I dusted off my New Year’s resolutions:
—Become fluent in French
—Lose 10 pounds
—Run a marathon
After all, why create new resolutions when I have perfectly good ones that I’ve recycled for decades?
Pat, on the other hand, has never made a resolution—at least not to my knowledge—in his life. He’s spending the early days of 2021 shopping for a scooter. His biggest dilemma is whether or not he wants one that allows him to do tricks in the skate park.
It’s not completely daft.
Our grandson, Jack, loves to scooter. For Christmas, he received a new 2-wheel trick scooter. When they go to the skate park together, Jack lends his new scooter to his grandpa. It’s a win-win. Jack reverts to the comfort of his old scooter. Grandpa has fun and helps Jack become more comfortable in the park. It’s no small feat for a five-year-old kid who literally spent a year in bed.
Besides, Pat’s a natural. He takes to all sports that require balance and weight shifts: hockey, roller blading, skiing, and now, scootering.
Together, they craft goofy tricks.
It was during one of said tricks that Pat crashed while careening up and around a wall. A late twenty-something skateboarder said, “Dude. No worries. I just crashed there myself. It’s always slippery in the shade after it rains.”
As Pat lay in bed that night, I heard:
—“I think I broke a rib.”
—“I don’t think anybody wants a grey-haired grandpa in the skate park.”
—“I don’t think I should get the trick scooter.”
People say the greatest movie of all time was Citizen Kane, yet Rosebud was a damn sled. The best bits of life aren’t always complicated.
—“Your ribs will heal.”
—“The skate park is the most encouraging, accepting, forgiving environment I’ve ever seen. Nobody cares what you are.” (Who knew??)
—“Dude, get the trick scooter.”
I took a long walk this morning and thought about all this. Should I encourage a 63-year-old man to ride a trick scooter in a skate park? Or should I encourage a fit and athletic 63-year-old man to sit on the sidelines?
Worst case scenario, somebody says to me “How did your husband die?” And I get to say, “He crashed trying to nail a 360 in the skate park.” I can accept that.
Yet it’s far more likely that he lives, maintains his fitness level, and is the envy of all grandparents and grandchildren alike.
Then I turned the mirror onto me. I live constrained by the shadows of my corporate past. It’s that time of year when, for decades, I have set my personal resolutions and my business goals. I still think in these terms, create a list, and write them all down. Then I say things to myself like “Is it measurable enough?”
This year, I’ve decided I don’t need another resolution or goal. And I don’t need to write anything down. All I need is the equivalent of a damn trick scooter.
It’s not that complicated.