My Wonderful Weekday Women
Oh I feel so guilty when I get the regular phone call with the voice on the other end solemnly sounding out the words “Are you okay?” I don’t really know how to answer without lying because it is a genuine and heart-felt gesture of a well-meaning person checking on my mental health.
The truth I should really be confessing is “Hey I’m fantastic; I’ve never been so busy in all my life. So much so that I have too much on and would sometimes love to be doing nothing.” That response, although it defines my reality, would nevertheless be totally inappropriate to a caller who is simply fulfilling a duty to keep an eye on her friends.
Unfortunately, for them, they have not been introduced to My Wonderful Weekday Women.
Let me explain.
I don’t know how familiar you are with the well-known and well-loved children’s story book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” For many grandparents and grandchildren it’s the delightful bedtime story of the greedy caterpillar gorging itself each day of the week on juicy leaves and fruit until he reaches bursting point on the seventh day.
And now I find myself drawn to convincing parallels between my experience and that of my friend “The Grub”.
Like the very hungry caterpillar encased in his cocoon, I also in lockdown was enclosed by my surroundings. We both found ourselves needing to escape our predicament. Over seven days, my friend “The Grub” succeeded by eating his way through fruit and plants and finally emerging as a spectacular butterfly. I too – thanks to my Wonderful Weekday Women – was transformed, spending my weekdays gobbling up courses and activities and by Saturday renewed once more into a fully-satisfied woman with a smile on my face.
The start of my journey began Monday morning where I chatted my way through a zoom session devoted to catching up with a group of my school friends. We had been walking together every week for the past ten years and now zoom is substituted to keep up the relationship.
On Monday afternoon from 3.30 to 4.45, I held one leg in the air behind me and wobbled, wiggled and wavered my way through Julie Smith’s “Build Strength and Flexibility – Yoga Yin and Yang Advanced” class.
On Tuesday from 9.30 to 10.30, I shut my eyes and balanced one foot in front of the other and searched my way through darkness in Lorna Wyatt’s “ Exercise to Feel Well and be Active” class.
On Wednesday from 4.30 to 5.30, I lay on the floor with my block and cushion and stretched, twisted and twirled my way through a bonus Julie Smith “Yin Yoga for Flexibility & Relaxation – Beginners/Intermediate” class.
On Thursday from 10.00 to 12.00 noon, I imagined my imminent metamorphosis and wrote my way through Pat Ryan’s “Creative Writing Group 1 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month” class.
On Friday from 1.00pm to 3.00pm, I listened and learnt and finally mastered my way through never-before-discovered apps and links on my iphone in Jude Hatton’s “How to be Smarter with your iPhone/iPad” extravaganza.
My week was full. I was well-exercised, mentally stimulated and connected to the outside world thanks to these four amazing women (and not forgetting the marvellous men) who graciously volunteer their time and professionalism to keep the wheels of U3A Port Phillip chugging along for the likes of me and so many other lucky members who are privileged to be included in one or more of their classes.
Unlike the Caterpillar who transforms into a magnificent butterfly, I cannot fly by myself; so a big thanks to all my Wonderful Weekday Women for being – in the words of the Bette Midler song- “The Wind Beneath My Wings” and enabling me to soar.
Janine Mifsud Class member U3APP Pat Ryan’s Creative Writing Group 1 2/9/21