Both of our sidewalks—and our driveway—are currently miniature ice rinks.
They’re slick, slippery, and challenging to walk on. I’ve nearly wiped out on four separate occasions. Due to this, I’ve decided to be a bit more cautious and use a ski pole to help me get to where I need to go. It’s slow-going, but to quote a popular adage, “it’s better to be safe, then sorry”.
I imagine, that those of you who live near us, are experiencing similar conditions.
When I look outside at this ice—especially the large patch next to the garage door—it summons memories of winters past.
There were several winters in which my father made a shallow ice rink in the side-yard. My brother and I were still in grade school at the time—and huge fans of “The Mighty Ducks”.
The goal—the reason for creating an ice rink—was to teach us how to skate.
Our parents bought us hockey skates, because they have better ankle support. They were black with white laces. The blades glimmered, new. Our father used to play hockey in high school, and later, in a men’s league, so we’d don his old helmets. He’d skate with us, keeping an eye on us as we pushed chairs across the ice.
I will admit to not being good at it. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that I can’t skate.
Why? How could such a thing happen when I had the best skating coach that a little girl could possibly ask for?
I was afraid of falling. Because of this fear, my body would tense up, rigid. I seem to recall that my knees should have been slightly bent, a bit relaxed, even. I couldn’t do that. Relaxing, to me, meant giving up control.
Control is believed to be power; but, it’s a complete myth. We’re never 100% in control of our lives. Sure, we can have a direct impact on how our lives unfold via the choices we make (to pursue an education, to apply for a particular job, to eat healthy foods and exercise). We can control what lens we use to view the world. Viewing the world through a positive lens can make life feel and look better; conversely, viewing it through a negative lens, can make it quite awful.
I, obviously, didn’t know any of this when I was a little girl on that ice rink. I remained tense, hoping to keep every ounce of control that I thought I had. There are consequences for not relaxing. In the adult world, it’s called, “burn-out”. As a little girl in skates, it was a missed opportunity.
Learning how to relax—giving my mind and my body a break from stress—is now at the top of my priority list. It encourages healing (which I have plenty to still do). I don’t need to control everything about my life; “burn-out” and “missed opportunities” are too steep a price to pay. As another adage reminds me, it’s important to, “stop and smell the roses”. Relax, slow down enough to notice the little things in life—which, more often than not, are the most beautiful things.
Will I ever wear a pair of skates again? I don’t know. Maybe. We’ll see.
Thank you, Dear Readers, for the prayers, light, and love that you send my way. This past week was full of appointments—and your good wishes carried me through. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
With Love & Gratitude,