Knowing and understanding your limitations has been on my mind, lately. While stretching at the barre at the end of class the other day one of the students (we've been in class together since the very start) was talking to our teacher about taking more classes. Two days per week just isn't enough! Etcetera. And the jealous little demon whispered to me "I love dancing. I want to take class more, too! I am just as dedicated! I want to advance like she is!" but really...
The fact is that I enjoy spending some of my evenings at home with my husband, going out to see shows, or visiting friends. Class every day would be too much like a job. No one wants that. I have a job I actually love, which is more than most people can say, but you know what? Sometimes (a LOT of the time) I don't want to do THAT, either. I don't want to feel that way about dancing. I want to look forward to it. Because seriously? Sometimes? I get a little worn out and have to drag myself in to class. I am always glad I went, after the fact, but getting there can be a real struggle against my lazier and more fatalistic tendencies.
And then there is the physical stuff. I want to push myself. I want to get better as quickly as possible. But my body is old and broken and requires a certain amount of TLC just to get out of bed on some mornings. It gets exhausted really easily (really really easily). Things get pulled or thrown out of whack at the least provocation. That toe joint on my left foot is prone to flare ups. My knees, my hips, my shins. I have so many parts that don't work properly anymore.
So, while it's hard (or annoying, take your pick) to watch people that I started class with lapping me at the barre, it's also not really anything I can fix. I can't push too hard physically, or I might mess myself up or speed the degeneration of my condition to the point that I can't dance at all. I don't have to prove that I am dedicated by giving up my myriad other hobbies and interpersonal relationships. My BFF isn't in to ballet. I'd like to go see shitty movies with her once in a while. My cats need petting. My husband needs snuggling. There are rose bushes to prune, blogs to write (hello, yes, this is one of my hobbies), corsets to sew. I have a whole art project that I have barely started on, moving boxes that have yet to be unpacked.
Know your limitations.
Keep dancing. Keep writing. Keep working. Keep going.