Zumba, by Georgia de Lotz @ Unsplash

Zumba Time

I started Zumba-ing. Not sure that is a word, but I just made that up if not. It is not something I have done before. I am not even a fan of group classes. But I found it to be a quasi-perfect (eg good enough) solution to quite a lot of worries that had been pestering me.

I don’t leave the house enough

In my new life of remote working for the majority of the time, I work from home. That means I don’t get to leave the house a lot. I did my first working lunch last week and that was a small victory. Arguably, I am bad at planning lunches, end of day coffees, dinners or anything that requires me to be out really. I always have something else to do. Or I am feeling guilty about the children so stay home in the evenings. So once I come back from school drop-off, which I diligently try and do 3x / week when in Lisbon, I fall into the dark hole of my office and sometimes don’t leave until dinner time, with short interruptions to get food. As I recognise the insanity-driving behaviour, I thought I would start devising small mechanisms to exit my office and possibly the house. A regular scheduled activity with friends hopefully does the trick.

I don’t exercise enough

The elliptical machine sits in my office, so that at least makes it impossible for me to say ‘I forgot’ (I learned well from atomic habits). Before this last spout of colds and sniffles I was diligently going through a program every second day. Easier when I don’t travel, super hard to re-implement each time I spend a week out. So I feel like a class that I commit to do is a nice complement to my push to feel better and be healthier. And if you missed one of the secrets of goals and habits – make them public! So you can shame me next time I miss my Zumba class. I am very focused on this goal this year, and trying not to be let down by writing this with a fever after a day locked in my London hotel…

I don’t spend enough time with friends

Now, I have had friends in Lisbon well, forever! But friendships need nourish. And I need friendships. Whilst I have been good about keeping in touch with London friends every 2 weeks, the fact that I have no family in London helps with that. No guilt again. In Lisbon, not only I seem to have a magnetic field around the house, but also I need to slowly find a way back into my friends lives (assuming they want to). I find we are quite a lot in the same boat of work, kids and too tired to think. So this interlude on a Tuesday has been nice to create space for us to treat ourselves to a dinner together after Zumba. It is also important to ensure we replenish all the burnt calories as fast as possible, ha.

I don’t have a new routine

You already know that I am a routine freak. I thrive on predictability and control! It’s not a source of pride, just a fact. However, I am not quite there on figuring out a routine for being home 70pct of the days except when there are exceptions. Like school holidays or extra dinners in London I must attend. I am considering also exercising in London on a Tuesday to make this my exercise night, but I have had an F on that one so far. More to come on this space.

I don’t do group lessons

This is a tricky one. I have avoided group lessons for years on end. Skiing was the only place I still joined a group, and still, I tended to drop it quickly. This year, I committed to stay in my ski group the full week. When I returned from skiing, I thought having a group lesson was a good continuation of this effort. Why? Group lessons make me hyper aware. I am always over thinking if I am doing the right thing, if I am good enough, feeling pressure to be better, almost to show off at times. Other times all I want is to be invisible, as if I haven’t earned a place. So I am hoping going to this high energy low pressure Zumba class, where no one around me seems to even notice I am there whilst being happy that I am there, is part of the mental work I am doing on occupying my own space.

Who would say that Zumba could have so many benefits? For now, these are mine. They are solid drivers. I am not there to learn how to dance, lose weight or be watched. I am there because I want to be there. Where do you want to be?

Photo by Georgia de Lotz, Unsplash

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