Sunday Night Check-In: Never Stop Learning



This weekend was relaxing. It was also kind of depressing. I don’t know that I’ve felt down in awhile, but I felt pretty down yesterday. I’ve learned that a down spell is temporary, and it’s also likely following a big push like I’ve had since July. I can push through the mountain of things that have to be done and put my needs on hold, but I pay the price eventually.

Yesterday I felt lonely. I missed my old friends in Louisiana that I could call up and meet at Magpie for a quick espresso and one of their divine scones. I missed heading to my parents for a first visit on Graveyard Island after they returned from New Mexico. I missed my friend JoAnn telling me to come over for her husband’s gumbo. And I missed my new friends here that I haven’t even met yet. For a few hours, I just wished I hadn’t done this.

My friend Tracee introduced me to the Snow app which was some silly fun….

Thanks to technology, I could reach out and ask my friends all over the place for a little spark to get me going. They showed up, made me laugh and posted fun pics of the things we had done together. I still felt lonely, but my step was a little lighter. And there was a spark that reminded me that at one time in Louisiana I felt the same way that I did today. This, too, shall pass. I know that for a fact.

Last week I had lunch with my friend Marv who is a partner at Lark’s BBQ. Lark’s was originally a car wash that served BBQ. Now, they are a successful restaurant that washes cars by appointment. My car has not been washed since I got laid off in April. And I have not been able to bring myself to do it. So I asked Marv to give me an estimate to get it detailed. He wanted to see it, and I reluctantly took him outside to show him. I was so embarrassed at the condition of my car. So, yesterday I decided I would get out and at least remove the first layer of dirt. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop, and I cleaned my car until it sparkled. I still need to get the seats shampooed, but it looks darn good if I must say so myself.


This morning I made some Cincinnati-style chili and then bagged up several servings for homemade frozen dinners. And I did a little writing for a friend. I finished washing my clothes for the week, and then I met my friend Nancy for a little shopping. We had a nice short visit, and then I had to head to Kalamazoo for my first ice skating lesson.


Mindy, my ice skating coach, has been skating since she was 5 years old. There were three women in my adult beginner class, and Mindy got us started by teaching us how to fall. “If you are learning to skate, you will fall,” she said. “You need to learn how to get back up.” I asked her how bad it would hurt to fall. She looked at me a little funny, and she said it depends on how you fall. But, she said you get used to it. I wasn’t super-encouraged by her words, but I was encouraged that I learned to get up off the ice the first time I tried. It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

I am NOT in this video… 

The lesson was 30 minutes, and then we had “free skate” to practice our skills for 30 minutes with about about 100 kids darting about like little torpedoes. We walked across the ice skating rink about 4 times in order to get used to the ice, and then she taught us to turn around in a circle and skate backwards. Skating backwards was definitely the most difficult. I fell a couple of times during the “free skate” time, but it actually didn’t hurt either time. The first time it happened, it scared me to death. But I was relieved that it finally happened. The anticipation was worse than the event. I lived to tell about it.


It was mostly fathers with a sprinkling of mothers with their kids at “free skate”. The kids were having a ball. One Dad came flying across the rink and stopped with a spray of ice right in front of his little girl. If I had tried that, we’d have both been in the hospital right now. I can only hope I can ever get that confident in my skating.

At any rate, it was a blast, and I kept improving the entire hour. By the time I left I could actually glide a little. I can’t wait until next week to see what we learn. Mindy was extremely encouraging, and she didn’t think it was crazy at all for a 55-year old woman to take up ice skating. “We have to keep learning new things,” she said. She even told me she’s in a group that does snow running and invited me to join them in January.


I was thinking on the way home that it was this time last year that I took my backpacking class. I wasn’t sure I could do that, either, but I wanted to try. It ended up being a hobby that I really enjoy and it helped me meet a bunch of new friends. Hiking season would just be beginning for me in Louisiana after the long, hot summer, but it’s coming pretty close to ending here. I suppose I could get out once or twice before it gets too cold, but I don’t feel like packing a thing much less a loaded backpack. The hiking season for 2016 was interrupted by a move to Michigan. That’s just the way it is.

I hope you all have a good week. Don’t be afraid to learn something new if you’re given the opportunity. The way I see it is I don’t ever have to do it again if I don’t like it. But what if I love it? I’d never know if I didn’t try.



2 Comments on “Sunday Night Check-In: Never Stop Learning

  1. Good on you, giving ice skating a try. I grew up doing it in the Midwest, but it’s harder to find places to do it here in the PacNW. It did come back to me pretty quickly when we took the kids to Europe 6 years ago. Their first time skating and they loved it. Couldn’t get hubby to give it a try, though – his loss! I miss going out on a pond or lake and freezing my toes and then coming in for hot chocolate and thawing out. But I don’t miss tripping over sticks and stuff in the ice – I think I’m strictly a rink girl these days! Have fun!

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