I’m going to start swimming tomorrow.

I know how to swim, just not very well. I could rescue a drowning puppy, for instance, but probably not a drowning human. Rescues aside, swimming seems like a fun and joint-friendly way to get exercise.

Intimidation factor: old ladies.

I tried swimming at the local YMCA a few years ago and lost heart. It’s embarrassing to be the person who tires after a half-dozen laps, especially under the bored but watchful eye of a teenage lifeguard. Far more embarrassing when there’s an octogenarian in the next lane zipping past me, lap after lap, like a motorized dolphin.

My challenge, then, is to swim often enough that I may share a pool with aquatic senior citizens. Which is to say, “Strong old ladies: I hope to earn your respect.”

What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel?

With the proposed U.S. budget threatening to end funding for the arts and public media, Mr. Rogers’ 1969 speech to the Senate is worth rewatching and remembering.

It’s a warm, reasoned, graceful speech. Please watch, and please share without hostility.

Important thought: whether or not government funding vanishes, the arts need support. Spread the word about music, books, performances, visual arts, and TV/movies that are meaningful to you. Artists rely on word of mouth.

They also rely on money, both to do their work in the first place and to earn a living along the way. I won’t go excessively anti-piracy here, but if you value art, pay for it. Buy your favorite record instead of only streaming it. Buy a painting by a local artist. Donate ten bucks to a street performer. Or just buy a creative person lunch sometime and say thanks.