Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Inspiration Mondays on a Tuesday: From an Old Dog

You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream. --Aristotle 
I had a really good tiger dream. Also, I want to be a spy when I grow up. Or own a Sushi restaurant. --Amelia, age 4
I met a lady at the pool a couple of weeks ago who walked up to me and started chatting to me like she knew me. This happens to me quite a lot. I think it's either because I must look like someone people know already, or I must have a terrible memory for people's names and faces. Either way, a lot of people walk up and just start talking to me...

Anyway, she started chatting to me about swimming, and the pool, her grandchildren, and about people we seemed to mutually know, and then she said, "You know, I'm really grateful for the people here at the pool. They've helped me quite a lot."

"Oh?" I said.

"Yes," she said. "I wanted to learn how to swim a couple of years ago, and they taught me. I wanted to be able to get into the water with my grandkids if we went on holiday and there was a pool there. I'm a slow swimmer, but I'm slowly getting stronger."

"That's amazing!" I said. "Well done!"

Later on, I spent more time thinking about it, and I was amazed all over again. I don't know of anyone who has decided to learn to swim as an adult, never mind as a grandparent. I mean, many people take up walking or running or even knitting, but swimming involves being comfortable with someone showing you how to time your breathing so you don't drown. That's a lot of trust and a big habit you have to develop. But she's done it, and that's so cool.

I like to think of myself as being pretty brave and willing to try new things, but that's not necessarily true. I like the safety of the regular, the same ol', the day-to-day. There have been times in my life, though, when I've taken the plunge and was ready to make a new reality, to wake up in new places and in new circumstances and in a new way of life. I haven't felt that for a long time. It is inspiring to see that it is indeed still a possibility, even though I'm not in my twenties anymore.

So, maybe I shouldn't feel so silly if I still have aspirations to be a spy, or own a sushi restaurant, or to work with tigers. If the lady in the pool didn't drown, then I won't either. A few new tricks might be what this old dog needs.

Maybe I better tell him that, too. Though, I'm pretty sure his aspirations are pretty much set for sleep, walks and the occasional barking fit. But who knows? He may surprise me yet...


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