I went ice skating with Kristin and her kids in January of 2008, in Chicago. I've been meaning to go to my local rink ever since... and somehow 13 months flew by.
Being unemployed, just for these four weeks, has been bloody marvelous.
Things I've done while unemployed:
1. Gotten the flu completely out of my system.
2. Bought a book of easy piano lessons for adults.
3. Learned that I've retained more than I realized.
4. Plowed through 26 pages of the Piano book.
5. Played "When the Saints Go Marching In" for G, missing only 3 notes.
6. Cleaned out the whole kitchen, cupboards, drawers, floor, stove, spices, everything.
7. Did a massive grocery shopping, and stocked up on healthy food. I now have a Weight Watchers kitchen.
8. Made a lasagne with part-skim cheeses and buffalo meat, that tastes indistinguishable from my grandmother's.
9. Had healthy breakfasts every single day.
10. Tried 3 homemade soup recipes, all wonderful.
11. Began apartment hunting in earnest. We're checking out the first contestant tomorrow morning.
12. Had an appointment with an actual Psychiatrist, and a very good chat.
13. Saw three movies by myself. Loved them all.
This has been a fucking fantastic month.
Today I just said, fuckit, I'm going skating. The rink's in the Palisades Mall, about 4 minutes from my apartment. $7 adult admission, $3 to rent skates, and 75 cents for a locker to stash my coat and bag and shoes. And I was off, flying around the ice, thinking, What the hell took me so long?.
I had a blast, just by myself. There weren't very many people there, at 1:30 on a Friday afternoon during work and school hours. There was a smattering of kids, and I wondered why they weren't in school? There was about five or six hockey guys zooming around, skating backwards and just having fun talking and laughing. There were a couple of parents with tiny kids, including one adorable tall red-headed dad and his toddling son, waayyyy too much cuteness there. There was one couple of teenagers on a date, holding hands and chatting sweetly as they slowly glided around in circles. I just skated along, straighforwardly, not trying anything fancy, just seeing what I can do. I wobbled a few times, but I didn't fall. I had to quit after 20 minutes because my ankles were screaming. I'll build up gradually.
I need to work out more anyway, and I've missed skating. I'm no ice princess, but it sure is fun. G and I are going to re-up my gym membership, so I'll still have that, but I want to fit in an hour of skating here and there as well. Won't it be cool to skate for an hour before my ankles give out. I used to have rock-strong ankles, from dancing en pointe all those years ago. Amazing how my body has completely forgotten what it used to be. My chi remembers, but my musculo-skeletal system has amnesia.
One small girl, about 9 or 10, called out to me "Are you alone?" At least, I think she did. I'm pretty sure I heard that. She was looking at me, as I slowly flowed past her and her friend on the ice. I didn't respond, but I smiled, and glanced her way. If she did ask that, she was shy about it. Some kids ask things like that, and look pointedly at you until you answer this. Maybe she just thought it, and I picked up on it. yes, I thought to her, I'm alone here today. And believe me, sometimes it's better this way.
I get lonely. I do wish I had someone to skate with. G has made it pretty clear that he doesn't want to go. My local girlfriend has sold her car and moved to Manhattan, so I'm pretty much on my own up here. But I'll skate anyway. Maybe I'll make a friend? Unlikely. But I feel good about myself, for doing something that I've been wanting to do, for getting off my ass and DOING it instead of just TALKING about it. Finding the Do.