Despite my love of habit and routines, a few unexpected and surprising things have happened recently… reminding me that surprising changes aren’t always bad. There were two surprising things in my life the last month or so…
The first is that I’m canceling my gym membership. This may not be “big” to some people, but again, some context. I have had a gym membership pretty much constantly since 2001. That’s 20 years. Before that, I was a travel nurse so didn’t stay in one place long enough to justify a membership. But as soon as I settled in the DC area in 2001? Gym membership. And I’ve never looked back. Until now.
So what happened? I think it was the intersection of several different factors: (1) the pandemic. I was just so over people not paying attention to the mask-wearing and / or distancing rules. I was tired of the lack of consideration of others, and the stress of wondering if the “maskless moron” (yes, I took to calling them that) was going to be there. (2) I was tired of driving even a short distance to do something that I can do right where I live. And it was even less appealing when it was -20 and snowing. Why was I risking my life? (Well, that applies to the pandemic situation and the drive in less than ideal conditions…). And (3) I can’t run right now, and I don’t know if I ever will. I might (MIGHT) be able to walk/run but I have had such difficulties from an illness/injury almost 2 years ago that it probably won’t happen. I’ve been a regular runner since 2001, too. And surprisingly, I’m… mostly okay with this. Running had gotten so hard. It wasn’t fun anymore. It hurt. And I was running the risk of injury. All good reasons to switch to my now well-loved stationary bike, plus the elliptical in the apartment building when I want to do that.
The second surprise? Bonding with my dad over music. Again, some context. My dad has never claimed to be musical, mostly being told to “mouth the words” in kindergarten music class. Yes, seriously. I can’t even believe a teacher would say that, but apparently it happened, and it has made him believe for his entire life that he is “not musical”, and can’t sing. (He’s completely wrong, of course, but you try undoing 75+ years of believing something that strongly…) A few weeks ago, he started sending me links to YouTube music in his daily emails to me, connected either to the day of the week (e.g., Monday, Monday). He’s since branched out to music that he just finds and likes.
Well, imagine my surprise when one of the songs he linked “for something different” was one of my favorite groups that I’ve been listening to on repeat recently! I was floored. How did my dad and I both hit on Tide Lines (modern Scottish folk, if you were wondering) completely separately? And this led to the rather surprising realization that, despite what I have believed nearly my entire life, I am more like my dad than my mom, at least in terms of personality, life philosophy, etc. That’s a subject for another post, but for now, let me just say that I am loving this surprise and now, the fun of finding more music for my dad to explore.
They say people don’t change. I beg to differ. 🙂