Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Wife Fit

It’s Tuesday Fit-Day.  A weekly meditation on fitness goals, successes and failures.  Thinking about it once a week is a step toward making it a part of everyday.

I don’t really want to talk about fitness today.  Let’s just say that getting back into the routine after the cruise is slow-going and leave it at that. 
I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration lately and the lack thereof.  When I’m away from my house-bound life I feel more free to be inspired and make inspiring plans.  Then I come home and go right back into the uninspiring routine I was trying to escape.  I realized today that I have a reoccurring two-year itch.  I can only ever stay somewhere for two years before I am desperate for a change.  And rearranging the furniture isn’t enough.  I’m desperately searching for inspiration.  For something that will change my outlook and kick me in the butt.  I’m not talking about forever here, but at least for a significant amount of time.  Africa did this.  The circus did this.  For awhile Weight Watchers did this, in its own small way.  I am floating and living vicariously through others’ adventures and narratives. (Yesterday I ran down my laptop’s battery reading back posts on a blog that I am currently stalking.  I want to be this girl.  Or at least her friend.)
I really wanted marriage to do this.  I really wanted the team of Pete and I to inspire me to make the most out of this extraordinary life we are living together.  And our life is extraordinary.  I know I complain, but I am aware that our life is the envy of others.  We live in London, we travel regularly and our story resembles something out of a romantic comedy.  Given that, I didn’t think our “…and they lived happily ever after” would involve a business suit in the City and an apron at home.  I thought we were bound for more exciting and inspiring things.  But being ‘adults’ has hampered the exciting and inspiring.  Pete is all about setting the groundwork for a family home and security and possibly early retirement.  As I have said, he is the practical one in this team.  And thank God for that because I have never been practical.  I don’t see the big picture.  I’m looking for our next adventure.  I’m planning for us to join the Peace Corps for retirement.  I’m wondering how old kids need to be to take them on a safari to Africa.  Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have our own house somewhere.  I’m the first to take pictures of other people’s houses for inspiration, but I’m worried I will get restless and changing décor won’t be enough. 
Before we got married I didn’t really think about what it would mean to be a wife.  I figured it would be the same as being a girlfriend and fiancée since we had been living together and combining resources and making decisions together for four years by the time we got married.  (cue all my married readers chuckling to themselves and sighing, “Aw, bless.”)  And for the first few months it did feel the same.  But in the first few months of our marriage I was very unhappy.  Suddenly becoming a housewife was a small part of that.  Before June 25 I was a student studying at home and taking care of the house because I was the one at home and because Pete was *temporarily* supporting us both as I finished.  Being a student gives the illusion of productivity, of someday finishing and joining the workforce.  Then suddenly I was no longer a student.  I was an unemployed wife with an advanced degree paid for by the UK government.  That doesn’t fit on the customs form.  I seriously think part of the reason I haven’t travelled much since the wedding is because I don’t know what to put in that blank on the customs form.  It sounds ridiculous, but if you have ever been grilled by British Custom agents as they flip through your visa and try to determine if you are entering illegally (which you did once) you would understand.  They aren’t big on unemployed visa holders.
I digress.
Let’s just say that I wasn’t thrilled to be a housewife and was feeling pretty low and useless in general.  And so a blog was born.  A lot of this is documented in past posts and I won’t rehash it here.  But I will say that I have started thinking about what it means to be a wife in our current situation. 
The more I think about it, the more I am sure that we are the perfect couple.  I know, everyone thinks they are perfect, but hear me out.  Pete has got our practical side covered.  I think he enjoys that role.  Although he hates putting on that suit every day, (and would much rather make a living running people out on a sailboat to swim with turtles) I think he takes pride in the fact that he can take care of his little budding family.  My job is to ensure that we have fun and magic and silliness in our lives.  Because let’s be honest, that’s what I do best.  Luckily, Pete loves me enough to go along with the silliness once in awhile.  But that still leaves Pete exhausted at the end of the day and me babbling about whatever Grand Plan I have come up with today (and trust me, it changes almost daily). 
So what’s the point?  Where am I going with this post?  To be honest, I’m not sure.  But I have lately been thinking my job is more about inspiration than laundry.  Bringing the best of ourselves out so that we won’t feel like we always have to wear the suit/apron.  So that we can envision taking a leap and going on another adventure (with proper planning and return plan in place, of course.  That’s how adults leap, right?)  This is easily done when on holiday in the sun, not so easy when going through a mundane routine in crap London weather. 
Spring has sprung at last, as it always does.  Light and life is returning.  It can be inspiring if I let it. 
With that, I’m off for a run.  See it is about fitness after all.  Wife fit.  But not in a ‘Real/Desperate Housewives’ sort of way.

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