MOVING AND SHAKING
“Does anybody really know what time it is?” The tune of that fabulous and very danceable Chicago song started randomly playing in my head today as my morning began. Why do our brains do this? Why do they just start coming up with songs out of nowhere? I didn’t hear a Chicago song, but now I want to get up and change my Pandora from Chet Baker to Chicago and start tapping my feet and swaying my hips. Maybe it is the line itself and not the actual song. In our lives, what is time anyway? We have a short time span relatively speaking to the life on earth never mind the universe. Whether we get to live a long life or a short one, ultimately, it is up to each of us to make it a full one. Time is irrelevant actually. What I know about time in my personal observations of human behavior is we like to use it a lot as excuses for not doing versus doing. “I am so busy.” “I don’t have time.” “I don’t have my schedule with me.” I hear these lines all day every day, but what does it actually mean when we wake up each and every morning breathing- all we really have is time.
This is the conundrum I see especially with the vast amounts of women I have the privilege of meeting in my life. Running around from place to place, driving children, running errands and checking out our phones endlessly to see what the latest Facebook post is. I get it because I have subscribed to this meme allowing it in my past to be my guide rather than realizing ultimately each and every decision we make is a choice. Once I realized this and the late and great Wayne Dyer got me thinking about choice as a unique and personal decision, I understood that where we are and what we do with where we are is a choice. Like it or not. We who live in this free place have endless choices about how and what we do with our time. Our good fortune is often taken for granted. Surely.
So when there is music playing just about anywhere, I dance. On my front porch, in my backyard, walking by Gillarys on a Sunday afternoon after a few IPA’s at Judge Roy Bean and at our beloved July 4th concert series basically a hop skip and a jump from my front door. It is helpful that I share my life with someone who likes to dance as much as I do and has no inhibitions about being the only one dancing in a sea of sitters, and dance we do. Often. We move and shake, we sweat and glide and the world disappears each and every time a song comes on that speaks to our souls. And there are a lot of them. Last night it was Hey Nineteen, a band that sounded so much like Steeley Dan, I had to remind myself it wasn’t. The concert had a bummer turnout because it had been raining buckets and thundering all day, I am sure people just wanted to stay home in their dry houses, but they missed out. I have the luxury of a walk rather than a drive to the concerts so we reaped the benefits of this concert last night. Like a hula hoop or a roller coaster ride or a bike ride down a hill, dancing, impromptu, frees my soul from the ties I have allowed it to be bound by. Dancing reminds me that I am alive and happy and lucky. Dancing is a wake up to the world and BE HERE NOW. I am never quite sure how people can’t get up and move and shake when a rhythm or a beat starts pounding, sometimes I feel it is more Ego screaming, You can’t do that, no one else is dancing. You’ll look foolish, it is daylight. What will people think? And the hundreds of others beliefs that are imbedded in our brains by that dangerous EGO of ours.
The crazy and complicated miracle of caught it early breast cancer is the excuse to move and shake, to rip that protective cape off and literally bare my chest because it was necessary for life. Isn’t that so ironic and weird? That breast cancer coupled with turning fifty got me out of my never ending mind blither and got me into my LET’S ENJOY WHAT I GOT thinking. I’d like to think I had that before breast cancer, but in retrospect, I didn’t give myself permission to live in the freedom I now find myself in. Breast cancer forced a shift I didn’t know I needed. It was not a gift, fuck that. I refuse to say it was a gift or a journey, that language is irritating. More like an old fashioned alarm clock that rings loud because you wound it up the night before and forgot to push the metal lever in from the day before. It is surprising and alarming to your system of your deep slumber and though you want to shut it off sometimes you can’t find the clock fast enough.
One of my favorite and feistier superchicks I know and love, Nancy J. came up to me last night because she saw me dancing and wanted to give me a happy hug. She gets me and I have always felt a connection with her. Maybe it is our similar self proclaimed #lovelybadass selves. I could feel her love and her joy for me and my aliveness. This is the thing about cancer in all forms, whatever stage you have been at, there is a one size fits all visual people expect you to look like when they hear you have or had it. I never had “the look” because I never had chemo so the added bonus is that people see me and my sassy self and it is magnified because of the expectation that I looked a certain way before. This always makes me gratefully and humbly laugh.
Because I go out with a 71 year old man I am blessed to call my partner, I will always be young in his eyes because of our eighteen year age difference. Surviving cancer is kind of the same thing, it was caught so early that I was never sick, so here I am. Though now that I think about it, maybe it is the new boobs too that bring on the complimentary commentary, maybe it is the electric pink lipstick I now adorn myself with because why the hell not? Being the only one on the dance floor, wearing shocking pink lipstick or hula hooping in the garden are all little tiny ways that symbolically celebrate life, my life. When the final days come because let’s face it, no one gets out alive, I hope I am remembered as the one that danced in the daytime. Moving and shaking, smiling, laughing with bright pink lipstick, red head wrap around my silver hair, dressed head to toe in red white and blue on July 4th because I could.