Monday, September 6, 2010

An Exercise in Frustration

August was a difficult month for us. Dave was working horrendous hours (yes, even more so than usual), :) all of our major summer trips were finished, the pace of sibling bickering was picking up and getting out of the house seemed to require an act of Congress. I kept making scrambling attempts at creating some sort of structure in our crazy summer chaos, but with little success.

All of this, coupled with frustration at my inability to lose the baby weight from Addy, made it so I finally decided to take the advice of a friend and join the YMCA. (Cue music: "Duh, duh, duh, duh, YYYYY-MMMMM-CCCCC-AAAA, it's fun to stay at the YYYY-MMMM-CCC-AAAA.") Even if my attempts at housecleaning were a miserable failure, hey, at least I could exercise (with childcare provided!) and have a place to take my kids swimming. So at the beginning of August I went straight to the membership desk and said, "I'd like a membership please." But the very helpful girl who was working the desk asked me if I knew that later in August they would be having an event where you could get a membership without the $75 joining fee. So there was a conundrum... do I try to take advantage of my desperation to get out of the house and temporary motivation to exercise or do I simply wait for two and half weeks and save myself $75?

While I sat at the membership desk debating, I had a strong feeling that I should just go ahead and join and not worry about saving the money- that it wasn't a big deal. But at this point the bossy part of my brain jumped in and started to take over. While I used to be quite skilled at saving money back when I was single, some part of pregnancy, labor and childbirth (or the aftermath of it) killed the money-saving gene and since then I have been somewhat budget and saving challenged. (Does this have anything to do with trying to make purchasing decisions while you have children screaming, begging, wanting to be nursed or otherwise distracting you? The world may never know....) So here was a golden opportunity: the chance to save $75 with practically no effort. No- this was the chance to MAKE $75, since I was planning on spending the money before and now would be getting it back. So definitely, it would be silly to pass on such an easy way to save. So I ignored the feeling.

Meanwhile, I signed up for a free three-day-trial membership. I went every single day and exercised for an hour and a half, while reading a book- bringing a much-needed sanity break to my day. The kids loved child watch and again I reconsidered if I should just join. I compromised by asking the membership desk if there was any way to get the discount beforehand. There wasn't. (I'm not much of a negotiator.) So I settled in for my two remaining weeks of waiting.

We survived somehow without my exercise break. At the last minute, my sister ended up coming to visit for a friend's wedding (and to kindly come and help me survive the month of August). I found out a few days before her arrival that she needed to go to Seattle for one day to go to her friend's wedding reception. That day turned out to be- guess what?- the exact day of the no-membership fee event at the Y. So the day that I had waited for so I could get my free membership turned out to be the one day in the entire month of August that I was out of state. And so I waited for two-and-a-half weeks and still didn't get my free membership after all. Which was something of a bummer.

So I guess the moral of my rambling story is that I should have listened to that gut feeling instead of the bossy part of my brain. Call it instinct, call it the promptings of the Spirit, call it what you want. There is no way I could have known back when I was trying to make that decision of whether to wait or not that I would be out of town that day. But I don't know if I have ever had a time when I was brave enough to follow that feeling that I later regretted it.

1 comment:

Ranell said...

Hooray for the first day of school!

Want to meet me at the YMCA later? Or have you joined yet?