Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

life lessons, observations“Gran, would you like to learn the barn dance?” Emily asked.

We were at an out-of-town Highland Dance Competition and were filling in time as we waited for the earlier group of dancers to finish and her group to be called.

There was a small cloak room just outside of the auditorium and that is where Emily had just taken my husband through the steps of this same dance. I enjoyed watching the two of them and had even taken a few pictures.

It looked like fun but my mind immediately came up with several reasons why I shouldn’t do it. What if someone else saw us? Chances are I’d make a lot of mistakes and look foolish. Would I embarrass myself? I hesitated as these thoughts flashed across my mind.

The hopeful look in Emily’s eyes convinced me to say yes. I stepped into the small room and she took my hand and started to lead me through some simple steps. We repeated them several times.

As I focused on her instructions and not my insecurities, my former concerns disappeared. I had fun and the time passed far too quickly.

Too often I have let my self-doubts rob me from living life to the fullest. I hate to think of all the adventures I have missed. There are so many opportunities that can’t be embraced until I step out of my comfort zone.

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, but if I was, near the top of my list would be to dance like nobody’s watching, because usually, no one is!

Play Dates

#inspiration, play, have funWay back in time, when I was a child, play times with friends were not normally prearranged. We just headed outside and down the street until we found someone to play with.

Much was the same when my children were young. They went into the neighbourhood, connected with friends and came back home for dinner.

Today, between the busy work schedules of parents and extracurricular activities for kids, this is more challenging. Add in the media warnings not to leave children unattended and the kind of play other generations participated in is no longer commonplace.

The social interaction of play is important so play dates are arranged in order to make it happen.

If this is a good idea for children, it makes sense to me the same would hold true for adults. My friends and I may have good intentions but we can go months without actually seeing each other.

When it does happen it’s usually two of us meeting at a coffee shop or over lunch. After an hour or so, we are both on our way again.

I decided I wanted more than that so arranged a play date with three other friends. We met at the home studio of another friend and spent an entire afternoon talking and laughing as we stepped out of our comfort zone and learned to work with resin.

The afternoon was a success. Everyone agreed we should do it again next month. The projects we created were a bonus as the real prize was the time spent having fun together. My biggest take away from the day was that play dates are good for adults too!

Blank Canvas

#inspiration, adventure, have fun, don't take yourself so seriously, Too many opportunities have slipped through my fingers due to my maybe later thinking. I still fight this but am learning to tell myself, if not now, then when? Why is another time better than now?

Each day is a blank canvas and the picture I paint is up to me.

I am not a swimmer so was hesitant when asked by a friend in Mexico if I’d go into the sea with her. Just before I said, “Maybe later”, I caught myself and changed my response to, “Yes, let’s go!”

It was fun and refreshing. That day I added a splash of adventure to my canvas.

For many years I’ve said I am not artistic or creative. I admired the artwork of others while wishing I could do something similar. Recently, I committed to a series of weekly painting classes.

The morning of my first lesson I was nervous and excited. Thoughts of failure and humiliation competed with the desire to try something new. I sent a message to my daughter and she replied with two pieces of advice. The first was to have fun. The second was not to take myself so seriously! That was exactly what I needed. My daughter is a wise woman.

I learned so much during my lesson. No mistake is permanent was huge for me. The first mark I made on the clean canvas was the most difficult. Support and encouragement from the teacher helped to ease my hesitancy. Before long I was mixing and applying colour. At the end of the class I had created a painting I was pleased with and looked forward to my next lesson.

My canvas that day was coloured with new possibilities. There is much to learn and I now have the confidence to do it.

If each day starts as a blank canvas, I wonder what new picture I can create today.

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