Monday, August 29, 2011

Dancers Don't Pay for Drinks

Why is it so hard to extend the same kindness to ourselves that many of us gladly offer to others?

Christopher K. Germer PhD. The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions (Kindle Location 24). Kindle Edition. 

The whole idea came about as a sort of accident. I wasn't really planning to do it. Just last Thursday, I had admitted to a couple of girls in dance class that I wasn't ready to do a solo performance at the Halloween party. But when they insisted that I didn't have anything to worry about, the idea started to marinate.

Friday morning, I realized what song I would do if I had the chance. I figured that maybe I could pay attention to the improvisational way I was dancing and lock in a choreography. That turned out to be really difficult, because the cataloging part of my brain kept getting overshadowed by pure expression in the dance; so I shot off a message to my private instructor and she said that she'd help.

So Friday night I went to a potluck for a support group in Ogden. I didn't make it back to bed until about 3 in the morning. About 10 am, I got a sweet singing voice calling me to wish me good morning and ask if I would take and love Callie the Kitty forever and ever. Turns out that she wasn't getting along with her adopted sister and I made a rush to get food and a litter box from the store before bringing her back to my place. From the paperwork, it looks like she's due her next round of shots and I'll have to take her in Saturday.

Once she was settled, and I had finished my morning therapy and bath, I finally got on my laundry. I squeezed in a little practice before going to the Hafla at a local coffee shop, and when I saw the way the red hip scarf looked on my black skirt, I knew I had to dress up for the event and maybe dance if I were invited. I had Deborah help get me into the tribal bra when she showed up at my place and after a bit of makeup, I wrapped myself in the brown veil. We arrived at the coffee shop long before anyone else and I was struck by how intimate the setting was. I was expecting a dance party, not to actually be part of the entertainment.

When Kelsey, my instructor, arrived, she asked if I wanted to dance. I said, "I'll dance." She came back a little while later and gave me my sequence in the line up. I decided I was going to go for it and make my entrance with a veil routine before shucking the veil for the rest of my improv.

The song seemed to last much longer than it felt when practicing and when I started the shimmy, it had a mind of it's own and lasted until the rest of the dance as I wondered how I was going to come out of it. I wound up just layering on it and just barely noticed the wind down of the music as my cue to make a graceful exit. The audience was small, but when I sat down with one of the people who recognized me from the apartment complex, said that she could tell I've been doing this for years. But the bigger compliment came from my instructor, who simply said I did good.

As I was outside getting air with the other dancers, the owner of the coffee shop (herself a dancer) asked if anyone would like more coffee. After  I snuck back to my purse, and returned to the bar with my wallet, I ordered a small mocha. When I tried to pay with my debit card, I was told flatly, "Dancers don't pay for drinks." Wow. I was being treated as an entertaining professional, instead of just a participating customer. I made it a point to get a dollar or two from Deborah so I could drop it in the tip jar when I had the chance.

Hugs and God Bless,
Sophie Jean

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Memory of a Good Deed

AN OLD WOMAN found an empty jar which had lately been full of prime old wine and which still retained the fragrant smell of its former contents. She greedily placed it several times to her nose, and drawing it backwards and forwards said, “O most delicious! How nice must the Wine itself have been, when it leaves behind in the very vessel which contained it so sweet a perfume!”

The memory of a good deed lives.

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 35). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

Tuesday marked the fourth day I was back on the pill--this time at 2 mg a day. I was also cramping, and extremely lightheaded--on the verge of a migraine and I am still battling the vestiges of a  nasty weekend cold. I had already seen the denial of both my surgery and my Ob/Gyn claims, which was confirmed in an email by the broker working my claim. I was feeling pretty hopeless during the TransAction ice cream social that evening. When I got home, I realized that I only had two choices available to me: I could let either let the hopelessness sink in or I could refuse to let the insurance company scare me. I chose the latter. I also saw my hematologist on Tuesday. My iron counts are back to normal.

Last night, I was on my way to check my email, when I saw a cat in the arms of a neighbor that looked identical to the one that had gone missing. When I asked her where she got the cat, she said it was a stray, and had taken it in a couple of weeks ago to keep it from heatstroke. When I told her I knew who the cat belonged to, she was surprised, because the owner is a friend of hers, too. I carried the cat over, hoping the owner would be home and she was happy to play through the patio door with a kitten that someone had donated to the owner a week ago. She wasn't that excited when I betrayed her trust by coaxing her into my arms so I could take her back until her owner got home. But I didn't want her wandering off and getting lost again while I went back to my apartment to meet the pizza guy.

My bleeding is definitely back today. I was spotting the tissue paper for the last couple of days. It's definitely cyclic. 31 days between the first two episodes and 25 days between the last one and today. You can do the math. But at least I didn't drop a dangerous amount of blood.

Tonight is my third day with the Baby Bellies dance class under Mecha. In a couple of weeks, I'll be swapping that class for a performance troupe class on Tuesdays. I squeezed in zil practice as well as dedicating a little time to the 3/4 shimmies, snarms (tribal fusion snake arms) and external hip circles that Kelsey, my private instructor, and I worked on. Everything right now is mimic and muscle memory.

Tomorrow, it's time to make a trip up to Ogden again to meet with the Intersex Society of Utah support group and dinner afterwards. Saturday, there's a Hafla (Belly Dance party) at Caffe Deffla in the late afternoon, and Sunday there's a potluck after church.

It look like my only chance of getting laundry done is to get my butt up on Saturday and do it first thing.

Hugs and God Bless,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Small Fish

A FISHERMAN, engaged in his calling, made a very successful cast and captured a great haul of fish. He managed by a skillful handling of his net to retain all the large fish and to draw them to the shore; but he could not prevent the smaller fish from falling back through the meshes of the net into the sea.

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables 

It's been a while since I've posted. I've been pretty busy lately. So I am going to totally skip over the last few weeks and focus on recent events. That said, I'll simply go back a few days and start from there.

Saturday, Thia's Belly Dance school was hosting the end-of-year recital, and I got a peek at my future. Azalea was one of the first groups coming out with veils and I absolutely loved the costumes. Watching the movements, I think I'll be okay when I join the troupe next month. I know two of the members, both of them leaving the troupe by the time I join. One of the members I know from church and the other I met Thursday night when I resumed lessons under Mecha. The first girl has been with the group for two years and is ready to move up. The other is just moving--out of state. Thia looked at me after the performance and said, "That's you next year!"

That was the beginning of a long, but interesting night. I got an email message from someone who wanted to meet to discuss belly dancing, surgery and other things. I hadn't had anything to eat yet, so I suggested we meet at Denny's. While we were there, Sheila called and we met up with her to see the 10 pm showing of The Help. I highly recommend it. While slow in the beginning, the plot slowly accelerates to more than make up for it--and I learned a lot. The book is now officially in my reading pile.

Saturday night's cramps led into Sunday morning light bleeding. Later that afternoon, I went to check on a friend who was separated from her young daughter and had a long-haired calico cat wander off. I hadn't seen her for a few days and figured I should at least knock on her door when I didn't see her outside. This was the first time I had ever knocked on her door. A police officer answered the door and I saw his female partner just inside. I was thinking, Oh my God--I'm too late. My feelings were intensified when my friend's 67 year-old mother approached me, her eyes red from crying and reaching for a hug. I couldn't make out all the words, but she said something about her oldest daughter being killed. Oh shit.  I really was too late. She asked me too take care of a young calico kitten that someone had left the night before. I found out later that Marie was not referring to my friend, especially when she came in the door, her eyes streaming. Such tragedies have touched that family to now include losing a brother-in-law and a sister in an airplane accident.

Callie--she was yet to be named and I was given the permission to use the name--is a bundle of energy. She's taught me to take off my cat-toys--I mean earrings--when going to bed. She cuddles up next to me when dilating and when she's not fluffing out my hair, she's trying to nibble on my ear. But she is such an unbelievable cuddler. She answers to Cali-Girl.

Monday evening I had my first private belly dance lesson. God was I sore afterwards! We worked on posture, shimmies and a really fluid way to do chest circles, something Kelsey calls bananas. I couldn't move afterwards and it wasn't until today that I could practice.

I saw the Ob/Gyn today, The confusing mass on my CT scan turned out to be my traveling gonad. I guess it had one last chance to cause confusion before it was finally removed 3 months ago. Since no endometrial tissue has been located yet, I am to stop taking progestin immediately and I have a standing order that next time I either bleed in buckets or bleed at all when the granulated tissue is healed, I am to go immediately to her office (only applies Monday to Thursday. We'll see if my body will adhere to external directives). I'll also be referred to a developmental endocrinologist if that happens. Meanwhile, my next appointment is in mid-October since I'm changing the estrogen dose to 2 mg daily.

Hugs and God Bless,