I'm Proud: On Thin Ice?/It's In the Cards.


With the holidays fast approaching and me still not too sure how I feel (or if I feel) about that AND the holidays, my family and I took a short (4 day) vacation to the Poconos (you know where).  I hoped that the decorations and cheer would put me in the right frame of mind and for the most part it did.  We had a lovely break (even though it POURED for 2 days) and I was brave (?) enough to try something I haven't done in nearly 10 years:  ice skating.

Let me back track to December of 2014, when we decided to take a New Year's Eve trip to Skytop.  I decided to bring with us a pair of ice skates that had been sitting in my parent's attic since...well I don't know when.  I had done SOME skating as a kid.  I had even taken lessons at some point, but I didn't do very well.  But I took those skates that had been sitting in the attic with us and on January 1, 2015, I managed to get my feet into them (after all those years, they were really stiff) and get out on the ice.  (I tried to get my son out too and rented him some skates, but he wasn't into it.)  And I managed it.  I wasn't good and if I recall correctly, I fell once or twice, but I did it.

Moving on to December of 2015 when we went again for New Year's (this time giving us a little more time at the resort; don't arrive on New Year's Eve if you want to fully enjoy New Year's Eve) with my parents.  Again, I brought my skates and on the first day of 2016, I was out on the ice again.  Again, I managed it and I DID fall.  That I recall very vividly as when I did, I couldn't get up.  Not because I was hurt, but I just couldn't get the balance to get up.  I had to slide over to where I could grab onto the boards (aka the wall surrounding the ice) and pull myself up.  It WAS embarrassing.  Especially when some helpful young girls asked if I was okay and if I needed help.  Never felt more like a pathetic old lady, but...

Moving into the present, yes, I packed those skates again.  I made a reservation on the last afternoon we were there and went in.  It took forever to get those skates on my feet.  (They now have been residing in a plastic container in my basement.)  I tentatively made my way to the ice and got on it.  I did NOT feel very confident.  I have noticed over the past several years that my balance (which I was once very proud of) is not what it once was.  (I should probably do some more balance "exercises" to make myself stronger.  I do, but not on a regular basis.)  I clung to the boards and I wasn't sure if I could make it past the small opening(s) where there is no board (so that you can get off the ice.)  I couldn't decide what to do and then...

I decided to use a skating aid/walker.   

Yes, I used one of these (not exactly like the above, but...) that mostly kids use.  But I did see some adults.  And as idiotic as it might be, it gave me the confidence.  I wasn't gripping onto it; I tried to just keep the tips of my fingers there.  Sometimes I would push it ahead and then let myself catch up to it.  Note:  none of this would have been possible if there were a lot of people on the ice, but there were less than a dozen and we all seemed to try and stay away from each other.)  Judge me if you want, but with it, I was able to go fasters and I felt free.  I felt amazing!  This is what it must feel like to be a "real" skater."  After the year I've had, I needed that feeling of joy and freedom.  And I got it.

I couldn't skate for too long as I had to get ready for dinner, but before I got off the ice for the night, I put the aid aside and went around the rink (slowly) by myself.  While it wasn't as exciting as when I was breezing around the rink with the aid, I was proud of myself for actually doing it.

The other thing that I am proud of  is finally getting my Christmas cards out.  Yes, I am still a send out physical cards kind of person (https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/holiday-cards.html).  This year I wasn't sure if I was going to do it.  Again, I have not been feeling the holiday spirit.  But upon reflection, I thought it was a tradition that started with my mom.  Until a few years ago, she would always send out cards with a holiday note and sometimes photos.  I did it after her death last year, and I felt like maybe I should do it again this year and even send a few to those friends of my parents who were supportive during the year.

Keeping with the tradition, I wanted to include a holiday photo of the family.  I knew I wouldn't get one of those until we went away.  I also knew that waiting that long would be stressful.  So just after thanksgiving, I got the cards out (and had to buy more).  As always, I hand write a short personal note in each one.  (Which I think is the most important part.)  I addressed them, stamped them and put them aside.

While we were away, I took as many family photos as my son would allow.  (He knows this was part of the deal.)  Then the morning we left; I ordered them online.  (How convenient!)  They were ready before we even got home.  And after we unpacked (and while I was on load 1 of 4 of laundry), I put the photos in the cards and sealed them.  Walked up to the mailbox last night and fingers crossed, some of these MAY actually get to the intended recipients BEFORE the holiday.  They should definitely get to people before the new year, so I think I'm good.

The holidays are going to be a little rough this year.  However, I'm proud of what I've "accomplished" thus far this season.  And a little pride might just be what I need.


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