Mother/Dancer Dancer/Mother: Life on a Curve

Summmmertime...and the livin' is, well, complicated

This summer as an extended dance improvisation.  My friend’s suggestion that I view my current situation that way has been helpful and calming.

Certainly the constancy of change and of the impromptu in my household fits the improvisational model.  Change of who’s in the house, who’s got which car for which job or appointment, who’s making dinner, got dibs on the shower, the TV, the computer, kitchen, air time.  I can’t get far enough ahead of the train to jump on and actually plan a course, or even ask the right questions.

I know many, many households like mine, and moms especially facing similar strategic and administrative challenges.  One advantage some of those folks do have is an office to decamp, or retreat, to.  Somewhere to close a door or have a designated space to collect themselves, their stuff, their thoughts, and, if needed, their tempers. 

I do not have such a space.

I am grateful for my home and the residency I’ve just been given that provides for scheduled studio time.  But just now when I was trying, finally, to choreograph in my kitchen before tonight’s rehearsal, I had the usual battleground for creativity.  The limited physical space where I frequently stub toes and other body parts on metal appliances; the clutter that either trips me up or needs time to be cleared; the constant interruptions; the complaint from my son that he needed me to turn the music down so HE could concentrate on his new creation….

I guess the miracle is that I create ANYTHING when the flow is so constantly disrupted.  While I’m grateful for what I do have, I now wonder again about my recent idea of grading my life on a curve.  Or pass/fail.  Rather than assessing separately each distinct “subject,” marriage, parenting, dancing/choreographing, family, housekeeping (that last one’s probably an F no matter what–hey, something’s gotta give), cooking, volunteering, social life, fun.

I mean, if everyone here has something healthy to eat and clean to wear,  some sense of love and support, and some sense of development or fulfillment, maybe that’s fantastic.  Is it? 

As a lifelong, excruciatingly tough grader (it’s NEVER enough), I’m wondering whether all those easier graders had it right all along.  Good=great!  Ok=good enough. And good enough=wonderful.

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