Life Answers Its Own Questions

Archived | May 29, 2014 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I was wrapping a few gifts as I listened, and giving some thought to what kind of cakes I’ll bake and what I might cook up to celebrate. We have two birthdays ahead as the school year winds down — both daughters, and in all the rush of grad party plans for our son and award ceremonies and concerts and fertilizing the lawn and putting away the winter things, it was a bit of a relief when the girls agreed they’d each love a summer membership to the local fitness center. There happens to be a bargain package for students, and both girls enjoy exercise, so that cuts down on shopping time and the search for just the right gifts.
Visited the place the other day to secure two memberships, and a lovely toned man named Bob gave us a brief tour, explaining some of the fitness equipment and how it all works. His hair was gray, and he had a few wrinkles, but he moved with a kind of deliberate ease, like a wildcat, or a storm rolling in. (I often feel like one of those Jesus lizards flailing over the water.) Funny thing, though, as he explained each machine and what muscles it works and its general purpose, I kept thinking things like, “Huh. I do that when I fold clothes” and “Hmm. I get the same result from going up and down the stairs 17 times a day” and “I bet I work those same muscles mowing the lawn.” Making beds in itself, if you’ve got a few and you’ve just washed all the bedding, can be its own aerobic workout. When he got to the yoga classes, same thing — my 20 minute naps, standing on my head on occasion, bouts of joy on the trampoline, cleaning out and rearranging the kitchen cupboards and trying to dust the top of the fridge — lot o’ yoga in a day for me.
Not to say a real workout is a waste of time. Hardly. And I’m all for a yoga class. Thing is, when your life is like mine, carving out the time can be a challenge, and sometimes money is an issue, so there is consolation and something like relief to realize how I move through a day is its own personalized workout. Designed by me, without much thought. Isn’t it true, that often life answers its own questions? That if you do good work in a day, the work that needs doing, and don’t give up, that you get a workout of your own. It’s true, I think.
Seems you don’t have to go too far to find the things you need. Conversations at the dinner table and questions like “Why did you have kids?” and “How can we save the planet?” A pile of oak logs needing splitting and a floor in need of washing. Basil and sugar snap pea seeds for the planting, and a watermelon waiting to be sliced. Exercises of mind, body, and spirit everywhere I go.
I’m glad the girls will have a place where they can work out and watch themselves in mirrors and keep track of their miles on meters and do yoga on solid mats with a licensed instructor. I’m glad there is a panic button in the place, and showers, and enough equipment for them to feel challenged. I’m glad they want to be healthy, and to feel good through the heat of summer, and I’m glad they are doing it together.
As for me, I’ll pass on the membership. Give me a lawn to mow, and windows to wash, some planting and baking and all the laundry you can fling my way. Happy to do it, and while I am, I can give some thought to answering those big questions. Like why I had kids. There are the obvious answers, but now that I think about it, maybe it had something to do with saving the planet. Makes sense to me.
Here’s something salty and sweet to make for the next picnic you attend. Five ingredients, and if you’re a fan of peanuts, you’ll want to try this one. Seriously.
Payday Bars
1 (16 ounce) jar dry roasted peanuts
3 T butter
1 bag peanut butter chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups miniature marshmallows
Grease 9×13 pan, and pour ½ peanuts on bottom of pan. Melt butter and chips, stir well. Add sweetened condensed milk and Marshmallows. (Don’t melt the marshmallows.) Pour mixture over peanuts and pat down evenly. Pour remaining peanuts over and pat some more. Chill, cut and serve.