| |

It's not that I make New Year resolutions...but gather ye rosebuds


As my mum always says, "everyday is a blessing." Coming up to 88 next week -- and she also says it that way -- "coming up to" -- she should know.

If each day is a blessing, then so too is each year -- despite its 365  blessed or unblessed days.

They're unblessed, I guess,  if you're dead.

I've just been through a couple of years somewhere in between. Not dead but  anointed enough to function in a fashion as I dealt with a succession of challenging health issues.

I thought I was sentenced to a lifestyle formatted by deteriorating health -- plagued by a mixture of worsening illnesses.

But, I suspect I have graduated  -- not with top marks, but with a pass certificate that says I have tamed the worst of it.

Whew. (Wipes forehead)

At the moment my body is adjusting as it goes about its business of convincing my mind that maybe I can  afford a tad more self confidence every day that I am 'blessed' with.

The irony is that I do do so much but these activities are interspersed with me doing so little.

Such as today:I slept for most of it.

Despite that slumber handicap on this New Year's Day, 2012,  I was walking the dogs at dawn along the shoreline, line danced for 40 minutes, read some James Lee Burke  and cooked an evening meal for the significant other and I ( a rather delicious shepherds pie).

I have these skills you see that enable me to roll with the punches and make the most of  each day's mobility quota.  Despite the fact that after dawn and for most of today (but not all of it) I was hobble prone or prostrate and non compus mentis...

You see, I'm a physiological opportunist and one of the expectations I'm promoting this upcoming year is to write my own DIY manual: Fibromyalgia for Beginners . 

Motto: do what you can when you can -- because  Uncle Dave says so.

It's not so much cape diem but the rule of green thumbery:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
This also means that I work through a series of projects as best as I can. Schedules will only cripple the psyche.

So this year I'll build that canoe I've been planning and get back on the water sailing. I'll learn many more  soul line dances and maybe try to get a club together so a 'line' actually exists when the music starts. I'll keep up with the boxing, kettlebelling, walking and kickbiking because I luv that stuff.

I'll shoot more movies and hone my editing skills....

As for the rest -- as yet unspoken and untyped -- we'll see.

But to give you an idea how all this works, one of the thrills this last year was the very recent discovery of 'urban soul'  line dancing.

I'm a frustrated muso and while I have played a little bit of this and that  my illness thwarted my instrumental engagement because my reflexes have stiffened and any capacity to hold the music in my head failed me. Since I cannot  easily remember proper nouns and numbers  --  verbs and adjectives won't get you very far with sheet music.

But -- and  here's the really thrilling part -- I discovered  that I can commit dance steps to memory because I can associate the moves with the beat and with the melody. Each element , it seems, reinforces the other inside my brain and I get to dance because I can remember the steps.
Dancers learn to repeat things not just with their bodies, but also with their hands and in words. This process of repeating what you just saw or heard until you've committed it to memory is a skill, and it serves dancers in all aspects of life, both inside the studio and out. (ref)
Any remembrance is sweet when you are threatened by poor recall. I can lay out a whole presentation in my head and deliver it the way I planned in front of an audience but I cannot commit one line of text to memory. True: not one line.

But I can take a sequence of dance steps and a succesion of dances  -- and replicate them.

Dance Therapy
It was the dancing When my little boy Dimitri died…and everybody was crying… Me, I got up and I danced. They said, "Zorba is mad." But it was the dancing — only the dancing that stopped the pain. –[Zorba, in Zorba the Greek]
And that's so true.

Despite my stiffening musculature I can make my tootsies go places they have not visited before.

The late English comic actor Terry Thomas suffered from Parkinsons Disease and made a remark once that makes so much sense to me:
"Sometimes I don't sleep very well, and when I wake up I get a piece of chocolate and I have to go through a door from my bedroom to the kitchen where the chocolate is. One night, coming to the door, I couldn't get through it and I had to force my way through. It was as if one's feet were glued to the ground. I've tried tricks like dancing thorough and sometimes it's worked."
You betcha Terry. I don't have his malady but the fact that I can dance when I can hardly walk is such a wondrous discovery. I'm no Fred Astaire of course, but to do this when I am so often so physically  challenged is amazing.

Talk about happy feet! Dancing does indeed stop the pain.

I used to think that the endorphins produced by exercise were the ruling opiate. I used to wallow in a Runner's High when I was a jogger way back when, so I knew there was something on offer if you sweated up. But I didn't expect such Zenhood from dancing -- in point of fact, dance with repetitive movements like line dancing.
We tend to think of dance class more as a rite of passage for elementary-school girls than a therapeutic outlet, but mounting scientific evidence suggests a surprising range of psychological benefits, from greater calm and elevated mood to an expanded sense of fulfillment and control. "Dance allows people to experience themselves in ways they didn't know they could," says Miriam Berger, a dance professor and dance therapist at New York University. "You can change your internal state through external movement."  Dance Therapy: Spin Control
So this year I'm seizing the day and gathering ye rosebuds dancing...

0 comments:

Post a Comment