New Year’s resolutions. Yes, I made them. Why am I only sharing them with you now? Because I wasn’t sure I was going to stick with them. Sharing your resolutions can be like asking someone to marry you on national television, only to be turned down. Okay, that may be a tad overdramatic. But they do have the potential to work as anti-fulfilling prophesies. By their mere mention, they are set to never be achieved.
So far, I have been working towards achievement of mine. Here they are:
- Writing original fiction
- More ballroom dancing
- The DIET
I used to write lots of stories. I loved writing. I still do. But several years ago, for many reasons, I stopped writing. I told someone recently that I’d stopped in part because I wasn’t sure who I was anymore, and if I felt that way, how could I write with an authentic voice? That, and I was lazy. Okay. Mostly I was lazy (but the first part sounded better).
So I made a commitment. I gave myself a deadline—the Georgia Bar Journal’s annual fiction contest. The deadline was 20 January. I had a lot going on in January (and a complete lack of a story) so, I wasn’t sure I would be able to pull it off. I’ll save you the “did she or didn’t she???” artificially created plot tension and just tell you that I did. I made the deadline with hours to spare. My primary character? A pygmy goat. If only I were joking.
But seriously, the best part of the whole exercise was that completely real fear that I wouldn’t be able to tie the threads of my story together in any believable fashion and the unbridled joy and excitement when I did. Writing feels like magic.
I used to dance most Thursday nights with my friends in the Savannah Swing Cats group. We took over the corner of an occasionally smoky bar at a seen-better-days hotel on Abercorn Street. It was fun. Great, great fun. We danced swing, foxtrot, salsa, you name it. (Well, those were the only dances I knew, so I’ll just name those, okay?) Like writing, I missed dancing. I wasn’t very good at it, but I enjoyed it. I figured a year and a half in Wellington was enough time to have gotten my feet under me.
The thing about dancing in Wellington is that it’s not quite like Savannah. There aren’t advertised groups or communities who—for a few bucks, or none at all—organize great dance events. The closest thing I could find was sequence dancing. Without going into a complicated description, let’s just say that it’s choreographed ballroom. If you don’t know the choreography, you’re basically screwed. Oh, and it’s a hit with the over 80 crowd.
Last night, I attended my first Wellington sequence dance event. Every Monday night from 7:30 to 10, you can dance, dance, dance the night away. If you know the patterns, that is.
I was the youngest person in the room by a good 25 years, I am American, and I’m a girl. Basically, this meant that I didn’t lack for dance partners. It also meant that I was a good source of kind-spirited gossip. By the time Roma, the designated teacart lady for the night, came around to collect my cup, she knew I was that “Young American girl with the delightful accent.”
Gary was my primary partner. Gary was good fun. He has a thing for jam cake, I could tell, and he’s travelled all over the world. Gary is also 90. Albert was another dance partner. He was very concerned that I was going to miss out on the jam cake, has also travelled all over the world, and is serious about dental hygiene. We talked about dental hygiene for a good while. Albert is about 85.
Yes this was all very amusing, but you know what? These people could dance. I, on the other hand, looked like a cartoon character wiping out on a banana peel. “Youth” (come on, everything is relative) is irrelevant in the face of experience. It was fun. I will definitely go back.
DUKAN ME THIN
I’m also staring a sincere effort to lose the rest of the weight I’d like to. I did a lot of research and decided to use the Dukan diet. There are many merits to the Dukan diet, but let me say this: I cannot credibly endorse a program which (a) means I cannot eat popcorn for a year; and (b) requires a sincere, life-long commitment to meaty protein.
I came. I saw. I ate the chicken. Now I will modify and stick to what worked the first time. A crap load of exercise and very few treats. (But popcorn is a necessity.) I promise not to keep you updated on my efforts. Just know that I have great intent to stick with this one. But now it’s time to go, the microwave just dinged. My popcorn is ready.