At the rink by my house, you can borrow a walker for the ice that is basically a penguin statue on a tiny sled. It’s for kids, or maybe just toddlers. The people renting us skates were very specific about measuring Wonder Twin Girl’s height. “If she’s a lot taller, she can just flip over.” She really didn’t use it, in part because she’s fiercely independent and also in part because there were some older girls around (age 9 or 12) (gotta look cool, man). We grabbed one of the last skates possible at the end of March when they were getting ready to close for the season, and I’m so glad I nabbed it because Wonder Twin Girl has been begging to go forever.
Since I can’t really skate, I ended up using Penguin the entire time, more than Wonder Twin Girl.. We became best friends. (My magnificent ice wipe out is why I started the blog in the first place. Might be my first entry.) I followed Wonder Twin Girl around the rink as she slowly got stronger, less awkward, more graceful. She fell a lot and slid into the wall once and smacked her head, which made me doubly glad my friend Nancy insisted we rent a helmet. Nancy at some point asked if I wanted a break from Penguin, so I could skate without it. She was very encouraging. “I bet you can skate without it.” “Nah,” I said, “No thanks, I’m good.” And we both laughed at my lazy fat cat response.
You know why? Cuz I’m 46. I don’t have to get better. I’m good right here. Was I the only adult with Penguin? Yes. Was that embarrassing? Not really. (I did get a little self-conscious towards the end, but I’m good at ignoring emotions when I need to.) It was a wonderful feeling to not worry about improving, pushing myself, being fine with exactly where I am. It’s part of hte beauty of aging, this gradula sinking into more of who you are, not giving a rat’s arse about what people think. It’s like being Samuel Jackson, (minus the money, fame, and success.)
In any case, why not roll this expansive feeling of freedom and ease to other realms of my life? Why not retire from striving, achieving, seeking external phrase and accolades? Why not retire from feeling bad about myself because I have far more successful friends? I think that mindset really gets in the way of enjoying my life. So that’ my next goal: to just enjoy my life more. I only have like 45+ years left (knock on wood) and I don’t want to waste them.
I wish I had a nice tidy conclusion but I don’t as this is an ongoing thought I’m trying to make sense of. Perhaps I should start bringing the penguin to other parts of my life like during family fights, tense business meetings. etc.