A long time ago, a colleague of mine had told me that one of the tasks to resolve in your 40's is cynicism, you know, that thing that creeps in like an angry pall over your thoughts, a severe wall of protection put up to deal with the fact that the idealism lingering from your 20's has had a head-on collision with the truth of your existence. That means dealing with failed marriages, failed jobs, ideas never birthed, age saying "hello!" to your body, dreams not realized, having knowledge about politics and finance and the sucky parts of this world and being able to intelligently assess that the situation isn't pretty.
And so cynicism. Yeah, that's just hard. It's not something you can positive-think your way around because it's reality, like furniture in the room. You just have to be cynical for awhile until you can actually consciously choose. You can say, "this world sucks. I've been a total loser. Dude (or not, as applicable), I'm totally going to turn this boat around and make myself useful, and change something, because I can"
Then, and only then, after such enlightenment and resolve, do you have a single-mom-on-the-loose weekend, You look at your mood and you have to choose: "silly?cynical?silly?cynical? SILLY" Silly wins again! Voila! All set to discover the joy of hip thrusting butt rubbing dancing.
In the bar this weekend, such an eclectic crowd gathered right at 1 a.m. Before they all came, a few casual conversations happened; I danced, no drink in hand since I'd had a margarita or two at dinner, so firmly into the music I stepped. I could not stop looking at people. I am a seriously devoted people-watcher. I was with friends, including a couple whose energy was so wrapped up in each other it was good to be around. Soon there were more people to watch and dance with and the wildness started. We were dancing when a young man approached us and in front of me and my friends, demonstrated his "hip thrust" and explained it was nothing sexual, it was just mad skills that allowed him to thrust with such a smooth, jerking motion, and how most guys can't do that. I agreed with him because this is an inarguable truth. As he thrusted, he petted his coarse yellow hair as if it were a cat or a wig and we chatted a bit. I told him that anyone who thrusted like that needed a "Cool" name in addition to a "Regular" name. After giving it some obligatory thought, I dubbed him "Storm". He seemed happy with that and so he thrusted away to show another group his skills, now as Storm instead of whatever-his-real-name-was. The rest of the night was all seeing the rubbing of butts together. This seems to be a "thing" at this particular bar and that, along with the people watching, the limbo contest, and me being the only one old enough to know the words to "Rock the Casbah", assured that I kept dancing. And laughing, too, because it was all so funny.
It is harder to hold on to cynicism when you realize how ridiculous any of it is, all of life. The whole thing. Might as well go heal the world.
I also heard live jazz, spent time, lots of time, with dear friends, worked on art and singing, had a therapeutic meditation around "walls", a beautiful walk by the river, and reading in bed. Alone time is good.
I walked into Monday: sleepy, smiling broadly, a slight sway in my hips as I stepped.