How does a person re-invent herself without a publicist, a team, and a reality show?
I could start big and lose 10% or so (35%?) of my body weight or trade in my mini-van for a hybrid.
Big is complicated, though. It can also be expensive. And I am not really sure big gets to the root of reinvention. I have read book after book about people who made gigantic changes over the course of a year. I loved them all. I felt motivated by them all while reading them and set my own lofty goals. Then I felt wholly inadequate for dropping all those goals before I'd even paid the overdue fines at the library from whence came the books.
I'm not going big for the time being.
Instead, I am starting with a Hole-in-my-bucket List of things I need to drop from my consciousness. I will never, I now realize in my mid 40's after watching 16 year old Gabby Douglas own the uneven bars, medal in gymnastics at the Olympics. There, I said it. Yes, it took me THIS long to come to terms with this. No, I have never done a cartwheel in my life, though I once did a somersault when a wave knocked me over at the beach. There are other things that have held a spot on my bucket list that I am now crossing right off it with pride. I may, for example, never do the following things:
Become a runner
Talk about Proust at a party
Eat 100% vegan
Become a tea drinker
Quilt by hand
Become a morning person
Understand a Shakespeare play in its entirety
Be a close friend with acquaintances with whom I am not already a close friend
Learn the actual lyrics to songs by the Go-gos
Clear up my acne
Do the splits
Sing on Broadway
Pull off a tucked-in shirt
Dust on a weekly basis
Touch my toes
Understand Mid-eastern politics
Understand Mid-western accents
Climb any mountain ever
Regarding those last two, I am not even sure why they are on there. I think they come pre-printed on the bucket list notebook. I am so terrified of heights, though, that I bring a change of underwear when I go to a mall with escalators. So, I am also getting rid of all the things on my bucket list that I put on there because somebody else thinks it's a cool/clever/sophisticated/trendy idea.
That's it. That's my first task: poke a hole in my bucket list and be okay watching all those dreams that will never be, and dreams that never should have been in the first place, spill right on out.
Of course, once the bucket list is no longer full, there will be plenty of room to allow a whole new batch of plans to flow!
First stop: Learn Hindi. I don't know why.
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." -- C.S. Lewis
Photo by Petr Kratochvil