Sunday, May 8, 2005


I’m in some kinda pain.
Every muscle is wondering what the heck I did last night. And why.

A few years ago my boys and I lived with my parents while we waited for the perfect house to come available in Murrayville. It was hard for me, former princess of my own castle, to go back to living with the king and queen.

I was never alone. I’d discovered, once getting over the pain of being dumped, that I really liked being by myself every now and then.
But living in a house with one’s parents and on a piece of property were there were a couple of renters, made it difficult finding “Jane space”. I craved it. I was desperate for it. I was getting kinda grumpy without it.

So that Christmas, Christmas Day of ’02, with my kids at their dad's, and my parents at Cultus, I relished in 24 hours of absolute freedom. I stayed in my pajamas all day. I had control of the TV remote for the first time in months. I wrote for 4 hours, without interruption. I accepted a dinner invitation. And then, when I got back to the palace, I turned on my music.

MY music. The stuff that makes me feel good. The sounds that stir something deep inside my soul. The tunes that make me happy. The melodies that make me want to dance. The songs that make me wanna rock.

It was well after midnight. The guy who lived upstairs was listening to the Dixie Chicks at full volume. I was hoping the guy in the barn was staying there, not out wandering in the yard when I turned up Collective Soul’s December and started to boogie. There were no curtains on any of the windows so at first I hid in a corner as I swayed. By the time my 6th favourite song came on I was using the entire first floor of the house jivin’, hoppin’, boppin’ and full out rockin’.

I must’ve been down a quart or two of much needed oil. Felt like I’d just been given an tune up, and now I was good to go.

The following day, I picked up my kids on the way to the lake to celebrate Christmas with the rest of my family. I know we all exchanged gifts. And I probably got some pretty good ones. I usually do. But the one present I received from my mom that knocked the wind out of me was a small book. Within seconds of removing the wrapping paper I was in tears. It was perfect. So very appropriate. And exquisitely timed. It was entitled, “I Hope you Dance.”

It was an illustrated version of the song lyrics written by Mark D Sanders and Tia Sillers, (copyright 2000):
I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath forgranted
God forbid love ever leaves you empty-handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance… I hope you dance
Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder
Where those years have gone
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I went to a wedding yesterday.
Mostly I don’t like weddings. Not because I’m bitter and negative about marriage or love or anything.

It’s just that usually these celebrations are really long days spent in dress-up clothes. And almost always anyone my age is accompanied by their spouse. I’m that awkward single person that ruins seating plans.

But I sucked it up and went anyways.
I made myself useful. I transported floral arrangements. I helped decorate and set up the reception. And when, during the dinner, it became obvious that the powerpoint presentation wouldn’t work unless someone zipped out to Future Shop to buy a 20 foot audio cable, I did that too.

After dinner was done, the toasts were toasted and the grandparents had left the building, the DJ fired up his music machine. Couples took to the dance floor and I proceeded to clear tables. Groupy type songs, like YMCA, blared through the speakers and I continued to pack up the decorations. Eighties music vibrated off the dance floor while I looked for boxes for the candle holders.

And then Bryan Adams, with his raw, sexy voice, started singing about the summer of ’69 – and I couldn’t sit it out any longer.
I kicked off my shoes and danced.
For hours. I knew every song, from Bob Seger, to Bare Naked Ladies. From Billy Idol to Kenny Loggins. So did everyone else. This was our music.

I knew everyone on the dance floor… it was only us 40-something –year-olds dancing. And laughing. And sweating.
By midnight, there were 10 of us left. Slowly rockin’ with the tunes. And smiling.

It’s Mother’s Day now – and I’m in some kinda pain.
Oy vey.
Every muscle is wondering what the heck I did last night.

I danced. That’s what.


Anonymous said...

Way to go Jane, I'm glad you danced! You are an inspiration to me.

Christine said...

Tried to send you a comment yesterday and it didn't work. I so wanted to say how proud I was of you too -- for moving past such disappointment and heartache. Keep on dancing. You deserve it and God wants you to kick up your heels and laugh with joy. :) You are an inspiration to many.