I love shoveling snow. I shoveled mid-morning and we had a good 7". I wanted to get the driveway cleared for Pat so it would be nice for him when he got home from the doctor. When he did come home he grabbed a shovel and helped me clear the sidewalks plus made a path for the garbage cans. I'm about ready to go out and do another round of it.
While I was shoveling I was thinking about the book I picked up from the library - "You Can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-up Girls" by Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas. As the back cover says it "offers all the practical information, how-to-support and kick-in-the-pants encouragement you need to accomplish your dreams."
I started to think about some of the things I already have done and the things I might want to do.
Running - Run a marathon. 26.2 miles between Akron and Cleveland on the Towpath Trail (turned out to be more after Julie & I took the wrong fork in the trail). Thanks to autoimmune disease my doctor doesn't think that running another marathon would be a good idea for my immune system. It might just wig out again - and that is *not* a pleasant thing.
Dance - I took lyrical ballet with my daughter for a couple of years and also a tap class. I even performed in the recital. I would like to get back into that.
I would also like to continue in belly-dancing training. I think, should finances allow, that I'll sign up for an intermediate class up at the college. I had been doing it regularly and somehow got out of the habit. I came across one of my coin skirts today while cleaning and thought...yeah, I should dance later.
Public speaking - I was a guest speaker at NEOUCOM's M-1 orientation for three years in a row. I also put on a "Get started in homeschooling" seminar twice with my friend, Jan.
Personal training - I always wanted to earn my personal training certification and after completing 500 hours of coursework, I passed my exam with flying colors. I just need to go get my CPR/First Aid re-certification before I "do" much of anything with it.
So those are some of the things I've always wanted to do and have done. So what about the things in this book that are sparking an interest in me?
Hiking - Pat & I have both always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. It doesn't have to be the whole thing, just bits and pieces. I'd also like for us to climb "X" number of mountain peaks.
Gardening - That is something which requires patience and that would be a good virtue to cultivate. I've been able to grow one absolutely perfect pumpkin and keep some flowers alive. That's the extent of my gardening at this time.
Cooking - I like to cook and am a pretty good cook. I wouldn't mind learning to be extra creative. With the food allergies around here, it would be great to have the confidence to be creative with the foods that are safe.
Acting - I love to act and actually do sporadically at the medical school. I've casted/directed/produced half a dozen Christmas plays - and made the sets. Not to mention the sets I've made and the skits I've written/performed for vacation Bible school over the years. I keep telling myself that I'll take the step toward getting involved in community theater. I really enjoy building sets and making things "work" with whatever I find at hand.
Martial Arts - I would love to kick some butt! However, I'm a bit unsure about being thrown to the ground. This is one I'll have to think over a bit better - and consult my chiropractor about.
Figure competition - Right now Jenna and I are training to burn off the remnants of body fat and show all the muscle we've built underneath. Figure is softer than bodybuilding and doesn't require the gymnastics ability that fitness competition requires.
Volunteering - This is something I do all the time. However, I've always wanted to help at a crisis pregnancy center. I would like to learn the ins and outs and how to really, truly help someone get the hand-up that they need.
I can definitely say there are things in this book that DO NOT interest me. If I dreamed of these things, it would be in nightmares.
Car care - Ick. I have no interest and no mechanical ability to speak of. If there is a man available to do it, let him have at it. I'm blessed with Pat who is AMAZINGLY skilled.
Skydiving - Uhm, that would be a resounding "NO" on that one.
Wine appreciation - Laughable - I don't drink and don't want to.
Do-It-Yourself Handyman - Another one that is most decidedly not up my alley. Again, I'm blessed with a husband who can do pretty much anything.
Scrapbooking and Stamping - I'm lumping those together. I despise them both and will refrain from getting on my soapbox about how much I dislike them.
There are all sorts of "badges" and a world of things to dream about. "You Can Do It!" is certainly an inspiring book. It's nice to look at these possibilities and realize, "I'm not too old to do this! I'm not too old to have fun and to explore life."
The other day I read a poem where the writer was capturing the essence of mid-life depression - it was about all the beautiful things that were past as if they were never to be experienced again - from the romantic like kissing in the dark, lying on the beach staring in each others eyes, to the walking not running, etc. I say, "WAIT!" It's not over. You can still make out in a dark alley or run under a sprinkler. You can lay under the stars and dream; you can splash through puddles. I think we become old when we decide we're too old to do these things.
I'm at a place in my life where I know that the empty nest is just over the horizon. I don't want to be mourning my lost youth thinking that the good old days are all behind me. I want to be able to look back with fondness, but yet still look ahead with expectation.
Maybe I'll go out and make a snow angel now, before I shovel...