Love’s Little Conundrum

I grew up on Disney movies.  I am a sucker for the good triumphing over evil, the underdog pulling through in the end, true love’s first kiss, and that whole Happily Ever After bit. Now that appeals to me, quite a bit.  Throw in a pretty gown and a sparkling tiara and I’m sold on the fairy tale.

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Shockingly, with Disney-esque expectations, love has proved to be quite a conundrum as the reality of the day AFTER Happily Ever After kicks in.

I suppose, to be fair Mr. Disney did have Cinderella work her butt off, Sleeping Beauty did have to battle a jealous fairy, Snow White was dealing with her own issues on jealousy.   Ariel made some pretty ill advised decisions and Jasmine showed quite a temper.  So I probably could have been more prepared if I’d been looking for the cues.

Trouble is, we expect the hard part to be the finding of and falling into love.  That once you have it within your grasp, the easy part begins.

And that really is love’s biggest conundrum; as easy as it is to love someone’s heart and soul, the everyday reality of dealing with them is really, really hard!

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Nothing could have ever really prepared you for that moment when those walls finally fell and let someone truly into your heart, how vulnerable and complete you would feel.   There was no guideline to prepare for the sense of camaraderie when the two of you shared your plans, fears, and desires or the the heartbreak of that first real argument, when that information was used against you in the heat of the moment as cannon fodder.  Not an inkling of what it would be like to watch your partner get sick, or the immense relief of knowing that they would be ok and you played a role in their recovery.   And what about the things that even love can’t fix?

I’ve learned that life, and love, is far more complicated than I ever imagined.  But it’s intricacies offer breathtaking moments, harsh lessons, and above all, joy.  In a world where so many focus on filters, Photoshop, and staged photo ops is it any wonder that we have such unrealistic expectations of something as romanticized as love?  And yet, by placing such grandiose requirements we miss out on the joy of the real connection that we are desperately seeking.

Conundrum

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It Started With A Dance…

He said “dancing is like life, sometimes we overthink it. You just need to slow yourself down and catch on to the rhythm of things”

Picture this if you will: The radio is on, I was dancing around the kitchen, singing to Chassis (my pup), working on my third batch of cookies for the holidays. Chassis is sitting near the foot of the table, head cocked, looking at me like his human has lost her marbles, when it hits me.

I AM happy.

Come to think of it, I have been on a happy streak lately.

Now, I analyze things. A lot. Probably too much. And in this moment I am dumbfounded at the realization. The timing of this revelation is pretty crazy, in fact. Holidays are typically really difficult for me. And I’ve been dealing with some issues. And yet, here I am, giggling and twirling, singing into my spoon as Chris Stapleton and I perform an ah-mazing (just ask Chassis) duet together. So, how did I get here?

It started with a dance…

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Ever had one of those days when you just need to toss reality in the closet for few hours and go have fun? These are so few and far between for me, but I was visiting my sister and the Trinity was with their dad. A splurge seemed necessary. I heard of a concert that night, at a place I used to go to that had a great house band and a super dance floor.

I hadn’t planned on actually dancing, just listening and people watching. Its been a long time since I had been out dancing. No need to get run over on the dance floor, but I also couldn’t quite manage to sit still as I watched with my sister, either. Eventually, a very kind (and very patient) gentleman asked if I would like to do the Texas Two Step. Four steps, its easy, he said. Easy? Poor guy! My over analyzing took “slooow, slooow, quick, quick” and performed some sort of calculus before it made it to my feet. God bless him, he smiled and pulled me aside. He said “dancing is like life, sometimes we overthink it. You just need to slow yourself down and catch on to the rhythm of things”. After some (more) lessons and a bit more philosophy discussion we started to make progress. A second song and around the floor we went, smoother this time.

From the Two Step to West Coast Swing (my favorite), the ChaCha and even a line dance or two, every twirl around the floor, each measured step brought a smile. That little bit of cheerleading count OCD was fulfilling some happy part of my brain. And then I was pulled back out on the dance floor one more time to “just dance”. No counts, just go with the music. Umm, was that even possible partner dancing?? Time to shush the OCD overthinker and go with the flow.

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You know those scenes in movies where you see two people dance and they just mesh together? Well, not sure it looked like that from the outside, but when your partner is an actual instructor, it makes you feel pretty much like you are living that. Bucket list moment fulfilled ~ I lived a movie dance scene. We twirled and shimmied, I was dipped and spun. Oh my goodness, how I laughed! And the joy that I felt as I let go of the need for counts and perfection, just enjoying the moment, radiated from the core of my soul. I may have sparkled just as much as the disco ball above by the time the song ended! I had tapped into those moments that had brought me joy in the past and pulled them forward into my Now.

The best part? That dance is still in my Now! I find it in the car going to pick up the kids from school and when I am singing in the shower. I find it when I am walking Chassis and randomly add in a dance step. It shows up when my son goes in to hug me and we end up spinning around in the kitchen, or my youngest and I start dancing together and when my oldest and I are belting out hairbrush duets. And, lucky for Chassis, it shows up when I twirl around while baking cookies…