Dance to your own tune

Quote of the day:

  1. Dance like no one is watching, love like you’ve never been hurt; sing like no one is listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth
  2. Why fit in when you were born to stand out

The Hourglass

Since being diagnosed with cancer back in 2017 I’ve learned to appreciate each day more. Don’t get me wrong there are days maybe weeks where I can definitely say I haven’t made the most of my time or appreciated those around me. It’s safe to say if one of those days were to have been my last then looking back I’d be pretty gutted if that’s how I’d spent my last day on earth. Generally, on the whole though I think that I have an enhanced gratitude for the simple things in life for instance the birds singing in the morning, the sun rise, plants and trees, hearing my kids laugh (even when it’s at my expense).

Most of us have to work therefore making time to appreciate the simple things in life as well as be a good mum/dad, having a tidy house, being a good human being, walking the dog, staying healthy, exercising (the list goes on) seem like an impossible task. It’s a lot about trying to find a balance with earning enough money to live the life style we desire and having time to appreciate the simple things in life that money can’t buy. Now if someone has mastered this dark art then please can they let me know the secret as I’ve often made the wrong decisions. It’s only when someone tells you that sand timer is running out that you start to focus on what really matters to you. For me at this moment I’m concentrating on my health and getting better.

The point I’m trying to make is if you don’t want to do something then don’t do it (unless either of my kids and husband are reading this then you need to do whatever it is I am asking NOW). Don’t waste your time going to baby showers you don’t really want to be at (is that just me that really doesn’t get the idea of a baby shower sorry!), don’t sit through shows you’re not enjoying or go to some house party you don’t want to be at but your just there because you’re being ‘polite’. Learn to say ‘No’ to things (well not everything or you might end up pretty lonely, friendships are all about compromise). However, in the end it’s your time and you need to spend it wisely, don’t worry about upsetting people. Spend it on doing the things you love and make you happy, don’t worry about what people think it’s not their life to waste. If they don’t like it then unfortunately, they’re probably not your kind of people. The ones you love and make you happy are most likely the friends and family you want waste grains of sand on.

Dance Like No One is Watching

One of my close friends has MS (Multiple Scleroses) and only recently I discovered that some of the symptoms of MS can often be similar to those of someone who has a brain injury/brain tumour. Both illnesses mean you have very limited energy and once that energy has gone then unfortunately you’re not fit for much (this I have learned the hard way several times). My OT (Occupational Therapist) said it’s like you have 5 spoons of energy a day so you need to prioritise what you would like to spend those spoons of energy on. For example, if I was to have a friend over to visit I can manage about 1 hour before I’m really struggling talking or listening so that’s 1 maybe 2 spoons. Going for a short walk that’s another spoon and making lunch that’s another spoon. You can see how quickly your spoons get used up. That’s why I often have to go for a sleep or even to just lie down in silence as my brain needs a rest. It’s really hard to try only do a few things when I’ve always been a doer and find it really hard to just not do anything. This is when I take the opportunity to do my crafts or read and write.

My friend has been living with MS for a while now and I have to admire her zest for life. She doesn’t let it stop her at all. She will be the first and the last one on the dance floor enjoying herself and that’s just at kids’ parties. She doesn’t really care what other people think and I’m sure she uses her spoons more wisely than me.

Born Worrier

For me from a very young age I used to care what people think. I would never go and dance at parties or in holiday clubs (the only exception would be musical bumps and because there was generally a prize up for grabs and it just involved falling on your arse). Later on, I progressed to the classic side step and clap at school discos. After that in my late teens you would generally find me at the bar getting drunk with the lads (no wonder I often get called ‘mate’, I find it quite endearing though!). If there was ever a situation that involved dancing I would feel the knots in my stomach build up and panic would set it I would either; a) go to the toilet to waste some time b) go to the bar to get another drink.

On my wedding day the actual wedding dance I look back on and cringe it was one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life and I will explain why;

  1. The DJ called us to the dance floor and announced to the guests that we were to take our first dance as man and wife. We had not discussed this with him and had I have known I would have definitely told him not to bother.
  2. There we were forced in the middle of the dance floor centre of attention (which for me is my worst nightmare). We had not rehearsed this at all like the videos you see of couples who have this fantastic first dance then all the ushers and bridesmaids join in, nor had we taken the opportunity to take up salsa dancing classes in preparation. For one my thighs should not be on display (although I am still partial to a pair of American tan tights!) and also Ste’s garish shirts and boot cut jeans days are thankfully behind him.
  3. The only slight preparation for the dance was that we said to the kids when the music comes on would they join us. Our thoughts behind this was that it would be cute for us to dance as a family and also they would act like a small human shield to hide the fact we are both rubbish dancers (Ste will argue this point but in my defence in the whole 17 years I have known him I have yet to see him dance – Ste I do not call the dropping arms and pointing to the floor a dance move). The kids agreed to this so we felt this box was ticked.
  4. For some reason we decided to choose Ed Sheeran’s ’Thinking Out Loud’ song as the first dance, not because we really liked the song but it was the only one that hadn’t been played at the ceremony that we still remotely liked and therefore thought well have that. Being there are quite a few gingers on both my mum and dad’s side this was also a great tribute to them. However, to this day neither of us associate this song with our wedding day. Should we have had the balls to not conform i.e.  have a song played twice at the wedding!! then we would have picked Christina Perri ‘A Thousand Years’. This is the one I walked down to the wooden gazebo with my dad (not aisle that’s certainly not me)
  5. Ste moved in circles and at the same time managed to stand on my dress. I was politely trying to tell him to ‘get off’ my dress and at the same time smile while there was 100 people stood by taking pictures. The exact moment I wanted the ground to swallow me whole.
  6. The kids refused point blank to come and join us on the dance floor they were far too busy getting high off all the E numbers from the sweet jars, Daisy had managed to rip her flower girls dress and Archie had took most of his cute little suit off and was wearing glow stick bunny ears whilst drawing on the HIRED giant Jenga pieces with black marker pens.

It’s fair to say I do not like being the centre of attention nor does Ste (I think). I tried to give eye contact to the DJ i.e. gave him the death stare a couple of times until he finally twigged and asked people to join us on the dance floor – (thank god for that). Straight away Ste went to the bar ‘to entertain’ and I think I might have stayed for one song (I have photographic evidence to prove this)

The truth is I totally wish I could be more like my friend and other people I know and dance like no-ones watching. When the kids were young, I used to make a big effort and get them to join in with things on holiday and parties even if it meant joining in much to my discomfort. See I don’t want them to grow up being ashamed to enjoy their selves for fear of other people’s opinions.

On hindsight if we felt that uncomfortable about ‘conforming to the norm’ we should have just said ‘No’ and done what we wanted. After all it was our wedding day. I and I think Ste would have felt much more comfortable dancing while everyone else was. Meaning we could hide within the crowd and fully enjoy the moment with the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

Lessons Learned  

  1. Choose what and whom to waste your grains of sand on.
  2. Don’t ever do something just to conform.
  3. Don’t care what people think or what they will say it’s more than likely they’re too busy looking at social media at someone else’s ‘perfect life’ to notice what’s going on in the real world.
  4. A picture can say a thousand words but it can also hide a few swear words.
  5. Don’t trust kids they are cute little arseholes that lie just to appease you.
  6. Don’t hire Jenga pieces at a wedding if kids are involved.

5 Comments

  1. Faye
    19/05/2022 / 03:49

    Outstanding as always! Our first dance at our wedding was also a disaster and we can’t even blame the kids!🙈 Always dance like no one is watching😘

  2. Jeanette
    19/05/2022 / 08:39

    Just fantastic… So funny and resonates.. Really well written…. So proud of you… Love you loads xx Jeanette

  3. Sam Green
    19/05/2022 / 13:30

    Love this Rach 🙂

  4. Catherine
    19/05/2022 / 21:28

    Yeah that first dance thing is just so crap. I can’t remember what we had. Was probably Take That or something.
    And baby showers or gender reveals, yes what rubbish!
    Looking forward to your next installment! Hope all is well. Love and God bless xxx

  5. Ben Kenyon
    22/05/2022 / 14:39

    THIS…..’I have an enhanced gratitude for the simple things in life for instance the birds singing in the morning, the sun rise, plants and trees, hearing my kids laugh (even when it’s at my expense).’

    So glad I read this. Such an amazing philosophy on life! And something we could all do with remembering every day 🙂

    xxx

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