Unlikely Bliss

I knew when we moved that it would be kind of nice to have a YMCA just a couple blocks away. Little did I suspect how much use I’d get out of it, though. The key factor here is one of the perks of membership: free childcare for an hour and half during the morning. Because of this, heading over to the YMCA has become a morning ritual for Ella and me, usually five days a week. There are three nodes of happiness:

1. A break from childcare. Not that it’s wearing on me that early in the day, but the early break means my batteries last that much longer. And the exposure to a daycare-like situation is definitely good for Ella.

2. Exercise. Insert the standard comments about how exercising gives you more energy throughout the day here. After a few weeks of it, I can definitely tell the difference in terms of energy, strength, and overall sense of fitness. Not much change in weight yet — appaerently there’s some evidence out there that one also has to adjust diet when losing weight? Gah, I hope not.

3. Susanna Clarke. After a couple false starts at reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, I’m finally halfway through and going strong, by listening to the audiobook version on my iPod while toiling away on the elliptical machine. The world is full of audiobooks that are worthless because they have a lousy reader. This, thankfully, is not one of them. 31 hours of audio means it’s gonna last for a good while yet. And the nature of the book, rife as it is with footnotes, asides, meandering descriptions, and Victorian flourishes, means that when my attention wanders for a minute or two, as always seems to happen when listening to a novel, chances are that I haven’t missed anything particularly essential to the plot.