A Morning Ruined

Okay, I’m exaggerating a little. My morning has not been ruined. That word is harsh given my circumstances. My morning was destroyed. Nope. My morning was wrecked. Not working either. My morning was interrupted. That will do.

Up until ten minutes ago, my morning was pleasant if not downright amazing. The house was quiet and I sat on the couch hand in hand with my husband sipping on a cup of caramel macchaito. It’s those times in quiet solitude that I look around my home and feel so grateful for the life I have. These moments are much needed and I cherish them. So you can imagine how irritating it can be when I’m in the midst of such serenity and my anxiety appears. It starts with my mind wandering from the simple pleasures of life to what needs to be done that day.

Today, however; I was not thinking about the housework or laundry. I wasn’t contemplating school beginning again for my children and how that means I’ll have homework to do next week. Nope. Anxiety came to me today courtesy of a special visitor.

mary poppins

That’s right. This magical, flying nanny who brings joy to so many children has only brought nightmares and anxiety to me. Thanks, *&%^#!

* Please note that in an attempt to be a better human being this year that I have given up curse words.
**Please also note that I attempt to do this every year and by the end of January I’m back to cursing because I oddly enjoy it even though I know it makes my mother sad when I use them at the dinner table.

Back to the nanny. On the surface, Mary Poppins seems like an alright chic. I think we might even be friends if I knew her. She seems cool. Writes her own rules. Kicks butt when needed. Flies. All things I enjoy. Alas, for me Mary Poppins means something else entirely.

Mary Poppins means change for me. I recently left my job as a dance teacher to choreograph musicals. Most of you are probably thinking that it’s not that far of a leap from teacher to choreographer but for me it is. I’ve been teaching dance since I was 14 years old and in the last decade have discovered my niche. Competitive ballet. I’m really good at choreographing winning routines. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but toot, toot.

After my last competition as a dance teacher, I was ready for a change. I needed some more excitement. I needed a challenge. Careful what you wish for, right? I know I’m not choreographing a musical on the great, white way but I take pride in my work and want my high school musical to be the best high school musical in the world this year. Did I mention that I’m a really good competitive dance teacher because I’m so competitive?

Which is why I’ve become so anxious in the last half hour. It’s scary to try something new. I know when I choreograph a ballet that it’s good. After all these years, I can tell. I haven’t reached that level of confidence and comfort in the genre of musical theater yet. So, I’m trying to find the upside to being scared that you are going to fail miserably at the task in front of you. And this is what I’ve decided. In the end, it’s all going to be worth it.

The nights of anxiety; the days of frustrating rehearsals; the hours I’ll spend doubting my abilities; the weeks and weeks of random skin itching that happens when I’m really worried about something. In the end, whether I’ve done the best darn version of Mary Poppins known to the world of high school musicals or whether I’ve failed miserably, it will be worth it because I’ve kept moving forward in life.

It’s easy to keep doing what you’re good at but I don’t want easy. I want new, exciting, challenging, scary, fun. Even if it means for me that I fall down. Here comes the fuzzy, warm optimism that resides in me at the beginning of the new year….because if I fall down, I’ll get back up and I’ll show myself and my daughters that success doesn’t come from getting everything right. It comes from getting it wrong and moving forward. It comes from having faith that I listened to what God had to say when I prayed for direction in my life and knowing that I’m doing what he wants. I hope!

Enjoy my optimism because halfway through Mary Poppins when Bert is hanging upside down in the school auditorium with the blood rushing to his head and I’m doubting my choreographing, the fuzzy optimism and words like darn and shucks will no longer be found on the pages of a girl and her goat.


New Year, New Look

The first day of the New Year is upon us. Traditionally, a day meant for starting on the resolutions we have decided would make us better people in the new year. My resolution for 2015 is simple. Relax. As ridiculous as it seems, it has been difficult for me to do that in the past. I’ve always felt the need to make everything perfect or at least try. Perfection is not possible and if my life is imperfect, then imperfection is what I’m striving for in this new year.

Imperfection looks like a messy house but happy kids. Undone dishes but snuggles on the couch. Piles of laundry but snowball fights and snowman building.

I’m so sappy at the beginning of the new year. Optimistic for what the future holds and grateful for the memories of the last year. Here’s to the blessings of 2014 and the unknown adventures awaiting us in 2015.

Happy New Year from my happy but imperfect family to yours.