I’m having a Bad Week in which I am having to face the reality of who I am and what I really want versus the fiction that I have somehow built up in myself about my level of ambition. I’ve always been a big believer in hard work for it’s own sake, but I’m realizing that doesn’t necessarily translate into being ambitious. And I’m feeling resentful about how ambition is such a worshiped value in our culture. There has to be room in this world for those of us who simply want to do a good day’s work and be a kind and helpful presence in the workplace and who don’t need or want more than that in our jobs. There are plenty of stellar workers who have no interest in climbing some grubby career ladder. But the message we get, especially if you’re female, is that that is not okay. It’s all rah-rah empowerment and you-go-girl rhetoric and if you don’t Want More, you’re failing all women and setting a bad example. So I guess I am failing all women and setting a bad example. Sorry, ladies. Go read “Lean In” and forget what you saw here.
On top of all it, another personal trainer has yet again quit on me. I shouldn’t be surprised—trainers are by and large young and they have all sorts of things going in their lives and they tend to float around a lot. But I get attached and I feel a bit heartbroken every time one of them leaves. I know full well that I am capable of going at this gym thing on my own now and that a personal trainer is an indulgence, especially considering that I’m not prepping for any competitions or doing anything of the least importance athletically. But I like having a trainer. I like feeling looked after by someone, even if that someone is half my age and more than a little quirky. I like having someone to go and see every week. I like having them push me beyond where I will push myself and show me new and cool things and be all enthusiastic about my goals, no matter how changeable and existentially useless they ultimately are. Maybe in the end, that’s all it boils down to—trainers are naturally enthusiastic and ebullient people, and I need that energy in my life. It perks me up and makes me feel good. There are almost no trainers left at my gym now, just a new girl who’s main selling point is that she has a big Kim Kardishian butt, and a stalwart dude who has been around forever and who works with a lot of Women of a Certain Age. I’ll see about getting in with the dude. No matter what my weight, my butt is forever-flat and attempting to obtain a big, round Kardashian butt is a lost cause for me.
If there is ray of sunlight in this crummy week, it’s that I gave in to the Dwarven pressure and installed a brewery in Hammerhelm. Instantly the entire town went from two pale yellow stars to four bright green stars of pure Dwarven happiness. The dwarves started installing flower boxes and planting rosebushes and joking with each other, and oddly, their productivity shot through the roof. It turns out booze is a miracle elixir. Who knew? The game is a lot more fun now that the dwarves aren’t so grouchy.
Since we’re on dwarves, enjoy the pure dwarven chaos of this plate-tossing scene from “The Hobbit.”