Some of you already know this, but, as a gift to myself, and with the full support of my husband and boys, I have started taking ballet again. I used to take ballet. My mom bought me size zero ballet shoes, as she could have been a ballerina herself. But, because “I had to grow up and do grown up things like get a career, get married, have a family” I stopped.
I stopped all “frivolous” things. But that also stopped me from being me. I’m in my third week of going back to ballet class and I’m writing to encourage you all, I don’t care when you do it, but as soon as you can, get out there and not only dream but LIVE YOUR DREAMS OUT.
Dreams aren’t worth anything, when buried deep down in our hearts. Go back to playing softball, go learn how to fly a plane. I am not saying this to encourage neglecting your home or work life responsibilities, but to enhance them.
If you can and HAVE to do some of these things WITH your children (inspiration behind LITTLEseed Program,) do that. If you have to combine prayer and singing time with fitness (inspiration behind MOVE with the Spirit,) do that. If you’re a singer and can join a band with friends so that you can practice while your families play together (I sing for Imperial Boxtruck,) no matter how crazy that is sometimes, just work through it. It is going to be loud, it is going to be trying to keep your focus but don’t live vicariously through your kids. Help ignite their fire, by example.
My husband has been a great inspiration to us all, making time to train and run his Spartan and Tough Mudder races. These are really difficult endeavors, however, we barely feel him disappearing to practice and train. At times he has ran or backpacked with us or the boys, especially the older one, toning his pace down, to include and encourage them. He’ll turn every opportunity into a training moment, without having to give up too much family time. If the scouts are hiking, he’ll load up his pack with 80 lbs of rocks or gear, just to push himself harder. It’s that sort of creativity that helps him live out his dreams and stir us on. He’s set up obstacles for himself on the kids’ play yard and they use that to do their own exercises now too.
Living out dreams doesn’t mean it’s going to happen at the perfect time and place. I gave up on “taking care of myself” over “taking care of my children” when I had them, thinking the most important part of my job was sacrifice. That was ten years ago. And, while they think I am a great at lots of things as a wife and Mom, when I am doing those things, I am just being, well, Mom.
But I have to tell you, when they saw me practice ballet for the first time in our living room, their eyes lit up, seriously, at separate times this happened. First the little guy and then the older guy. And they asked me to do it again and again and again. They had no idea, what Mom could do. This happened as well when I stepped back on my skateboard with them, after decades, while they biked and roller bladed this summer.
And, this morning my son woke himself up at 5am to practice his yo yo. He’s struggling a bit but I can at least be part of the struggle as we both, believe in our dreams enough to not just talk about them, but work on them and experience the frustration and yet joy of it altogether. Practice makes perfect, right? And perfect can be messy and interrupted but don’t let dreams for your children mean lay to rest your own. Don’t just tell them to live out their dreams, show them how it’s done!
By the way, if you think you’re too old to start or go back to anything, I’m 41. Further, you can talk to the 71 year old ballerina in my dance class, who started ballet when she was 40. She kicks my booty. But I’ll catch back up. 🙂