It’s another birthday. A time to reflect on the past year and make plans for the next. As I told my friend last year, “Let’s make this the best decade yet!” Maybe there wasn’t an exclamation point at the time. I don’t really get that ‘excited voice’, but the sentiment was there. It was time to stop grumbling about life. We don’t have teenage angst. We aren’t the penniless twenty-somethings. We have absolutely nothing holding us back from doing precisely what we want.
Of course, that’s not totally true. I did through off a few ball and chains along the way this year, but I still have a mortgage and a cat. However, as soon as I get my new passport, we’ll be traveling around the world (finally!). When I was 17, I went to Scotland and I was very sad to come home. I told myself, “I’m going to make it back. In five years, I’ll be back.” I have not been back and I’m almost (not quite) ten years past my deadline. I’ve wasted time trying to make ends meet and I did not take any risks that irresponsible twenty-somethings are allowed to take. Where did that get me? Well, I stayed out of trouble and I’m financially independent now.
It’s time to stop wasting time! I am almost overwhelmed by all the hobbies I want to take up. I can’t decide what to do first. I have my cycling and I’ve even commuted to work, but now what about dancing? Ballroom? Swing? Wait, no…Bellydancing? Krav Maga? Ooo! Fencing! Perhaps riding lessons, I’ve always, always, always wanted riding lessons. Paddle boarding or kayaking. This is the City of Lakes, right?
Somehow I have managed to regain that youthful feeling of infinite possibilities. There is so much out there to go and do. I owe it to myself to try all of it. Maybe I won’t be successful at something or even stick with it, but I tried it. This is the feeling I had when I was 17 and decided to go to Scotland. (I’m quitting band, Mom! I’m going to Scotland instead!) I took every opportunity (almost…I did choose to behave rather than sneak off when unchaperoned. We’ll never know how that could have turned out) on that trip. I biked around the countryside of Pitlochery and up a giant hill whose name slips my mind. What if I had never let that confidence go? What if I had never stopped cycling? Time to make up for it, birthday woman!