Anita kicked off her work shoes and sat on the couch. She looked around with an air of dissatisfaction. She massaged her neck with one arm and with the other one, she reached out for the TV remote lying on the center table. She switched on the television and wondered what kind of boring program was on today. “Damn it! Another long weekend without any plans! “ Anita thought.
She got up to look in her refrigerator for some food and she was appalled to see nothing edible in there. She shook her head and headed to the bedroom to change. She caught her reflection on the bedroom mirror and was shocked to see how awful she looked. Her clothes were ruffled, her skirt too tight, her hair too dry, her skin too full of spots and her face too bloated. “No wonder nobody wants to spend some time with me. I look like a mess.” She took off her work clothes and reached for a towel for use after the shower and scrounged around for a clean nightgown to wear.
After she took her shower, she looked for her phone and ordered some food to be delivered to her flat. Though she felt physically better after the shower, she felt despair and negative thoughts crawling into her head. Here she was all of 38 years old, single, not so attractive any more. Sure, she had a good career, her own flat and some savings, but what was the use of all these things when she had nobody to share it with?
She had dated in the past, she had even invited her parents to come and stay with her just to stave off the loneliness. Her parents had visited for a week and left after only three days as they got bored in the city with nothing to do when Anita was off to work. She had had lots of friends but they were all busy in their own lives. She had had a few boyfriends but nothing serious as she had decided to focus on her career instead of marriage and family. Now, she could feel the lack of a man and family in her life.
Anita finished all the food that she had ordered while watching TV, even though she was aware that she was overeating. She fell asleep on the couch with the TV blaring, and woke up at around 3 in the morning feeling bleary. She groped around for the remote control, switched off the TV and went to her room to fall asleep on the bed. As soon as she hit the bed, she could feel sleep deserting her. She spent an hour or so tossing and turning before settling into a disturbed sleep. The next morning, the light coming in through her windows woke her up around 8.00 feeling groggy and depressed.
She felt tired even though she had slept more than her usual 7 hours. As she brushed her teeth, she avoided looking at her reflection, as she was not prepared to feel even worse than she did last night. She sat down with a cup of coffee and the papers, when a leaflet fell down from the papers. Preparing to crumple the leaflet, she paused having caught the word pool in it. “Enroll in our indoor pool and enjoy a temperature controlled swimming environment throughout the year”. As she read the leaflet, she was taken back to the time in her life, when she used to swim daily. Swimming had been the love of her life and she lived for those moments she could dive into the pool. But that was possible as her hometown was pretty warm and they could swim throughout the year not so in the city she lived in right now. It was cold for most part of the year and this meant she could not swim in open pools. Plus in the beginning she could not really afford the fees these places demanded. As she looked at the lovely picture in the leaflet and studied the tempting body of water, she was tempted.
However, the images of all those lovely young girls lolling around in bikinis around the pool made her feel a little conscious. She knew she wanted to swim again, so she picked up her phone and dialed the number in the leaflet. After a brief conversation about fee plans, timings, location and other facilities and also confirming that she knew how to swim, she found things falling into place. She got up feeling upbeat after a long time. She rushed to shower, collect her swimming things and drive over to the pool, which was actually not that far off from her flat or her office. She was delighted that the place was neat and had good facilities. However, all that ceased to matter once she got a whiff of the chlorine that is part of the smells in the pool. She knew she had to swim.
The lack of shape she was in or the fact that she would look at least plump or at worst fat in her swimsuit ceased to matter as she changed and dove into the deliciously clean and warm water. She was soon swimming in the old rhythm lost to the world as she felt the water making her weightless. Though she knew it would make her sore and that she had not swum in years, she could not resist doing many laps before she climbed out of the pool with a wide grin on her face.
As she stepped into the showers, the girl in the next stall actually complimented her on how well she had swum and had wanted some pointers on how to get her stamina up. Anita felt happy and light as she stepped out of the pool and was pleased to see the admiring look that the pool manager gave her. She smiled back and walked out to her car. That day she made a salad for lunch and even made a list for groceries. Now that she was swimming, she knew a healthy and balanced diet was called for.
That evening, when she sat there catching up on her reading and listening to some music, she paused and put down her book and reflected on the difference one day had made in her entire outlook. She decided to write down some thoughts so that she could refer to them when she felt the seductive pull of despair calling out to her again. Here is what she wrote:
Life is about not considering what we don’t have but about enjoying what we do have
One activity to look forward to, can actually change your entire outlook
Physical exercise does lift the mood due to the release of endorphins in the body
If you feel good about yourself, people will naturally be attracted to you and gravitate towards you
Each of us can benefit from some time set aside to do something personal and special can help you a lot
Keep working at being happy and it will work.
There is simply no point in thinking nobody loves me; I don’t know why, it is better to take some positive action.