All through life, I’ve promised myself that I would jump at every opportunity to celebrate life. This was not too difficult years ago. But after a 20+ year marriage, two kids and various pets to care for, full-time employment, school volunteering, a mortgage, (etc., etc.,), it’s proven to be harder.
So a few months ago when my husband and I were vacationing, I did something unexpected. While listening to lounge music, glass of sauvignon Blanc in hand, the cruise director announced a hula-hoop contest. To my husband’s surprise, I jumped out of my seat and hurried to the stage in time to be one of the ten contestants.
When I was a kid, I hula hooped for hours. I hadn’t done it in years, but like riding a bike, it came right back to me. Eight of the ten contestants dropped their hoops after a minute, but a young lady and I kept going. The cruise director, wanting to keep the audience entertained, made us walk forward and backwards and try two hoops. The other contestant dropped her hoops, and I was declared the winner.
But the cruise director wasn’t done. He asked if I’d try five. Sure, why not? I never had, but who cared if I looked foolish in front of these folks? I did it. He said last year the ship had a woman who did 12. Would I be willing?
Bring them on, I said.
I successfully hooped 15, making me the new “hula hoop queen” on record. The director asked the hundreds of guests in the room to bow down to their new “queen” every time they saw me. And, boy, did they! The experience made the trip extra special.
I tell this story not to embarrass myself (!) but to illustrate opportunities. So often we continue the status quo because it’s what we know. But life really is short. Take chances — and have fun trying.