One of the things on my "to do" list is to learn to drive a stick shift.
My first baby step: trying out second gear on my automatic transmission.
Truth is: I've never used it. I'm well versed in P, R, D and N (the last of which I learned because I love those automatic carwashes you actually ride through). Gears 1 & 2, however, may as well not exist. I'd notice them every now and then and think, hmm, wonder what those are for? Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, there was a hunch that they were for hills, but D had always worked well enough for those. Granted, in my little tin can of a car (a Toyota Echo), I earn plenty of glares going up hills, but I hum the "I think I can, I think I can" theme and that's all part of the fun.
Today, I hit a hill I've hit dozens of times on the 210 Freeway and, in a crazy moment of impulsiveness, I slid into second gear. The car shot forward with such a bolt that my 14-year-old in the backseat looked up from his iPod, eyes wide, and said, "Mom! You're going 80!" with both surprise and admiration.
As I write this, it occurs to me some people may think, "No wonder she's doing a life list! Poor thing must have been living in a bubble! She thinks it's a big deal to use second gear on an automatic transmission!" And I'll concur that it is pitiful - but I don't think I'm that unusual. Everybody has their things they just can't/don't do. Maybe I'm behind on some of life's adventures and skills, but some of the people who've been out there DOING a lot - traveling, mountain climbing, skill-learning - maybe never had the ability to sit for months on end and write a novel. That's something I HAVE done - twice - and I'm darned proud of it.
So that's my "thing to do" for the day: trying out second gear. It's not anything big, but I can guarantee it's something I'll use again and again.