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Something Like the Fox Trot

June 10, 2011

It’s Friday, and Lisa-Jo, The Gypsy Mama, has challenged the brave to write for 5 minutes without stopping.  Or editing.  This week’s topic: backwards.  And here we go in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…


Right foot back.  Together.  Left foot to the left.  Together.  Left foot forward – ow, shoot, that’s his toe.  Start over from the top.  Promise to get it right.  Here we go…again.  Right foot back.  Together.  Left foot – ow – toe.  Start over.

I don’t think I’ve retained anything from my years spent at cotillion.  The only piece of knowledge I gained was dancing the fox trot.  And not unlike the pre-adolescent fumbling through those steps so many years ago, I am still clumsy on my feet.  I have no rhythm.  I often go forward when I should go backwards.  I am prone to stepping back when I should move ahead.  This is the tragedy of my dance skills, and of my life.

I am prone to living in regret.  I am prone to desperately yearning for the chance to rewind.  To stop and start again.  To ask for do-overs.  I replay conversations and events and demeanors and pieces of body language over and over and over again and wish sometimes it was as simple as starting over with the Fox Trot.  Stepped on your shoe?  Sorry, let’s take it from the top.  Was angry when I meant to be patient?  Sorry, let’s rewind that conversation.  Kept talking when I should have been quiet?  Held back when I kept pushing for more?  Lacked empathy, lacked grace, lacked joy?  Yes, yes, all those things – let’s just start from the beginning all over again.  Oh Lord, what I would give to replay those moments.  What I would give to put my life on a cotillion dance floor, to twirl it around in all its childish innocence, and let it stumble and pause and rewind and do-over until I got it right.  Until I felt satisfied I had nailed something down.  Until I was confident enough to move forward.

Funny thing about learning the fox trot is that there is always a partner on the other end.  When I was younger, it was a pre-pubescent boy who hadn’t yet learned to be impatient with girls.  He was always so nice.  Perhaps now my partner is something bigger, but something less tangible on some days.  Perhaps my partner lately is grace, and we spin and fumble and twirl in this land of re-do’s until I get the dance right.  Perhaps.

Stop.  5 minutes are up.

Join us, won’t you?  5 Minute Fridays with the Gypsy Mama!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2011 5:57 pm

    I love this, so much. You hit the nail on the head with this one – and Lauren I find your writing so inspiring. Thank you!

  2. June 10, 2011 9:30 pm

    This was so good. I love the image I got reading this, the way we dance and trip and stumble through this life, sometimes we get it, other times we are just tripping dizzy over own missteps. But grace, grace is always there, arms extended keeping perfect time, waiting patiently for us to try again, to just keep moving forward. This was a wonderful post. Thank you so much for this perspective, and for stopping by my blog today. I look forward to reading more from you. Bless you, friend.

  3. June 10, 2011 9:33 pm

    I love the pictures of “grace” being the dance partner in a world of re-do’s. I took the same spin on “backwards” with regards to regrets. Enjoyed your post immensely. – Sarah

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