I have become anxious and hungry, the sun is setting earlier, and a million things are buzzing around my brain. I signed up for a challenge at work, and now I'm worried that it might be too hard. It involves heart rate monitors and exercise, and it's kind of boring to write about, but it's on my mind. The challenge officially starts next week, this week there were tests and measurements; I felt like a science experiment - a slightly out of shape, quickly approaching middle age science experiment. It turns out I have a high maximum heart rate, which is a good thing to have - only I'll have to work harder to get to my "zone 2" heart rate. This means I'll have to sweat. I'm not excited about this. It makes me anxious. I like the kind of exercise where I'm blithely riding my bike from one location to another, not the kind where I have to take my glasses off because they're sliding off my face in a waterfall of perspiration. Hence the eating, it's what I do when I'm worried or anxious or stressed.
The truth is, I wasn't sure I'd still be at this job. It was better than unemployment, and convenient - two miles from my house. I've been sending resumes out the whole time, and got as far as a phone interview at one organization and an in-person interview at another. Meanwhile, the job has kind of started to grow on me.
I work in a medical fitness facility doing administrative work. It took a while to get used to, but now I'm right on the edge of maybe liking it - if not the actual work, then the flexibility and the short commute, the fact that I can wear sweatpants, and the camaraderie that has begun to develop among me and my colleagues. I like that for once my job might help me get into shape, rather than out of shape, and I like that when I leave it takes ten minutes to get home. I like that I still have energy left to go to storytelling events and work on my writing. And have I mentioned the commute? This job doesn't pay great, but my entire working life commuting has been a challenge; at my last job it took 45 minutes minimum on public transportation.
There are so many storytelling events in Chicago now that sometimes I go to more than one a week. Last week there was Story Club, and last night I went to This Much Is True for the first time, and it was amazing. Tomorrow I'm going to Grown Folks Stories, which I've heard is fantastic. Next week I'm going to Essay Fiesta on Monday, something called The Funny Ha-Ha Show on Tuesday, and the week after that I'll be going to the monthly Moth StorySlam. There's overlap in both the audience and the performers at these shows, I keep running into the same people, and it's kind of cool - the people who run Essay Fiesta and Story Club were in the audience at This Much Is True, the guy who runs This Much Is True told a story last month at Story Club, etc. I was mulling over the idea of going back to school for this, but it seems like all I have to do for now is keep going to this kind of stuff. It's great, and overwhelming too. Could it be that I've struck work/life balance gold? I might have, but it's making me eat.