just when you think…

 

Swan Lake ballet

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My daughter’s had her share of frustrations these last 7 months or so, beginning with having to take a medical leave from her job as a dancer last Fall. That caused her to miss the first performance of the season, Swan Lake, as well as The Nutcracker. Resuming dance in January, she was able to perform in her company’s winter series, “Director‘s Choice,” where she had some nice parts, soloing in one piece, “Postcards from the Boys.” She was also able to dance small variations for the annual Ballet Ball fundraising event.

10.11.22 Carmina Burana fascinó al público en ...

Image by Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires via Flickr

After a 2-week break, she was happily back to work, rehearsing for the upcoming performance of “Carmina Burrana,” the last of the company’s season and a powerful work that includes an adult choir, and a children’s choir, singing along with a full orchestra. The music serves as an inspiring backdrop for the dancers. I’ve seen another company dance the piece, and came away emotionally spent. That’s how tremendous the effect is with the combined efforts of musicians, singers, and dancers flowing from the stage towards the audience. My daughter so looked forward to all the dancing she was prepared to do.

Multiple fractures of the metacarpals (aka bro...

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Yesterday I was shocked when my daughter called and said she had broken her right hand, below the ring finger, continuing down towards the middle of her palm. Falling from a stance on tiptoes, she, and the other dancers, were enacting a move that resembled their having been shot from a cannon. Evidently my daughter’s fall happened quicker than she expected, so her hand hit the floor to brace herself, and took the full weight of her body. She heard a “crunch,” and knew something was askew. Getting up, she immediately knew she’d broken something for she had no feeling in her hand. A visit to a walk-in clinic confirmed her suspicions when an xray was taken.

While she waits to see the orthopedist on Monday, my daughter has much to reflect upon, the physical pain being one. But for a dancer it doesn’t end there. She must now regroup mentally and emotionally. At 25, she’s better equipped to handle such occurrences without being devastated. In her younger years, especially as a student of dance, these setbacks were more difficult to rationalize. Now that my daughter is a professional, having proved herself, and being valued for her contributions to the company as a whole, she can deal with being sidelined better. Not that it’s easy; it’s never easy. Not being able to dance for 3 or more weeks is sheer torture for a dancer, especially one so passionate about it as my daughter.

Because the break is a clean one, my daughter feels the healing time will be quicker. She’s glad it was her right-hand because she’s left-handed. She’s glad it was her hand, and not her foot. She’s glad she has a girlfriend living with her temporarily, having just moved in a few days ago. How timely was that? And when she realized something was amiss, that something was broken, her fellow dancers immediately went into action, getting her an ice-pack, pain-killers, and hovering, offering assistance, and support. And the artistic director, her boss, was at her side, sympathetic and concerned. After he viewed the xray of her broken hand, he asked if she had help at home. Replying that she had a friend with her, he still told my daughter to call him if she needed anything, as did many of the dancers.

Last night a number of people from work were at my daughter’s apartment, dining on pizza and sitting around chatting. As a mom, my heart is warmed knowing she has a family with whom to share her ups and downs. I can’t be everywhere, so I’m glad there are angels always hovering nearby.

Children grow up to assume lives as adults. How they do it is not a mystery, really. It’s just putting one foot in front of the other, knowing that every day presents new possibilities. There’ll always be challenges, but with them come new discoveries…about life…about themselves. We’ve all been there, done that, and continue to do so. That really is what life’s about, isn’t it?

another challenge…another possibility…hugmamma.

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my minutiae, an update

As in the past, here’s another post to update some of the minute details that make my life, mine. We all have them, some are commonplace, some are unique. If you’re ever inclined, feel free to share some of yours.

  • While I was visiting my daughter, a huge tree fell in our back yard, landing precariously close to our house, perhaps 20 feet away. The top branches lay across the arbor that serves as an overhead roof to the back deck. A “chunk of change” later, a local tree service removed the precariously perched tree right down to its trunk, leaving our house intact. An act of Mother Nature, from which we were spared catastrophic damage by the hand of God. Thank goodness I wasn’t on hand to witness the event. Might have been too much for my heart. Something to ponder.
  • Yesterday was the first day of Fall. The season usually portends of rain, chilly weather, gray skies. So I guess those of us in the Pacific Northwest had exactly one month of summer, August. Retiring to Hawaii or Florida sounds really enticing. Also something to ponder.
  • On the local news yesterday they reported that a man returning home from walking his 2 dogs, was attacked by a black bear at the foot of his driveway. His wife could be heard on a 911 call, pleading for help. Because black bears have been sighted in our neighborhood, I’m very fearful of encountering one. In addition to the one bear bell attached to my dog’s leash, I may have to sew a whole bunch to my jacket. Who cares if I sound like the “Good Humor” man selling ice cream from a truck. I may look like “princess pupule” (Hawaiian for “crazy princess), but I’m sure the bears will avoid me, but so might the neighbors. Hmmm, something else to ponder.
  • The other night my husband announced that we’d been invited to his boss’s home to dine, one of the other guests being the new bishop of our diocese. It always surprises me when we’re asked to socialize with the CEO/President and his wife, because they “run” in such different circles from us. I love them dearly, having told them once that they bring out my maternal instincts. A decade younger, I look upon them like my other children. I’ve met both their parents, whom I also find enchanting. What surprises me is that my candidness seems to endear me to them. I do tread carefully, however, because my husband hovers nearby making sure I don’t say something too outrageous. But what do I chat about with a Catholic bishop? Hmmm…even more to ponder. One thing’s for sure, I’d better not have a lemon-drop martini. You know what they say, “Loose lips sinks ships.” And if I get too loose, oh my goodness…
  • A dance career can be an obstacle course because of the “detours” that unexpectedly present themselves. The last week I was with my daughter, she was unable to dance. Towards the end of the previous week, her male partner had brought her down from an overhead lift too quickly. Caught off guard, my daughter’s pointe shoe hit the ground hard, probably exacerbating an already tentative ankle. As a preventive measure from further injury, her foot is in an orthopedic boot, awaiting a doctor’s diagnosis. She’s hoping it’s not serious enough to sideline her from performing in Swan Lake. As a professional she knows such mishaps are part of the job. All she can do is seek resolution so that she can move forward. We can all learn something from these young folk, I know I can, and am.
  • Dr. Oz’ show shared some good information today. It included a discussion of “obesogens.” From what I gathered, since I tuned in late, environmental factors may contribute to our obesity, from plastics and canned foods that leach chemicals into our food, to farmed-fish, like salmon, whose pesticides and coloring agent also promote obesity. One tip, among several suggested, is not to microwave foods in plastic containers because of the leaching effect. Better to cook or reheat in glass containers. Another topic was dehydration, which many of us fail to recognize until we head to the emergency room for resuscitation. Drinking plenty of water to maintain our body’s 60% composition, is essential to keeping our cells, and the surrounding areas, hydrated. One tip was specifically helpful since I consume a lot of green tea daily. Coffee and tea are diuretics which cause us to lose water. Because of this, we need to replenish the loss by drinking 8 ozs. of water for each cup of caffeinated beverage we consume. Years ago when I followed the Weight Watcher’s Diet, I understood that coffee and tea would count towards the required amount of water consumption. Perhaps their information has been adjusted to reflect more current data.
  • My husband and I are starting our Fall weather regime this evening, going to our community center to walk the track and use the fitness equipment. Wish us luck, for the long haul.

small stuff, that’s life…hugmamma.

in the moment, “live-life-large”

In one of our many chats, my daughter spoke of the guest who has been assisting with company rehearsals for the ballet, Swan Lake. When the woman was younger, she danced with another company and had performed the lead roles of Odette, the white swan and Odile, the black swan. Throughout her coaching, she has earned the respect and admiration of all the dancers, including my daughter, who has often remarked that the woman could still perform the leads in Swan Lake despite her age. “She’s still technically strong and artistically beautiful.” One day during morning ballet class, she advised the dancers that they should work “in the moment,” focusing upon the step they were doing, not the one before, nor the one after. She also explained that they should immerse themselves completely in a role, so that when they’re done they can put the performance behind them, knowing they did their best. My daughter felt this was very sound advice, as did I.

The life of a ballet dancer seems the perfect metaphor for living life. Find one’s passion, be disciplined in working toward achieving a goal, be flexible in allowing for “detours” that will undoubtedly occur, formulate new resolutions accordingly, relish the journey for its as important as the “pot-of-gold” at the end of the rainbow. If the “pot” is not reached, the trip will still have been worthwhile because of the “nuggets” gathered along the way.

I try to “live-life-large” in the moment, savoring it with all 5 senses. Some days I’m more successful than others. I try not to think of what I might have done better in the past, or what I might accomplish in the future. If I’m blogging then I focus upon the subject at hand, bringing all my thoughts to bear. When I’m cooking, I’m Julia Child celebrating food with abandon. As housekeeper I’m my mother’s daughter, cleaning every nook and cranny with determination. When out walking Mocha, she sets the pace, sniffing every blade of grass, running freely through ground cover up to her chest or low-lying bushes, where she often does her business. When Sitka or Juneau decide to use my lap, I’ve learned to sit-a-spell reveling in their contented purrs. When I crawl into bed, usually in the wee hours of the morning, I’m grateful to have had another day of  good health, for it enabled me to “live-life-large” in the moment.

Outstanding adults who influence my daughter for the better are  a gift. She will have them in her life to reinforce the values with which she has been raised. At 24, my husband and I are no longer the center of her world, nor should we be. She is already striving to “live-life-large” in the moment, gathering “pearls of wisdom” as she  matures.

hugs for living “big”, in the moment…hugmamma.