While I recognize it’s only Tuesday, I had a bit of a morning this morning followed by some lumpy-bumpy issues with work. The morning events were nothing serious – actually, it was all me just being ridiculous – yet even knowing that does not lessen the impact on the situation or the emotions. And I have to laugh at me and my first world issues, now that I am completely over my momentary snits and back to normal daily programming. However, it inspired a let-me-be-grateful type post.

While J is away on vacation, my plan has been to go straight through the 5 days of Lists he created based on Dr. Spencer’s exercise program for me. We have been going over it for the last couple of months; I have been practicing various things in between sessions. Yet for some reason having a structured, day 1 through day 5 feels almost confining. It’s not, not at all. Because I know these things. I can do all these things. I can even indulge my inner planning-obsessed person by knowing what is up on the agenda tomorrow. It is the little, tiny free spirit fairy inside my head is kind of chafing at this change in routine. She gets indulged by choosing the List of the day most days. Now it’s 5, probably 6 days of planned Lists? What is up with that inner free spirit squeaks.

Anyway, this morning was back/biceps/abs day. Which meant venturing forth into the bigger boys room (find the detailed list of exercises in this recap last week) to use the cable row and lat pulldown machines. When J and I went through this we stayed in there, using the various benches that live there permanently. I admit to taking deep breaths and quelling my anxiety about going forward into barely known territory all on my own. I could do it. I would be fine. And I did, and for the most part I was. While going through the stretchy band curls paired with the row, I was eyeing each of the benches and deciding on my strategy for staying in that room and finishing the bench work there versus my typical safe haven. The really ridiculous part? I wanted a bench where I would not have to move one of the big bars. First, I was not 100% sure where to put the big bar, except on another bench, in which case I could just use the devoid of big bar bench. Second, I was not sure how heavy the big bars actually are, having not yet had any reason to handle one myself. Trainer J makes everything look so effortless and in my mind I was imagining that puppy weighing a lot and/or my causing bodily harm to myself or others. So yeah, I decided my safest course of action was picking an unmanned, unbarred bench. And there were actually 2 available that I saw from my vantage point by the row machine. I was so relieved.

EXCEPT … when I was done with my row/stretchy band bicep curl set and turned to the benches, both were occupied. In fact, a guy sat down on the bench I wanted just as I turned to take a step toward it. My old friend, gym crazy, flooded my mind with indecision. At the end of a very long 5 second pause, I fled back to my comfort zone and that trusty bench. Thankfully no one else wanted to use it today.

This should not be a big deal in anyone’s life. It is truly not even, not really, worthy blog fodder. Except I could feel myself having to mentally and emotionally shake off that feeling of backsliding badly and all negative girl’s chanting echoing faintly inside my head. In the big giant picture of me and my life, what matters is that I persevered and went through maximum sets, maximum reps on the List of the day without faltering. Maybe the positive spin on this is that I am now capable of shaking off the gym crazy when it strikes unexpectedly. This is just another moment in life when I have to remind myself that I have come so far, that not that many weeks ago I would have still been too intimidated and petrified with anxiety to even try to use those couple of machines in the bigger room on my own.

Friend J is my stand-in security text blanket this week while trainer J is away on vacation. He assures me I could have moved the big giant bar on my own. As long as I was careful and watching where I was going and what I was doing, I should have been capable of moving it on my own without incident, although he did have to ask me if there any weight plates were attached, and if so, remove those first. Since he’s apparently in the middle of his own shitstorm of work, I couldn’t tell if he was serious or giving me a hard time about being such a baby.

This whole morning started this whole go-round of thinking about gym, exercise, and changing objectives. Probably another stand-alone post on another day.

From there I went home and hopped into the shower. Only when I was done, I realized that M must have washed whites yesterday and forgotten to replace my towel. So drip-drip-drip down the hall into his bathroom where the bath towels are kept. I was not happy.

But thinking about it, it’s mostly my fault for not noticing that he’d run off with both towels in my bathroom. Then I think about him actually doing laundry and other domestic chores while I’m working. He washed and detailed the interior of my car on Saturday and then waxed it yesterday, so that was a very nice thing. For every instance he drives me batshit crazy there are probably 10 other things that he does that delight or make my life easier and better. And of course, I know the ratio of irritating and good things I do for him is equal or at least similar. Balance.

Then there is work. Ahhh … work. Today is my self-employment day, and I had to be professional and firm and fire a client. He was a referral, but he’s a total PITA, been late paying his invoices the last 2 months, and the second check bounced. That’s a first for me. I did receive a cashiers check replacement last week, and last Friday I wrote him a formal letter terminating our business relationship. It’s not just the late payments, although he is having cash flow issues. It is his calling my cell and then calling again, and again, and again, voice mail after voice mail after voice mail after I have told him repeatedly that my primary “office hours” are Tuesdays and various windows throughout the rest of the week. If I don’t respond within 60 minutes he calls again, and gets angrier and angrier each successive voice mail. I can typically reply to a text or an email much more quickly, but no, he does not like that “impersonal” method of communication. This is my second attempt at terminating our relationship due to my inability to serve him to the level he feels is appropriate. The first time he assured me he would back off and let me do my job, and he did … for about 3 weeks. I understand his stress – business is pretty good yet collections are slow – but it’s not really my problem. I do his financials for the bank each month. Left to my own devices it does not take much time to prepare. Coupled with the amount of attention he demands for the same questions, month after month, my time – and invoice – quickly triples or quadruples. He was upset that I was pulling the plug, but honestly, my time is better spent doing something else. I don’t need the aggravation.

He was very upset about the situation, says he needs my help. I offered several referrals when I wrote him, all of whom have more patience and availability to hand-hold the way he wants/needs to be guided. At the end of our conversation he sounded so dejected and rejected, and I am reminded that ordinary things seemingly unavailable or out of reach suddenly seem so much more desirable. I am not some super accountant and do not cater to some exclusive group of businesses. What I am is pretty busy with my law firm gig and the rest of my clients, none of whom call me every hour for 5 or 6 hours straight simply because I have not had opportunity to call them back.

I feel lighter and freer already knowing I will not have to cope with him again next month.

All in all, I have a lot to be happy about and grateful for. On my own I ventured out and was successful with machines in the gym’s bigger weights weight room. I was also able to shut down negative girl from planting thought of me as a neurotic loser (yes, the thought flittered through my head in an unguarded moment before I could stop it). I was able to avoid getting snappish with M about my dripping all over the tile to get a clean towel out of the linen closet in his bathroom. I was also able to really appreciate that we took the wood laminate out of the master bathroom and replaced it with tile, so at least the puddles of water were not going anywhere or going to damage the flooring. And I shed a small client that was causing me a lot of drama and stress each month.

I will call all that positive progress.