One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

June 1, 2011

Oh Dichotomies

Everything is really awesome and also sometimes terrible. Oh Dichotomies.

At work: Well, I don’t really like to deet my work woes on the internet, but I’ll just say I’m temporarily working on the stuff which is kind of outside of my job description/expertise/stuff-I-like-doing but is nonetheless my responsibility because no one else will do it, and it’s a bit of a downer to be taken out of your regular workflow and interactions.

Also there are a couple of HR issues that are a) making me angry and b) tearing me up a little because what I passionately feel is right and am advocating for is stuff that is not actually in my best interests. …But it is what’s right. So while I’m getting myself worked up to fight about it, I am sabotaging myself by regularly asking, “but what if you’re just being difficult. Wouldn’t it be easier if you just let this go?” Bleagh.

But on the other hand:

Work! : the thing I’ve been reluctant to work on is actually pretty important – even to me. And it’s coming together way better than ever before. Can’t give more details, but I’m quite, quite optimistic that this time I do it is going to be the best one yet.

converted-church-interior that would make such a great art-vintage-bakery-space

Also, been really enjoying some entrepreneurial fantasy about a little vintage/craft/art/bakery/yoga/dance/church space with a coworker. (“So… you’ll be able to do everything there except for pray?” — Ian) It is ill-fleshed out, but my mental imagery of this little creative space makes me sigh with contentment.

Dance: We have begun spring rehearsals in earnest. Two nights a week, three to four hours each night. Additionally, about 40% of our membership is MIA this year – injured, or moved away, or traveling or chasing other pursuits. This has put a lot more pressure on the other dancers. Previous years I would typically dance two or three dances plus a freedance. And while some of my more ambitious compatriots were frustrated by this, the pace of it suited me just fine. I liked having just a few pieces to attempt to perfect. And I really liked not scrambling with costume changes backstage. This year it is shaping up to be more like eight, maybe. I don’t even know what to say to it, I know my brain and my back are at capacity, I don’t know if I will actually learn them all in time. I wonder if my body will hold up on performance nights, or how miserable I will be afterward. One of the dances I agreed to be in, we just started to learn last night – six weeks out from our first performance. Who does something like that?! Not me. I don’t have that kind of dance hubris. But like I said, I don’t know what to say to this. They said they needed another body and that because it has definite chunks with different styles, it would be easy to learn and I let them know that I wouldn’t be offended if they changed their mind and kicked me off it for not learning fast enough and now I just put my faith in them and do as I’m told.

Additionally: six goddamn weeks! I have to sew like three or maybe four costumes in that time. OMG-WTF-IASF!!!

But on the other hand:

Belly Dance Costume, in progress. Both delightful and stressful to contemplate.
Belly Dance Costume, in progress. Both delightful and stressful to contemplate.

Dance! : Some people have faith in my ability to dance these new dances (though with so few dancers, they don’t have much choice, now do they?) Still, I’m getting invited and volunteered for a lot, and that feels nice. Also, I’m doing an unprecedented duet this year and while that already makes me feel like puking from the pressure, the duet is on our own (mine and my co-dueteur’s) initiative and so it’s a piece that we quite love. And I am also really enjoying the partner dynamics of learning a dance around only one other person and having the pace of your learning limited only by two people’s pace and comprehension.

Children! : This weekend we celebrated Rachel’s birthday. Ethan and Rachel have been getting along quite, quite well. And also, Rachel was so pleased with everything she got. And one of the things she asked and asked for and we got her was a skateboard. I’ll tell you a secret: I’ve been kind of waiting for her to outgrow princesses and baby-talk and get back to being as cool and adventurous as she was when she was four and this weekend seemed like it. Not just because of skateboarding, but because the skateboard called for demonstrating some bravery and the beginning of considering going back to being tough. And Ethan and Hannah were being so sweet. We took them shopping to buy new pillows and blankets on Sunday and they had so much fun running around and picking their own pillow/blanket combination to fit their budgets.

But then, children: Tonight they were in their classic foul moods where everything they say to each other gets snarkier and snarkier and you just know that as soon as you’ve admonished them to keep it down and watch the attitude, they are whispering threats and put-downs to each-other in order to provoke the other into making the first visible act of aggression. I caught myself snarking back or beginning to wade in with the exasperated “That. Is. ITTTT!” tone, so I worked very, very hard to go start the most level-voiced, rational conversations I could. Over and over. And over. But then as soon as my back was turned it was whispered taunts and snideness until someone erupted in violence or shrieking. And so I finally sent them to bed early just so I could sit downstairs in quiet and cry out some stress. Sadly, the going to bed was punctuated with the most condescending attitude, tongue-clicking, chin-cocked, “Well, fine, I guess my homework won’t be done then. Too bad it’s due tomorrow” and “I guess I’ll just get up two hours earlier then,” and then more fighting upstairs outside their rooms.

Projects: I have so many! And they’re so varied and interesting.

But also, I have so many! And I can’t get any of them done and I’m really getting too exhausted with the everything else to even competently pick one of them up in the evenings anymore.

And health: I’m stretching a lot and I think maybe, maybe-maybe-maybe it’s helping my back. But it also is making me more conscious of the pain my back is in.

Exchange between me and the psysiotherapist:

Me: How would [blah-blah-blah] affect [such-and-such]?

Him: Well. With your pain tolerance, I would say it would be like [blah-blah-blah].

Me: <<Quizzical look>>

Him: Oh yes. I have you figured out. You’re one of those people who’s like, “well sure I’m in pain, but that’s just pain. I have Things To Do.

Me: …Okay, but I do have three kids.

Also, while it’s nice to feel like maybe stretching will give me a little bit of control over how bad my body/health have become, and it’s certainly nice that a bad back explains away most of my more worrying symptoms from the last year, I’ve also overdone it a couple of times and I don’t feel it right away, but Sunday afternoon my pelvis got so bad I could barely walk again and had to get Ian to support me from the store to the car. And once you’re actively trying to treat something like this, then your mind starts to ask the tough questions like, “is this what I cope with for life now? Is this treatment going to cure me, or is it just the preventative maintenance I have to do for life in order to not get worse? I had a self-perception of being tough and competent. Am I less those things now? How bad should I feel about myself for not pulling my own weight in physical tasks around the house?”

Ah, nothing like confronting your internalized ableism for a Sunday afternoon exercise.

Anyhow. Dichotomies.

Luckily, I have some time off work coming up and I don’t intend there to be any ambiguity about it – it’s going to be pure, pure awesome. I have nothing scheduled except drinking, sewing, lunch, shopping and dance dates with the fantastic women in my life.

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