April 1st

Posted: April 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

Strangely, everyone has today free from work and school, so it feels like there are more people in the house than there should be for lunchtime. I finished my run earlier enough to shower and make some delicious chicken and vegetable wraps, which we all ate together, like a family meal. It was nice to see everyone looking a little bit more rested than usual. Nick and Ellen are still working really hard most days, and the girls are still getting caught up in all their classes, but it was nice to see everyone relax, even if it made the house feel strangely full during the lunch hour.

I checked my online banking and The Council made all the correct rent transactions, so that is one less thing to have to think about. I did pretty well last month, as far as the food budget goes, but I then realized that there was about a week where we couldn’t grocery shop, so maybe it isn’t the best indicator. I mean, everyone was fed, but they might have been fed better if we hadn’t been invaded by zombies and forced to stay inside until they were dealt with.

I’m looking forward to my supervisor shift tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have some people from the Running Club join me to work on their strength training. It is fun to have something to look forward to that includes other people. If I don’t watch out, I might get myself a social life.

I’ve decided to take a break from combing through Mother’s old fitness magazines and think I’ll spend some time just being lazy in the sun that is streaming into my room, and reading one of the mind candy novels I found while cleaning the room. That way, I don’t really have to think too hard but can be entertained and soak up some sun.

All in all, I am still pretty content. Looking back about a week ago in my entries, I cannot believe how low I felt when I now feel so safe, warm and in a good place. Life is full of ups and downs, warmth and cold, but it is weird to have such extremes so close together. I’m hoping that I will continue to look on the bright side instead of being consumed by the dark side, because life is going really well right now and I would love for that to continue without me freaking out and confining myself to my room under the pretense that I am sick. It isn’t any fun, it isn’t productive, but I guess I just needed some time to reflect and rest. It is better than bottling depressing feelings up and having them inevitably explode everywhere, taking other people down with my sadness.

That was a strange visual – I just saw a dark cloud (supposedly of sadness) drop out of the sky and smash my house, completely destroying it. Sometimes my imagination can be rather dramatic. I even saw items from the house spraying outward under the pressure of the (supposedly heavy – which is weird because clouds shouldn’t be seen as heavy) cloud, hitting people passing on the sidewalk and embedding themselves in the walls of the neighbouring houses. Vivid. Strange. Maybe I’ll keep that daydream material to myself.

I wonder what Rick would say about that. I personally think that I am being a little self-centred – my bad mood couldn’t possibly effect that many people, right?

Always,
-Miriam

March 31st

Posted: April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

The Thursday and Friday supervisors seem nice, although both of them seem to be fulfilling some begrudging duty to the community rather than actually taking advantage of using the gym while they are there. That’s fine, but both of them are getting on in years and could probably benefit from getting a little more motion into their days, instead of reading their romance novels and doing crosswords (Wednesdays is an old woman with a stack of Harlequins whereas Thursday is a man with a book of crosswords, and I have a feeling that if they actually met they might get on really well).

My workouts for the past couple of days have been a little less intense than Tuesday, and although I have felt them a little bit each morning, I no longer want to toss my limbs in a cold bath to numb the pain, so I must be on a better track. If I’m lucky, I might see a few people from the Running Club at the gym during my shift on Sunday, which would be fun. I know that ultimately they would be there to work on their health and fitness, but a small part of me likes to believe they would be there to visit with me.

I was glad to get in a long run and a full workout today, since it was threatening to rain when I was on the way to the field, but it held off until I finished and got to The Centre. It was still coming down really hard when I was done, but at least it wasn’t a cold rain, so I didn’t feel like I had caught pneumonia when I got home and hopped in the shower.

I’ve got tons of extra energy and have no idea where else to put it, so I am putting together a sort of “Thank Goodness It’s Friday” feast for everyone tonight. I’ve even been smart enough to clean the dishes while preparing everything, so the kitchen doesn’t even look like I’ve been baking and mixing up side dishes and a roast all afternoon. Everyone should be home from work and school/study sessions in about a half hour, which means they will be right on time for when the roast gets out of the oven and can help me carry things into the dining room after washing up. I feel like I have gone a little light on meal preparation and execution in the last little while, so I think this will be a pleasant surprise for everyone. I sure hope they are hungry.

If I finish this entry quickly enough, I should have time to run the clean laundry upstairs and change into something that isn’t covered in various cooking spills. I know I’m in my own house, but sometimes it feels good to look good, even if it is just your housemates who will see you. Plus, it adds a layer of amazement to the mix – I was able to do my run, go to the gym, do laundry, clean the common spaces, do the dishes and prepare an amazing feast, all while still managing to look like it didn’t cost me a drop of sweat.

I think this is what pride feels like. I have my life in order, and I’m happy and healthy. I don’t know that there is much more I can ask for, nor anything else that I would really want in my life right now. My tenants are happy and contributing to the community – either by learning so they can help save the world after graduation or rebuilding families’ lives and reinforcing the barricade – and I am supporting them but still keeping time and hobbies for myself while throwing in some social life just for good measure. With all that is going right, should I be worried that sometime in the near future something will go horribly wrong?

Always,
-Miriam

March 30th

Posted: April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

Well, it is official – Penelope and Justin are dating. He asked her to be his girlfriend and they went on a proper date last night, which meant she called the house to tell me she wouldn’t be home for dinner, but would be back early enough to get her homework done. I felt a little like her mom, but congratulated her and told her to have a good time. All accounts when she got home read that she did just that.

Mandy seems to be a little bitter, but she is trying not to show it, which makes me think that even though she’s not over it, she has made up with Penelope. I asked if she still wanted to join the Running Club, and she politely declined – which I figured would be the answer. She already has to see her best friend with the guy she likes at school, why would she want to see it socially? Not to mention that whole hatred of dirt and sweat.

Oh well, at least they have made up. It would be incredibly awkward around the dinner table if they kept fighting, but Mandy is already bringing up the names of other boys at school when she tells us about her day, so I’m sure she’ll move on soon enough.

It turns out that Nick and Ellen are high school sweethearts, as the saying goes. Ellen told the story of how the first got together, and I almost didn’t believe how shy she portrayed the both of them, but it is sweet that they have been together for so long and that they found each other so early in life. I don’t know if it is the fact that everyone seems to be finding a partner or that it is spring – the season of blooming love – but I sometimes get the feeling like I am missing out. I’m not really one to push these things, but if someone could show up in my life and sweep my off my feet, I would be open to that. I’ve become more social, since starting the Running Club this week and volunteering at The Centre, so you never know who I am going to meet.

Some of the magazines I have been combing through for useful exercise tips have sections devoted to dating, but I try to avoid reading them, because they make everything seem so complicated – like it is all a big game and if you don’t know each strategy, you will lead a life of loneliness. I was never one to play chess, and I’m not about to memorize “49 ways to keep a man interested” in me. I would want someone to actually be interested in me, not whatever the magazine thinks I should pretend to be. I know I’m not every guy’s ideal woman, but that doesn’t mean that I want to change who I am so every man wants to be with me. I really only need to find one, eventually – and I actually don’t “really need” to find any, if you think about it. I would just prefer to find one, and if I do, I would want him to like me for me, not me for my strategies of getting him to like me.

Besides, if I were to meet a guy now, I don’t know if I could fit him into my busy schedule. Between organizing things for the Running Club, doing all the house work and cleaning, and volunteering on Sundays – plus getting my own running done – he would have to either be good at laundry, cooking or running just so we could spend a decent amount of time together. In fact, if he wanted to spend lots of time with me, it would be beneficial to be good at all three.

Always,
-Miriam

March 29th

Posted: April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

The girls had scowls on each of their faces when they left this morning, so I guess I am hoping they will make up on the way there. Or even at school, during a class for all I care. I just want them to be friends again. Penelope barely smiled at me when I gave her the rest of the training packages for the people at her school – such a strange change from the day before.

Speaking of being friends again, I hope my arms get back to loving me at some point, because it hurts even writing this entry. I guess I might have overdone it slightly at the gym yesterday, although the magazines tell me that it is a good thing if you have some muscle soreness the day after a big workout, as long as you are still able to function. I guess today will be my rest day, even though I was excited to meet the Wednesday supervisor. I guess I will meet him or her next week, and I’ll have to learn how not to overdo it when I do go to the gym.

I’m not injured or anything, but I think if I picked up one more weight, I would be in bed all today. Oh well, this just means that I have an excuse to lounge around the house. Ellen is starting work late today, so we had breakfast together and she told me a little bit about the work she is doing. It is mostly cleaning up and repairing things that were damaged, although she will be painting the outside of the house today. I guess it is better to paint when there is a lot of sunshine, and it is cloudy this morning with very little wind, which means the paint would take longer to dry – or something like that. I sort of understood what she was talking about when she was saying it, but it doesn’t seem to make as much sense now that I am writing it down.

My work out clothing is all folded and making me feel guilty by staring at me from the end of my bed, but even the fitness magazines agree that taking a rest day now and then is very beneficial. I guess I should remember to pass that information on at the Running Club at next Monday’s meeting. It feels counterproductive to sit and do nothing instead of keep training to get stronger and faster, but this is a part of training that I will learn how to get used to. You would think that is would be the easiest part to get used to, but once I start moving, I want to keep going.

Nick mentioned last night that they are making great progress at reinforcing the barricade. It is going to be a really long project, but they are working at a decent speed while still paying close attention to detail. I like that. It makes me feel a little safer, even though the pessimistic part of me knows that there will be another breach. It might not be soon (and I would be completely fine with that) but I know it will come one day. I didn’t mention this to Nick, though. It would be like telling someone building a house of cards that there will always be gusts of wind to undo their masterpiece; it is only a matter of time. I don’t want to discourage all the hard work everyone is putting into rebuilding the community. I also try to keep the discouraging thoughts out of my head, but at least when they pop in there, I don’t share them with everyone else. If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all. I assume that bit of wisdom came from my Mother, although I cannot remember an actual incident where she might have imparted that nugget of knowledge. Maybe I heard it on one of her programs. For all I know, I got it from one of the billion fitness magazines I have read or reread this week.

Always,
-Miriam

March 28th

Posted: April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

I sent a few of the programs and journal samples to school with Penelope, and, as I expected, Mandy has shown interest in joining the group. I explained what was involved, and even though she is the type of girl who doesn’t seem to like to get her hands dirty, let alone sweat and mess up her hair, she wants to come along. I guess she really does like that Justin guy, or she is jealous of Penelope somehow. Either way, the more the merrier – I really hope.

I took my own run this morning after the girls went off to school and Nick and Ellen went off to work, then I swung by The Centre to use the gym. I’m pretty lucky that as Sunday supervisor, I get free access on the other days – although, the passes really aren’t that expensive, and I am making a fair share of money from my tenants, even after expenses. Maybe I will make a donation, if I end up using the gym a lot. Anyway, I enjoyed meeting another supervisor and I think my arms are going to be sore tomorrow from lifting all of that weight. I used to think that doing all of that physical work would make me tired, but I felt great afterward, and even better after showering and having a peanut butter and banana sandwich when I got home. Once I’ve made dinner and everything is cleaned up, I’ll have to finish everyone else’s plans, so no one thinks I am playing favourites with the ones who already have theirs. Most of them are the same, but I like to put a few personal touches on each of them.

For now, though, I am enjoying having an empty house to relax in. The humming from the dryer, where my workout clothing is currently spinning round and round, is surprisingly soothing. I might actually just have a little nap on the couch. There is a great ray of light coming in the window that is lighting up most of the couch, but my head is just out of the light and I am too relaxed to get up…

Oh boy. I was woken up to the sound of Mandy and Penelope arguing. It looks like the love triangle story was not in my head. Justin asked Penelope to go for coffee to go over details of the Running Club, and Mandy is mad at Penelope for going because “Penelope knew she wanted Justin to ask her out”. Then Penelope accused Mandy of not ever thinking of her feelings and how she has liked Justin since the first day of school and Mandy always feels entitled to everything Penelope wants. I felt I should step in before they started throwing things or the neighbours overhead and thought they were screaming about a breach instead of a boy.

Unsurprisingly, I was told to keep my nose out of their business, but I still made the point that if Mandy wanted to go on a date with Justin, she should have asked him, and if Justin wants to have coffee with Penelope, then she should be allowed to go if she wants. I told them, “it’s been clear to me for quite some time that both of you have a crush on Justin, but just because he likes one of you more than the other doesn’t mean you have to fight about it”. That really didn’t go over well, and they screamed a little more at each other before going to their separate rooms. I visited Penelope first, telling her she shouldn’t feel badly that Mandy feels left out. I visited Mandy and told her that she’s beautiful, she’ll find another boy, and that even though she doesn’t want to hear it, I could tell ages ago that Penelope liked him as well. Technically, Penelope didn’t go behind Mandy’s back, as it was Justin that ultimately choose who to ask to coffee. I think they are going to make up, but it looks like that will wait until morning.

Always,
-Miriam

March 27th

Posted: April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

The meeting was amazing! There were about twenty people there (I got them to write down their names and contact information, so I can keep track of everyone). Most were students that Penelope had invited, although there were a couple who saw my signs at The Centre. I let them know that the gym is open on Sundays, now, which made one woman really happy – I guess she is a regular. Surprisingly, everyone seemed enthusiastic about the whole meeting. I kind of feel like someone is playing a very elaborate joke on me, but for now, I’m just going with it.

My suspicious about the lack of real physical education at the school were not far off – there are physical education classes, but they are very lax and students are feeling like they are caged up in our town. I bet this will help them all feel a little bit better about living in our special brand of captivity.

Anyway, even Justin, that boy from the study party, was there, which seemed to delight Penelope. I wonder what Mandy will think about that, and whether or not she’ll start showing up as well. I have no idea if there is anything actually going on between any of them, but, at least in my mind, I can just see this turning into a teenage drama. One thing is certain – at least the leading man is kind of cute, as well as a decent athlete, from what I saw. If he keeps coming to the running club, he might really create something worth fighting over – considering he seems to be a genuinely nice guy.

Besides the people who are regulars at the gym I didn’t even realize existed, everyone else is around the beginner level – only a couple of students who came to the meeting could be considered obese, and I’m glad they had the courage to come out. Many, I felt, were underweight more than anything, which probably has to do with the lack of excellent food sources to choose from in our town, or the lack of knowledge about nutrition. Perhaps I will attempt to add some of that knowledge from Mother’s magazines to the meetings, once I can make heads or tails of it. Sometimes I read one thing in one magazine, but then something that says the opposite in another article. It is a wonder that anyone figured out anything while reading these magazines, even though it seems very simple in principle – eat nutritious food and don’t eat junk. How hard is that to understand?

Unfortunately, sometimes it seems like people feel it is easier to buy meals that are premade, and they seem like they are a better value for people’s money because you don’t have to prepare them. If people knew basic cooking skills, like I learned from Mother, then they would know it is cheaper and healthier to buy the ingredients and make it yourself. I’m not saying she was a chef, and not everything I’ve ever created in the kitchen has been worth making ever again, but part of the reason I can offer meals to the tenants is because I know my way around a kitchen. Too many people prefer foods that come in a bag or box instead of from the vegetable or fruit stand.

In any case, I’m glad it went well and I decided that we’ll meet once a week – Monday seemed to work well for everyone. I said I would make up some samples for running logs and some suggestions for routines, which Penelope can deliver at school or people can pick up from the notice board at the gym in The Centre. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone improve little by little.

Always,-Miriam

March 26th

Posted: March 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

My shift of supervising at the gym was awesome! There were only a couple of people who came in, and both of them seemed to know what they were doing, so I didn’t have to answer any questions or save anyone from squashing themselves. Instead, I got to spend my time trying out the equipment and working on a few exercises that I want to do with the running club, assuming people actually show up tomorrow.

I told everyone about the gym during dinner, and how it was actually energizing to lift some heavy weight. Most of them think I am crazy, but I think I might be seeing Penelope there during my shift next week. She and Mandy seem to be getting on a little better these days, but I think she wants a hobby to herself, which I completely understand. When you are in a “couple” type relationship, be it romantic or best friend, it can seem like you only do things that both of you want to do because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feeling by saying you need space to do things that they are not interested in, but it can be beneficial to the relationship.

Okay, I’ve been reading too many of Mother’s old magazines, and I fear that bit came from one that had horrible fitness information, but that tidbit seems to make a lot of sense. Obviously, I cannot speak from personal experience, but I can see the logic behind it all.

I even took my run this morning before going to The Centre to start my first supervisor shift, and I am confident that I might be able to teach the fundamentals to whoever shows up tomorrow. I have no idea what kind of fitness level I will be dealing with, but I can always adjust plans to individuals so everyone gets the best out of their time. It would make sense if people could get out a few times a week to run, but I don’t think we all have to do it at the same time each time – maybe we can do just the one meeting a week and then everyone else can run when it suits their own schedule.

I must remember to suggest that people keep a log of their running – something I am horribly at myself – but it can really show you in black and white if you are getting better or not. Writing down the time of day you ran, how long, how many laps, how you felt after, and all of that kind of thing can help people figure out what they are doing right or wrong. I’ve actually started my own log, and hope to make it a habit, much like writing in this journal.

I honestly cannot believe I am still writing every day. I figured that I would have run into some excuse by now (something understandable, but an excuse nonetheless) that would have prevented me from keeping up with it. I guess keeping it right next to my bed, so I see it when I get up and when I am trying to go to sleep, has helped. I tend to write at night, but it reminds me in the morning that I better do something worth writing about, because there is nothing more boring about writing about doing the laundry than possibly reading about someone doing the laundry. I mean, a few of my entries are like that, and if all I have managed to accomplish throughout the day is do the laundry and get the house clean, fair enough, but if that was all this journal was, day in and day out, I wouldn’t be able to keep writing it. I would be far too bored with recording the details of a very dull life.

Always,
-Miriam