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Posts Tagged ‘Journey’

Too often we are so preoccupied with the destination,
we forget the journey.
~ Unknown

One vacation day. Sixteen hours in the car.  Nearly 960 miles added to the odometer.  Scenic travel through West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.  Two stops to refuel. Two additional stops to stretch the legs.

The Aunts from Ohio had been summoned.

At the other end awaits one very excited four-year-old, a pink tutu, and three minutes of Bob Marley singing Three Little Birds:

. . . “Don’t worry about a thing. ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”

It’s Summer’s first dance recital. Her chance to shine. To excel at something her older brothers don’t care about and for which her younger sister doesn’t yet have the coordination.

A middle child’s first moment in the spotlight — literally.

Summer has been taking lessons since last fall. Every week she has been introduced to new exercises, moves, dances, and music. It’s her thing.

Over Easter, she brought her dance costume with her to Ohio to give us a preview. She flitted and fluttered around the living room, up on tiny toes, arms moving like a butterfly, to a rhythm she alone could hear.

As the curtain opened for Act 11 on Friday night and the lights came up in the small auditorium in Richmond, 11 delightful preschool dancers appeared. White dance shoes pointed, hands positioned, all eyes on the instructor watching for the cue.

It was magical. It was fun. It almost fell apart — but the girls, under the skillful guidance of their teacher, held it together through the end. The crowd clapped and cheered, whistled and shouted.  Grandparents wiped tears. Parents breathed a sigh of relief.

Two aunts from Ohio were oh, so happy to have made the trip.

In five years, I don’t know if Summer will remember the details of this night. How excited she was to wear make-up for the first time, that Dawn and I were present, that her father handed her a huge bouquet of flowers during intermission, or that we went to Red Robin to celebrate.

Until Summer has children of her own, she probably won’t realize that her mother sat in the seat next to me feeling more anxiety than the dancers — but certainly less than their teacher.

What I hope she carries with her is that the journey brings its own reward — it can be just as fulfilling as the destination. The the work is worth it. That if you dance long enough, the spotlight will eventually shine.

The three minutes she was on stage could not begin to showcase all of the talents Summer has developed or the new skills she has mastered that led up to the night of the recital.  In life, as in dance, the destination doesn’t shine as brightly without the journey.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward;

but it is the journey that matters, in the end”

~ Ursula K. LeGuin

Keep dancing, Summer!

Whatever you are, enjoy the journey!

Deanna

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At what point did we become so serious and our lives become so incredibly busy that celebrations fell off our calendar? I’m not talking about the national Hallmark holidays. I’m referring to the seizing the moment opportunities to let loose and celebrate with our friends and family members.

We’ve had enough bad news – let’s find a reason (any reason) to have some fun! It snowed today in Ohio, let’s throw a party!! Woo Hoo!! (It’s not that I’m necessarily a fan of snow in April, but celebrating beats complaining any day in my book.) Barbara Hoffman said, “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.”

My friend, Debbie, taught me the importance of celebrating all things large and small. Debbie knows how to take an ordinary day and turn it into a memorable event that you’ll want to celebrate every year. Give her 30 minute’s notice and she can take a few colorful napkins and matching tablecloth, add in dessert from the new bakery downtown, pull together favors from some interesting place she recently visited, and create a celebratory atmosphere second to none.

(Although unproven, I am certain you could put Debbie in a room with a Chinese restaurant take-out menu, a pair of salad tongs, four slices of individually wrapped processed cheese food, and a chocolate bar, and she would whip up fantastic party in no time!)

My friend Andrea loves (and I mean LOVES) sheet cake. In fact, we just enjoyed a sumptuous sheet cake at her baby shower this past weekend. As we were talking, she began lamenting the fact that there are simply not enough reasons to order cake. This started us thinking about all the possible celebratory days we let pass us by unobserved. Here is the partial list we compiled: first day of every month, Groundhog’s Day, last day of Spring, first day of Summer, the day Daylight Savings Begins (or ends), any date that contains a “1” or “2”, last Friday of the month . . . well, as you can see the list is endless.

A celebration doesn’t have to be spectacular or costly, it just has to be fun and lift your spirit. It’s a wonderful reason to send a silly email, share lunch with a friend, or eat dinner on the fancy dishes.

Are you ready? I mean really ready to celebrate? If you can’t come up with an “occasion” on your own, I have discovered a few special events being celebrated this week:

Today: No Housework Day. This is one holiday I celebrate with passion — and not just on the designated day.

Thursday: National Cherish an Antique Day. I think I’ll send my dad a special greeting!

Friday: National Siblings Day. If you have any brothers or sisters, this is the day to honor them. And if your state isn’t one of the 31 to have issued an official proclamation recognizing Siblings Day, be sure to set aside time to contact your Congressman or Congresswoman about this noble endeavor!

Saturday: Eight Track Tape Day. A special day for all of us born in the sixties and seventies! Play a favorite song and reminisce about the “good old days.”

Oprah Winfrey once said, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

Whatever you are, be a good one!

Deanna

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