I have been in a funk lately, down and out. This is not the way I wanted to start a new year, especially when I had such high expectations for 2011 (read about them here). As I said in that post, at the start of 2011 I made the decision to stop allowing life to happen to me, but rather, to make life happen for me! Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing so well with that thus far.
Last weekend I took the kids roller-skating. We hadn’t gone in quite a while, and it was a blast! When we were taking a slurpie break (gotta love the blue raspberry!) I was telling the kids about how when I was a teenager I used to be a really good skater, and I used to go every weekend.
Later in the week I was talking with a friend, and mentioned that I used to dance. I mentioned to someone else that week that I used to sing, and to another person that I used to write poetry.
I realized that is a lot of “I used to…” Unfortunately, I also realized that I don’t have a lot of “Now I…” I can give you a litany of excuses for this, some of which are really good and very valid. I am the single working mom of a four and five year old. Add to that some OCD tendencies and a desire to be perfect at everything, and you’ve got a woman whose time is generally consumed with work, raising children, and making sure the house and things are as perfect as she can get them with the remaining time she has. In other words, there just isn’t time for all of those things that “I used to” do.
I’ve also got a lot of not-so-good excuses too… I’m too old to skate, I no longer have the body of a dancer, there’s no reason for me to sing, and I have nothing left to write about. They may be bad excuses, but I have been using them anyhow.
The problem is, those “I used to…” things are the things that made me me. They are the things that brought me joy and happiness.
Last night I chose to get a sitter and go skating. Yups, by myself. Yups, at age 30. I think the average age at the rink was about 13, and aside from the guy working there and the 6-yr-old learning to skate, I was the only person on the rink on quads – everyone else was on rollerblades! But you know what, the moment I walked in and smelled that roller rink smell (is that a combination of stinky feet and teenagers who haven’t yet learned the value of deodorant?) I was happy. The freedom I felt when skating exhilarating, and I loved the speed and the grace of it. I felt like me.
So I have decided that I need to make all those things that “I used to” do things that “Now I” do. It doesn’t matter that I’m ‘too old’ to go skating – skating makes me feel young. It doesn’t really matter that I don’t have the body of a dancer – I have the spirit of a dancer. It doesn’t matter that I have nowhere important to sing – singing makes me happy. It doesn’t matter that I think nothing in my life is worth writing about – it’s worth it to me to write.
Stay tuned…I’m going to have a series of “Now I…” posts over the next few months, because like I said in my original post about 2011, I’m ready to make life happen. As a friend and coworker says – it’s time to kick life in the @$$. I guess that means I better get out my butt-whooping boots, and start dancing.