So I told you the story of Penny skiing and how it showed me yet again what love and community and belonging—even within a family—can look like.
But I learned something else on that ski trip too.
As I mentioned before, I have not been skiing in over twenty years. And I wasn’t exactly proficient back then. It was more of an every-three-years-for-a-few-hours thing. I’m middle-aged now. I don’t need or seek out thrills. I flinch from the cold.
I spent most of the previous week thinking of all the reasons I shouldn’t ski. I just had oral surgery and hoped the dentist would say I couldn’t go. The car ride took so long and it was so cold.
But then we got there and Penny was going out, so I pulled on my battery-powered heated gloves (best Christmas present ever) and seventeen layers of clothing and joined my ski instructor and hoped I wouldn’t fall while trying to get on or off the chairlift.
The first run, on the bunny slope, felt scary and risky and just on the edge of out-of-control. The second and third were kind of fun. Then my instructor took me up the mountain. It was surprisingly exhilarating and beautiful.
It was a good reminder to me that I don’t always know what I want. I only got out there because I felt like I had to set a good example for Penny and because I had promised Marilee and William and I didn’t want to disappoint them.
But then I ended up filled with joy and a sense of accomplishment and connection.
If I gauge all my decisions by what I think I want, I will retreat and stay safe, socially and physically. This weekend was such a good reminder to override my own desires sometimes. To decide instead to connect with my family, to push my body, to get outside even when it’s cold, to walk the path of risk-taking love.
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