I heard one of my favorite songs while I was walking Buddy yesterday: “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womack.
I love this song almost as much as my kids loathe it.
I find it lovely while they think it is incredibly sappy.
Despite their copious eye-rolling every time it comes on the radio when we are in the car together, I tell them that the lyrics are exactly what I wish for them…in particular the following: “…when you get the chance to sit it out or dance…DANCE!”
The year was 2002.
Doug and I were guests at a beautiful oceanfront wedding in Rhode Island. It was a picture-perfect summer day. The bride was gorgeous, the food was delicious, the friends at our table were delightful company. Happiness reigned.
Then the dancing started.
Doug and I watched as one by one, each of our friends answered the call of the music and headed for the dance floor. Soon, nearly all of the wedding guests were on their feet, dancing with abandon and having a blast.
Doug and I sat alone at our table, choosing to be spectators rather than participants.
I was feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable in my own skin. Because I was carrying some extra pounds that I had hoped to lose prior to the wedding, I was wearing the only outfit in my closet that fit and it was way too warm for the summer evening.
In addition, neither of us can dance in the slightest. We have no rhythm whatsoever.
However…(and I say this with love)…neither did our friends! But they didn’t care! They didn’t let that stop them from getting out there and squeezing every drop of fun out of that wedding reception.
As we left that evening, Doug and I decided we were never going to let that happen again. In the future when we found ourselves at a wedding reception, we would dance.
And we have.
We have taken our middle-aged selves onto every dance floor. We may look ridiculous, but we are seizing the moment and making a memory.
As Dave Barry has said, “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.”
I don’t want my kids to live their lives on the sidelines. I don’t want them to be paralyzed by self-consciousness. That is not living, that is existing.
“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to its fullest; make the most of what you have. It’s later than you think.”– Horace
I Hope You Dance by LeeAnn Womack