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I don’t remember the last time My Sweet Al and I stayed up past midnight, partying and bringing in the New Year. We haven’t been up to the challenge, and haven’t wanted to be.
Apparently, challenges are different for different people and their reasoning makes no sense to anyone but themselves.
When I asked my friend Gloria, from Arizona, what her challenge was for the New Year, she said, “I want to ride the Kohala Ziplines.”
I said, “You must be kidding. Don’t you want to write a best seller, or do something memorable and important?”
She said, “No. Why?”
I asked another friend, Debra, what her challenge was for the New Year.
She said, “I want to learn to speak Italian.”
I said, “Why? Do you know anyone who speaks Italian?”
“No. I don’t know anyone. Maybe I’ll have to go to Italy.”
I asked Al’s brother, David, who is into the nightlife, “What is your challenge for this coming year?”
He said, “Picking up women. It leads to nothing, but it’s a challenge. I like to see if I still have it.”
I said to him, “I must be missing something here. Aren’t we supposed to challenge ourselves with something important — something to change our lives or someone else’s life?”
I told him, “Well, my challenges probably won’t sound fun to you, but I plan to have a new iPad 2 by March, launch my second novel and publish my Artist’s Lane columns in a book by February. And, most important, clean up my three websites, and ten blogspots. I plan to organize, and re-purpose my work. I also want to video my art classes and make them available. Now, that’s my challenge for 2013.”
He didn’t acknowledge me, but proceeded to tell me his latest challenge.
“I was in Scottsdale, Arizona. I needed to get away from Albuquerque. A friend and I went to several high-price clubs. When I sat down, I noticed a young woman across the room. I told my friend, ‘Watch this.’
“I looked at her and she looked at me. She was with an older man, apparently a client. Who knows? Maybe it was another boyfriend. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about the challenge.
“We had a nice meal, and my friend said, ‘It’s time to go.’
“I said, ‘No, it’s not time yet.’
“The friend of the young woman across the room got up, and went outside. She stood and walked toward my table. When she came by, I slightly held out my hand, and our hands touched.
“I looked at her and said, ‘It was meant we should meet.’
“And she said, ‘Yes, it was.’
“When she walked by, she had a faint fragrance, not too strong, but intoxicating.”
He stopped swooning long enough for me to tell him I was going to use his line, “It was meant we should meet.” It sounds like a line from a movie. In fact, I’ve got to use this line in one of my books.
I immediately pictured the words on the page of my best seller. “She walked by, and her faint fragrance was intoxicating. Not too strong, but intoxicating. I said to her, ‘It was meant we should meet.’ She looked my way and said, ‘Yes, it was.’”
I stopped stroking my own ego and returned to stroking his. I asked him, “Did she actually put out her hand?”
“I don’t know, but the hand was there.”
He laughed. “I asked her if I could take her home.”
She said, “No. She had to go, she would miss her ride.
“How can I find you?”
“On Facebook. My name is _______ .”
I told my friend, “Remember her name for me.”
I looked her up on Facebook when I got home and I found out who she is, what she does and how old she is.”
I asked him, “How old is she?”
“Twenty-seven. It’s just a challenge.”
I said to David, “Danica Patrick with NASCAR, just got a divorce.”
Believe it or not, he said, “Tell Al to get me her number. I want to call her.”
Now, that’s a big challenge. Talk about an ego. I wouldn’t put it past him. 2013 holds a lot of challenges, important and frivolous. It might be the year to meet someone you were meant to meet, to face a new challenge on Facebook. You might write that best seller or learn a new language.
It doesn’t matter; it’s important to you.
Final brushstroke: Whether it is a good line for a book, a slick line to pick up the women, or a zipline to ride on, we all have our challenges. I guess they feed our egos and cause us to dream big.
“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” — Gloria Steinem, writer and journalist.
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