The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

A weekend adventure

on September 16, 2013

So my husband finally succumbed to the summer cold this weekend.  And as every woman everywhere knows, men and illness do not go together well at all.  I get to hear about all the symptoms I suffered in silence last week, in great detail this week.  I told him he needed to be careful not to get sick, but that didn’t stop him from finishing my cheeseburger off the other night.  He claims it was worth it.  I’m not sure that’s true, at least from my end.

Among hearing the sniffling, sneezing and complaining from the man of the house, we also have had some new visitors in the name of feral cats.  Apparently a wild cat, which are fairly common in our neighborhood, gave birth to a litter of 5 kittens underneath our deck sometime over the last month or so.  Our dog made us aware of their existence the other day by barking her head off.  Now we are trying to humanely get them out from living underneath our deck, to ward off the attraction of other wild animals (we have had opossum and raccoon visits in the past) and to give the yard back to our pet dog.  She and cats do not co-exist well, especially feral cats.  That’s been an adventure in itself.  The cats are beautiful but ready to defend themselves against anything foreign.

On the fitness front, I decided to try out a BodyPump class on Saturday.  I’m a big lover of mixing cardio and strength together, but decided I needed to switch things up with a pure strength class.  I’ve never taken a BodyPump class, but found one at a nearby gym and headed out.  When I arrived at class, the instructor announced this was a special “BodyPump Challenge” class, meaning it was longer and more intense than the normal class.  Oh boy – a challenge on my first outing!  I didn’t know how well that would go but I kept my weight on the lower end so I wouldn’t burn out too quickly.  It was tough, but just what I needed.  I will take the class again in the future, but increase my weight for the lower body.  My chest and biceps feel the workout today, but the lower body is just fine.

In the other realm, I signed up to go to a book club meeting through  I finished the book the day before the meeting, drove down to the meeting location (a local coffee-house) and walked on in.  When I got there, the place was fairly vacant and there was no sign of where a large group was going to be (there were suppose to be over 20 people).  So I sat on the couch and made myself look busy by going through my email on my phone.

While sitting there, I overheard a group of girls (who were sitting at a table for 4) talking and I’m pretty sure they were the meetup girls.  They were chatting about where they lived so it was clear they were not acquainted with each other.  Then another girl walked in and joined them.  She introduced herself and one of the first questions out of another lady’s mouth was “What do you do?”.  Seems like a perfectly normal and acceptable question, but it scared the daylights out of me.

I thought I was doing ok.  I feel I have actually been fairly content with my life.  I exercise, I care for the home, I read, I run errands.  Nothing has really changed and I do have moments of boredom, but I feel like overall I’m ok.  But with the prospect of being asked that question, I realized maybe I’m not as ok as I thought.

It seems like there are only 2 acceptable reasons for being out of work.

  1. You are actively looking for a job and/or pursuing further education to reach your dream job in which you have a clear-cut idea of what it is you want to do.
  2. You are a stay at home Mom or Dad.

Neither of these apply to me.

So I feel like I don’t have the right “excuse” for being out of work.  I don’t know what I want to do.  Honestly, I just work to get paid.  There are things I enjoy a lot more than others, but I don’t have a true passion (that I can think of) that I’m actively pursuing.  That true passion may come at a later time, but right now it is not present.  When I work, I work hard to just be good at what I do.  I want to help my employers succeed.  I take pride in doing a good job and do enjoy it.  But when people ask me “What do you want to do?” I draw a blank.  Really, any job you put me in I will give my all and strive to succeed.  So do I say “any job.”  That sounds desperate.  I’m not desperate.  There’s just no real way to answer that question to anyone, especially strangers.

And of course, as you know, I’m not a Mom.

So I’m embarrassed.  It made me feel horrible to hear that question.  So I got up from my seat and left the coffee-house.  I held back tears on my drive home.  I’m upset that I chickened out, but I’m also rationalizing or realizing that I saved myself from some bad feelings and possible harm.

In reality, I’m content with my evening and weekend life.  My husband and I are very happy together and whatever we do, whether it’s watching a silly TV show or going out to a nice dinner, we have a good time.  It’s the hours he’s at work that I’m having trouble filling up.  I need friends that can meet me for lunch.  I’m not a single girl looking for someone to hang out with after work.  (Not that I can’t meet someone in the evening and leave him to fend for himself.  I can do that.)  But I feel like meeting people in similar situations than I am in right now may be more helpful than meeting people who are in situations I used to be in.  That will make me feel more relatable and happy, and not make me feel bad about myself.

Am I just making an excuse for chickening-out?  Maybe.  Obviously it bothers me that I did it or else I wouldn’t try to explain it away.  But when I really think about it – I think I’m ready to live the stay-at-home mom lifestyle, even though I’m not a mom.


2 responses to “A weekend adventure

  1. Bill Bateson says:

    Don’t be embarrassed, be HAPPY! That sounds like a fantastic life, and anyone who says different just wishes they had what you have. I know I do! And as far as “finding your passion”, that whole line of thinking puts too much pressure on the “passion” to be exotic. Some people don’t like painting and cooking, some people like TV and finding ways to work less. Painters and chefs SOUND much cooler, but TV reviewers and efficiency experts are jobs too. You probably already have something you enjoy doing that you don’t consider a “passion”. Whatever that thing is, just go with it, have fun. Good things happen when you have fun!

    • Thanks for the advice! I have found that I’m naturally gravitating towards things that make me happy, and that’s a great step forward for me! And you are right about perceptions. I need to get over what I think other people may think!!

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