I just turned down an invitation to a scrapbooking, stamping, card-making party. Here’s what I told my friend Becca.
Thank you for the invite, but after prayer and counseling, I finally gave myself permission to be uncrafty. Now I’m a free woman! Thank-you, Jesus! And the only time I do crafts is when volunteering in my kids’ classrooms and even their teachers are learning that it’s best not to assign Mrs. Denmark to the craft table.
It’s true. Well, ok, not the counseling part. But I did struggle with this for a long time. I have friends who create the most beautiful cards and scrapbooks. And when I see their work, I feel like my macaroni art is somehow less-than. But finally I realized that I don’t have to be crafty to be a valuable member of the party-planning committee for my second-grader’s class. Help is always needed at the games station or the food table.
And when my boys graduate, get married, or hack the Pentagon, they will not expect a magnificent scrapbook detailing every step of the journey. Their wives or the FBI might ask for such documentation, but I will send them some version of the email I sent Becca.
Now, you might be asking, and rightly so, when I plan to apply this same process of self-acceptance to my exercise endeavors. When am I going to come to the realization that I cannot and will never be able to Zumba?
All I can tell you is that I’m still in that stage of wanting so badly to be like my friend Rebecca, who happens to be a Zumba instructor and happens to rock hardcore. I’m still hoping that if I keep going, keep trying, what I do in Zumba class will someday look a little like what Rebecca does. I know, I have some disastrously-executed scrapbook pages that should clue me in otherwise.
In Zumba world, I’m still trying to be someone I’m not. Still lamenting, “Why, oh why, was I born without rhythm?”
Recently my husband came home from a Boy Scout pack meeting where a Native American dance troop performed traditional dances.
“You should have been there,” he teased, “You look more Native American than all of those dancers combined.”
He’s right. All my family’s Native American heritage seemed to come out in me. Which is cool. I like my cheekbones and dark hair.
Kory went on to complain about his headache. “Do they have to use the drum for every song?”
“Yes,” I explained. “My people have no rhythm. Without the drum, it’s just random stomping and screaming.”
Oh, to be Latin! To move like a flame! Like an exotic bird in flight! Like a river of melted chocolate! Heck, I’d even settle for dancing like a cucumber in a sombrero.
But it’s not to be, and someday, with prayer and counseling, I will accept my rhythm-less state. I’ll stop asking God why he made me with these hips and this badonkadonk yet gave me the moves of a walrus. At that point, I will probably buy a curly, red wig and start clogging. Maybe I can tap my Irish roots for a little Riverdancing magic.
So what about you? What have you given your self permission to stink at? What are you in denial about? And what are you going to keep working on just in case the term "a natural" is for the birds?
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