Rockettes and Rockets

Click to visit the Rockette's Homepage

Click to visit the Rockette’s Homepage

If there is one career I absolutely cannot image myself pursuing, it is that of becoming a Radio City Music Hall Rockette. Seriously. Starting with my lack of rhythm and ending with my disdain of having strangers stare at my body, the list of why I would be extremely unsuited to this occupation is almost endless.

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Like the Foundation for a Better Life

So imagine my surprise a few years back when I asked my sister-in-law, who I think the world of, what she would have been in life if she could have been anything. It seemed a harmless questions as we set together in a hot tub sharing drinks and laughing, You guessed it, in her secret dreams she is a Rockette. I was so taken aback that I didn’t know what to say.

This year for Christmas, her grown daughter took her to see a Rockette performance, and their mutual joy reverberated throughout my online social network . And I thought, good for her. This is great. She is having the time of her life doing something I have no interest in what-so-ever and isn’t it wonderful that she gets to be her.

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There was a time years ago when she and I were looking for a movie to see together and I remember her responding to my top suggestion with “oh it sounds like one of those dumb things about outer space and rockets. I hate that stuff.” Of course, I loved movies about rocket ships and all things science fiction back then, because in my secret dreams I was an astronaut. Today, I write “that stuff”, and she cheers on my creative efforts even if she doesn’t particularly understand my interests. She is performing in the chorus of a community play this weekend, and I cheer her on too.

Rockets. Rockettes. Whatever. It takes all kinds and isn’t it nice that you don’t have to be alike to be able to enjoy someone, or to appreciate what they are. It’s enough to make me want to dance for joy. As long as I don’t have to do it wearing sequins and doing high kicks of course.

Sharing the joy

It’s not as easy as you’d think …..

TennisflowersMy husband and I don’t really have all that much in common. He loves sports. I love to read. He plays music and hates yard work. I plant flowers for fun and lack all sense of rhythm. My ideal vacation would involve trekking in the Himalaya’s, preferably with people who like to talk a lot about philosophy. His would involve lots of tennis, good beer and people who hardly talk. You see the problem.

Every once in awhile, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, one of us decides that the other just has to try something that we really enjoy. This bout of optimism occurs because we happen to genuinely love each other, so it’s understandable, even though it often ends poorly.

click to learn more about qigong

click to learn more about qigong

This past week-end was the result of such a burst of enthusiasm. Weeks ago I convinced him to spend a perfectly good week-end in Gainesville Florida with me attending a weekend workshop in qigong.  I am amazed by this ancient Chinese form of moving mediation that I discovered last summer and, like most new converts to anything, I have a burning desire to share my joy.

I didn’t occur to me that he’d be spending the better part of his week-end in an uncomfortable folding chair while his perfectly good couch sat empty at home. Worse yet, I failed to predict that his favorite team, the Red Sox, would go on to make it to the world series and would now have to be watched on a dinky hotel TV for two whole nights with only mediocre snacks and no ability to rewind. He was gracious about the whole thing, but it was fair to say that this was not the weekend that either one of us wanted.

red soxBut luckily the story didn’t end with Sunday night. Yesterday, he asked a question or two about how one starts practicing this stuff and it sounded like he was doing more than being polite. Last night, Boston went up in the series three games to two, in spite of my husband not being fully engaged in their fate all weekend. Today, he told me he tried to use some of the ideas from qigong out on the tennis court, and he thinks it might have helped his game. A little anyway. Tomorrow? Who knows.

Luckily, sharing joy doesn’t have to be instantaneous, or an all-or-none thing. Give it time. Give it room to be just okay for awhile. Who knows. Maybe this new passion of mine will still join the short list of things that we both embrace.