Most people make their New Year’s resolutions in the traditional manner-ie., at New Year. I, on the other hand, like to do things differently, and around six weeks ago suddenly got this urge to actually get on and do some of the things that I have long had at the back of my mind as things that I want to do.
Consequently, I am now learning to drive a car (I already have a motorbike license), attending singing lessons, and in November, will be starting synchronised swimming.
As a kind of hermity person who would generally much rather spend her evenings alone vegetating on the sofa, no one was more surprised by this sudden burst of activity than I was myself, and so I have to wonder if at the age of 38, I am actually having my mid-life crisis.
The car driving thing is something I’ve given a whirl to a couple of times in the past-first of all when I was 17 and should have just got the fuck on with it before the test became so complicated, but had no real urge to do so. The second time was in my mid-20’s, when the guy teaching me bored me so much that I just gave up after three lessons.
This time, I am enjoying it a lot more, partially because my instructor is a fellow woman of around my own age who is encouraging and down to earth and not bored and farty like the blokes I have previously attempted to learn with. She also swears as much as, if not more, than I do, so really we make a brilliant match.
So far I can drive the shit out of the car in a straight line like nobody’s business, and no longer have to use a label to remind me which pedal is the brake and which the accelerator.
The singing thing is… Interesting. My mother always told me I was a horrendous singer whilst simultaneously forcing me to learn clarinet, piano and cello, and making me practice a total of 90 mins a day, whilst I was in my early teens.
This served to make me truly hate playing music with a dark, rabid passion, and put me off for life. (By the time I was 15, my teenage hormones were having none of it, and I refused to continue with any of it.) I still get hives at the thought of practicing an instrument now.
Anyway, if there was ever one skill/talent I have really wanted to have since I was a kid, singing would be it, but due to being told I couldn’t do it, I duly didn’t. That hasn’t stopped me making a lot of noise at every opportunity, and maybe 20 years of people other than my mother telling me that I was potentially not as shit as I believed gave me the bollocks to go for a trial lesson with a singing teacher, to see if he thought I could actually improve my voice.
After nearly chickening out on the way, I spent twenty minutes with the most awesome teacher of any kind that I have ever met, who did not make me feel stupid or awkward and ensured that I had a truly awesome time. He also told me that I have a contralto voice, and explained how he felt he could help me to improve.
I have now had four lessons, and am working on grade five pieces-and I am fucking DELIGHTED and also have such a good time in my lessons, I wish I’d done it decades ago.
Synchronised swimming, on the other hand, I haven’t started yet, and I totally understand why my mates are all looking at me blankly when I tell them about it.
Thing is, I really love swimming but find pools boring as all get-out, so I started looking for swimming-related disciplines that don’t involve swimming solo laps.
Water polo was my first idea, but as there isn’t somewhere local that does it, synchro seemed like the only option. So yeah, my morbidly obese, pink haired inelegant self will soon be coming to a pool near you to make like a killer whale in company.
Literally, I weigh more than all of these women. Combined.
I just wanted to write this up and share, as well as look back and keep myself accountable, and hopefully, update with my progress!
Are you doing something new this year? I’d be interested to hear about it!