There are certain versions of myself that live only in my head and have no connection to reality. I have discovered as I get older, that more and more of these things are just not going to become things for me. And I need to let them go. It’s just too much pressure! So here are a few of them, in no particular order:
1. I am never going to be a runner.
I’ve run before, a lot. I have bought new running shoes, a treadmill, scheduled time in the early morning (ha!), gotten myself really psyched up. And every time I quit after a few days. I just have to admit to myself that I hate it. I don’t get a runner’s high, I don’t feel good after doing it (it actually once made me vomit into the neighbor’s rosebushes). A run starts out badly and gets worse. My asthma kicks in. I roll an ankle. But it’s always been something I wanted to do. The truth is, I mainly want to be able to tell people I run, and post nike updates to twitter (and seriously, if you’re doing this, I’m impressed but it really bums me out). These are not good reasons to nearly kill yourself.
I love walking. I love hiking. So from now on I’m going to do that. I can set the treadmill on an incline and watch Buffy while I walk. It’s better for everyone this way.
2. I am never going to learn how to play guitar.
I have a guitar. I have taken lessons. I have payed around and even learned a song, but what all of this has told me is that I have a spectacular lack of talent. I lack physical coordination, finger strength, and rhythm. I also lack the discipline to practice. So for this … it’s not happening. I’ll give my guitar to my daughter and hope she has more talent than I do (from what I’ve seen of her dancing, rhythm might prove a hurdle for her as well).
I realize this seriously affects my chances at winning American Idol, but I’m just going to have to live with that.
3. I am never going to become a Neil Gaiman Fanboy.
I like Neil Gaiman. He seems incredible witty and big-hearted and like an overall exemplary human being, but something about his work just leaves me cold. For a long time, I’ve felt bad about this, that this is some indication of a defect within my own character. And I do like certain things that he’s done. I loved Stardust (the movie is one of my favorites) and American Gods stayed with me for a long time. I understand the quality of the craft in his work. It’s just not my thing I guess. Our story sensibilities are just a little far apart.
I hope he can forgive me. I suspect he’ll lose little sleep.
4. I am never going to be the cool parent.
Let’s face it: my kids think I’m a dork. Let’s face it: I am a dork. I’m clumsy and mumble-mouthed. I say the wrong things. I do the wrong things. I come out when they’re playing with their friends to make them take their medications. I am hopeless about sports, only barely registering some feeling when the SF Giants have made it to the playoffs (that’s a baseball team, right?) I don’t understand the positions on the soccer team. When the parents played the kids I had a handball twice (twice!) (for my fellow non-athletes, a handball is a term in soccer when the let the ball touch you on the arms. I forgot about this and unwisely used an elbow to keep the ball from hitting me in the face. Apparently you’re supposed to let it hit you in the face) I get waaaaaay too excited about books and tv shows, but when I play video games I am the one who gets stuck in a corner and can’t figure out how to turn around..
So I may be a dork, I just hope that I’m a lovable dork and that they forgive me.
So these are the things I am letting go of today. I already feel better and now I can shift that mental energy into accomplishing goals that really are important to me, like becoming a champion line dancer.
OK, not really (my daughter just squeed in horror, if that’s a thing you can do).