Chasing your dreams

“Self-confidence is the surest way of obtaining what you want. If you know in your own heart you are going to be something, you will be it. Do not permit your mind to think otherwise. It is fatal.”  ─ George Patton

What is it that you haven’t done, that you always wanted to do?  Or is there something that you used to do and enjoyed doing that you no longer do because you: are too old, not in good enough shape, don’t have the time or the money to do or are afraid of looking foolish?

I am a firm believer in two things: evaluating where you are and reinvention. As we move through life we all make decisions that direct our path. Some are trivial and some alter it completely. It is easy as time passes to tell ourselves that we have let something slip beyond our reach. I have wanted to be a writer since I was a teenager. I have talked about (and no doubt bored friends and family!) writing a book for years. I always let something get in the way. Last winter with some help from my best friend, who also happens to be my husband, I realized that the time to do it was now.

 I had been working on MacCullough’s Women for a number of years but it still needed polishing to finish it. And it was WORK; getting up every morning, being in the chair (before reading email, or Facebook) by six and writing until seven thirty when I start  my day job.  Initially, this was hard. I am a “dawdler” by nature. My dad used to call me “The Gonna Girl” as in “I’m gonna do it.” After a few weeks it became second nature.  This last month, getting MacCullough’s Women out the door, has been crazy and I have not been able to write. I find that I miss it. The point is that I wanted to write and publish a book and now I have rather than relegating that dream to the “I wish I had done that but…” pile that it is so easy to build as we live our lives.

Winning the Bike in July 1958

Kath winning the bike contest (July 1958)

This got me thinking. Was there something that I wanted to do that I hadn’t done or no longer did because…Riding my bike immediately came to mind. I am fortunate to live in a pleasant neighborhood without a lot of traffic. I decided to do what I am calling social bike riding. It is easier to explain what this is NOT. It does not involve bright colored spandex with writing up the side, bike clips, special shoes, anything with the letters ATHON at the end. Unfortunately it does involve a red helmet because I think it is wrong to give a bad example to the little kids I pass and because I need all the protection I can get. I remember with longing the days of flying down the hill without a helmet.

I have a two mile loop that I ride every morning. I confess that I spend at least five minutes in the empty parking lot of the neighboring temple practicing because it has been a long time since I rode a bike. Yes, I know that saying “It’s just like riding a bike.” The truth is that I was never very good at riding a bike. But I am doing it again and loving it.  So what is it that you still want to do? Or to do once again?