A Middle Aged Woman Laughs at Fear and Has Some Fun
By:  Mary Fran Bontempo

Eighteen inches.

By my calculations, that was all that lay between me and a proliferation of finned, scaly, claw-wielding creatures ready to enjoy a tasty human for dinner.

The eighteen inches? The approximate depth of the bright yellow kayak purchased by my husband for the express purpose of having “fun.” And I found myself perched precariously in the front of the two seated contraption, pointed directly into the ocean—no land anywhere in sight.

Behind me, pushing me into the waves, was my husband, who, despite what I thought might be ulterior motives, jumped into the kayak’s second seat after one final, mighty heave-ho.

And we were off. Despite my healthy respect for/fear of the ocean, I dipped my paddle in the Atlantic, first one side, then the other, as we sailed over the breakers, heading further and further from shore. In no time, the sounds of children splashing at the water’s edge faded until the only things audible were the gentle slap of the water against the side (if you could call less than two feet of plastic a side) of the kayak and the slip of the paddles in and out of the water.

Generally, fun to me consists of a nice glass of wine, a good meal and a good read. However, a quick assessment, once the initial terror had been quelled and swallowed, proved it; I was having fun. Frankly, I almost didn’t recognize it. I can’t remember the last time fun required my blood to course quickly through my veins as opposed to slowing down so I could take a nap. But there it was, and you know something?

I liked it.

We paddled about for an hour, breaking the reverie only to note how peaceful we felt, floating in our tiny boat. Eventually, we turned reluctantly towards shore, riding the waves into the beach and laughing with delight all the way.

Within the next few days, we found ourselves also kayaking in the bay, exploring lagoons and taking turns with our daughters skimming across the water. I also found myself making a resolution–to multiply my fun quotient, trying something new whenever the occasion presents itself and looking for the opportunity when it doesn’t.

I’m certainly not giving up the wine, the food, the books or the naps, but from now on, I’m going to mix it up a bit, living life shaken, not stirred, and riding the next wave in true Not Ready for Granny Panties fashion—looking for a daily dose of fun.

What’s your idea of a good time?  Click on “comments”–in red, below and share!