It’s only been a week since I competed at the Fred Astaire West Coast Dance Championships and I’m already counting down the final weeks until I do it again! I haven’t even put everything away from the last comp (I’m terrible about unpacking). Is this really happening?Continue reading
A nice perk to having a diary-style blog like this is I don’t have to strain my overworked brain to remember what I was doing at this time last year. I can just look back at my blog posts.
This time last year, I was doing the same thing I’m doing now – setting goals for the new year and reminding myself to stay flexible in how I reach those goals. “Committed but not attached” is how my business coach put it. I’ve gone through this process enough to know exactly how to apply the SMART framework to my goals, but I still haven’t broken the bad habit of jumping ahead and overwhelming myself with everything that needs to be done. I’ve also gone through this process enough to know that I need to just focus on the next step, not the next 20 steps.Continue reading
If you follow me on social media, then you probably noticed I was on a lot more than usual this past week. I went live on Facebook almost every day to tell the story behind the Solo Practice Guide. The funny thing was, as I was sharing the story so others could learn more about the Guide, I was realizing that my solo practice strategies have had a much greater impact than just improving how I practiced.
The countdown to Beach Bash continues! I joked with Teacher at my lesson on Friday that I must not be pushing myself hard enough because I haven’t had an anxiety attack yet. I did have a panic attack in a dream, but I don’t think that counts.
The lesson itself was challenging but in a good way. Teacher wanted to work on arm styling for the shadow portion of our foxtrot routine. Ugh! Nothing like focusing on one of my least favorite aspects in my least favorite, i.e., most challenging, smooth dance. Luckily, I was in beast mode.
I had a few (ok, more than a few) moments during my lesson when I wavered and felt the urge to throw my hands up and shout “I can’t do it!” I kept going though. Teacher and I would dance, and I would say “Again!” and march back to where we started before he had a chance to speak. At one point, after I had some difficulty going through the routine to music, Teacher suggested we do it again without music, so we could take it slower. I refused; less than two weeks before the comp was no time to slow down or take it easy!
So how did I go from a Nervous Nelly to a Ballroom Beast?
The main thing I did was eliminate distracting stressors. Over the past week, I slowly realized I was putting time and effort into things that were only causing me stress. Or I was letting myself stress over things I couldn’t control. So I set some things aside, let other things go, and focused on what was important to me: preparing for my comeback!
I read an article about why successful people seem to be able to accomplish so much more than not-so-successful people. We all have the same 24 hours each day, and yet some people seem to be able to “do it all” while others…don’t.
For me, it boils down to priorities and time management. Parents, you know what I’m talking about. Juggling work, a home, and kids with after-school activities that are more likely than not scheduled at the most inconvenient times isn’t easy. Yet, you make it work.
I want to point out too that you don’t have to be financially successful in order to be able to do more. The article referenced Beyoncé and someone commented “yeah, I could do more if I had a personal cook and a maid too.”
I work two jobs, blog, dance, take care of two fur babies, and at some point soon, I will finally decide which idea will become the next Dance Diaries book and write it. I’m definitely not wealthy like Ms. Bey, and being single, I also do all of this on my own while keeping my home more or less clean, my bills paid and my car running. So am I a successful person?
There is still too much struggle for me to feel wholly successful yet, but focusing my energy on what’s important to me and managing my time accordingly will help me get there. Recognizing those time sucks and brick walls I keep banging my head against help me too. That’s what I did this past week, and it worked. The dances are coming together. I still think I have a lot of work to do, but I’m feeling focused. Beast mode, grrr!
On the non-dance side of preparing for my comp, I’m feeling like Pinocchio’s long-lost sister who’s starting to become a “real girl!” In my efforts to come up with a hairstyle I could do myself for Beach Bash, I bought my very first curling iron. Yes, I’m in my 30s and have never owned, or used, this styling tool. I have also purchased eyelash glue, bronzer and something called a kabuki brush. I have more beauty products and styling tools in my bathroom right now than I’ve ever had in my entire life. It’s weird. I had an appointment with my hairdresser today to get a trim, but mainly to get educated on how to properly use a hair dryer so my hair doesn’t frizz out before I try to curl it into a wavy wonder. The good news is I have a doable idea for my hair! I need to practice it a couple more times, but I think I can pull it off. No wait, beast mode…I know I can pull it off!
Recovery from the flu has been frustratingly slow. My energy is still not at 100%. I go to bed around 8:30pm. I have this lingering congestion in my head and chest that refuses to leave, no matter how much medicine I throw at it. And I have developed painful knots in my neck and shoulder, a combination of coughing for over two weeks and working in my lesson on Tuesday as hard as I was two months ago, without consideration of the fact that I haven’t been working my body that hard for two months.
But my hip connection is feeling solid!
Happy Monday and Day 1 of the Dance Diaries book tour! I’m keeping the book tour blog post updated with specific links to guest posts, book spotlights, interviews, etc. AND the link to the giveaway, so check them out whenever you have time. I’m also sharing the tour stops on Facebook and Twitter, so follow me there too!
Meanwhile, in the studio…
I realized that it’s been over a week since I last posted. Sorry about that! I’ve had a lot on my mind, but didn’t have anything concrete enough to put into words. I didn’t want to leave you hanging though, so I’ve done my best to form some hopefully readable sentences.
What an odd week.
Monday was just a Monday. Tuesday, I had a lesson with Teacher (make-up for missing Friday while he was at a comp). I also had my first session with a new practice partner (more on him later)! Wednesday, I had my usual standing lesson with Teacher (two lessons in two days, woohoo!). Thursday, I decided to start something new and exciting (for me at least) in an effort to expand the reach of the Dance Diaries series (more on that later too). Friday, I learned I would yet again have to give up my competition goals and would also likely be unable to pay for lessons for at least a month in the fall. And then I spent the rest of my work day lounging at the beach.
Like I said, odd.
I just read this post on Dance Comp Review (link below) and knew you guys could appreciate and understand what this girl is dealing with. It reminded me of my How To Cope with Loss series and some of the stories I’ve read on fellow ballroom bloggers’ sites. We go through some crazy trials! But we survive and hopefully come out stronger in the end.
I’ve already asked Emily if she would write a follow-up article for us on how things go with her new coach, so stay tuned!