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The Final Crescendo.

Last year, I wasn’t prepared for it. Now that I have some experience, I should have been prepared for it.

But I wasn’t. 

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It’s the end of another dance season and I’m surprised how sentimental it makes me. To see the hard work for months on end wrapped up into a neat little bow is not really a gift you can prepare for. And I’m not even sure it can be explained.

But I’ll try. 

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For months, I’ve been packing dance (and snack!) bags, tying shoes, doing hair, and working my business matters around various schedules. The dance schedule being one of them. For months, my daughter has been learning new moves, practicing “just because I want to,” and growing as a dancer. She may have even cast me in a show or two as a mermaid. Our kitchen shows are quite spectacular.

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But it’s not just us.

Countless hours have been spent orchestrating a fantastic show (in this case FOUR shows). Everything needs to be mapped out; lights, choreography, costume changes, music, times, dates, locations, photos… and that’s not including the patience required when dealing with wee ones that might not feel like dancing that day…or are just feeling cuddly or silly.

 

Finally, it’s showtime. The backstage and dressing areas are complete madness. Costumes are tossed, hair is whipped up into perfect little buns, and it’s likely you’ll slip on a pile of broken crackers if you’re not careful. Echoes fill the stairwell and doors are shut silently. Backstage with its special lighting and the voices are hushed as the crowd applauds the previous performance.

Then, the music starts. 

Fear, fatigue, and all that chaos falls away. Another beautiful performance flows in and out. Seamless. Then a silent rush downstairs for another costume change. The audience unaware of the circus that lay just a floor below.

They are also unaware of something else. 

It’s not something that can be measured or dressed up. There are no lights or glitter to illuminate the displays of kindness or human interaction that aren’t always found in day-to-day life. In fact, they might be so simple – and so small – they might go unnoticed altogether.

You’ll find it in the sharing of bows when one goes missing. It’s in the lending of bobby pins. It’s the stage moms volunteering their time to keep the flow of traffic moving and putting in the extra effort to make sure your kiddo looks their best. It’s as simple as the mom that stands ready to intercept your child for a quick costume change in case you can’t make it back to the dressing room fast enough. Or the one who doesn’t wait to be asked and comes over and says, “what do you need me to do?”

These are moments you don’t see everyday. 

And before you know it, it’s over. The memory is made. And that’s when this unexplainable feeling comes in. If I had to pick only one word?

Gratitude. I have so much gratitude for everyone that puts their whole heart, sweat, and tears into productions like this. I’m so thankful to have strong women around my daughter. They are helping to shape the person she’ll become and I couldn’t be happier to have such dedicated and caring people in her life.

It’s hard to see it all end. But I know next season is approaching fast. And then we’ll begin this circus all over again.

The crowds always part, but I’m so grateful to be with my girl and witness this final crescendo every year. 

Day 100 | 100 Days of Self Care

 

IMG_9929We’ve had a lot of rain this week. And I found this sprouting from a neighbor’s yard. From rain there is growth.

A simple dandelion may not seem like an impressive thing. But she holds the power and creativity that comes with metamorphosis and change. She contains the magic that comes only from releasing wishes into the air. She can be found among friends or standing alone and strong.

There is no shame or guilt. She just is. No one pushes her to be something else. Or places their expectations on her. Or tells her she’s not enough. She is enough.

More importantly, she doesn’t need to explain or apologize to those who choose not to understand. She is perfect in her imperfections and will grow – again and again – no matter how many times life knocks her down.

Today’s Self Care Stats:

Accomplished

  • 1 mile walk with the pup
  • Knee stretches and exercises
  • Ankle exercises
  • Mini watercolor study
  • Inspirational reading
  • Gratitude. So much gratitude. (Especially to you. Thank you for following me on this journey!)

How I felt

Something you might not know, I’ve been using a Fitbit this whole time and over the last 100 days I’ve managed to be more active, get more sleep, and take more steps. A woman asked me the other day if I found the Fitbit to be motivating. Actually, it doesn’t. The motivation came from within. The Fitbit is just a tool. I don’t even look at my data daily. I’ve been riding this wave and seeing how my body FEELS and then I’ll take a peek here or there. When I see that I’ve hit my goals (like nearly every single day), I’m doubly surprised and not surprised.

I’m surprised because I managed to hit my goal without keeping my eye on it to make sure I’m hitting it. But then again, I’m not surprised since I’ve been taking baby steps each day toward my goals. It’s been a natural process toward change.

Take away point

Happy 100 guys. This is only the beginning.

 


 

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Day 99 | 100 Days of Self Care

 

IMG_9931I love when my girl preps a Playdoh dinner for me. Today’s menu includes heart-shaped cookies, a chocolate donut and a sparkling pink lemonade. Complete with a knife for easy cutting. It was a little salty, but usually the best things in life are.

Today’s Self Care Stats:

Accomplished

  • Mini walk with the pup
  • Knee and ankle stretches/exercises
  • Held the second SPARK Series marketing class
  • Mile walk with the kids and pup
  • Made a lemon cream pie from scratch because I wanted to
  • Serious topic reading
  • Gratitude awareness
  • Bed early

How I felt

I get SO fired up teaching marketing. I love the little twinkle light effect that happens when we share, discuss, and throw around ideas. Seeing how one thing really connects to something else (and how we connect to each other) is pretty amazing.

Take away point

As this self care project is winding down, I’m realizing that my little feats are actually quite big. A good chunk of this project I’ve been managing to go to bed before midnight. Before midnight. This is no small feat.

 


 

What’s this about?

To receive blog updates by email, make sure you “follow” by entering your email in the lower right corner. (This is different from subscribing to the mailing list.)

You can also join the group. Come hang out with us, be inspired, supportive, supportED, and share what kind of things you’re doing.