Reflections on the End of a Purposeful Summer

So I started this summer pretty ambitiously. I was going to take improv and dance classes and sell my house and write more on the blog.

I took the dance classes back in the beginning of June: classical ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and Fosse. Fosse was probably my favorite style because it was more about acting and attitude than fast movements, so it was easier for me to keep up with. I took several classes with the same guy because I liked how he told us to relax and groove into Janet Jackson’s “All for You.” I did have some muscle memory of some of the steps we learned, but that worked against me as often as it helped, because the way I learned the steps twenty years ago wasn’t always the same way the instructor was teaching them now.

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The improv classes were super fun and hilarious. My leaders and classmates were so supportive and accepting that it was hard to feel embarrassed about acting really dumb, or about blanking and failing. I found that I was best at catching and making cultural references, capitalizing on my nerdy trivia knowledge. I was less good at singing, keeping a straight face, and at asserting myself and jumping in when the whole class was taking turns, since I always assumed everyone else’s ideas were better than mine and I was worried about hogging the spotlight, while it was clear that others did not have this concern at all, and were more likely to fight to get and keep the spotlight. I don’t think the classes were a magic pill for confidence, but I do think if I were able to continue them long term, my confidence would indeed grow.

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Even if it didn’t change my life, taking these classes was a small way to practice a thing that has the potential to make a difference in anyone’s life—taking a risk, doing something hard and uncomfortable, and accepting failure ahead of time. I’m glad I did it, and if I can’t make fun classes like this a part of my weekly routine throughout the entire year, I do want to make a habit of looking for opportunities to step outside myself like this and try to do new things that I’m not guaranteed to ace. It’s good practice for a recovering perfectionist who doesn’t want to have peaked in high school.

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Then the house sale basically took over our lives. We underestimated how much work was required to get the place ready to sell. It was a lucky thing I didn’t have to work in July. I don’t know how people sell their houses without taking time off work to do it. Even if you hire people to do the work, you still have to be there during business hours to open the door for them. I made many trips to the storage unit, met with contractors and our realtor, and cleaned and cleaned.

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Our area of Nashville is a seller’s market right now. Which was awesome for us because we sold our house in one weekend for more than our asking price. Our work definitely paid off. But we wanted to buy a larger house in the same zip code, so we’d be dealing with the same high prices and bidding wars, and that made us stressed and worried about being homeless. We’d decided to move this summer because we were afraid we’d get priced out of this market if we waited any longer, and we were starting to be afraid we might have waited too long already. We looked at a lot of places and disagreed about them. Finally our awesome realtor was able to find us a premarket house in our price range that we were able to agree on. It’s a split level with four bedrooms on a shady dead end street with a rocky creek in the back for our little boy to play in. Moving dates have yet to be set.

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During June and the first half of July, I was posting more reviews than I have since the blog’s first month. The routine that I set worked, and I made a significant dent in the number of books on my “read and not yet reviewed” list.

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And then I stopped posting reviews for two weeks because I lost my desk. In staging our house for potential buyers, we had to move my desk and desktop computer to storage. I find this laptop adequate for reading and browsing, but uncomfortable for writing, so it became a convenient excuse. The whole thing makes me think about how right Virginia Woolf is about how important it is to have space of your own when you’re trying to be creative. It makes me determined to ensure that when we arrange things in our new house, I get the space I need to write and read and spread out my books in precarious piles. When we’re truly settled back in again, I definitely hope to make up for lost time. As awesome as my summer blogging routine was, I’m already out of the habit, and it will take some time to establish a new habit, with the school year under way too.

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So I guess I met more of this summer’s goals than not: dance, improv, selling and buying houses, and blogging. And where I fell short, it was because real estate took over my life for a while. Also, Cogan turned 2, David and I turned 31, and we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.
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Now here’s to the start of a great new school year!
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4 thoughts on “Reflections on the End of a Purposeful Summer

  1. Pingback: I’m on A Practical Wedding! | MeReader

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