Last night I dreamed I was dancing again. At one point, Randy and I were dancing together. In reality, Randy doesn’t dance, but it’s my dream, and I can dream what I want. Woke up feeling refreshed and happy.
Most people don’t know that I danced as a young woman—ballet, ballroom, line dancing, Texas two-step—anything that my dates could or would put up with. Shortly after we were married Randy agreed to go with me to the Grizzly Rose to find out if he might enjoy two stepping, but he was a man of his generation, and dancing for him was only free style to rock music. As a result of physical losses that come with age, I can’t dance like I once did. One might think I’d wake up sad; however, this morning the opposite was true. I’ve never stopped dancing. Only now, it is in a different form: home making, baking, grandparenting and writing are just a few.
Instead of the physical, I now dance the emotional and spiritual steps, keeping time with my muse and writing whenever I can. Like Ginger Rogers with Fred Astaire, my muse partners with fictional characters and dances around story until she glides through my mind, out my fingers and onto the page. When people ask where my ideas come from, I shrug my shoulders and turn my palms upward in an “I don’t know” pose. That’s a lie. When my muse begins to dance, it is a reflection of God’s creativity, and I have spent a lifetime dancing with Him.
Keeping spiritually limber helps me to dance around corners in a rapidly changing world. Raising children and grandparenting requires flexibility. Because my own childhood was devastating and neither parenting nor grandparenting tapes were available–or appropriate–please excuse the mixed metaphor when I tell you I flew by the seat of my pants.
Slow dancing through housework is cathartic. Taking my time allows my brain to float free–revisiting whatever subjects and events dance through my mind. Although I get occasional help with the house, people think it crazy when I tell them I prefer to do it myself. Over the last few years my baking and cooking skills improved. Now I volunteer for bakes sales, experiment with recipes and bake with the grandchildren.
When God tells me to dance to a new tune, I am ready though not always willing. After considerable rebellion, I am now doing the marketing dance with my book. It is a challenge as the marketing world is changing exponentially. Each day, overloaded with work, I remind myself that I will eventually glide into it with confidence–as I once did with ballet.
I’ll need to learn more new dances in the future. Hopefully my aging dance will be graceful. Years ago, my friend, Jan, gave me a tiny picture of a pair of ballet slippers. Below the picture it read, “Never hang up your dancing shoes.” I hadn’t danced in years, and Jan knew that. But the message encompassed more than the physical, and I knew that, too. Each in our own way, we all need to keep dancing.
As hard as it is to learn new steps, be willing to fail, and make a fool of myself in front of others (which happens more than I like), I will keep dancing.