My dance season begins next Monday, September 13th. I will get to work around 1:00 pm and not leave the studio until nearly 10:00 pm most nights. I will spend too much time on my computer, rarely miss a morning Zoom meeting, and feel compelled to work on weekends. I’ll run through a drive-thru for fast food on the way to the studio, because it’s quick.
Does this sound familiar?
Music, routines, parent issues, accounts, quarantines, building maintenance, keeping my teachers happy, recital planning – my brain will swirl with dance-related everything for the next nine months. I’ll sleep well some nights out of pure exhaustion, but I will toss and turn others out of, yep, pure exhaustion.
Am I ready for this?Wiped tears, band-aided boo boos, lost tooth celebrations, and proud hugs will occupy my time between action songs and across-the-floor exercises. Will I be a good boss? Can I accomplish all the community outreach activities on my schedule? How will I be a good mentor?
Oh…and I’m a mom…and a wife!
In anticipation of the season and all it brings, let’s make 5 promises to ourselves right now. As hard as we work, we MUST make these promises to ourselves to protect and preserve our own sanity, not to mention to help us actually enjoy this journey. Let’s do this together!
The 5 Promises
I promise to do all I can do. Now here me on this. All we can do is…well…all we can do. We must work harder on setting realistic, attainable goals and note when we accomplish them. We are NOT going to beat ourselves up when we fall short or miss the mark. There are only so many hours in a day, and we can only give so much of ourselves. We will do all we can, and that’s enough.
I promise to celebrate my successes. Let’s be sure we recognize and acknowledge our successes. Don’t minimize anything. The hugs and smiling children. The “thank you” from the frazzled mom. The first shaky shuffle ball change. Those are BIG accomplishments, and we can’t miss squealing over those the same way we would squeal over the top award at competition.
I promise to take less crap. Let’s stop debating and apologizing. We should not allow our integrity to be questioned. There should be no raised voices in our studios, and we should never fudge a policy or a deadline to suit any one disgruntled dance mom. Instead, let’s hold our heads high, believe in ourselves and our work, and refuse to participate in drama. Taking crap is a choice, and we can choose to take less (or any!).
I promise to take care of myself physically. I am completely guilty of grabbing a fast burger. I find myself running on coffee and wine occasionally. My feet and back hurt. I stop seeing my massage therapist regularly. When we commit to treating our bodies better, we definitely sleep more soundly, have more energy, and even think with greater clarity. We struggle less with soreness and inflammation. Let’s not neglect our bodies.
I promise to take care of myself mentally and emotionally. Let’s walk away occasionally. We should feel the wind on our faces, enjoy the sunset, and giggle with our own kids. Commit to date night. Hop on that plane for the weekend, and don’t look back (or take work with you!). Let’s seek counsel when we’re struggling and ask for help when we are feeling overwhelmed.What if I break a promise to myself?
Since we would never dream of making a promise to Someone then breaking it, we must keep these promises, too. Because we ARE a Someone! We are as important, valuable, and necessary as we would consider anyone else.
We are all guilty of spreading ourselves thin and missing opportunities to savor the moment. In the past, we have foolishly let ourselves get involved with foolishness and made decisions based on emotion rather than principle or policy. And in the name of “making magic happen” at the studio, we’ve pushed through aches, pains, and plenty of tears that could have used some professional attention.
If we break our promises, we can expect all that to continue.
Make these promises now.
Let’s do better. Choose wisely. Be deliberate. Let’s head into our new season with a commitment to take better care of ourselves and pledge to enjoy the journey. Make these promises to yourself today.
Amanda Herring LOVES her job! Owner of Center Stage Dance in Hernando, MS, she is passionate about sharing the love of dance while inspiring and encouraging everyone who walks through her door. She loves BIG and has a heart for new dancers joining a class for the first time. She takes pride in offering stellar service to dance families and specializes in efficiency, organization, fair policies, and strong communication. Her shows are HUGE with plenty of lights, effects, and stagecraft. Amanda wants her students to feel like they are a part of something big, and it is always her goal to bring more to class and to the stage than her audience is expecting.