So: Zumba

As those of you who know me in “real life” can attest: I’m no dancer. I’m rhythm challenged, awkward at best.
Maybe you’ve even witnessed my seizure-like car “dance” when one of my favorite songs comes on the radio. I usually sing along to make it even more painful for my fellow vehicle occupants. I give it my all for the amusement of those traveling around me.
Or maybe you are a high school or college friend who watched me careen across the floor like a overly enthusiastic and gangly teenaged wildebeest.
Don’t even get me started about my “dances” at weddings. I’m sure they’re on YouTube somewhere if you need a laugh.
But now, I’ve put aside any shred of fear, of possible humiliation I have left. I’m putting it out there twice a week if I can: yes, I’m doing Zumba.
It’s more like a loud dance party and less like a workout. Unlike running where I get to zone out and let my mind wander, for me, Zumba requires concentration and focus. Or I might injure myself—or worse yet, someone else.
Bless our poor teacher Chris. I wonder how she can keep a straight face while I trip over my own feet, wildly gyrating off kilter and off beat. Luckily my classmates are too busy with the probably not very complicated routines to notice. I try to keep to one side of the room so I have a bit more space. It’s to prevent collisions, you see.
But each class I come away a little more humble, yet slightly more confident. And much sweatier than when I started.
Until next time,
XO Julie
PS: Someone wisely said to a beginning runner, “you’re doing better than someone who’s still on the couch.” The same applies here. So dance like no one’s watching. Chances are good they’re too busy attempting their own moves.

So: one year later

Why hello, 47! It’s been exactly one year since I’ve written last. So, happy birthday to me! And also to my friends Sylvia and Steve who share this auspicious day with me.

Funny thing: Sylvia and Steve are also writers. Hopefully 2015 was better for them than it was for me. For me, it wasn’t the best year for writing anything other than cards, letters, the occasional silly verse, and of course, work-related copy.

Writers’ block wasn’t the trouble.

Nor was time.

Nor topics.

It was tenacity.

Fear was my excuse. Fear that I wasn’t writing anything interesting. Fear that I was repeating myself. Fear that my stories weren’t worth telling. Fear that my opinions were too polarizing. Or not polarizing enough. One fear after another. Building, building, building. Until it seemed easier just to forget about it. Do something else. Move on. Forget about it.

But then, in the early part of 2016 the signs started coming. A kick-in-the-pants blog post here. Some passing comments about missing my posts. An inspirational article there. And finally this post which makes a pretty cool point about fear a lot more eloquently than I do.

So, my gift to myself today on my 47th birthday is to live life with more joie de vivre and less fear. Before I decided to put myself out there with this promise/threat/vow/whatever you want to call it, know that I’ve been practicing for the past few months and you know what they say about making things a habit. You need to do them consistently. It’s worked for a bunch of other stuff in my life so it’s gotta work for my writing. Because if I don’t use it, I might lose it, right?

Well then, now that all that’s out there, rather than spend any additional characters looking back on the lack of well-crafted sentences, pithy comments, and tales of garden pests, I’ll share a non-comprehensive and certainly not all-inclusive list of the things I’m looking forward to in this 47th year:

-hearing that my mom’s hip replacement surgery went well today
-attempting the steps to each dance in my ZUMBA class tonight
-seeing which of the Gs is going to be tonight’s Downton Abbey marathon lap dog
-reading even more than I did last year
-continuing to work towards better health and fitness
-getting the spring plants in the ground and laying sod (another once again!) this weekend
-painting walls and cabinets a bright white
-spending time with an eclectic and inspiring mix of friends and family
-being inspired by the unexpected, the generous, and the kind
-writing whatever I want

Until next time,
xo Julie

PS: I’m trying to convince an artistic friend of mine to make me a little fear chair to put on whatever table/desk/sofa I’m using for my writing desk du jour. Portable so it could come to work! Even travel with me wherever I go! I think he could make a killing on Etsy. There’s got to be more of us out there who are doubting the talents that make us the happiest and need a visible reminder to hang out with us and give fear a place to sit. What do you think? Would you want one?

Water Lily

No mud. No lotus. It’s been one of my favorite thoughts for the past few months.