Some Things I’ve Never Done — But Not For Long

Published in The Ferndale Record, April 13, 2011

Maybe it’s the longer days and more frequent sun, or the hope that comes with spring, or my youngest child soon graduating from high school, or maybe it’s just me digging up the woman under all those years of raising children. Whatever it is makes me want to try things I’ve never done before.

A few months ago I decided I’d like to try firing a gun. No, I wasn’t feeling homicidal or unusually aggressive. I have no desire to wound or kill any living thing. I just thought it might be interesting to try and hit a target, you know?  I like the idea of being a woman who’s at least familiar with firearms. Besides, why not?

The plan isn’t to fire on skeet or arrange a shoot out. Any ability I may have in this area won’t involve robbing banks or convenience stores. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but wheels are in motion.

I’ve never read a novel by Stephen King, although his book, “On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft,” is a personal favorite. One night on TV I saw a miniseries based on one of his stories and it occurred to me that I sort of liked it. Just sort of. But I know enough about King as a writer and a man that reading his fiction now slightly appeals to me. I’ve never read horror, but you know what? I’m thinking about it. Seriously.

Last Friday at 5:00pm I went out for appetizers with a few coworkers. To admit I’ve never done this before is a stretch, but it would also be the truth. I felt oddly reborn, totally at ease, and a bit like I’d discovered buried treasure. Hopefully, I’ll do this again—many, many times.

Something else I want to try: Staying focused on what’s important to me, rather than what’s in front of me. Not that they’re always mutually exclusive, but I’m easily distracted. Minutes turn to hours and days come and go without completing projects. More looking at the bulls eye and a little less time at online Scrabble.

Last month when the space shuttle Discovery blasted off for the last time, I told my son, who works in Seattle and is saving for graduate school, that he should hop a plane and go see the launch. His eyes have always been on the stars, the space program interests him like few people I know, and watching a shuttle bound for space will soon be impossible. He didn’t do it then, but he’s already made travel arrangements to fly to Florida later this month and watch Endeavor’s take off.

The only thing as satisfying as trying something new and adventurous myself is watching someone I love do it, too.

A few things I’ve never done that I currently have no desire to do are eating haggis, participating in a beauty pageant, and wrangling reptiles. If these activities call out to someone else, though, who am I to talk them out of it?

What intrigues me is that my list keeps changing, which I suppose means I’m just as interested in life as ever, but maybe a little more discerning. I know what I like and what I don’t. Anything does NOT go, and I’m OK with that.

Spring fever? Second breath? Brain damage? I don’t know. What I do know is I like the way it feels.