Thoughts About People and Connections

Impress upon me your image, your words, your intelligence, your sense of humor, your touch, your lips, your love.

I believe people come into our lives for a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is for a lifetime, a single-serving encounter, or a mere flash to our senses.

On Saturday, after completing a Zumba workout at my local dance studio, a classmate and I decided to cool off with a two-mile walk on the Clinton-Macomb trail. Access to the trail, was just across the street from the dance studio.

As we walked, the two of us conversed about children, parents, death, illness, coping with adversity, prayer, pets and cleaning out household clutter. Anyone listening would have thought we had known each other for decades. Despite our brief acquaintance, all conversations touched on such a deep level. I made myself stop and really listen to the significance of the words being exchanged.

With some people, it takes a lifetime to truly understand their connection with us. With others, it takes an addiction to Zumba and a two-mile cool-off.

Wednesday Zumba Mornings

After I put my son on the school bus, I head to Graceful Moves in Shelby Township, Mich. for a one-hour Zumba class. I am a newbie to this Latin-dance, aerobic-exercise craze. But, I can already see and feel why it’s a hit.

The instructor, Sheryl, is amazing to watch and follow. Most of the ladies in my class have been taking Zumba from her for two years. That says a lot about their commitment to staying fit and to having a blast at 9:00 am each Wednesday.

One of the components I love most about this class is the mix of music we dance to. There is truly a beat for just about any person who loves to dance. We mixed it up mostly to Latin music. But, we also pretend to be Jennifer Beals from Flashdance, Lady Gaga and Fergie from Black-Eyed Peas for a few numbers.

A long-time friend for high school inspired me to try Zumba; and I am so glad she did. You should check out her Zumba posts at her blog, Tickling My Fancy. My Wednesday mornings are now something I look forward to and I am having a blast. Here’s to Zumba addiction.

Seven, Silent Monsters

I have seven, silent, but ever-present monsters prowling around in my head. Winter blahs, cabin fever, parental stresses, unrealistic expectations, inner negative talk, ever-growing to-do list, and time thief, are “The Seven”. For a lack of a better term for these negatives, I call them monsters. They remain silent because until now, I have not given any outward indication to their existence.

“The Seven”, however, have drawn swords, and are challenging me to a fierce battle this winter. I am motivated to fight and banish these silent monsters. Ignoring them is not my style. Giving into their negative energy is not an option. I refuse to encourage them toward a more public presence.

By nature, I am an optimistic, extrovert, who enjoys social occasions and people. It is foreign to identify a struggle with “The Seven.” Acknowledgement — I believe — is the first step to winning these solitary, inter-connected wars. Next, is to fight.

Upper cut to the winter blahs. No more thumbing a nose at snow, arctic cold, and limited daylight. I will take Zumba classes, ice skate, and run indoors until frogs croak Spring’s arrival.

Box it out to cool cabin fever. Stirring a little crazy is just what I need to break out for good times with family and friends. Ann Arbor is on my list for the next two weekends.

Front kick parental stresses. My faith prevails. I am ready for whatever is on deck. My ability to love, nurture, teach, inspire, learn and discipline strengthens every day.

Knock out unrealistic expectations. Spotless and always-organized are not realistic daily goals for my house, which is home to four active people and a lovable, playful dog. There will be days — in the near and distant future — when performance please me, but not you. So be it.

Round kick inner negative talk. Body types, genetics and past experiences brought on by school mishaps, social challenges and stupid choices cannot be undone. I learn valuable lessons from living life and from others. I will cheer loudly for positive thoughts.

This fight is nearly won. I am sweating. Are you? I saved the most notorious confrontations for last. One is with ever-growing to-do list and the last is with time thief.

Swipe a blade to that ever-growing to-do list. My concentration is on action items already occupying PDA space. Child care, academic success, professional development, volunteerism, household chores, pet care, family relations, friendship development, social calendar, marital bliss and new acquaintances are just a cliff-note version of what my responsibilities include. When does it stop? Does it ever?

Fast feet catch time thief. Set the clock for me. I am taking time to read books, spend time with family and friends, volunteer, strengthen spirituality, pursue hobbies, develop professional ambitions, pamper my body, watch quality entertainment, and listen to good music.

What a match-up. The adrenaline is pumping through my veins. I feel better already. Do you see any monsters? I don’t right now. But, seeing some green along with a dose of Spring-like temps wouldn’t hurt, either.