happening with my grandson. The oldest has very few friends. I mean the kind that you meet in early grades and you stick together through college and beyond. He has what I’d call acquaintances; people you meet haphazardly in school. He seems content being in his room and only going out for meals and occasional interactions with his brothers. The point is, we have just about the same amount of kids staying in and being isolated as going out and being sociable. As a grandparent, I want to help, so I ask: “What are you interested in?” The reply is usually, “Nothing,” and that’s the end of our conversation. I can tell by the silence on the other end of the phone that he wants to be anyplace but on the phone with me. This is the same kid who, just a few years ago, was drawing and talking with some ambition. Where did he go? I speak to my daughter, but as a grandparent, I have to be diplomatic in my approach. I mean, I try to be tactful by first saying what a great mom she is, which is true, she’s a parent that I never was. I then proceed to ask about each of my grandsons’ wellbeing and finding out what they are up to. I don’t want to target just him. That might not go over well. I then say how I feel that he is unmotivated and has no interest in anything.; silence is what I get. That’s the end of the conversation. I went online to find classes for him for the summer, since he applied too late to be considered for a job. He applied in June and all of the summer jobs for kids are taken by then. I told my daughter in February to start researching for summer jobs and have him apply. I found an online program with Jam.com. They offer all kinds of online courses such as drawing, photography, animation, and more. You get a 2-week trial before having to pay for the course. I was excited. Surely something there would spark something. He did the two-week trial drawing, but he wasn’t interested in the full course. What can I do now? I guess what upsets me is when he needs $200.00 sneakers, his parents can’t afford, he becomes the sweet kid I used to know. I’m a grandparent, not his parents, so what I say is I wouldn’t say dismissed, but not given the full consideration that I might know what I’m talking about. Maybe I’m so removed from his generation that I don’t fully understand about communication with his generation.
I will tell you one thing: I’m a grandparent and love all of my grandsons. I will continue to put myself out there, knowing that sometimes his distance will hurt, but hoping one day he will become that same kid that I was close to as an adult.

My Dog Day Afternoon (literally)

Mason

GG

I couldn’t think of any other title that could and would describe my afternoon with my dogs, but as you read, you will discover what I’ve discovered – that there is something wrong with one of my dogs. I have two dogs, Mason and GG, and the problem is Mason. I try to think of him as a Dr Dolittle but in reverse. The relationship he has with other animals is not normal. “What do you mean?” you’re thinking. He incites animals. I know dogs can incite other dogs, and people on some occasions, but with Mason it’s squirrels, cats, ducks, and now sand cranes in Florida.
My dog day afternoon actually started the day before when Mason, ten years old, attacked my nearly seventeen year old GG. They are both Shih Tzus so they are small, weighing less than twenty-five lbs. GG has lost her hearing and is not seeing too well. She was lying on the bed and Mason, upon coming up their stairs to the bed, just attacks her for no reason. She’s an old girl but she was holding her own until he knocked her on the floor. I know you’re wondering what was I doing. I was in shock for about a minute then, hearing GG shriek, I came out of my temporary coma then jumped up as fast as my fibromyalgia body would let me. I was so mad I was seeing red. I picked up GG checked her there was no red color anywhere. Mason got a spanking that afternoon. He knew I was mad because he walked around with his head down for the rest of the day. There are times when we know that they have to be kept apart, like when he’s sleeping she can’t touch him, or when he’s off in lala land staring at a wall. The wall staring is an often occurrence; I guess over the years we’ve gotten used to it.

The next morning, Mason is barking and running back and forth. I come out to see a squirrel plastered to the screen on the patio. The squirrel would not leave. I swear I think we brought him from New Jersey because he stands in front of the patio on his two legs and, with a nut in hand, he stands there and eats while watching Mason act like a maniac barking and running back forth. I wonder if the squirrel thinks he’s at the movies since he came with snacks for the Mason show. This is the same thing that the squirrel in New Jersey did, snacks and all. The neighborhood cats in New Jersey must have wanted to see the same movie because they would start coming by and pace back and forth in front of the door until Mason would start his act. I’m just thankful that in Florida, so far, we haven’t seen any cats in the neighborhood.
Florida has been interesting. Mason was good when we first got here but after two months, he must have realized we weren’t leaving so back to the old Mason. There’s a lot of dogs in our neighborhood. Do you know how hard it is to avoid people with pets? It has been trying.

Sand Crane spreading his wings
Sand Cranes and babies

Yesterday afternoon was, to say the least, crazy. We have two sand cranes in the development, one was pregnant, and we had been waiting for the babies. The gestation for sand cranes is 29 to 32 days. Finally, she had her babies and they are so cute. The cranes have been walking around with the babies and getting food. They came close to the screen with the babies close to them when, of course, Mason sees them and starts with his barking and running back and forth the length of the patio. I guess the baby cranes’s daddy didn’t like what Mason was saying and he opened his wings, started making a sound, hopping around, and moved toward the screen. I swooped Mason up and moved very quickly inside and closed the door. You can bet fibromyalgia didn’t have me moving slow this time. I have no idea what set the cranes off yesterday afternoon because Mason has been acting crazy like that before they had the babies and only one other time they didn’t just ignore him. The other time, the cranes put a hole in the screen because they wanted him bad.
The white ducks were never a bother to Mason. Lately, he doesn’t want them around anywhere, that includes in the pond and the other side of the pond. He’s barking and running around and I guess like the cats and squirrel, they have started walking in front of the patio to see the performance that Mason gives.
I want to give you a good description of the cow incident. We were walking GG and Mason past a field which had about eight cows. When Mason sees them, he starts his usual routine. Well, I guess the cows weren’t happy with his shenanigans because they all came to the fence and side stepped their way down the fence as we walked. That was truly a sight to see.
That was my dog day afternoon. I often get asked why do we still have Mason. Well, my purpose for Mason was to keep GG moving, which he has. Today, they are back chasing each other; the sand cranes, squirrel, and ducks are not around. I’m having a peaceful Sunday.