Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Night Howl

There are women who have perfected the art of creating a sanctuary for themselves, carving out a sacred, inviolable realm out of time or space.

They are pitbulls when it comes to guarding their personal schedules, baring their fangs, if gently, when a challenge to upholding their agenda arrives. Possessed of a spontaneous nature -- hard-wired to respond to external need -- I have a sudden and urgent need to learn how these women manage to have on-going Me Time.

Do they cajole, threaten, persuade, blackmail, seduce, wheedle, trick, negotiate, deceive or simply take what they believe to be rightfully theirs?

What is their MO? Their no-fail, tried-and-true tricks of the trade? And is this indeed a feminist issue or an equal opportunity occupational hazard, a symptom of our overscheduled lives???

It's not like I have no extra-curricular life, indeed my schedule is full to bursting both inside and outside the parameters of work. The issue right now is that I am finding it a freaking HERCULEAN UNDERTAKING to get to the gym on a regular basis...and practically feel like I should be awarded a Nobel Prize every time I manage to even enter the locker room of my local JCC. (Honestly, just the act of opening my combination lock improves my cardiovascular health...that's how eager, nay desperate, I am to achieve fitness.)

Tonight, after several day's worth of thwarted attempts at gym-going, which have left me misanthropic -- okay, homicidal -- I'd love a little self-centered horribleness to rub off on me.

This night, this minute, I want to learn the art of burrowing through work and family commitments in order to reach the open field of my own basic needs -- fully entitled and unapologetic, calmly stepping over protests and guilt trips, breezing out the front door with a see ya later on my lips and a song in my heart.
Of course, it is not just about going to the gym and of course carving out time for important pursuits is an age-old female quest. Indeed, I feel myself accompanied by the ghosts of grandmothers and great-aunts past-- hardworking women who also longed in vain for something that men claimed as naturally as breathing air: time for themselves.
But nearly ten years into the 21st Century, it irks me that attaining something so basic still entails a campaign of sorts, the bravery of the solitary soldier, a revolution of one.

And that is why I howl, late on a Monday night in the month of June, in the year 2009. A she-wolf is on the prowl. Thwarters beware.

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