“It is better to look back on life and say I can’t believe I did that than to look back and say I wish I did that.” Nice saying and it makes you take a look at the things you did you are proud of and maybe, the things you never tried, because you were fearful about them.
I look back and see the wonderful things I did like traveling. I did not fly until I was thirty- eight years old and Mom never flew until she was about sixty. When I started to fly, we took my first flight and it was to London and then to Paris. We left about eight in the evening and arrived in London about eight in the morning their time (two in the morning our time). Everything was going on in the morning as all cities have the rush times as everyone is going to work or school. We unpacked, took a walk around the neighborhood from the hotel and then went back and went to sleep for about seven hours. When we got up from the resting, it was about four in the afternoon. We were rested and raring to go and sightsee and to eat some of the English food. We were with a travel group and we had a wonderful travel leader named Helen Werba.She knew where to take the group and what to do and where to eat and it was a pleasure having her lead us. That is why we planned this trip, when we heard she was the leader.
We saw everything there was to see in London and we were there about four days and then we were off to Paris for three days. By then, our bodies had adjusted to the time zones and we were able to enjoy Paris and it was all we had ever heard about it. We saw the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, the Montmartre artist’s area, the Louvre and about everything else there was of special interest. We went to a dance theatre there which was a nightclub, dinner place and dance hall all combined into one. It was called The Lido and that is where I decided that we would become dancers. I had seen an elderly couple, probably the ages we are now, get up and ballroom dance like they were teens. I resolved that when we came back to the States, we would learn and learn to dance we did and we are still about to pursue it again in a steady manner soon.
The physical therapist on Thursday gave me a home exercise to do daily. It is based on walking forward and when you get to the end of the counter or bed you are using to hold yourself up straight, you end that walking forward with four or five steps and she called them the Cha Cha steps. Of course, I ‘corrected’ her and showed her the real Cha Cha steps that I could do and I think she was a bit impressed.
I was a bit impressed with me because I have not danced since last October24th, 2011.So now I have a goal to strive for. I am hoping on this October 21st 2012 which will be almost one year to the day of my last dancing last year, we will make a trip to the Promenade dance facility and dance again. This is a promise I am making tonight to myself. By then I will have had an additional seven and the total will be about twenty-one sessions. By then, I am hoping, I will be able to dance at least six dances with resting in between, dress up in a pretty outfit and go back and ballroom dance on the anniversary of last year’s dancing. Hopefully, I will be able to continue and go every Sunday to do the same thing and only miss one Sunday a month when I go to visit my grandchildren out of state.
This is my goal, let me see, if I can heed my own preaching in these columns and go out and do something wonderful for my physical health and also for my mental health. I will be making changes and an effort to succeed. They say a broken clock is right twice a day. I do not want to be a broken clock; I want to be a correct clock. A clock that moves its hands in the right direction and whose job it is to honor time and move along in a steady and correct manner. In my young days, you had to wind your watch every day. Now days there are Eco watches that never need a battery change. If you keep them out on your counter or night table and light either from outside or a lamp reaches the watch, it recharges itself and never needs a battery change (no batteries in them), just some light. I want to be like an Eco watch and recharge myself.
My goal is about advancing and I am counting the days until then and it is about six weeks from this coming Sunday September 10th. I was surprised that I was able to show Cheryl the basic Cha Cha steps and I was really trying to impress her with my dance knowledge. It is like riding a bike when you were a kid or typing on the typewriters (does anyone ever use a typewriter now days) you never forget the knowledge. You may get a bit ‘rusty’ as they say it, but the knowledge is there in your head and it is never gone from your mind. It may be called storage in the brain and now that it is relevant, kind of a happy, new beginning doing something I love and showing myself that I can do it once again. Even if I go to the dance and sit ninety-nine percent of the time at the table and I do not dance, I have still become powerful in my head and the next time I will have conquered some of the fear and it will make me ready for I guess you could call it Dancing In The Dark (like the name of the song). There will be no dancing in the dark, because dance halls are noted for being all lit up and for everyone to see who they are dancing with.
On TV tonight, they show a mom waiting for her kids to come home from school on a school bus and she is dancing around on the spot where the bus will arrive with her kids. Everyone on the bus notices her prancing, dancing and moving around; as the bus pulls into its stop to let her three kids off. It went on You Tube and she has been on morning talk shows facing the host area, where she talks about this dancing routine while waiting for her kids. She said she did not think anyone would ever notice it. Instead, she became famous and she has been on lots of the shows to talk about this.
A little bit of fun coming from her and dancing on the empty cement pavement has elevated her to some prominence and making her well known. I imagine her kids might get a little embarrassed from her antics or on the other hand, they could feel pride in their mom getting noticed and even being on television.
We who ballroom dance like to be seen and noticed when we are dancing well and when someone who is a fine dancer themselves makes a comment on how well you dance; you feel ten feet tall.
It is little things in dancing that get noticed and when it is, the dancer and her partner feel quite motivated to even do more to get seen again.
I remember when I danced in 1978 or so in my first dance showcase before the dance studio dancers there that Saturday night; that morning I woke up and decided I would not show up to do the dance with my teacher. It was a lineup of about twelve students and their coaches. Each one danced a planned routine with an opening and closing special part; and it took lots of nerve to go before your peers. I took my children up to the nearby mall for lunch and a walk through the stores to pass the afternoon off and I thought by doing that, I may get rid of my jittery nerves. I thought I would forget my planned routine and be lost on the floor and show everyone I had missed it. My husband was working that night until ten and time he closed the pharmacy and came there to watch me, it would be over. I went myself to the studio and told the owner, I wanted to be number two or three in the lineup, because I did not want to wait for the other ten or so to dance. He obliged me and we were called out and once I was on the floor with the teacher; it all came back to me and I performed pretty good, everyone one said with their compliments. I have the picture of my dance on my office wall and that is about thirty-four years ago. It seems like it was last night and I am glad that I went and danced and I sure did feel I accomplished a major moment in my life.
As the saying says it is better to look back on life and say I can’t believe I did that or having looked back and to say I wish I had done that. Always, if possible, be able to say I cannot believe I did that rather than be sad you never tried it.
So I will count the days until October 21st, when I plan to be able to say I did that because I went back and danced for the first time in one year. I was and will be able to do so because I persevered in the physical therapy sessions, which sometimes left me so tired and achy from doing some of the prescribed exercises and being on some machines that would make my muscles work and me to become a dancer once again, now at this advanced age of seventy-eight.
Many things in life are worth trying even when hard to do and when we give up as I have wanted to many times in these physical therapy events; to accomplish them is to be feeling quite motivated and fulfilled. This is a great feeling and we all need many great emotions in our life, even now as a senior to experience. Carl Jung said “emotion is the unconscious conversion of instinctual impulses." The impulses are the urge and desire to do something different. This is what we feel when we dance or even do other things we never thought we could do.
On October twenty-first, two thousand and twelve, I am banking on being able to say “I did that.”
As my dear email dancer friend and Wellness Educator of Washington State, Steven Behr said to me today in an email “here is another statement to stimulate your unbelievable mind, wake up, your life is calling.”