Things I Learned Today / Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Things I learned today…

Brady was under the unfortunate impression that she does not sound Southern. Girl.

Big, huge props to y’all who get up with your kids at the crack of dawn to get ready for school. And bless the little bones of all the kids getting on the bus at 6:15 am. When I have to get up early, I’m mad. I just stagger to the shower and stand in there all pissed off. But hey…I work the swing shift. Getting up early is not it for me.

I’m always happy to answer questions at the studio, but some days I marvel at the questions I am asked.

I see my friends around town who own businesses, and they all have this kind of drunken, shell-shocked look about them, and they’re holding a cup of coffee. Same, Dude. Same.

I get to have joy all day – seeing little smiles, hearing stories, teaching firsts, fostering confidence – and then, in between, is the hard work, the stressful decisions, and the solving problems that aren’t really mine.

I hear that a former dance mom had talked bad about the studio today, and it made me giggle. What she said (to people totally in love with us and the studio) was silly, and the loyal people took up for me. People are nuts, I swear.

That’s all. We learn every day, don’t we?

Stupid Stuff I Do

I’m a real piece of work sometimes…

I log into Zoom calls and can’t get in, then wonder what’s wrong. The meeting is tomorrow.

I make a point to buy heavy cream for my coffee at the grocery store, because I’m out at work and can’t enjoy my coffee without it. Then I leave it in the fridge at home and forget to take it to the studio with me every day for 4 days. I remember it right about the time I’m ready to pour the coffee.

I call and leave a message for someone, then when they call me back, I can’t remember what it was we had to talk about.

I get ready for bed, wash my face, go in and out of the closet 27 times, get in bed…closet light still on. So I get up and turn the closet light off. Get back in bed. Never took my contacts out. Get out of bed. Take my contacts out. Get back in bed. Bathroom light is still on.

I look down and notice I have a 1/4 tank of gas as I’m pulling in to work. I will get gas this afternoon. Leave work, and drive home. The next day, after running all over town to 32 places then pulling back into the driveway, I see the gas light. Frick. Dire straights. I pray all the way to the gas station.

I gather all the things I want to remember to take with me the next day and put them near the door. I go about my business. I get to work, and the things are still at home by the door. Dumb.

I buy new make-up, and since it’s BOGO, I buy several to have for later. Foundation, powder, mascara…the whole nine. Can’t find the bag once I get home. I know it’s here somewhere.

I put stuff in the bottom drawer of the fridge, and it never sees the light of day again. Crap.

Please tell me I’m not the only one.

Things I Learned Today / Monday, October 18, 2021

Things I learned today…

I see pictures of myself and want to vomit sometimes. I hate insecurity, and I especially hate insecurity in myself. It’s sad and pathetic and dumb.

Y’all, I work in front of mirrors that span an entire wall every day. Vomit.

How is it that one can feel all sassy one minute and feel like freaking Shrek the next? It’s me today. I’m Shrek. Not even Fiona. Shrek.

In other news, it’s a beautiful day, and I love it. I don’t mean to wish my life away, but I count the minutes until I’m back home and able to sit outside at night. It’s glorious.

On the up side, I’m pretty smart. I’ll hang on to that. *shrugs*

Insecurity gets in my way when it rears it’s “ugly” head. I don’t have time for that mess. It’s hard to be fabulous and leave the house to go change the world when I’m feeling down on myself. I’ll be glad when this BS passes.

What is it about us that makes us feel insecure, particularly about how we look? We have to believe it ourselves, right? That we are beautiful, have good skin, pretty hair, and that we’re a presence when we walk in a room. Outside validation is nice, but it should not be necessary. So what is it, I wonder quietly to myself, that makes insecurity come in waves? That damn picture I saw reminded me. And that video I made doing a tap step for the kids. Bah. Got me all in a tizzy.

I have beautiful friends, though. I so enjoy seeing Snaps and posts of my friends smiling and beaming with joy. I should probably tell them more. Do you appreciate when people tell you you’re beautiful?

My to-do list is a mile long, and fortunately, all my tasks are opportunities to be creative. That’s fun…and pressure. It’s difficult to will yourself to be creative and put out something amazing.

That’s all. We learn every day, don’t we?

I Am Learning to Love the Sound

I am learning to love the sound of my feet walking away from things that aren’t good for me. Is that not the best? I saw it posted this morning, and I could hear the sound…and it’s sweet.

It’s not easy to (a) admit when something is not good for you and (b) walk away from it. Doing both is worthwhile, though, and the more you do it, the better you get at it. At first, you miss the thing. The thing may even fight back or try to worm its way back in. After you arms-length a few things and start experiencing some real peace, it gets kinda fun. You actually start looking for the trash that needs to be taken out. Your feet start walking away.

Learn to love the sound of your feet walking away from…

~ negative, bitchy people. They’re constant complaining and fussing gets into our brains like one of those songs you just can’t shake (think The Muppets’ “mah nah, mah nah”, you’re welcome) and pretty soon we’re walking around feeling terrible about life and complaining about every, little thing, too. Negative, bitchy people bring us down with them. It’s not likely we’re going to bring them up.

~ undesirable relatives and “close” friends. Look, blood or not, if people are not nice, helpful, genuinely interested in you, supportive, and just like to keep drama brewing, put them out to pasture. No where in any book is there a law on staying loyal to and working overtime to foster a relationship with any family member who brings you down. And I don’t care if you’ve known them for 23 years, enough is enough. Out to pasture. Way out there. By that one hay bale. Near that lone cow.

~ feelings of guilt. Unless what you’re up to is illegal or immoral, you should not feel guilty about it. Own yourself, conduct yourself with only the best intentions, and don’t second guess yourself. Don’t “let” anybody make you feel guilty. If you operate from your heart, make decisions deliberately with a clear conscience, and can stand behind your choices, keep truckin’ without feeling bad one itty, bitty bit.

~ crap you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to go, don’t. If you don’t want to invite them, don’t. If you don’t want to put on pants, don’t. Stay home. By yourself. In underwear. I think faking through something you don’t want to do is worse than not doing it. Plus I don’t have a good “fake it” face. Stop putting yourself through hell to do stuff you don’t want to do, and watch the world adjust. It will.

Practice this, y’all. I’m trying every day. Trying. I’m getting better at it. You know, we only get one life. Why are we spending it working to please everyone else? Doing all the things that stress us out? Going to the places we don’t want to really be? Being around yucky people? If it’s not meant for us, if it doesn’t help us reach our goals, if it doesn’t bring us peace, if it doesn’t fill us with joy…let’s learn to love the sound of our feet walking away from that mess.

Things I Learned Today / Overdue Edition, Oct 14, 2021

Things I learned today…

Going out of town – like really far – spending time with Keith, talking about our goals, sharing our thoughts, and enjoying time together is absolutely everything. And I highly recommend South Dakota.

I was already aware of the difference between sympathy and empathy, but now it’s starting to really sink in, thank goodness. I don’t have to carry the burden of others. I continue to be a work in progress.

The word “boundaries” gets tossed around a lot in the mental health world, and I used to hate it, but I’ve come around. If you design the life you want to lead (we only get one!), we safeguard our own emotional and mental health, and we move toward our goals, establishing boundaries is absolutely critical. Oh…and as if identifying where you need boundaries and setting them isn’t bad enough…you’ll be judged for your boundaries and have to be cool with that. I’m 85% there.

I follow several bloggers. They’re women who have established themselves as feel-good, inspirational, funny women, and they have thousands of followers. All their posts get thousands of likes, supportive comments, and shares. I won’t lie and say that isn’t my aspiration sometimes. I think about reaching people all over the place, sharing experiences, and finding all the misery like mine who loves the company. HOWEVER…big “but” here…I’ve been a little turned off lately with the posts telling me how to think.

Chase this notion with me for a sec…I like (love actually) having my thoughts challenged in a constructive way. I long for it even. I like different perspectives. I love learning. And I always hope I come across as a blogger who wants to share, challenge, collect info, and learn. But this opinion business followed by a lecture on why I should or should not stand for the same issue is not it for me, Y’all. Please always read my posts with an open mind and choose to follow your own heart. These are ramblings about my daily life and thoughts about my own personal crusades. Relate with me or not. Learn from (with) me or not.

So…you’ll laugh…I know hold up a label to read and have to slide it out and in like I’m playing the trombone to focus. Dammit. That only happens to old people. *ahem* I bought me some blankety-blank readers to try with my contacts, and they make me dizzy as hell. If you see me holding something at arms length to read, mind your business.

Oh, and I’ve started taking care of my skin every night. I wash my face, exfoliate, moisturize, and the whole nine. No, I have not given a flip about this ever. Scoff if you will. But now, here I am going to bed with a fresh face smelling of Oil of Olay Regenerist. How the mighty have fallen!

I did replace my nose stud with the loop I’ve always wanted, though, so bite me, Old Age. You won’t take me alive. (but yeah, that’s how it works, right?)

Y’all don’t go all “she’s having a mid-life crisis” on me either. This is just a post that happens to include a dump on the subject of old-lady behavior. I’m fine with it. I’ll be the freshest face, nose loop-est, purple hair sporting, cute readers wearing 46-year-old chick in town…completely unapologetically. And I still have great boobs, so there’s that.

Speaking of boobs…I got this new bark box that brings bras, underwear, leggings, and such every month. (Keith calls any subscription box a “bark box”.) As part of self care, I decided I would never wear terrible underwear again as long as I lived, so my drawer is now being filled with lace, frills, satin, and whatnot. Consider it. Don’t be shy. We all deserve it.

Ok…so since it’s been a minute I could go on and on. I’ll stop here and tell you how much I appreciate those of you who asked and said they missed my writings. I guess I can’t expect to have a massive following if I miss days of posting, but sometimes (as I hope you’ve learned about me), I have to look out for Number One and take time away to regroup and fill my cup. Thank you for supporting me. I have had some new folks like the page, and that’s exciting. Your likes and shares are encouraging and make me want to be better.

That’s all. We learn every day, don’t we?

Things I Learned Today / Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Things I learned today…

You can be the shiniest, juiciest peach in the bowl, and somebody is going to dislike peaches, another is going to complain about the peaches, and a few will accuse you of being a soft, old rotten peach despite your shiny, juiciness. Others won’t even have noticed you’re a peach, then occasionally someone will pass the bowl who pets you and compliments your wonderful peachiness.

I got raked over the coals a few times today. Interestingly, just after a sucker punch email, I got a beautiful, kind, complimentary email. Just after a second right-cross email, I got a sweet Facebook message from a colleague. Just after a left jab email, I got a card from a precious dancer. I was rolling with the punches, and the little kindnesses were popping up almost on cue. It was kind of fascinating.

Being a watcher of people, I not only notice lots of little, trivial details about people, I listen closely to what they say, the words they use, the way they put words together. This is both a blessing and a curse.

Frankly, I don’t think people often listen to themselves. I don’t think they realize what they’re saying. They paint this picture for you, full of melodrama and exaggerated emotion, maybe riddled with silly excuses and odd “facts”, but I’m not sure they really HEAR themselves and how they come across. This is the curse part for me.

I need sleep. I could do one of those take a bath, go to bed, sleep 16 hours, and wake up thinking you’re late for school in 4th grade kind of things.

That’s all. We learn every day, don’t we?

Like Pouring Gas On Anxiety

Anxiety is a bitch. If you’ve experienced it, you know it can be triggered by something big…or insignificant…or come on without warning and for no reason. You just feel freaking nervous…and anxious…and like something bad is about to happen…and you can’t breathe good…and there’s some weird fear thing happening…and you shake a little….

Ridiculous.

Today, I feel all those feels. I feel anxiety in my shoulders. I am a little shaky. My resting heart rate is 94. Bah!

Want to jack me right up when I have anxiety? Here’s how to pour gas on my flaming nervousness…

Tell me to calm down. Oh, hell, why didn’t I think of that? Let me just calm right down then. Great. And thanks, Buddy. I’m not sure I would have ever thought to do that. *screams inside*

Ask me why. I don’t know…or I do know. In either event, I am not sure what to tell you, what you would really appreciate hearing, how much time you have, or if you’re really willing to get down in the trenches with me. *screams inside*

Tell me to go have a drink. Listen. Don’t think excessive drinking, binge shopping, and other oxytocin-inducing vices don’t appeal to me. I actually work to talk my self OUT OF stress eating and self medicating with stuff that’s not good for me. Definitely don’t suggest any. *screams inside*

Try to get some rest. Yeah, so when your mind goes at the speed of a jet and you’re nervous, kicking back in near to impossible. I want to, but it ain’t that easy. *screams inside*

Get you some medicine/see a therapist. Right. Some decisions are super personal and private, despite what the world would have you believe about sharing your personal health information, and I don’t always feel comfortable about getting into that conversation (especially when I’m already anxious!). *screams inside*

Let go of _________. You know…anxiety is often driven by a full plate, the desire to get everything done RIGHT NOW, and not being able to conceptualize a light at the end of the tunnel. If I am responsible for the thing, I will have to keep the thing and can’t really let it go. And if I’m not responsible for the thing, I have trouble seeing that for myself (even if you can). *screams inside*

So what can you say or do? Try these…

  • Anxiety is hard. I feel for you.
  • Let me know if I can listen, help, or bring you anything.
  • Show up with coffee/wine/a treat without saying a thing.
  • I worry about you when I can see that you’re anxious.
  • Can I take anything off your plate?
  • Send a thoughtful text to check on me.
  • You are smart. You are good. You are enough.
  • Pray for me. Seriously.

Writing this has made my anxiousness subside a little, so thanks for the therapy session. If you experience anxiety on the regular, you feel me, but if you don’t, I hope this helps shed some light on how to help a panicky princess like me. Chances are we know what we’re going through, we are working to figure it out, and we sometimes suck at dealing with it, but we will go *BOOM* for sure if you pour fuel on our nervousness then fan the flame. And bless your soul, you probably won’t even mean to do it.

Things I Learned Today / Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Things I learned today…

I cleaned up around my desk at work, and I felt better. I really accumulate a lot of paper. It’s fun, though, to look back and see sketches, drawings, lists, brainstorms, and diagrams from when I came up with concepts for past shows. I hoarded those. I filled up a garbage bag with the rest.

Thirsty is an understatement. All the time.

Sometimes, if you dare say the least little thing to your teenager…Chernobyl.

I have a ton of ideas and stuff I really want to do. Occasionally, though, if I have the “opportunity” to share with anybody my ambitions (especially if they know me well already), they laugh. It kind of gets next to me a little. What can I say? It’s just who I am, and I don’t plan to stop dreaming and doing.

Tell me this…what kind of people do you guys enjoy? People who keep it real? Motivating people? Story tellers? People with amazing testimonies who have been through rough times? Funny people? All of the above? Depends on your mood? I’ve been reading the blogs of people who follow this one, and there are a lot of different kinds of blogs out there.

I’m feeling insecure about my ramblings today for some reason. And I’m not fishing, I’m just dumping my thoughts. Speaking of which…I may need a complete thoughts dump. It’s a mess up there right now.

That’s all. We learn every day, don’t we?

It’s more than just coffee!

When I come into the kitchen in the morning, my coffee is already made. Keith fixes up the pot while he makes his espresso in his machine.

Although sort of a tiny thing, it feels peaceful. I feel loved. The day to come may be filled with absolute madness, but in that moment, all is right.

He doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t tell me it’s brewing or that it’s ready. Most of the time, he is already out the door by the time I find my way to the pot. He just does it.

I am reminded not to miss the little things. To actively look for small joys. To savor the peaceful moments and seemingly insignificant acts of kindness.

No little thing, small joy, peaceful moment, or act of kindness is ever insignificant. They all add up, they all matter, and none of them should be lost on any of us. It’s what fuels us so we might offer the same to others.

Now I’ll let this first sip of coffee touch my soul, then I’ll continue getting ready for the day and get busy (hopefully) being a source of peace and love as well. For him. For my kids. For my little part of the world.

Thanks, Keith, for getting it all started… for all of us.

Things I Learned Today / Monday, October 4, 2021

Things I learned today…

I did not miss Facebook being down today, not one iota.

Ok…so I’m super sleepy all the time and beyond thirsty. What gives? I’d look it up online, but it would probably say I had rickets, beriberi, scurvy, or something. WebMD will take you from 0 to dead in 5.3 seconds.

If I could carry the burdens of my teenagers in the studio, I would.

Real damn sick of hearing about covid, vaccines, mandates, science, quarantines, China, Russia, the border, California, NYC, the electrical grid, voter fraud, sexual misconduct, masks, presidents, governors, rights, flags, national days, the Taliban, hurricanes, wildfires, Hollywood, green energy…blah, blah, blah…on and on…it’s no wonder we’re all so freaking tired and stressed out.

Let’s listen to music and dance. Together. As a nation, a world. And sing at the top of our lungs. And smile. And hug. And reach out a hand. And pray. And be our own best.

That’s all. We learn every day, don’t we?