Settling In and Road Trip Reflections

Hello from Pennsylvania!

I hope all of my American readers had a lovely Thanksgiving. I got to see a lot of family that I haven’t seen in a long time, so that was nice. And yes, I ATE! We’re still eating turkey leftovers. Turkey on salad, turkey quiche, turkey omelets, turkey noodle soup…you have to get creative with the leftovers! What’s your favorite version of leftover Thanksgiving?

In ballroom news, I haven’t had a lot of luck finding a nearby studio where I can practice. The one closest to where I’m living (about a 20-minute drive) told me they’re not available for solo practice. I wasn’t told why, but I’m guessing they only open the studio when they have private lessons scheduled. Maybe they just didn’t want to deal with someone else coming in to do their own thing at the same time. The next closest studio is almost an hour away.

A USA Dance chapter is holding their monthly party at the hour-away studio this coming weekend. I’m debating on whether I want to make the drive. It’s one of those things that I really have to push myself to do. Going to a new place is hard, going by myself is harder. Then there’s the fact that social dances are always hit or miss. I might go and not be asked to dance at all because no one wants to take the risk of asking the new girl. No group class preceding this party either. On the other hand, they could be really welcoming and I’d have a grand ‘ol time!

Either way, I’m working to convince myself to just go. I can check out the place and meet some new dancers. However, the local news station was predicting snow this weekend, so that might decide for me. We’ll see!

The foyer in my current home may end up being my main practice space. The area is definitely big enough for me to practice rhythm. Smooth will be challenging, but I can at least do some drills. I’ll work with what I got! If I end up going to the USA Dance party, I’ll have to see if someone from the studio itself is there so I can ask about using the space for practice. I usually practice in short periods, like 30-45 minutes, but maybe I can stretch that to a couple hours on an occasional weekend. That would make the drive more worthwhile.

Confession: since I’ve arrived, I haven’t actually done any practicing. I don’t have any good reasons, just some decent excuses. It was Thanksgiving, I needed to get settled into my new home, and I needed to get the dogs accustomed to their new domain (and the birds, squirrels and deer who don’t respect their authority whatsoever). I’ve also been doing a lot of work on where I want to take The Girl with the Tree Tattoo.

This past Tuesday evening, I made my first move back into dancing by breaking out a Zumba game for Wii. I used to play the game with my friend in her garage years ago. I actually remembered some of the routines! Ok, so it’s definitely not ballroom, but I at least got myself moving and worked on a little hip action! Plus it was fun!

I’ve been getting this question left and right, so I’ll answer it here too. How was the road trip?? Was it boring?  Did I have trouble staying awake toward the end of each day?

Actually, it was really relaxing. Not so much physically – I picked up a few new knots in my back. I have more time for stretching now though, so it’s ok! The relaxation came in the mental arena. I’ve written before about needing to take “hermit weekends” during which I stay home and basically avoid social contact, so I can mentally recharge. Well, for 3.5 days, I had no one I needed to talk to or interact with and only one major task to focus on. That provided a lot of quiet time for my brain to sort through and organize a lot of random piles of thoughts. We’re getting closer and closer to the end of the year, so I took time to reflect on what 2016 had brought and taken away. I thought about what I wanted 2017 to look like (definitely more competitions!).

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My boys contemplating life on the road

I don’t think I’ve ever had to drive this far, alone. I was happy to finally arrive at my destination and not have to sleep in yet another hotel room, but I’m also really grateful for the time I had on this solo road trip. Without sounding too new age-y, it allowed me to enter a place of quiet peace. The noise of the outside world faded and there was just me. Sure, with just me, there was still conflict, and a few thought piles refused to be sorted. But I gained clarity on what was in conflict and why, without the confusing addition of outside pressure or expectations.

Bottom line – it was a great trip.

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2 thoughts on “Settling In and Road Trip Reflections

  1. BCBallroomdancer says:

    So good to hear from you! I can totally relate to your trip–in 2012 when I moved to my current location I drove 7 days across Canada with my two cats–a great adventure!

    A suggestion for the practicing–it’s not always ideal, but if there is a local gym with basketball or squash courts–that is where I practice when the studio is closed. No mirrors, but nice open space I usually have to myself.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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