Sunday, April 11, 2010

Opting Out

I like that Eleanor Roosevelt quote, "You must do the things you think you cannot do." I’ve used it many times when I feel averse to doing something. Oh yeah, that one quote . . . I’m nervous, so I have to do it. This has led me to public speaking, odd jobs, and children.

However, I do like to opt out of an activity on occasion. I didn’t snowboard last week in Tahoe, despite an annoying comment from a friend, “Come on, you’re not getting any younger!” What do you mean? I can do what I want! He was trying to encourage me to join his wife on the slopes. She hadn’t gone in a while either but is way more in her element with the whole winter sport thing. The deciding factor was the rapidly shrinking icy slush: I like something fluffy to fall in. The wife - my good friend - came back from the slopes with whiplash and a possible mild concussion. I’m comfortable with my decision.

That comment did sting a bit with 40 waiting for me at the end of the year, but I actually might be a better snowboarder in my 40s than I was in my 30s. I’m feeling stronger and healthier than I have in a long time – I’ve lost 24 pounds since January and the weight continues to gradually go away. I like my daily exercise now, which meant I ate and drank what I wanted on vacation – croissants with real butter and jam, chips and salsa, pasta and cheese, Sudwerk Pilsner, and Bogle Chardonnay - and I still returned a pound lighter than when I left. What’s not to like about exercise?

All age worries aside, what I love about pushing 40 is the clarity you get on things. What other people think is so easy to ignore. A comment might get me for about two seconds, then I smile and it’s gone. It might sound like senility but it’s blissful. You know what I did instead of snowboarding? Took the kids sledding then high rolled at the casinos with 25-cent video poker, sipping on free drinks. I was in my happy place and there were no body-wrenching slams involved. I will continue to not do all kinds of things with a clear conscience.

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