1/1/11: To Ski or Not to Ski?

Happy new year, my resolute friends! We have officially made it into 2011.

As is often the case on the 1st of January, I have spent today doing nothing of importance to mark the line between 2010 and 2011; the day has simply drifted by silently while the Mitten mourned its poor performing football teams. Well, in truth, I did take vitamins this morning and that is something new. I also took some tonight, because that’s what these particular vitamins call for. And I should admit that in addition to my new vitamin regimen, I have subscribed to a feel trial of ExerciseTV. That might sound extremely lame but I need to jumpstart myself in the exercise department and what better way than to provide myself with access to planned workouts at home? Plus, the actual subscription is only $9.99/month and comes with a complimentary subscription to SHAPE magazine (Score!).

These things might sound like resolutions to you, but they’re not. Well, not New Year’s Resolutions anyway. I’ve simply run out of excuses for putting them off. Following these will be the creation and maintenance of a budget (Gag.). I think I hate this time of year. Even when I don’t want anything to do with jump starting new projects, I find myself doing exactly that. Plus, it’s cold. Also, it’s dark way too early. All of those things make this time of year slightly unappealing to me. Oh – and winter sports.

I’m terrible at winter sports. Or perhaps I’m decent but don’t give myself a chance. Maybe I’m even great but have never practiced. Who knows. Whatever the case, the thought of tackling winter sports makes me ridiculously anxious. That and swimming actually (My parents were advocates of indoor sports, it would seem.). This anxious feeling is probably some remnant of my former perfectionist self; though I’ve eradicated most other forms of that self, this anxiety (read “pride”) remains. The huge downside of being a (former) perfectionist who is pretty decent at indoors sports: I’ve little willpower to fail miserably at an outdoor one.

I had resolved at the beginning of this winter season to once and for all become moderate at snowboarding and get myself off the darn bunny hill. I’m told it’s not a cool place to be. Now, however, I am challenged to take up skiing (I had sworn this off since birth…or more accurately since hearing how one of my aunt’s messed up her leg badly on skis) so that I can survive Colorado in the winter. I was bad enough at committing to snowboarding (I’ve gone a handful of times (if that) and had received lessons once at Spring Hill on a tiny hill many years ago); how am I going to commit to skiing?

This is a no-good challenge for someone who hates to fail and is in a permanent state of freezing. Bollux.

It’s $19 for ski rentals, $100 for three 1-hour lessons ($157), and $28 for lift-tickets (a total of $241 unless the lessons include lift or rentals). I could jump out of a plane again for cheaper than that (just a fun fact I thought I’d throw in there). It seems like a hefty investment for something that I’m already gritting my teeth against. Yet I’m already aware of what a drag it is to be a piss-poor swimmer as an adult when friends start getting boats or going snorkeling, etc…is skiing going to be my new swimming????

It’s failure by avoidance and those situations are so unfair!

What do I do? Bite the bullet and front the cash now so that this doesn’t become a source of anxiety every time someone wants to hit the slopes in the future? Avoid, avoid, avoid and stick to my guns about never skiing or welcoming any activity that involves me being colder than I am during any point in a normal day? I need some advice…and depending on how the responses go, an instructor.

Never Known That Kind of Love

I managed to sleep in today. I say it that way because my 5:20am alarm clocks throughout the week have robbed me of some weekend joy associated with sleeping in in the recent past. But today, I slept in. It’s 11am and I’m lying in bed listening to the sound of rain. I love the rain. I pulled my curtain open to appreciate the weather and was met with a bright sky, tinted grey with harmless rain clouds. To some, a melancholy day. To me, a day full of potential…

My trip to Colorado was fantastic. I am blessed to be able to travel and to have such good friends who welcome me with open arms. They picked me up from the airport late Friday night and we spent hours catching up with each other. In the morning, we woke early to pack up the vehicle for a day and night of camping with some of their CO friends. Camping in Colorado is a great experience! Camping in the Colorado mountains is an excellent experience! We set up camp on a ledge overlooking a stream, gathered firewood, listened to music, told stories, and feasted over the campfire. Saw a night sky riddled with stars. Laughed until it hurt.

The next day, the group packed up camp and headed down for lunch; they’re good people. We all split ways after lunch and my friends and I spent a relaxed day recouping. We went out for a pizza dinner and rented a movie to watch at home. I think that’s a sign of true friends. We could’ve run around and saw the sights, but I just wanted to spend time in their company, to talk and relax, to leave Colorado feeling recharged from quality time with friends rather than exhausted from constant sight-seeing. It was a great trip and I’m looking forward to going back to see them soon.

Traveling always gets me thinking. Understandably, it gets me thinking about more traveling. I’d like to make a trip out to see my aunt in Minnesota. She’s so adventuresome, always going biking, hiking, kayaking, etc. I see her as a kindred spirit with whom I would like to spend some quality time. I am planning to see her in late May and make it a belated birthday gift to myself.

I think that traveling is healthy for me. It breaks up my routine. I have discovered that I am a person who doesn’t do well with routine. It starts to weigh on me after a while because I know there are so many other things in this world to be doing, seeing, enjoying. I’ve heard that people need routine. I think I was made differently because I can’t stand it. When I see my life getting routine, I feel trapped and I have to drive a new way home or get lost for a while. My mom thinks that a lot of that has to do with having no ties (being single). Maybe it does. I couldn’t say. But I do know that I have historically had the option to move 2 1/2 hours away from a significant other for a set time more than once in my life and did so without even considering that he may not be able to deal with my absence. Looking back, I suppose that was naive. Still, hindsight brings no regret. If I ever do find a permanent someone, he will have to either accept or join my inner desire for movement and change. I look at my friends in Colorado and I see that willingness there. Maybe I’ve just never known real love like that.

“Please Don’t Stop the Rain” James Morrison <- James Morrison revisited

I’ve started moving more day to day. Going for walks. Bike rides. Being mobile. It’s better than committing to a diet and exercise. I just move. My legs are sore and I like that.

Comfortable Skin.

Wow.

This weekend flew by and lasted a lifetime all the same.

I took my first solo flight. I flew from Detroit Metro to Denver International Airport and I must say, traveling is very me. I finished reading The Happiness Project this weekend, and in honor of Gretchen’s “Be Gretchen” mantra, I made a list of things  that fall under the “Be Megan” title. Traveling is most certainly one of them. So is wearing scarves and flats, collecting coffee mugs and interesting rings, going for walks, long car rides, reading, writing, trying different foods, smiling, meeting new people, not trying to be sexy, music of all shapes and sizes, intuition, letting my emotions lead me, laughing, drinking dark beer, the wind messing up my hair – and traveling. Did I say traveling? 🙂 Things that are other people but not me are: killing bugs, anything medical, water sports (wait – is rafting a water sport? because I love that!), politics, rollercoasters, clubbing, and choosing restaurants.

I realized this weekend that my inability to choose a restaurant stems from my desire to try new foods. I rarely go into a dinner-date with a preconceived notion regarding the plate that will be placed before me. And I genuinely like it that way. I like finding something from what I’m presented rather than pre-deciding on a flavor. It might seem silly, but this came as a revelation to me. I can now say that it’s a trait I like about myself and I’m not going to try to change it.

I finished The Happiness Project but also began and finished Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung. Reading that was like turning a light on. Did he write that just for me?

I went to Denver, Colorado this weekend to visit a friend. The thing is, we went to high school together. We ran in the same group. But we rarely called one another. We didn’t hang out one-on-one. And yet I felt as though we’d have some things in common as of late. And that perhaps she would enjoy some company. So I called. And I booked a flight. And I went.

Hands down? … Best decision I’ve made in a while. In the past, I would’ve been nervous about flying out to spend the weekend with someone who I hadn’t considered to be my close friend. What would she think about me asking? What if we didn’t get along as well as I’d hoped? What if after all this time we really don’t have that much in common? What if? What if? What if…

Nervous.

Looking back at this weekend, nervous didn’t even have an opportunity to cross my mind. Not when I stepped on the plane. Not when I met up with her and we chatted the entire car ride back to her house. Not when we went to Boulder in the pouring rain to walk around for a place for dinner, not when I met her friends, or rafted through white waters, or hiked on a mountain trail, or rode passenger up the side of a mountain as she drove, or walked through Red Rocks Park, or ate lunch together, or watched movies, or shared music tastes, or talked through heavier topics, or planned our next trip, or flew home.

What I did feel was excited. Charged. Inspired. Adventurous. Happy. Glad that I’d made the decision to just go with it. Bettered. Overwhelmed by the beauty of Colorado. Humbled by the whole experience. Grateful. Appreciative of my friend’s attitude/her ability to host/her personality/life stories/faith/insight/friendship. Connected. Thrilled. Elated. Fortunate. Thankful. Impressed by everyone’s ability to roll with the punches provided by the inclement weather. Encouraged by the positive moods around me.

I had an amazing time. And to think I would’ve missed out on such an opportunity if I hadn’t allowed myself to unfold and live in the now/act spontaneously/embrace the unknown.

I’m already brainstorming our next trip together. Exploring Michigan’s finer offerings. Letting her in on some of the things I’ve come to appreciate in our mutual home state. And I’m looking forward to keeping in touch. To keeping up with what we’ve set in motion.

In 2010, I’ve come to remember so much about myself that I had forgotten somewhere along the way. I’ve learned and I’ve grown. Remembered and modified. I’m happy. I’m happy with where I am and where I could be in the future. It’s open-ended. Not to say that I don’t have things I need to work on or fears I still want to overcome. But I know that I can face them. And I know what I should work to change and what I don’t want to change. And if I haven’t considered it yet, I know how to consider it. It’s not that Colorado changed me. But it made it very apparent to me that I have changed. And I’d like to think it’s for the better.

“Blessed” Brett Dennen (performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre)

Colorado Night.

I fly home tomorrow. It has been the fastest weekend of summer, without doubt. It’s a shame too; I could see myself living here among the mountains, trees, creeks, cities, life…

Colorado truly is a beautiful place.

Love loud. Don't Lose loud.

So many thoughts. Race. Through my mind. At this very. Moment. I’m having a difficult time. Piecing. Them. Together. Bear with me.

I am inspired. And inspiring?

I’ve been told lately that I have become some sort of inspiration for – (get this…) – spontaneity in others’ lives. Me, the child who spent years of her youth wrapped up in her mother’s long skirts, who wouldn’t spend the night at friends’ houses because she liked to be at home, who was afraid to take risks or put herself out there. I’m inspiring others.

The Lord really does work in mysterious ways.

So, I think it’s appropriate to say thank you for inspiring me so that I might pay.it.forward. Today it feels like there is no greater gift than bringing others through something you have had to be brought through yourself. And I’m still working. Still finding inspiration. Still challenging myself. I’m inspired. And, it would appear also, inspiring.

I leave for Colorado today. My first solo flight. Meeting up with friends. Acting spontaneously. Living in the now. Embracing the unknown. My skin is tingling with anticipation.

I have lived my life by rules. Golden rules. Posted rules. Unwritten rules. I have begun to make my own. To break my own too.

Future, you excite me but I’d like to pay you no mind until your arrival. I have much better things to do today.

I haven’t packed yet. I leave in 3 hours for the aeropuerto.

  • Listen to this song: http://www.myspace.com/matesofstate – The ReArranger.
    • It caught my ear yesterday in a dressing room. And I wish I would’ve learned this lesson earlier in life. To just let things go. To shake them off. To STOP MAKING MOUNTAINS OUT OF MOLE HILLS. I’ve caused many a problem in my life by over analyzing things. It’s a shame.  Love loud – I’m tired of losing loud.