Is there an activity you did when you were younger that still makes for wonderful memories?
For me, it was ice skating every winter. I loved it and always wanted to take skating lessons but asking for them was out of the question.
When I was twelve, a three-week dogsitting gig landed me $24. In 1974, this felt like a small fortune—and was probably enough to pay for a few skating lessons. Unfortunately, my grand skating designs didn’t fit anywhere into my mother’s full-time work schedule and whatever else was going on in my home of origin. I can’t quite say where that $24 dollars went, but it sure didn’t put me on the ice.
Fast forward, about forty years later, to 2022. One day in early January, it became very clear that my current fitness program was boring me to tears. I felt restless and was craving something novel and exciting to learn. The cold weather always brings my winter memories flooding back and so, I found my way to the local skating rink, with decent quality ice skates and lessons. It is wonderful.
This experience reminded me to encourage each and every person reading to try something new and or different.
Feldenkrais is all about maintaining the vitality that comes with an open and spontaneous nervous system.
Being excited about what comes next is part of our humanity, and reclaiming our humanity feels more important than ever these days.
Don’t worry, you’ll still be a human, and still have a life-y life, full of big and little complications, At the same time, you’ll notice how different your life feels when you have something to look forward to.
So, go ahead . . . Just do it.
- Sign up for an outing or class with your local park system.
- Bundle up and head out to a local park.
- Bundle up and walk around your neighborhood. You might be delighted and intrigued by your neighborhood plantings and deco.
- Take a walk ON the beach rather than on the boardwalk (for my local readers).
- Reclaim an old skill or learn a new one. Knit that scarf even if you drop stitches and make mistakes. You’ll be so proud that you created something from a ball of yarn. You CAN survive the learning curve!
- Bounce a basketball and have fun trying to keep it under control. Even if you are over 50 and no one else you know would do such a thing.
- Throw a frisbee and be willing to have it fly in any random direction until you improve a little. You CAN survive the part where you totally can’t throw a frisbee.
- Dribble a soccer ball just for fun – the less skill the better!
And most importantly—
Say “yes” to yourself by saying “no” to worrying about what other people will think or say about you.
There are a multitude of people who want to feel safe on the sidelines and feel threatened when you step out to live your life fully and without pretense. You’ll become the person those people secretly admire (even if you are making them uncomfortable with your adventurous self), and maybe they’ll feel encouraged to head out into their lives too.
All in all, we’re not on this earth for such a long time. Many of us have heartbreakingly lost loved ones these last few years. We can honor them—who might have given anything for another day of life’s complications—by stopping the scroll, getting out of our chairs and doing some living.
If you are already finding new horizons for yourself, your story is helpful to others. Please comment below about how you are creating space in your life for novelty and play. We’d all love to hear from you.
See you on the ice!