Earlier today, someone raised the question as to whether or not the current trend towards fitness and exercise is an attempt to feel in control of something in a world that feels so out of our control. While I don’t entirely disagree that there is much about exercise that makes a person feel strong and capable, all things that we do must be more rewarding than they are effort-requiring. Otherwise, we wouldn’t do them; they’d be a negative-sum investment.
I’ve been walking Sheilah some more, pictured above. Or rather, sprinting desperately to keep up with her for a kilometer, running with her for 2, dragging her for 1, then chasing her desperately again for whatever’s left. She cries a lot the days we don’t take her out. She may be just a dog to her owner, but she has enough of an understanding of being made to do something that she doesn’t like for a long time to know that those times when we can take her out to run or to a dog park, are really worth chasing. She knows the times outside of that are going to suck, but she endures them because she has no choice.
In a lot of ways, a lot of us are like Sheilah. We spend most of our time trapped by a lot of things that we don’t really like but are necessary to get by, really living in that hour after work. But unlike us, she’s not too tired to go to the park. She nearly tears the front door off the frame trying to meet me as I come to get her. How many of us can say that about our own pursuits? Do we jump and charge down the door, off to what fuels us?
I don’t speak in any uncertain terms when I say that my job is the worst thing in my life. I’m aware of the irony of this; it was supposed to be freedom, but instead I’ve become tied to something much worse. It’s taken me a long time to realise this, so tomorrow I will be exercising the choice that being an owner gives me and making some changes that will fix some very important things. I’m aware that not everyone has this ability, so I’m not for a moment suggesting that all should follow suit.
What I do know is that I became scared. I let contracts with dollar signs and a lot of zeros make decisions for me out of fear of financial need, and while they were not necessarily bad decisions, certain actions needed to be taken to ensure minimal repercussions .. and they were not. This is my fault. I have put myself in a place where I am desperately unhappy. And for what? I’ll get a sweet bonus next month. Enough to pay for a sweet holiday, clear my credit cards and put away some good money back into savings.
I can’t help but to think it wasn’t worth it. I’ve been living my life in these hour-long bursts between work and sleep. At least the dog is excited when I get home; I just want to sit down. I can’t help feeling like that puts her one step ahead of me. Good dog.