Checking In and a Holiday Sale

Everyone survive the Thanksgiving holiday? I ate plenty, but not too much. There was more food coming at a birthday party on Friday, so I tried to pace myself. Now, on Saturday, I don’t feel like I’m still full so I must have succeeded.

I love 4-day weekends (who doesn’t?)! I’ve been off from the day job for two days already, and it’s only Saturday! Of course, I still have to do some overtime work for the office, but at least I get to do it from home. And I get to write to you guys too!

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Countdown to Embassy: 18 Days – The Little Things

Excuse my language, but shit, is it really less than 3 weeks until I compete at Embassy Ball? It wasn’t even that long ago that I danced at Desert Classic.

It’s still weird to be doing a third competition this year and even weirder that each one has been only 2 or 3 months apart. Weird in a good way though.

It’s got me thinking about what’s changed or what I’ve done differently this year for these three competitions to be possible. I’m one of those people who get stuck on the idea that I just need that one big key thing to happen and then everything will work out. But really, it ends up being a bunch of smaller things that add up.

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Countdown to Beach Bash: 12 Days – Girly Beast Mode

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!

Pivots and Head Congestion

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!

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