Sigh . . .

Monday, January 21, 2013
8:01 am

Scene: (Silver haired, middle-aged overweight woman, sitting at her computer in her pajamas, large mug of coffee sitting to her right. Clicks on a keypad, looks at the screen and gasps)
          Woman: "This is what I've been waiting for! (She smiles, and proceeds to read her computer
                           screen then slumps back in her chair, "dejected) "Ugh . . ." (sigh)

Someone asked me this question last week: "If you could do any job, what would you want to do?" 

Without hesitation I responded, "I'd be a costumed interpreter in a historic village where you demonstrate the way people lived and worked back in the 1800s. It's the perfect outlet for my experience. My degree is in Theatre Arts, Performance; I've been a teacher for 13 years; and I love cooking." Of course I see myself demonstrating cooking as opposed to needlecraft or gardening. I am open to learning other domestic skills, but cooking is the thing I really enjoy doing.

There are restored, historic 18th and 19th Century villages and communities sprinkled throughout the U.S. Two that come to mind are Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia) and Old Sturbridge Village (Massachusetts), both of which I have visited and enjoyed. But the one that lures me, the one whose website I have bookmarked, the one whose employment page I periodically check, is Genesee Country Village and Museum. It is less than 20 miles from where I grew up. ( In season, Genesee Country Village & Museum features costumed interpreters in restored historic buildings, breathing life into an authentic 19th-Century country village. One of the largest living history museums in the country located just outside of Rochester, NY, in Mumford. (source: website) 

I have visited GCVM and it's lovely. And my desire for this kind of profession was actually sparked when I descended the steps into the basement kitchen at Hosmer's Inn and watched 2 women in period costume cooking in the large fireplace, while they described their work and the tools and ingredients they used. I wanted to cross the rope barrier, tie on an apron, and get to work. Instead, I returned to my life in Florida and fantasized about someday returning there to work.

Since there's no school today and I'm home from work, I allowed myself to ease into the morning. I slept almost two hours later than my usual five o'clock, poured a cup of coffee, spent a little time reading my Bible, then I opened my computer. I wandered around on a number of sites, then as I do at least once a week or so, I clicked on GCVM's website, scrolled to the bottom of the page, and clicked "Employment." What had been there for weeks - an ad for a per diem security guard - was replaced with a list of seasonal positions, including . . . wait for it . . . SEASONAL INTERPRETERS! I read through the ad and this was near the end of it: While we welcome all interested applicants, we are specifically looking for those interested in becoming 19th-century blacksmiths, brewers, broom makers, cooks, gunsmith, potter, printer, quilters and school teachers for the 2013 season. (Bold emphasis, mine)

The regular work season for interpreters though, is May 11th through October 13th, which would be perfect if I was retired. But I'm not. My school year doesn't end until June 6th and begins again with teacher planning week on August 12th. What's a gal to do? I need to suck it up and be an adult, realizing I'll have to wait to do something I really, REALLY want to do. (Sigh) But I know myself enough to know that, as long as that ad is posted online, I will continue to go back and read it (and re-read it), wishing it was within my grasp.

What does this have to do with losing weight? For years I have looked at thin people or ads in magazines and catalogs and ached to look like that. I don't mean I've envied uber-thin women who resemble concentration camp victims, but healthy, fit women who apeared to be strong and physically robust. The difference between my longing to pursue a career that is presently outside my grasp and my desire for a healthy body is this: I can do something about the latter right now. And as those of you who have been reading my blog know that is exactly what I am doing. 

I find that a shift is taking place in my thinking at mealtimes. I don't enjoy loading up my plate anymore. I'd rather take small portions, enjoy the taste of my food, and see how I feel as I eat it, knowing that if I'm still hungry when I finish, I can have more. Most times, however, I'm not hungry, and I'm pleased that I was able to feel satisfied eating less.  

Each day I'm feeling a lightness in my body. Now remember, this "lightness" to which I refer is completely relative to where I started. Clothes feel more comfortable, some even loose. I've begun wearing my wedding band again instead of the cheap ring I bought myself so I wouldn't sport a naked finger. And tying my sneakers is getting easier. I'm trilled when the numbers on the scale are lower than the last time I stepped on it, but that's not the only gage by which I'm monitoring my success. I'm making progress. That's a good thing. And one day, I will not only be living my life at a healthy weight, I will be an enthusiastic, energetic costumed interpreter at Genesee Country Village and Museum. Why? Because I'm determined to live my dreams!

Until next time . . .  


  1. You should put in an application with us Michele! You never know what we are looking for until you try! ~ GCV&M

  2. I did last spring. But you're right...circumstances change. You never win if you don't try! Thanks so much. I'm thrilled that you took the time to read my post, and even more thrilled that you commented. Stay warm up there. I understand another arctic blast is on the way!

  3. Michele,there are many volunteer opportunities at GCV as well. We use volunteers (both costumed and not costumed) in so many areas that I can't even list them all here. Contact our Director of Volunteer Services, Brett Elliott at 294-8225 and let him know you are interested. It is an excellent way to get involved without having to wait until you retire.

  4. Thank you so much. You're so kind. Have a spectacular weekend!