Dancing Blonde strikes again
Tue, 15 Nov 2005
Tuesday Gratitude List:
- Fun movies; I finally got to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and can't wait to see both Harry Potter and Narnia.
- CDs that keep me sane on angry days. Today's selection are Anna Nalick, PussyCat Dolls, New Order and John Mayor
- A tall "mocha mocha" bought by a friend to cheer me up
- Sunny weather to walk in when I just can't sit still anymore
- Warm clothing to keep me warm on a brisk fall day (even if I was a ditz and left my coat behind)
- Good books to wrap myself up in when I get home.
- 3.5 days till I go on holiday for a whole week. :-)
- Where I get to go on holiday. The universe apparently felt I needed to hang out at the mouse again. I'll be in Florida next week (can't wait).
- Knowing that there are Christmas lights somewhere in the house that I can hang up when I get home from FL, on Turkey day
- Knowing I'm going home for Christmas. Not that family affairs are all sunshine and bubbles, but they're still family; and I love the conversations that happen and the time to get to know the people I call family
- Good workouts that I can feel making a difference in my stamina and energy
- The beautiful fuzzy tips of the trees now that their leaves are coming down
- The discovery of yet another tree I can climb into, sit down and stare at the horizon in my yard
- The synchronicity that sent me thoughts on forgiveness today, when I sorely needed to contemplate how to move past hurt and anger
Posted by dancingblonde
at 2:41 PM PST
Thu, 10 Nov 2005
More quote randomness; only this time, with feeling
The title is a parody of one of my dance or chorus instructors (actually more than one!) They used to have you do things, over and over, and usually it was "Do it, once more, but with FEELING!" If you've ever had that person, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It makes me laugh now, but at the time, it always minorly annoyed me, because who knew which feeling we were supposed to be experiencing? *shrug* So, here I am now, taking some quotes and trying to share them, but this time (unlike the last brain dumps of quotes); I'm going to touch on the amorphous stuff about why THESE quotes. What some of the things in my head come back with right now. I selected the corsage as the picture because it is a bit like that... a bunch of ideas that originally were disparate, but somehow, I've tied them into one bundle in my skull.I thought about all of the people in my life, including myself, and all of the things we were faced with and how in the end there was no turning back. We really were where we were. There was no way to turn around. The point is that we all need to stop and take a breath and deal with whatever. That's why there's a line in "Breathe" that says, "Life is like an hourglass glued to the table," and I find that as a metaphor so incredibly true because time doesn't go backwards. Once it falls through, there's no taking it back, but we make the best of it. - Anna Nalick
Anna Nalick also has this to say:I find that in the end that with most things that I write about or most things that I feel that even if I might be a little bit afraid or even though I might meet with a lot of trepidation, that it always ends up I'd rather do it and totally screw it up then never do it all and look back and wish. That's actually why I called the album, Wreck of the Day. It's because I find that a lot of the songs sing about having something go wrong or having something that I'm worried about or having something that I'm not feeling entirely OK about, but finding a way to "Just Breathe" or just go ahead and jump in with both feet. Wreck of the Day means to me that every day there's something and sometimes it's minor and sometimes it's a big deal. Every day there's something to overcome, but I know that I'm going to make it through whatever today's issue is and it will make me that much smarter so that tomorrow it will be a little easier.
It's funny, because this sequence of quotes leads to another part of a song about "I can't stop thinking about it, over and over again...It's all in my head, but I can't stop..." and that's a lot of what resonates with these quotes. The idea that we are taught as children to set and accomplish goals, objectives. We have this idea that as adults, we have "grand plans"; but we really don't. We muddle along as the stars in our own personal soap operas of which we are the perpetual protagonist; editing things as we go. Trying to make ourselves feel / look / seem / be better. But somehow, we do manage to keep learning. Another year goes by and we notice that things have changed. We have changed. Maybe not the way we plan, but in some way. And then you start to wonder if it's the right change, is it enough change, etc. Suddenly, one is spiralling down a road of evaluating all of these 'changes' but since there IS no empirical measuring stick, there is no real resolution. Just death. But that's not something that allows for change of the "person" in question. *shrug* Deep thoughts? I don't know. Maybe it's the age bracket; maybe it's the upheaval going on. Any which way you look at it, it comes back to me trying to find my way 'forward' one step at a time, and not really being sure of what forward is, or sometimes even why I'm going in any particular direction. Woman is the goddess, the poetess, the muse. That is why I have a company of beautiful girl dancers. I believe that the same is true of life, that everything a man does he does for his ideal woman. You live only one life, and you believe in something, and I believe in a little thing like that.” — George Balanchine
This one just makes me laugh. As a modern dancer, Balanchine had a lot of indirect impact on my life. To find out that he had this opinion makes it, him, the movements he created make more sense. He had this much passion about this as well as how to express it through motion? What a wonderful thing. For me, dance or any other physical activity has always been a bit like meditation. It takes SO much to execute a move well that there's no space left for introversion, thinking, analyzing, over-analyzing. All I'm left with at the end is the joy of the motion, and the way I feel when I've done it to the best of my ability. Maybe it's me trying to live up to something that touches on muse or the creative force that exists, but it's such a great head space to be in. "Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better." - King Whitney Jr
This one is somewhat cautionary to me as well as inspiring. I'm dealing with a lot of change at the same time in my life right now. I'm generally not fond of rocking too many boats that I'm trying to stand on at once. But to remember that it's all in how you view it, reminds me to sit back and (as the first quote says) "just breathe". Try and pick at least a karma neutral if not a karma positive route through all the things going on. Try and find a way to use the energy that is created by change in a positive, creative way. Shouldn't things be different than they are now? Shouldn't I have certain things in place? Even as I write this, I know it isn't really true and yet the feeling is still there. We all have our version of this. We all thought that by now (whatever age that is) life would look a certain way. Our shite would be "together", we'd be stable or with partner or family or house or with record deal or whatever... -Andrea
Last one. This is the one that sums up the loop for me (since all these quotes go in a loop to me right now.) As one of my co-workers likes to say "we need to work on getting our faeces consolidated." But then again, do we? What does getting it together mean? Where does this expectation come from? Is it the right expectation for me? Is it any more right than I would get if I flipped a coin? What drives this, what drives me? Lately, I don't know. I feel like the wheels have come free of the track, and I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. *g* I guess that's what we call life, and like anything else that's related to our day to day existence, I'll have to get back to you on how it turns out.
Posted by dancingblonde
at 6:10 PM PST
Tue, 8 Nov 2005
Not the brightest lightbulb in the pack
This last sequence of arm damage has to be detailed to be believed. It’s even funnier if you consider the fact that I’m actually a dancer, who still regularly attends ballet class; as well as a runner who is rather fond of running the Nike campus. In theory, you would think this makes me a co-ordinated woman. You would envision me as someone who can be safely counted up on to accomplish her daily rounds without doing anything outlandishly physically damaging.
You’d be wrong.
Instead, we have a woman who ripped her right rotor cuff in college because of a modern dance performance where I had to pull myself along the stage by one arm (and couldn’t raise my elbow above the line of my body while doing this.) I refused to wear my sling and not do the performance, because after all, the show must go on. What’s a rotor cuff to the life of art? *g* I am a woman who has rather appallingly bad knees from years of gymnastics (to the point of repeated surgery on said knees as a teenager) and who still runs; more or less because I still can. I spend my quality cubicle time perched on a bright blue balance ball. Because spending time in chairs tends to make me perform contortions of strange shape and dimension heretofore gracefully ignored by civilized society. (As a rather small specimen of American, most chairs fit me like goldilocks sitting in the Papa Bear chair.) Only when you apply this kind of a background to my dance and exercise habits, could you perhaps explain the most recent spate of right arm damange. Then again… perhaps not.
I’ve been working quite hard to increase my pull up capacity; and somehow I over did it about a month ago. Subsequently, I have been having problems with the right shoulder, of the kind that would encourage normal people to visit a doctor. Being abnormal, I’m hoping if I just take it easy, the pain will go away. However, this has put a serious crimp in my work out plans. Apparently this bothered me enough to want to inflict a little ‘universal’ punishment on said arm. With my nice mangled shoulder, in the last two weeks I have managed to bounce of several (at least 5 that I can remember) door frames – while I have NOTHING in my hands. (For those that know me, this is even funnier – I always
can be seen walking around with my nose in a book, mysteriously avoiding all the things in my way. Apparently only when I have nothing
in my hands, can I become a unique specimen of blonde bumper car, subject to bouncing off all and sundry door frames.) To add to the list of complaints by my poor arm, I then proceeded to spend two days where it appeared that I was determined to bend every single finger on my right hand backwards, preferably at the last joint on the finger. Somewhere in all that practicing to be Gumby I managed to shred the top of every one of my fingers just below my nails. (For Halloween, I could probably have convinced people I’d been digging my way out of a grave or something!) This last weekend, I actually managed to shut a door on my right wrist. And then we get to Sunday, which is one of those memories that causes me to turn pink while laughing.
Sunday we discovered that the refrigerator was experiencing a small amount of water drippage. This would not be a huge deal other than the fact that the previous owners of the house apparently think that hard wood floors are a FABULOUS plan for a kitchen. So, a little bit of drippage gets a whole lot of attention.
Sunday night I could be found lying on the kitchen floor with my husband, peering into the deep darkness under the refrigerator. Contemplating three small drips of water, from three discrete locations. Now, as the smallest member of the house, it fell to me to find a way to push the improvised drip containers (previously known as cookie containers) under the hulking monolith that my fridge appears from the floor. Once my arm was under, all the way to the shoulder, then the fun can begin.
Have you ever noticed that in small spaces, it’s all about entire body orientation to squeeze through? The minute you change something un-related to the body part that is being squeezed, you change your entire relationship to the small space…. Well, that’s my experience, at least! : -) So, while under the fridge with my arm, I managed to move in a “wrong” way. The next thing I know, my arm is stuck under the refrigerator at the elbow. Not kinda stuck, not “maybe a little” stuck. Full on, “Oh my god, I’m never coming free; I need to start gnawing my arm off if I don’t want to spend the rest of my life under a refridgerator“ kind of stuck.
Eventually I managed to free my right arm from the hungry monster that pretends to store my food (while secretly aiming to consume my bones). As a memento of my tangle with the hungry beastie I have a beautiful bruise on my elbow topped with a nice fluffy foamy (kind of like a cool whip topper) set of scrapes. Not to mention, for some strange reason, my shoulder feels a tad bit pulled…
“Is that all?” you ask. No. Not a bit. In some small dark secret corner of my mind apparently I am compelled to explore the depths of pain. This morning, after waking up sore, bruised and wishing desperately for a long day trip to someone that makes pain go away (massage artist? Chiropractor? Miracle worker?), I decided to work out. And not just any wishy washy work out was going to do it for me. I needed action, adventure, fast paced… oh, and by the way, can I please screw up my right arm some more?
I needed Kenpo. This morning, me and my “I can’t lift my arm above my shoulder” right arm kicked, punched and whimpered my way into butt kicking Kenpo land. Oddly enough, I’m feeling quite sore at the moment.
What’cha think, do I need my head examined or what?
Posted by dancingblonde
at 5:01 PM PST
Updated: Tue, 8 Nov 2005 5:39 PM PST
Mon, 7 Nov 2005
You have a choice...
A quote that passed my inbox that I really wanted to share.
Eight years ago, sitting alone in a cold house in the middle of a week-long ice storm, I spoke a sentence out loud: “You have a choice.” It wasn’t a sentence I remember ever hearing. I had been weakly, dimly hoping for the strength to change myself, the power to change my life, without making the hard choices that would support the vision I held for myself. I thought, mistakenly, that I could change my life without rocking the boat.
I had to learn how to listen and trust that quiet voice. I had to clear a wide, still space in me where possibility could take root and dreams could hatch. Hearing my inner voice above the din of shoulds and expectations is difficult, and when I do hear her, what she has to say is often scary. “You have to take the full leap. Halfway won’t work.”
My inner voice invariably speaks up for the riskier option, which requires that I turn my life over to uncertainty. I can't know the outcome. The strange thing is that ultimately, that is the choice that offers the most meaning and joy. Every time I’ve trusted that inner voice my life has expanded, my creativity flowed and I’ve received the tools and nourishment I needed for the next step.
Ironically, the most difficult roads that this voice has led me down have offered the lessons I needed most. I learned to love more deeply. And I learned trust --trust in myself and trust in something greater than myself.
In Celebration of Possibility,
Posted by dancingblonde
at 10:18 AM PST
Wed, 2 Nov 2005
Today had a lot of thoughts to me about happiness and life. I guess it's because I'm trying to work out those little things that add up to a great mental state. Some hours, some whole days, sometimes for even longer, I have my hands on what it is to be really happy, but then it seems to slip away. Why think about this today?
I was in a great mood the last two days, and even part of today. A good part of it has to deal with letting go of the situations that I am not allowed to improve. Then, while on a phone call with a recruiter, who was looking at my resume for project management roles; the only positions she was willing to talk about with me were QA positions. This is after asking me what I wanted to do and me saying I wanted to pursue formal project management (which was why I obtained my PMP certification), not just another role in "QA management who, oh by the way, has to baby-sit the big picture too". I didn't even quite twig to why this bothered me until I hung up the phone, which is when I realized that I wasn't as confident and happy as I had been the last week. Suddenly this person who doesn't know me except for a piece of paper in front of them is somehow eroding my confidence in myself. How odd. Even knowing that it's illogical, it's been an uphill battle to rebuild that confidence / comfort / happiness in me, and in knowing that I will attain a better position in a reasonable time frame. So what did I do or find?
Well, I tried some standard things - looking at stuff that makes me laugh, etc; and while that helped detach me from the situation, it didn't ultimately change my mental state. Then I tripped over an article hosted by the Times Online
where they talk about the actual science behind happiness. It's actually fascinating reading if you are up for the whole thing. Somehow that's what did the trick. The "ah hah" moment for me was realizing that "Of course I'm going to take it poorly - I think it actually reflects me and I'm hardwired to try and then be better than said poor reflection. How silly." Suddenly it was ok, I could completely let it go and know that it doesn't matter. I don't HAVE to let that set of events put me in a mental tailspin. Nor am I required to go to interviews / take a position just because the recruiter doesn't want to work with me for a fit that makes both of us happy. While empirically I know that their job is merely to place people so they get their retainer; I'm not actually convinced that they wouldn't be better served trying to get a truly great fit between employees and employers. As the research proves, happy people are more productive and help companies be more competitive, which would probably benefit EVERYBODY more long term. However, since we live in the world as it is, I'm perfectly capable of determining my own fate. :-) I just have to remember that. Where does that leave me?
Just after the ah hah moment, I ran across this quote and it sums up the reminder that I guess we all need on a regular basis. Also, I think I'm going to revive my Tuesday Gratitude list for myself, because I DO have so much to be grateful for; and I'd hate to really deaden myself to the daily wonders I'm exposed to.
Didion's powerful commencement remarks at U.C. Riverside: "I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package," she said. "I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave's a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that's what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it."
Posted by dancingblonde
at 5:37 PM PST
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