Do one thing every day that scares you…

That’s one of my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotes.  I have it on the front of a journal and on my refrigerator.  It’s a reminder to try new things, no matter how scary they may be.  Heaven knows I’ve done more than a few new things in the past 5 years.  🙂

In 2010 while taking dance lessons I heard about hangar dances.  There was talk of taking classes and being able to dress up and go there to dance, but that just didn’t happen.  My friend Margie and I went to the dance in October of 2010 just to check out what was happening. We stood at the edge of the dance floor with our mouths open like two little kids.  We both decided that NEXT year we would dress up and be there to dance.

Well my friends, it is next year, and I’m happy to report that we did take a few dance lessons, we did buy some vintage clothes to wear, and last night we were both out on the dance floor dancing.  It was a bit challenging at times, because you wanted to watch the other dancers and kinda sorta got distracted and off step. There were 9 of us around the table last night and I for one had the time of my life.

I knew from the moment I put on my 40’s clothes last night that I was going to have a fun time. We met for dinner at a local restaurant, great food, lots of laughter and we definitely stood out from the normal Saturday night out in Texas crowd.  We stood outside in the beautiful Texas weather and took photos and jumped into two cars and made the drive to Fort Worth for the dance.

The dance was held at the Vintage Flying Museum so there were all sorts of planes and WWII memorabilia decorating the building.  We were able to find a table together and added a few chairs as people came and went for the evening.  My friend Lindsay and I grabbed our cameras and started taking photos with the vintage automobile and the planes.  It was just an incredible atmosphere.

Going out onto that dance floor for the first time, big band music playing in the background was a wonderful moment.  I danced several times through the night and I had to giggle when I noticed people standing on the edge of the floor taking photos. This time I wasn’t just taking photos, I was the person in the photos.  My, how far my life has come in just a year.

The evening ended with the band playing In the Mood.  At that point there was only one guy left, and 4 women.  We all got up and danced 40’s style.  I showed Lindsay how to do the Charleston and at one point I was dancing around shaking one finger in the air 40’s style and laughing just as hard as I was dancing!

The photos are still coming in for the event.  We all had cameras and our phones with us snapping photos last night.  I am sure we will do this again next year, it was too fun not to!

Now, back to that journal with the Eleanor Roosevelt quote.  This morning while getting my thoughts together, I pulled out the journal to be sure that I had the quote right.  I opened up the journal and there were entries from 2004, 2006 and from one of the really low points in my life in 2007.

When I read the entries I cried.  I was so unhappy with my life.  I knew that I needed a change, but it took me 3 years to get up the courage to change my life.  I am surrounded by so many friends, people who didn’t know that woman who wrote in her journal desperate for her life to change.  That change took many many steps and people that I cared about were hurt along the way.  I can’t go back and change that, I can only move forward and be the best me that I can be.

The January 2007 entry had a list of 20 things I wanted to do that year.  I think I accomplished quite a few things on the list. ” I want to be more spontaneous and go with the flow when friends call with invitations and options.”   “I want to knit a sweater- DONE!!” “I want to do one thing every day that scares me.”

But the zinger, the one thing from the list that I think I have done the best job at is:

I want to laugh more, appreciate more and learn to enjoy my life, the paths that I choose.

That is a pretty big deal you know?  I’ve been feeling a bit down this week, and I’ve struggled to try to be upbeat and positive and to work my way past it.  It’s not been easy, but this morning, reading this journal from the past made me realize just how wonderful my life is.  I have a day, a week at the most here and there when I am down–but I never stay down for long.

I’m not sure that I am doing one thing every day that scares me. Maybe things don’t scare me these days as much as they did my 2004, 2006 and 2007 self?  I did try one new thing this week, I used the Dallas DART system–by myself and went to the Texas State fair.  I’ve traveled in foreign countries, and all across the US this year, the DART seemed a piece of cake compared to that.

He said I looked like Margaret Thatcher, I said he looked like Teddy Roosevelt..

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