I’m at this scary and exciting time in my life where everything about me, and everything about my life, is being scrutinized and surveyed. Do I like this, really? Do I want this, really? Do I even need it? If it’s not working–next! Even the gaps are being examined–hmm, maybe I would like that, or maybe I should try that. Sure, why not? If I like it, it sticks. If not, I’ve expanded my base of experience. it’s not quite a radical overhaul, but it’s definitely a bigger project than cleaning out the proverbial closet.
Playing into this is the notion of not waiting to do something or go something. If I can afford it, I make a plan. If I can’t afford it and I still really want to do it, I start saving (I am currently saving money and vacation days for four big trips in 2012). Sometimes I come across places I want to visit or things I want to try out and then forget; other times I have a free day and can’t thing of anything cool and new to fill it. Thus, The Fun Farm, the new page on my blog. This is a way for me to stay organized and accountable. Perhaps notable–it’s not just about running, because I’m not just about running.
Sunday was a day I crossed a couple of things off my list. First, in the afternoon, I attended a Krav Maga self-defense class in Chelsea. I have never tried any sort of martial arts, thinking it would be cool but then remembering eventually I’d have to actually fight (translation: take a hit). I run in the dark on quiet streets by myself at least twice a week in the winter, if not more often. Even though I know the routes, that doesn’t mean someone can’t snatch me and harm me. Being introduced to even basic self-defense skills is always a good idea, so when @SharonPaige invited me and several other lady runners to the class, I signed right up. Whenever I show up for a fitness class of one kind or another, I always feel awkward and uncoordinated. (Likely that is because I am; I run because I can’t catch or hit a ball. Remember step aerobics? I’d be the woman facing the back of the classroom trying to do scissor steps next to my step instead of up it.) Today however, I was among friends who were equally unfamiliar with the techniques of Krav Maga (except for the fierce @SharonPaige herself), so I let my awkwardness drop away and instead threw myself into the 15-minute boot camp warm-up our instructor put us through. Let’s just say she had us doing push-ups in one-minute intervals, and we all know how pathetic I am at push-ups. My abs are still sore from the crunches and it’s three days later! I can run 10 miles, but for the love of god please don’t ask me to sit up from a prone position. Anyway once that was over, we got to do the fun stuff, like learn how to smash a bad guy’s face with our elbow, kick him in the nuts or the chin (or both), and get ourselves out of a choke hold (not the wrestling kind, either). Am I ready to take on that guy on the subway who won’t close his legs and instead takes up two seats? Not quite, but I do feel more aware of potential dangerous situations. There has been talk of turning it into a series, so once a month we’d get a refresher course to the basic self-defense moves in the hopes that they become more ingrained and instinctual.
Afterwards, I came home and baked some cookies, then got things ready to decorate my Christmas tree. The day before I’d walked down to the tree vendor at 44th Street and 43rd Avenue and got myself a tree, in defiance of years of my emphatic Grinchy stance. The unexpected grin on my face as I ported it home was eclipsed only by the smile I couldn’t suppress when I set it up all by myself in its stand. Folks, it’s not even crooked, and boy does it smell so good! Sunday night was the big show–CB and I were going to bedazzle it, drape it in sparkly, shiny things. But first, we made dinner together and ate it huddled and giggling together at my desk, since currently I’m using my kitchen table as a dresser in the bedroom. Then we strung the lights and unwrapped the ornaments I’ve collected over the years. I’ve got silver snowflakes every Christmas since I was a little girl from my parents (CB hung the one from the year I was born near the top). Adding color are a few ornaments I remember from when I was a child, and some my new ones that connect me to my adult friends. CB gamely played along, and asked me about the provenance and significance of many of the ornaments. CB gave me a silvery Statue of Liberty to hang, so I dubbed my evergreen the Liberation Tree. This dignified organic thing, elegantly carrying my memories upon its boughs, is the embodiment of my liberation from the fallback position of Scroogette. I can’t muster them up, this year, all those humbug scowls and utterances. I don’t have the energy for the bluster right now. I’d rather enjoy this moment with my best friend, drinking mulled wine and quietly celebrating our friendship, our survival skills, our talents and all that which has been given us. That’s a pretty new attitude for me, just as uncomfortable as trying a martial art for the first time. Maybe, if I practice, this new attitude will become more ingrained and instinctual, too.