ballerina Misty Copeland

Why Misty Copeland’s rise to Principal Dancer is a win for us all

You can see the emotion in the interview. All of her hard work is paying off, and yet the years of being told she wasn’t right have taken their toll. Any parent would strive to protect their child from such pain and disappointment, and yet any child who hopes to break through ultimately must experience it. It makes them stronger at the same time that it wears on them.

One day, skin color won’t be the headline on a story like this, and I look forward to that day. One day, the story will be about the incredible oddity of a passionate dancer who took her first ballet class at 13 and then went on to become a principal ballerina in the American Ballet Theatre.

My girls will look at Misty and see a beautiful dancer and aspire to be like her some day. A beautiful ballerina who has danced their precious Odette and Odile in Swan Lake. They will likely inherit their height from me (5’4″) and I will use Misty’s inspiration at 5’2″ to show them that there is a place for hard work and talent no matter what package it comes in.

Congratulations to Misty and all of the recently promoted dancers at American Ballet Theatre

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Finding Balance Now

There is a partially read copy of Ekhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” on my night stand. I am just far enough into it to know that to be enlightened, I should be ok with its partially read status and not worry about whether or not I will actually ever get to finish it.

I am not a new mother. I am four years in, and I have a lot of scars to prove it. But I also have so many more blessings than I ever knew were possible. In the early days, I was in a state of waiting…

…waiting until they slept through the night. (Still don’t.)

…waiting until they went to bed. (Ditto.)

…waiting until I could take a shower without interruption. (Do you see a pattern here?)

I was in a similar holding pattern with my job, my health, and pretty much every other aspect of my life. I was just waiting out my life. Bleak, right?

Only very recently have I figured out that it’s ok if everything is not completely siloed, and I can’t tell you how much happier everyone in my family has been, most of all me.

The myth of having it all: the perfect job, the perfectly clean and organized house, the perfectly behaved, well-rested, children – pursuing that is exhausting. Once I was ok with things getting a little messy (metaphorically and sometimes literally), a whole new world opened up.

So what if the kids run circles around the kitchen island while I put the dishes away? Beats waiting until they finally fall asleep at some dreadful hour to do them and being resentful of having to spend my time that way.

Can’t find time to get to a yoga class this week? We’ll all do it together. The baby may decide it’s fun to use my downward dog as a bridge she can crawl under, but it’s great for all of us. Or maybe, we’ll fire up the Xbox for a fun Zumba class. Or crank up the Frozen soundtrack (or the BlackEyedPeas) and dance it out.

Don’t get me wrong, I need “me” time. We all do. But I’m getting better about figuring out a few life hacks that help me get through those times when it’s not possible. I’m not always so great at this. There are days when I want nothing more than 5 minutes of time that is not allocated to someone else’s needs, but those days are fewer and further between because I am doing what I need to do to enjoy the moment I’m in right now – whatever that moment might be.

To me, this is balance. How do you find balance in your life?