Tag Archives: thinky place

I’m lucky to have the friends I have

27 May

I have good friends. As in these-people-really-know-how-to-be-a-friend kind of good.

I feel especially that right because I’m having another stupid episode. The details don’t matter, but it’s a convergence of things happening that is making me feel insignificant. AGAIN. I’m so tired of fighting this stupid wiring in my brain on this shit. I hate that it’s a constant struggle. And while I know it’s just faulty wiring and I have many more tools to fight it than I used to, I still hate it. I would love to be carryfree and not an overanalyzer. (That’s a word.)

I’m lucky to have a therapist who is really good and who can help. I’m lucky to have friends who will put up with me when I hit these episodes. I never show how bad the episodes are – I rarely even talk about them here in any great detail – because I’m afraid that the next time will be the time no one wants to deal with it and I won’t have any friends anymore. Totally irrational fear. Based on some real past experiences.

So thanks, friends, for hanging in there with me. I feel so grateful that you haven’t left me yet. And don’t worry – I’ll pull myself out of this soon. Then we can have fun again.

Please to make your acquaintance…again

14 May

Hi there.

peeking-from-behind-the-curtains

Remember me? It’s been a while, hasn’t it. Sorry I’ve been missing. Life…well, life got a bit crazy the last few months.

My dance teacher left. I know, right? He’s off to exciting new things with opening his own studio. But in a different part of the country, so I can’t continue to take lessons with him. Very sad. I’ve told you before what a big influence he’s been in my life. And now he’s gone. Once I found out he was leaving, I had to take some time to grieve the end of the relationship. And grieve what he won’t be here for in the future. And figure out who I was going to take lessons with after he left. That’s all been done…although the grieving might take some more time. Like the end of any relationship, romantic or otherwise, it’ll pop up especially at milestones. I have a plan going forward for my lessons and my dancing. I’ve talked to my new instructors about what I need from my teachers and how they can help me. While I’m sad to see my teacher go, I’m extremely happy for him. And I’m ready to move my dancing forward with different teachers.

There was some potential for some things to change at work recently too. Luckily they’re not, but that would have added to it as well.

And as some of you know, I’ve been working towards some financial goals the last few years. That’s made me live cheaply and on a cash-only basis. But I’ve kept dancing through it all. And now I’m almost at my goals – I will be by July 1 – so I started looking for an apartment. And I found one! In the building I wanted to be in!

So LOTS of transitions going on for me right now. And too many transitions can paralyze me. Or at least make me withdraw into a suburb of the thinky place. So all that is why I’ve been missing from here.

But I’ve missed you! I’ve missed writing. I’ve missed the feeling I get processing things here instead of just in my brain.

But I’ve had the Stanley Cup playoffs to keep me entertained. Silly MN Wild, losing to the Blackhawks like that. SIGH. Oh well, now I can say ‘Go Toews’ with a clear conscience!

In defense of Cuban motion

27 Feb

I really enjoy reading other blogs. I read some about food. OK, a lot about food. And some about ballroom dancing. OK, a lot about ballroom dancing. I like hearing other people’s perspective. It’s interesting to see how their experience compares to mine. And what’s different.

But every once in a while, I read something that gets to me. And I feel the need to respond. And debate a little.

This happened a few days ago when I read this entry from Facing Diagonal Wall. Go read it and then come back, because otherwise my post may not make sense.

Done? You’re back now? OK good. Let’s continue.

Believe me, I know how hard it can be to learn Cuban motion. When I first started working on it, there were huge mental blocks in my way. HUGE. I was raised NOT to move my hips like that EVER. Plus, I was still a relatively new dancer (early in bronze II, I think). So that was a ginormous thing to try and work through, which I did with the help of my teacher.

But I disagree with what Facing Diagonal Wall says: he states “I know it is an essential part of any Latin dance but let’s be honest, you’ve either got it or you don’t.”

WHAT?

My whole experience with dance and my studio is that you can anything related to dance. You may not be able to do it like a professional, but even the most-challenged dancers can do a version on Cuban motion (or any dance technique or step), and it doesn’t look stupid. It looks appropriate for how they dance.

And I can attest (and my friends can, too) that I cannot move on a non-ballroom dance floor at all. AT ALL. I’m pretty white. I mean, when I started dancing, I was convinced I wouldn’t be good at it because I was so uncoordinated. But with a great teacher, I am able to do these things and do them well. (Helps that I had some undiscovered talent for ballroom dancing, too, but still.)

I wonder if the difference between his (Facing Diagonal Wall) experience and mine is the teaching. And the teachers. Mine could recognize that this was a mental block for me (yet ANOTHER one) and could draw on his experience to know when to push, when to pull me through it, when to switch to something else for a while, and when to just let it rest. And maybe Facing Diagonal Wall’s teacher didn’t have that insight or experience to draw on for whatever reason.

Yes, Cuban motion can be awkward when you first work on a new portion of it. So can any new technique in dance when you first try it. Of course it’s awkward – it’s NEW. It’s a new and therefore not muscle-memory-comfortable way of moving. But eventually it will be comfortable. You just have to remember how the basic step in waltz felt at first – awkward, too, right?

I’m going through it right now as we work on the next level of Cuban motion. (Well, not right now, because I haven’t been able to dance for a week or so because of this stupid flu.) But it’s awkward. And I’m still not sure how to tell what muscles to move where. But I’ve been through enough of these experiences in dance to know that it’s just part of the learning process, I know I’ll get it eventually, and I just need to keep trying and keep working on it. It doesn’t freak me out anymore or derail me.

I’m guessing that Facing Diagonal Wall has some mental block on Cuban motion that he needs to work through. And probably his post was just a rant that we all need to do about dance at times. (My poor friend SP – she gets so many texts from me that are rants about my dancing. So does AD. And they’re both still my friend – that’s amazing. Thanks, guys!) I think he’s stuck in the thinky place on this. And we all know how much I’ve been there, right? I’ve just learned how not to set up a second home there.

So hang in there, Facing Diagonal Wall! I feel your pain. I will say that if you think it’s something you either have or don’t and you don’t have it, you’ll never get it. But I believe (and I’m sure your teacher believes) that you can and WILL learn it. Just remember the four stages of competence: unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, and unconscious competence. Also known as initial, awkward, conscious, and natural for you non-nerds.

(Oh my goodness, my teacher would be so proud of this post. Defending Cuban motion, claiming anyone can do Cuban motion, and spouting the four stage of competence! Don’t tell him, OK?)

So, Facing Diagonal Wall, if you have anything to say in response, I’d love to hear it! But meanwhile, just know I’m rooting for you. You’ll conquer Cuban motion yet!

Dance camp

27 Jan

Last week, I went to camp. Dance camp, that is.

Twice a year, our studio hosts dance camp. You can participate at either the two lesson a day level or the three lesson a day level, and you usually have an exchange lesson (a lesson with a teacher other than yours) each day as one of the lessons. The lessons generally are earlier than the studio usually opens. They also have one group class each day just for the dance camp participants. The nice thing about dance camp is by doing so many lessons so close together, you can really make some great progress on your dancing.

I decided to do the three lesson a day level. Figuring it would be a bit exhausting perhaps, I had taken the whole week off work. I have the vacation time, and it’s a good excuse to use it. Plus, I figured it’d be tough to dance then work each day. Unfortunately, work turned out to be way more busy than either I or my boss had expected. So I did have to work, but luckily I got to do it from home except of a few meetings I had to go in for.

So there were two objectives for me for dance camp. (Apparently. You all know that I think my teacher is the expert so I leave those types of decisions to him.) One was using your sides. We worked a lot on stretching your side in smooth dancing and using it to provide momentum down the floor. It was a lot about contrabody movement and pointing your ribcage down the floor. We worked on this I think a little bit each day, primarily using waltz as the vehicle to practice the technique. We also worked on getting your side (bottom rib, really) over your foot in Cuban motion in the rhythm dances. Which pushed my Cuban motion even further than I had been doing it. Which, duh, was kinda the point – taking Cuban motion to the next level. It also applies to swing a bit especially in turns. Get on the foot, get your side over the foot, then turn. (I have trouble with the “then turn”. I tend to turn early.) We had been working since Showcase in November on the swing open. Right after Showcase, my teacher decided that it was the perfect time to take swing apart and really work on the technique. So between that and the work we did during dance camp, I no longer consider swing the bane of my existence! It feels sooo much better. Not awkward. Easier, more controlled. Waiting to turn. More swing-like.

The other objective was learning a chunk of choreography for the Lindy hop routine I’m doing at Showcase in June. Choreography is a great thing to do during dance camp, because you’re going back to it every day. It gets solidified in your brain more quickly. And I’m super excited about this routine – I’m doing it for my dad. He loves to see me dance, he loves to see my teacher dance, and Lindy hop is from his era of high school and college. And my teacher has accepted the challenge and is making this a pretty advanced Lindy hop routine. So advanced, that there’s one step I can’t do yet! I don’t know the name of it, or if it’s even a real step. But basically, we’re in side-by-side position, and we do a grapevine. But in the grapevine, we’re on our heels on the front feet and our toes on the back feet. Basically we twist our centers to get the movement. I can do it without my shoes; I think there’s something psychological about putting all of my weight on one heel of my shoe even for a split second. But I’m practicing it, and if I can get it (which I think I will), it will look so cool!

The group classes were fantastic. I had to miss two of them – schedule-wise, I had lessons during the group class time on two days. But on Monday, my teacher did one on turns – smooth and rhythm. The smooth turns are harder for me because I haven’t worked on technique on those as much as rhythm turns. Plus, everyone else in the class is more advanced than me, which can be difficult for my brain. Wednesday, Abby did one on rhythm arm styling. That was awesome and so helpful. Oh, I had to miss Thursday’s class because I had to call in to work and talk to my boss. So I guess I only did two of them.

I had exchanges lessons, too. One with Abby on getting your side over your foot in Cuban motion. I like her. She’s a lot of fun and a really good teacher. The other two exchanges I had were with David; we’ll be dancing rumba at Super Saturday in a few weeks so it was a chance to work on that with him. They were great lessons. It’s never the same as working with my teacher, plus I find David harder to follow in rhythm than smooth. But it’s always great to hear things in a different way.

So the big question I’m sure you all have is how did my brain handle so much information in one week?

Well, Monday morning, I showed up for my first dance camp lesson. So first thing on my first lesson, my teacher starts with the really deep technique about using your sides for smooth dancing and makes me try some things on my own.

Damn. I forgot about that part of dance camp.

I absolutely hate trying things on my own. It is extremely uncomfortable for me. And it’s worse if other people are in the ballroom which luckily there weren’t. And my teacher knows all that, so I know when he asks me to do so, it’s for a very valid reason and is a necessity. But when he asks, my brain just gets muddled. It’s pretty much a direct and Concorde-speed route to the thinky place.

But…luckily I’ve gotten much better about the thinky place. I think I have a good self-talk script now. I don’t go there often anymore, and when I do, it’s usually for just a brief second. This one took about 5 minutes to start to pull myself out of. But eventually I did. I did a good job of staying out of the thinky place the rest of the week.

I woke up on Tuesday with my inner thighs hurting a bit from working on waltz. But they quickly adapted and weren’t sore the rest of the week. That was pretty much the only physical issue I had, other than my muscles just being used a lot more than they are in a normal week. But my poor brain was a mess. I did end up having to work about 20 hours, so I was constantly switching gears between work and dance. I don’t do that well, especially when both were demanding so much of my brain power. I was pretty mentally exhausted by the end of the week.

So for my last lesson that week, we just did run-throughs. In order of the nine dances, closed then open. (So waltz, tango, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, cha cha, rumba, swing, bolero, mambo. Except we ran out of time for bolero and mambo.) I think it was my teacher’s way of showing what progress had been made during the week. Plus it’s just a nice way to end dance camp.

We started dancing and I noticed it’s easier. Lighter, in a good way. A bit more powerful in my legs. We danced waltz, tango, and foxtrot, and they all felt good. Then we got to Viennese waltz. We danced it closed, and then my teacher went to change the music. Then he looked at me.

My teacher: Cathy, are you OK?
Me: Yes.
My teacher: You sure?
Me: Yes, why?
My teacher: You look like you’re about to cry.
Me: I am. (as I’m tearing up)
My teacher: Why? What’s wrong? (in a very concerned tone, probably thinking oh crap now what?)
Me: That just feels so different. So light, so easy. So very different. So much better. (I’m crying at this point)
My teacher: Yay! Happy breakdowns! (as he gives me a hug)

God knows he’s had to deal with more than his share of negative breakdowns, so this was a nice change for him.

But the point is, I made so much progress last week that even I could notice it. I felt after that like I do after a performance – I know I’m a good dancer, and I want to just learn it all now.

When I did dance camp last, I think I had just started bronze II. And it was a great experience. But to do it as a bronze IV student – so amazing. I can’t wait to do it next January – I’m going to try to keep doing it every January. Because it was a great experience, and I love how I feel about my dancing right now.

(In case you’re curious…I danced 12.75 hours during dance camp: 1.5 hours in group classes, 9 hours in lessons with my teacher, 1.5 hours in lesson with other teachers. And that doesn’t include the regular evening dancing I usually do which was another 3.75 hours I think. Grand total = 16.5 hours of dancing. Yes, I’m a numbers person.)

WHAT A GREAT WEEK!!!

Part of a village

19 Jan

My friend Stef is starting a ballroom village. It’s a list of ballroom dancing blogs. (Seriously, go check them all out.)

When I first read about it, to be honest, I was a bit hurt she didn’t ask me. Then I realized that while I mention dancing, I do talk about a lot of other things here. Not just dancing. And I also realized I haven’t really written about dancing in a long time. Then I wondered why?

Well, some of it is I’m protective of my lessons. I’m not one to share much what’s happened on my lessons, nor do I want to hear what’s being done on other people’s lessons. It’s odd, but those moments on lessons are mine and I’m careful about what I share. Weird, I know. But there ya go. Also, my teacher is an extremely private person, and I try to honor that. So writing about dancing means striking a balance between what I need and want to share, my privacy, and his privacy.

So I’m OK not being part of that village, although I know Stef does like it when I actually talk about dancing. But a big part of my life journey is the journey in dance, and I do want to share that more. In pieces, anyway.

Remember how I told you how tough December was? Part of that showed up in dancing too. I was really hard on myself and getting discouraged as we worked on things. After Showcase, my teacher decided it was time to tackle swing, which has been my bane for a while. (In my opinion, not his.) And I would get super frustrated with myself in not being to quickly apply the new techniques in swing action. Even though I know there are no quick fixes now. The time of quick fixes ended a LONG time ago. But I was getting a bit thinky on it all, and it was compounded by everything else that was going on.

Finally, I think right before the holidays (maybe after? I can’t remember), I talked to my teacher. Just gave him a quick update on what all was going on because he had been very concerned about me. I also told him what was going on at the studio in terms of how I was feeling when I showed up. We talked for a long time about it all. Mr problem-solver had some thoughts, which were helpful. (Why do all men try to fix everything right away?) But one thing he said to me was that he wished I could just focus on the journey and stop expecting so much so soon from myself. Again, goals and high standards are fine – he’s said before that it’s my expectations of the timing in reaching those standards are the problem.

And for some reason, that all sunk in pretty deep this time. Since that conversation, my lessons have been more fun because I’m not so hard on myself. I KNOW that he would not give me anything he didn’t think I couldn’t do. And therefore I KNOW that if he’s giving it to me, I’ll be able to do it eventually. And the only way to get there is to keep doing it AD NAUSEUM. Or at least repeatedly. So I’ve just pushed through and not let my brain go thinky.

And the funny thing is that when I do that, my progress is actually much faster. Which he had said. (I hate it when he’s right. I so rarely win with him. I think I won one argument once.)

So I’m in a really good place with dance right now. Which of course I then start thinking it’s going to crash soon. Because I’m Irish, and the other shoe always drops. But I have dance camp this week – 15 lessons in one week! So I’m going to try to keep this attitude for this week. And I’ll probably collapse at the end of the week.

The one-month freakout

28 Oct

So you know how some people freak out when they have to perform? You know…the day of, they’re a nervous wreck. You know that’s not me. I love to perform, and the day of a performance, I’m calm and confident. I don’t need a lot of attention from my teacher that day. I don’t go to the thinky place at all. I know on those days that I GOT THIS.

I freak out about 4 weeks beforehand. And guess what? Showcase is in a month.

I’ve been thinking the last few days about how we need to fix this spot in this open or work on that in closed. The list I have in my brain on what needs to be done before Showcase seems overwhelming. So much to work on and fix to get it ready to perform in a month! Gah! I start counting how many lessons I have left between now and then. (Seven, if you want to know.)

Then I immediately tell myself that it’s a month away, this is my normal freakout, and my teacher will make sure it’s all good to go. Yes, there are things I can work on when I practice. In my lesson Saturday, I asked my teacher to give me that list so I could actually write it down. And I did write it down, which helped.

I keep reminding myself that I’ve been here before. And each time, it all comes together, and I rock it on the day of performance. And I’ll continue to have faith in myself and in my teacher who will make sure it’s great by then.

But it’s one month away!

I am too much of a rock

8 Sep

Daily prompt from 9/4: “Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?”

This was a very timely prompt. The short answer: No, it is not easy for me to ask for help when I need it. I’ve gotten much better at it, but lately I’ve realized how much more I need to work on it.

First, the why. I have had to rely on myself for much of life. Not that I don’t have friends, but in the past friendships have ended abruptly. So I’ve learned to just do things myself. And no one likes a complainer, and I’m always afraid that burdening people will cause them to not like me. So I’ve learned to just keep things to myself. Not the best approach, but at least I’m aware of it now and have made much improvement over the last 5 years.

Now, the timeliness. This past month has been a struggle for me. Not even going to the thinky place. Just sadness. I talked to my therapist yesterday. She said that all the research points out that it’s the pile-up of a bunch of little stresses that really get to people. We’re equipped as a culture to deal with big things and rally around people dealing with big things. But we don’t do so well with the little things. And this past month has been a bunch of little things.

*I moved. Again. For the fourth time in five years. My roommates moved up north, I couldn’t find another roommate, and I couldn’t afford the apartment on my own if I want to keep working towards my financial goals. So dear friends of mine offered to let me stay with them until I reach my goals next summer. At that point, I’ll be able to afford a place on my own again. So moving was a double whammy: the stress of moving and the added stress of joining an established household and feeling like it was a step backwards.

no-whammies!
No whammies!

*While my foot is pretty much 100%, I still have endurance issues with cardio. SUPER FRUSTRATING. I know it’ll come back eventually. I just feel like I am nowhere near where I was (in terms of dance) before I broke my foot.

*I’m working on checking out of my level in dance. This always makes me thinky and makes me feel like I’m not a good dancer.

*My ex-boyfriend has been looking up my profile on LinkedIn. Don’t need that.

*I don’t need to see he’s been looking my up because I’ve been grieving a new layer of that relationship ending. Still the right thing to do, still miss him very much.

Those are just the highlights; there are other things I won’t bore you with. But it’s all been adding up to me feeling that I don’t matter and having very low self-confidence. And in hindsight, I should have called a friend or two and talked to them. But it’s so hard for me to do that! So this daily prompt reminded me that although it’s difficult, I need to do it. When I’m that far in the hole with sadness, I can’t do it. I just need to remember that I MUST. Otherwise, I just slide further and further.

OK, before you think I came up with this on my own…the prompt helped, but I couldn’t actually do it until I saw my therapist yesterday. That started the air moving in my brain a bit, so I was able to talk to a few friends about it yesterday which also helped. And today I ran the fastest run EVER (well, at least for me):

RUN!

So with talking to friends, running my ass off today, and checking out soon, I’m starting to feel better.

Can I stop the vicious circle?

17 Jul

This was not the post I intended for today. But I need to write this…

I just got home from a dance lesson like 5 minutes ago. And I’m so frustrated. With myself. AGAIN.

I’ve done a good job since I’ve been back dancing of letting the joy in. I resolved when I went back that I would have fun, I would be happy, I would enjoy dancing, I would not get in my own way, and I would remember what it was like to not dance. And every time I’ve been at the studio since I’ve been back, I’ve done that.

Until tonight.

I’m not sure what set me off. I’m tired…it’s a crazy week at work and I’ve already put in a ton of hours. I’m tired, too, because it’s like a million degrees and humid so sleeping is more difficult. Even with the air on (and it’s been on all day), it’s still 81 degrees inside. Gross. And my schedule has been a bit nuts, so I haven’t been able to practice on my own, so I feel like I’m wasting lesson time working on school figures so much. But tonight we started working on them, and they never go as well as I would like. And tonight, that frustrated me. Other lessons, I’ve been annoyed by them because they never feel as good doing them alone as they do while dancing, but they haven’t driven me to the thinky place. Tonight they did.

Then I get frustrated that I’m frustrated which leads to more frustration which makes me frustrated that I’m frustrated…see the pattern? I even asked my teacher to give me a minute, and I tried to talk myself out of it. That helped some, but I was still frustrated. And I hate leaving the studio when I’m that frustrated. It’s like ending on a bad note, and I don’t like that. And I know my teacher is fine, he worries that I beat myself up too much (ya think?). It’s nothing he’s doing or not doing. It’s all me in my brain in the thinky place. And we all know how well I do in the thinky place.

Then I start to worry that this will happen again on my next lesson. And I start to worry that this time will be the time everyone there gets frustrated with me and doesn’t want me around. The first is totally in my control – don’t go thinky again. The second is not in my control, but I also know if they haven’t kicked me out by now, they’re not going to.

So…my next lesson is Saturday. Number one: read the reminder list I have about dance before I go in. That will help me remember to laugh and have fun. Number two: work on school figures between now and then. I should be able to tomorrow. Number three: relax. One bad lesson does not a pattern make. Number four: DANCE. And let the joy in. And be OK with however well or not well I’m dancing that day.

And for God’s sakes, avoid the thinky place!

I didn’t go to a wedding

2 Jul

My friend KT got married Sunday. They had a private ceremony, but the reception was at a really nice restaurant in St Paul, and I got invited. I was so happy to be included in her special day. Then I realized that I wouldn’t know anyone else there. Literally the bride would be the only person I knew – I’ve never even met her fiance. And my shyness and social anxiety kicked in.

peeking-from-behind-the-curtains

My shyness and social anxiety are sooo much better than they used to be! I mean, 10 years ago, I would not have been able to walk into the dance studio and have a lesson. Four years ago, I could. And did.

But it still shows up in situations like this. I don’t know how to walk into a room of strangers and strike up conversation. I really wanted to go, but I was so paralyzed with how it would go and who I would talk to. I didn’t go.

And I feel bad now because one, I didn’t share in KT’s wedding day and two, I HATE it when stuff like my shyness wins. Most of the time, I can force myself to get past it and go. But this one was too overwhelming – a whole room of strangers.

A lot of people I know would look at that as a great opportunity. “Look at all the people I get to meet and talk to!” Yeah, that’s not me.

I know how to make small talk and keep a conversation going, thanks to an awesome book I read a long time ago. But how the heck do you just walk up to a group of people and interject yourself in their conversation? That’s the skill I need to learn.

Time to add that to the to-do list…learn that skill, so next time I can go. And it won’t be the anxiety-provoking event this one was.

What I did on my summer vacation

12 Jun

Or at least what I did the last six weeks that I haven’t been able to do anything like run. Or bike. Or dance. Or wash dishes. Or knit. Well, OK, it was just the last two weeks I couldn’t wash dishes or knit, but still. Annoying. But really, what else can you do when you look like this?

gimpy-me
SIGH.

So what DID I do?

I went on a boat ride on Lake Minnetonka with people from the dance studio. It was fun, but it was the day after my surgery so it was a bit exhausting. I got a bit crabby, but I think it was that I was annoyed with the surgery. I was back to feeling that my life was on hold AGAIN, like I did after I broke my foot.

I started going to church again on a regular basis. I had kinda fallen out of that practice, but I really felt the need to go back. So I did, and it was great. And I started doing some bible study with two friends of mine. Which has been really interesting.

I saw a bunch of friends. I tried to stay busy and keep an active social life, since I wasn’t at the studio much and that’s a big part of my social life. I had dinner with friends, watched Sunday night PBS with MH. I saw “The Great Gatsby” with my book club. I went to Showcase. I had coffee with friends.

I worked some overtime at my day job. It’s our busy time of year, and it was completely my choice to do it. But it helped me stay ahead at work and not get so stressed. Plus I get time-and-a-half, so why not?

I dogsat for my friend WH again. She got a new cat (that makes two cats and two dogs), and the new cat THINKS he’s a dog. But look at that face!

crosby-the-cat-who-thinks-he-is-a-dog

So stinkin’ cute. I’m not much of a cat person AT ALL, but he was hard to resist. Especially when he demanded to sit on my lap and then fell asleep.

I watched TV. I caught up on Foyle’s War, rewatched Arrested Development and watched the new season, I caught up on Psych, I watched more of the West Wing, I watched all of House of Cards, I watched some past Project Runway, and I started a new series (well, not new, it aired on BBC around 10 years ago) called Monarch of the Glen. Thank you, Netflix and Hulu. You really helped me get through the last 6 weeks.

I knew I was starting to feel better because I felt like reading this past weekend. I read “The Devil in the White City”. If you haven’t read it, and you like mysteries, read it. It was really good. A little creepy because, you know, serial killers and all. But it’s well-written and a very interesting story. That’s not a story, really, as it’s describing about stuff that really happened. Non-fiction! That’s the phrase I was looking for.

And I thought. A lot. A LOT. Me with nothing to do and no physical activity leads to thoughts. Thankfully, not the thinky place. But thoughts. I realized I like working out. And I actually like running. *Shudder* Well, I like the way I feel after working out. So I know it’s important. And I know it really helps with my mental attitude. I also realized that when I go back to dance, I want to have more fun. I don’t want to get frustrated with me or my progress or my teacher. But a lot of that starts with me and my attitude. I want to just enjoy it. I want to enjoy that I’m there, enjoy that I can do it (now that I know what not doing it feels like), enjoy that I can do it well, and enjoy just the whole process. I still want to be good; I’m still driven in that regard. But I don’t want to forget to have fun. So I need to remind myself of that each and every time I go to the studio until it doesn’t need to be a conscious thought anymore.

Oh, and I also drank. And gained a few pounds. Because, you know…not doing the normal amount of physical activity coupled with sitting and doing nothing except watch TV can lead to that.

But…starting Monday, I can ease back into running. THANK GOD. Tomorrow I’m going to try biking. And then one week from today, I get to DANCE again.

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