Just Do It

One of the times we "just did it."

There’s a television commercial I’ve seen a lot lately. The product being advertised has something to do with arthritis relief, and the voice-over proclaims that “a body at rest tends to stay at rest” while “a body in motion tends to stay in motion.” Issac Newton proved that, and it’s definitely been a fact of my life. The more I do, the more I tend to be able to do and want to do. That’s why it was a mistake for me to cast off this blog in order to write a book. That’s why this post is titled “Just Do it.”

When I was growing up, my family didn’t “do” much. Granted, we were quite poor. We didn’t have money to go out to dinner, take vacations, or see concerts and plays. I didn’t do any of those things until I started going out with friends. As a little girl, nothing much happened for me and my parents unless a relative invited us somewhere or somehow instigated something. In physics-speak, we were objects at rest, not changing our state of motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. (And believe me, some of my relatives were quite unbalanced forces! That’s part of what the book will be about.)

In the family I have now, I’m the primary instigator. As I got older, I slowly realized that I had the power to defy my learned inertia. Unschooling helped. I’m certain of that. Removing the  confines of the school calendar created a complex new life calendar, unfettered by outwardly imposed mandatory attendance. My family likes it when I put us in motion: read a review and then buy tickets to the play, or see a yard sale on the side of the road and pull over. It’s a good feeling to know that as-yet-unthought-of things are entirely possible.

When I was a kid, there was a carnival that set itself up along the major highway in my area every summer. It looked glorious—Ferris wheel turning, lights shining at night, merry-go-round spinning all day long. Never once did the car I was in ever stop at that carnival. I’d stop now. I’m in the driver’s seat now.

I say: Stop for ice cream. Go to Europe. Walk the extra block to where the crowd is gathered and find out why. Like what Sandra Dodd calls strewing, living a motion-filled life “changes things out,” providing your family with new and exciting experiences that involve “time together, shared experiences and conversation.”

For heaven’s sake, just do that.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Laura Weldon said,

    It’s in the discovery isn’t it? And the lovely way those discoveries lead us into fuller lives.


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