Holidays 2019
Life’s a Dance You Learn as You Go
In the classic scene from It’s a Wonderful Life , George Bailey and Mary Hatch dance the Charleston at a party in the gymnasium. They’re so clearly full of joy and so clearly about to tumble off the edge of the dance floor into the swimming pool, that we are at once euphoric and breathless!
Life can be like that sometimes. Full of joy and unpredictability — simultaneously. You have to develop some pretty sophisticated moves to sashay through all of that, don’t you?

Truth be told, I’ve been doing the one-step-forward-two-steps-back dance so much in the past 18 months that my knees gave out. Literally.
It’s been a year and a half of false starts and firm stops; almost solutions and familiar refrains; boundaries up and guards down; bringing in and letting go; death, doom, destruction…and just enough delight to keep me from casting off on an ice floe. Seriously.
“Always be like water. Float in the times of pain or dance like waves in the wind which touches its surface.”

― Santosh Kalwar
The wise woman who is teaching me to swim now…mmm hmm, swim …said I should write about all of that. Get it out of me and onto paper so it stops weighing me down. (Maybe stops putting the weight of the world on my knees.)
Another friend reminded me just this morning that:
“At any moment, you have a choice that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it. Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything — anger, anxiety, or possessions — we cannot be free.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

So I wrote it all down. All of the starts and stops, the challenges and disappointments, on a blank page in my journal that now looks like a regurgitated box of magnetic poetry!
It was daunting yes…but maybe just a little bit liberating, too. (Wink)
You turn yourself around.
That’s what its all about.
Matt, my partner-in-crime for the past five years, told me that when he itemizes his losses, he uses the other side of the page for his gains. Point taken.
Coincidentally, another one my favorite movies to watch this time of year is White Christmas, in which Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney insist you “Count Your Blessings.”
Blessings like…
…the clients who support the 27-year effort that is my business, Words by Jen
…the man who has fed me, soothed me, humored me, and loved me for five years and counting
…my swimming guru and the other angels who shed light on a path that sometimes gets dark and twisty
my nephew and my grandbaby who regularly let me get down on the floor with them to Laugh, Laugh, Laugh and Play, Play, Play
…the soft landing of home, its company of books, and a cat named Lola
… this craft of writing that remains my spotting point, the constant that keeps me from falling over flat (most days anyhow)
…and good friends old and new ( and you ) who travel along on this journey and don’t so much mind my company, Eeyoreish or not
“It was time to move on,
to dance with life again.”

 — Jacqueline Winspear —
The year ahead holds much promise — joy as well as unpredictability, floating as well as dancing.
So, here’s wishing you reliable buoyancy, a spectacular playlist, and good companions who show up to dance, dance, dance, dance.

Happy Holidays &
a Joy-Full New Year!

 If you are so inclined, do come visit Random Acts of Writing. We promise some interesting things in the new year ahead - including a lot more dancing!

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Next-Life Goal: a necklace-wearing otter who dances.

Ernest Howard Shepard, drawing of Eeyore from The House at Pooh Corner
Photo by Tracey Rayner, from North Shore Dance Paving Stones / Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Atlas Obscura.

Ernest Howard Shepard, Eeyore loses a tail.

From Winnie-The-Pooh: Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus, illustration by Mark Burgess

With hidden links, videos, and rabbit holes
to explore, this enewsletter
is meant to be savored slowly. Enjoy!