I was supposed to learn to do a cartwheel today. Sadly, it has been delayed for one week due to a last minute location change (my daughter wanted to play at a different park with her best friend. Since she was a bit tired, cranky, etc, I felt it was reasonable to delay my impending emergency room visit for one week).
In lieu of detailing my inadequacies in the gymnastics arena, I thought I would discuss the bigger question that has been posed to me a few times this week:
Why on earth would a 40 year old, overweight mommy want to learn to do a cartwheel?
Because I'm not done yet.
Quite simply, I feel that I have a good 50 years left on the planet. I have spent the first 40 unable to do a cartwheel. Granted, I have not attempted this feat since 1981 (after school, 5th grade, Laura, Nancy- you must surely remember...), nor do I have the expectation that I will be successful, BUT what if I was? What if suddenly the magic switch that never clicked, clicks and I get the opportunity to spend the next 50 years doing cartwheels? How cool would that be?
Last year, I decided to learn to swim. Yes, partly it was for a safety concern regarding my children and pools (for the record, they both are better swimmers than I am). Mainly it was because I was tired of hanging on to the side of the pool and watching. I was very tired of it. Now, I have 50 years of swimming to enjoy.
Two years ago I "ran" a 5k. I absolutely sucked at it. I could have walked it faster. Seven kindergartners passed me. At the end, my son came up to me and said "Wow, Mom, you did it." Yes, I did.
Some people call it a bucket list. I don't. I'm always adding to my list of things I want to learn. It's never ending. Next up, after the cartwheel, is skiing. Who knows, maybe even surfing? Scuba diving? Heck, I shot a gun for the first time last week and I'm good. Darn good.
I don't want to be finished. I don't want to look at life and say "That's enough. I'm full."
The library is full of books I haven't read. There are more countries that I haven't visited than I have. There are languages to learn or improve upon. I still have 7 states left to visit. It's all there, waiting.
And I don't want to put things off because I don't think I have the time, or I'm too fat, or I'm too old, or I just need to finish this one more thing then I'll.... ick. I may be fat forever. I'm only getting older. I will never have any more time than I do today.
When I took a year off before college to live in Ecuador, I was often asked if I was worried about starting college late. Late for what? My death? When I didn't get married a few times that I was asked, people asked me- but what if you never met anyone again? Seriously? In 75 years I would NEVER come across someone that I loved?!? Doubtful. When I decided to start taking tap dancing, I was asked if I would feel silly. Of course. It's tap dancing. It IS silly. Ecuador was an amazing experience. My husband was well worth the wait. Being silly for one hour a week keeps me sane. Life is perpetual motion- there is no time line.
I do, however, know that while there is no specific time line, I do not have unlimited time. Fifty years may be a pipe dream. I might only have 2. No one lives forever. I just don't want to stop living before I die. That would be a tragedy. And yet so many people do.
So next week, when I'm blogging from the ER about my slipped disk, broken wrist, or whatever will happen, I may be less enthusiastic. But you know what, I will have tried something new.