Friday, May 4, 2012
A few weeks ago I was lucky to see a beautiful dance show in Manhattan as a birthday gift from a good friend ... we drove into the city, had a long slow lunch, and got to watch the show in a small intimate theater. It was so good to be watching dance again, to make that little window of time just for ourselves, doing something we love.
It got me to thinking about how hard that's become. Maybe always has been. At varsity (college) it was easier - it was all about what i wanted then. What i wanted to do with my life. Or my weekend. Where i wanted to go. What i felt like doing. Long conversations into the early hours about life and dreams and what we wished for. Hoped for. Desperately. Making lists of what mattered and what we wanted to have achieved by the time we were 30. Which seemed like such a long long time away. Now ... well well on the other side of 30 my life is richer and has a lot more focus than just on myself - 2 children will do that to you - but it's also easy to get lost in all the wife, mother, friend, colleague, daughter, sister. All the roles we play. All the people we love. It just happens slowly, over time - the making less time for ourselves and the things we used to do.
I remember the wedding of one of my first friends to get married. She loved ballet and at college we used to take dance classes together - go in at night or on the weekends and turn the music up loud and just dance, fly, let go. He, the groom, he was not a dancer - he loved hiking and the outdoors. In his speech at the wedding the father of the bride said something about it now being the time for her to hang up her dancing shoes and to put on her hiking boots. I felt like crying. I understood what he meant to say - that marriage is all about shaping a new life together and that means sharing each other's hobbies sometimes, doing what the other person loves too. But the way he said it made me think of her giving up everything she loved to become the dutiful wife ... putting him first always and losing herself along the way.
It's hard to keep those parts of ourselves alive and well - to give them time and to nurture and protect. Those parts that need to clear the living room furniture and dance like crazy ... dye hair pink ... paint or sculpt or play rock music loud. Make daisy chains in the garden. Watch the sunset from a mountain top with a glass of wine. Just to play. Our deep creative parts of ourselves ... the most essential parts of who we are. To not lose that deep soul-joy in the process of becoming wives and mothers. Working. Running homes. The day to day routines and demands can become all-consuming and it becomes harder and harder to hear that voice.
Going to the dance performance reminded me how important it is to keep those windows open and to tend those gardens. To make time for the things which are good for my soul, and which have nothing to do with being a mom or a wife. Reminded me how much i used to love turning on the music loud loud and dancing like crazy across the floor.
Here's to you dancing your own little (big) dance this weekend.