My therapist is trying to get me to play more – take me out of my head and stop the monkey brain cold in its tracks. Recently he asked me, “So what’s the plan?” For what? “What are you gonna do next that’s fun?” Finally, a question that makes my mind go blank.
I have plenty of options – I browse through the calendar in the weekly paper every Thursday – but none of them sparks enough passion to get me to pick one. I can’t come up with an answer to his question.
I’m doing a great job advising my 85-year-old father how to get out of the house and meet more people, but I’m not doing very well following my own advice.
I did make a small start last weekend – I impulsively made plans with a friend to be in New York City for this year’s NYC marathon. We have four friends running the race.
The friend I’ll be rooming with is one of those fearless women who’s constantly trying new things and doesn’t care if she looks silly or fails miserably. She just forges ahead, and has a lot of experiences, new friends and great stories to show for it. In the world of having fun, she is my hero.
I’ve never completely lost the self-consciousness most of us gain late in childhood. I can usually laugh at myself, but deeply ingrained memories of earlier mortifications and a very narrow parental version of what was acceptable still often keeps me from being able to cut loose. Recently, I’ve made slow progress, but decorum still rules, and lingering perfectionism and anticipated public judgment hold me back.
I need something that will open me up – force me to leap off the cliff and fly without a net. So I’ve decided that for the next month, the word “no” will vanish from my vocabulary. To anything that looks the least bit interesting, any invitation that comes my way, any impulse I have to go do something, my answer will be “yes.” Although I draw the line at literally leaping off or out of anything higher than my head.