A Winter Tango and the Passage of Time

It was another week of weather up here in Maine! Last Sunday, I spent about 2.5 hours shoveling snow after Winter Storm Kenan. It’s been decades since I’ve shoveled that much snow; I was so sore on Monday!

I still went to my 90-minute ballet class on Monday evening. I knew it would be an “interesting” challenge. My body was exhausted and anyone who’s taken ballet knows it’s not easy even when you’re feeling tip top! So no surprise – my pirouettes went from “not great” to “really bad.” Focusing on maintaining form when your energy is waning is a great way to build up stamina though! I did not have that positive of an attitude while I was falling across the floor in front of everyone, but at least I gave myself a break because I knew I was tired.

Tuesday was an exciting day! I drove about an hour south down the coast to meet the owners of the Petit Jeté Dance Boutique. They carry dance clothing, shoes and accessories, AND are a new retail partner for The Girl with the Tree Tattoo books and journals. I love meeting other dancers and lovers of dance. Partnerships like this one with Petit Jeté are also wonderful for connecting with new dance communities. If you’re ever in the Brunswick, ME area, please stop by and visit them!

Wednesday saw me out shoveling snow again, this time clearing a path for the propane guy to make a delivery. Thursday through Friday, we had rain, sleet, and then snow, which means my driveway is a sheet of ice covered by snow leftover from the plow. I opted to take Zumba virtually on Saturday morning, so I didn’t have to test the traction of those fresh layers on the hill part of the driveway.

I did have some fun in the snow! I needed to shovel the walkway (again), but I was inspired by a dance couple from Canada whom I follow on Instagram. So I shoveled ballroom-style.

We’re supposed to get more snow and rain in the next couple days, but right now, they’re not calling for significant accumulations. So I shouldn’t have to shovel again. I’m sure you can sense my disappointment through the screen.

In other news, we’re coming up on the 2-year anniversary of my last competition. It’s been almost two years since I last stepped on a competition floor! Since starting my pro-am journey, the longest I’ve gone between competitions before now was 14 months. Two years doesn’t seem real.

It’s not like I haven’t been busy with other things! The pandemic, of course, put a damper on everyone’s competition plans. Then I decided it was time to start a new chapter and moved to the opposite corner of the country.

It’s funny how relative time can be. I would have never imagined I’d go two years without competing. It’s been almost 8 months since my last ballroom lesson with Teacher, which also feels crazy long. At the same time, I’ve only been living in my new home for about 6.5 months. I still have boxes waiting to be unpacked. We’re smack in the middle of winter with snow storms nearly every week, it feels like my driveway never gets a chance to thaw, and April is only two months away. Last April is when I first saw my new home and the ground was clear of snow and ice.

I thought I would be taking virtual lessons with Teacher by now and planning when we would meet in person and even where we would make our competitive comeback. At the same time, between taking care of the house, working the day job, meeting new people, taking new dance classes locally, reaching out to new partners for The Girl with the Tree Tattoo, and just trying to settle in, I’ve been doing a lot! It’s hard to imagine preparing for a competition on top of all that.

Even though things haven’t gone as originally planned (when do they ever?), I’ve still accomplished a tremendous amount in a (relatively) short time. There’s no shame when plans change because Life had other ideas. I’m getting better at recognizing when I’ve piled enough on my plate (new house, new area, new people, new classes, old job) and even though there was something else I really wanted to include (ballroom lessons!), there just isn’t space for it right now. I could try to force it on the plate anyway, but that only leads to me dropping things, making a mess, and feeling like crap.

Lesson for today: You are NOT a failure for putting something on the back burner because Life handed you a whole lot more to deal with. You do NOT need to give up on your dreams because they’re taking longer to achieve than first anticipated or because your original plan did not work out (make a new plan!).

When I reach the point when I am able to put ballroom training and competing back on my plate, wouldn’t it be weird to refuse because it’s been 2+ years since my last competition? Why does it matter? It’s never too late to start or begin again.

If you’ve enjoyed today’s piece, please show your support for The Girl with the Tree Tattoo. You can support monthly like any other magazine subscription or support the individual articles that especially spoke to you. Thank you in advance, and happy dancing!

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