Becky, my best friend of 20 years, loves long-term, visionary goals. She’s got hers all worked out: multiple advanced degrees, world travel, and ballroom dance championships. I love hearing about her goal-setting and -achieving prowess.
Thing is, she wants me to be happy too, so she keeps asking what my goals are. I have a couple of writing goals, well-defined and underway, which are way too boring to talk about in polite (non-writer) society. My husband and I will go back to Japan someday. And Becky and I have a major bit of world travel planned for the (non-specified) year we both turn 50.
But, she asks, what else? I draw a blank. I have an advanced degree, and absolutely no desire to get another (Fiction rejection letters are no fun, but they don’t hold a candle to academic rejection letters: ten pages long, with no breath of hope at the end for publication. People get tenure for writing these monsters, and they take them seriously.)
OK, there is something. Actually, two somethings.
• Learn to ice-skate.
• Learn to play the banjo.
Along with the aforementioned writing goals, that is seriously the sum-total of my bucket list. We’re not talking “compete in some hifalutin adult figure skating division” or “start a bluegrass band and open for Rascal Flatts.” Just ice skating and banjo-playing.
Because my daughter wanted to take skating lessons, and because Becky kept bugging me, I signed up for grown-up skating lessons six weeks ago.
I am amazed at how much I love it.
I probably do not look like I’m having fun. I look like I’m terrified of falling down, mostly because I’m terrified of falling down. I haven’t achieved any noticeable level of proficiency. And it kind of hurts.
So why is it fun? No idea.
But I spend all week with a background tickly feeling of excitement because I’m learning to ice skate!
Next, we should go on to the paragraph about how my muscles are getting toned, and my grace and confidence have increased, and I’m making better food choices by thinking What Would Michelle Kwan Eat?
We will cover all that if any of it ever happens.
For now, it’s simply and only fun. And the fun, all by itself, feels like a health benefit.
Anyone know where I can pick up a used banjo?