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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cartwheels and other things

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. 

 Have you?


Douglas said...

Right On! Right On! Right On! !!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome 2nd post! You rock, Mama Bean! And I agree wholeheartedly on so many levels. I used to tell people, "I may be 50 when I get married, but even if I settle at 50 for the wrong person, just so I can be married, means I'll still be miserable for 20 to 30 years." Not worth it! And you never know - a shooting competition may be in your future :)

squirrelfriend said...

Love it! I frequently travel solo (hubby is not into large cities) and so many people think I'm crazy, but I absolutely feel the need to see as much as possible. Good luck with the cartwheels and keep the great blogs coming!

Tory K said...

Great post Lor! And you know I'm of the same mentality. Except I just sheepishly admit that I'll never stop being a kid. If you think about it, kids never worry about timetables, unless it's "When is Chuck E Cheese closing?" or "How many more days till my birthday?" (Said 1 week after their birthday.)

Rita said...