Skating into the New Year

I didn’t have a white Christmas where I live, but I sure did have a white New Years. I spent New Years at my cottage, where on the day of New Years Eve I woke up to 15cm of snow, plus more falling. The snow was falling so heavily that I couldn’t even see the other side of the lake, much less the ice rink that our neighbors had made on the frozen lake.

This ice rink had been a constant source of excitement to me upon arriving at the cottage, even though we didn’t have any skates there, and even though I hadn’t skated in at least 6 years. Despite these things, it was hard to not be excited by the ice rink; it even had a wooden stove fireplace beside it! Not to mention the multi-coloured Christmas lights that were strung across the volleyball net beside the rink.

It is said that the best things often happen unexpectedly, and this was certainly true on the day of New Years Eve. My family and I were downtown, shopping. Upon entering a pawn shop that sold mostly DVDs and movies, we were greeted by a large bin of skates. We found pairs in both mine and my sister’s sizes. I couldn’t believe our good luck. An ice rink had appeared unexpectedly, and so had skates!

That night, we prepared to brave the -18 (plus wind chill) weather. Bundled up in our warmest clothes and our new skates, my sister and I hobbled out of our cottage and to the ice rink.

I have to admit; when I first stepped foot onto the ice, I was terrified. For the first few laps around, I clung to my sisters arm. When one of the neighbors asked how the ice was, I responded by saying that it was “slippery” (as if I hadn’t expected ice to be slippery).

Eventually, I substituted my sister’s arm for a plastic chair, which I pushed around the ice. Then, I pushed away the chair and began to skate on my own. Once or twice I nearly lost my balance, but regained it. I didn’t fall at all!

As I was skating, I couldn’t help but think that it was a perfect ending to my 2014. I was a bit sad about the year ending, because I had so many amazing memories in it. But this experience reminded me that just because the year was ending, my good memories didn’t have to.

Skating has always been something I’ve wanted to take up again. In fact, last night as I was looking for a blank piece of paper in my notebook to draft this post, I came across a page titled “My Bucket List”. The very first thing on the page was “Learn how to skate”. I crossed it off, smiling to myself.

I feel like an impromptu skating session in the final hours of the year really spoke to the year I had had – full of amazing and unexpected things. If 2014 has taught me anything, it is that the best things really do happen unexpectedly.

Happy 2015!

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