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Gloria's Day Off

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader


Iíve spent most of the last three and a half years working three jobs. While Iím grateful to have employment, thereís been a stunning lack of work/life balance. For the most part, Iíve worked to some extent every day, even on my ďdays off.Ē This has narrowed my life view just a bit ó Iíve been looking at life as something to be endured, not enjoyed. Bottom line, all work and no play makes Gloria a miserable, depressed person. Not to mention, a house that resembles a landfill crossed with a used clothing store. I took stock of the situation and decided to scale back a bit in terms of working, and I can say Iím a bit happier. But it took a day trip out of the Summit City to realize I need more days like the one I had recently.

A conversation with a co-worker led to a skiing date. Lately, it seems like Iíve been let down by a variety of people; I wouldnít have been surprised if my co-worker had canceled on me, but arrangements were made and he showed up for our skiing adventure.
Despite the unseasonably warm weather and lack of snow on the ground, we knew that just two hours north, weíd be sliding downhill. I tend to forget that ski places have snow making machines. It isnít as good as the real thing, but mentally, I was screaming for a day off. None of my friends like to ski, and I prefer skiing with another person. Itís nice to have company, but I have a more practical motivation: if I should fall and break something, I donít have to worry about driving home by myself.

Anyway, we set off early on a Thursday morning. When we got there, I was very happy. There were only a handful of people, and it looked like Iíd have the beginner slopes to myself. I hadnít skied in over 10 years; my co-worker hadnít skied in 25 years. I stretched a bit to warm up, and headed off to the bathroom. And thatís when the school buses came. One hundred and fifty kids poured into the nearly empty ski lodge and I groaned. The only consolation would be that they would eventually have to leave to go back to school. I tried to look on the bright side: the weather was nearly perfect and aside from the kids, we would have the place to ourselves.

Turns out, it was all good. The kids were taking lessons, while my co-worker and I grabbed the rope tow and began skiing. Gradually, I remembered how to move my limbs in order to go downhill without killing myself (or anyone else). After a few runs, I was ready for the chair lift. Anyone who has ever used a rope tow knows how much it takes out of you physically. The chair lift allows you to relax a little. Soon I was on my way down, and it was all coming back to me. I donít know how fast I was going, but on a few of the runs, I had tears in my eyes from wind burn. The kids that I was prepared to hate were still stuck on their lessons. When they finally got on the slopes, they barely seemed like they were there.

I was a little worried about skiing again, because Iím once again without health insurance. I rested when I felt like I needed to, and the only times I fell were the first few experiments getting off the chair lift, and on my last run down, when the snow was turning to slush and I felt like I wasnít in control anymore. I did pretty well for being way out of shape and not having skied in a while. I know why skiers cream themselves over fresh powder ó my first run down, I noticed how nice and smooth the snow seemed. By afternoon, the sun had come out, and even though it made the scene really pretty, it was like skiing in a giant Icee. After my final fall, I made it down the rest of the hill and told my co-worker I was going to call it quits, but if he wanted to keep going, he should. I parked myself in the ski lodge and played with my digital camera (I havenít really had time to explore all it can do, and I still donít really understand it) until he was ready to go.

The experience made me realize a few things. I need days like this (once a month, or at the very least, once every two months) and I can, in fact, smile; although I need something that makes me happy in order to do it. Like, REALLY happy. Next winter, I may just drive up on my own to ski, and hope for the best.

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