Why’s it so hard to sit and do nothing? Having postponed my London dentist appointment and decided not to go a free dance workshop as my body is still tired from an onslaught of salsa in Chelmsford last night, I’ve opted instead to sit on my sofa reading various magazines and books, including The Life of Pi, which I’m very much enjoying and has made me laugh out loud on a number of occasions. Though I’m loving the peace and relaxation, the day seems to be slipping by rapidly, and I can’t help but compare this leisurely pace to a few months ago, when I was at the height of my ‘manic London schedule’, in which I stretched time, or so it seemed, by cramming in so much. I was going there 2-3 times per week to rehearse or perform in some capacity. I’m wondering how on earth I found the energy to schlep all the way over to Fulham each Friday to practise for salsa shows, perform on weeknights and get to bed at around 2am then work the next day; rehearse an afro samba number for a jive ball and then zumba event; go on a Croatia salsa holiday that involved an extremely erratic sleep schedule; do Olympics rehearsals for the closing ceremony, which not only overlapped somewhat with the salsa shows but meant whole weekends in our heavy costumes and pain-inducing shoes, and – the finale! – parading in both the Notting Hill Carnival for three hours, followed by more dancing in the streets, then the Thames Festival a fortnight later, which was the same as Notting Hill but at night and for longer! (see below for photographic evidence of all the aforementioned shows)
|BRIGHT LIGHTS: The flag handover ceemony for London 2012 Olympics, dancing as one of the passistas (with the wheels)|
|PARADE OF A TIME! At the Thames Festival, Sep 9, 2012|
|STREET LIFE: Salsa freestyling at the Latin Rave party, Notting Hill, after the parade|
|SHAKE IT UP! Dancing with 'ala Shaik' with the Paraiso School of Samba at Notting Hill Carnival, Aug 2012|
|MAKING A SPLASH: At the Salsa Beach Splash Festival in Croatia, July 2012|
|A TOUGH LIFE: Backstage with the boys from the Laith Sami Performing Group after our 'Terminator burlesque salsa hiphop routine!|
|GOLDEN GIRL: In the Olympic stadium after the finale of the closing ceremony, August 11, 2012|
|TRIBAL: At the 'Sex and Candy' Jive Ball in April, where I performed with Monika Molnar's DanceMyWay student group afro samba routine|
So now, sitting here listening to Ibiza chillout music and looking out the window at the glorious sight of white fluffy clouds backlit by the sun, giving them a luminous glow around the edges, it’s weird to be doing what I consider not much. I know rest and recuperation is precisely what I need, yet the harsh taskmaster of my mind seems insistent upon telling me I ought to be getting ready to go out this evening, or to be getting on with writing my book, or doing something else either productive or sociable.
The drive to be productive
Why is this? Is it just me, or does everyone feel like they should be doing more? I think social networking is partly to blame. Every time I check Facebook I see another event I want to go to – a class, a workshop, a party – and then feel bad about missing it, as if my life is somehow going to be less enjoyable if I stay home. I’ve only been out of the London salsa scene for a couple of months yet it feels like longer. And, although I was enjoying my break, last night at the Chelmsford event, a handful of the City crowd were there to perform, which just made me yearn to be part of another group. I’d promised myself I’d take it easy for the rest of the year, spend more time by myself, get my stuff in order, finally have the clear out and tidy up I’ve been needing to do for so long, and yet there I was telling them all I’d be at the next audition in a few weeks, eager and raring to get back into another tiring, not to mention expensive, dance schedule.
I’m not advocating I, or anyone, stop following my/their passions, I’m just wondering where this inner drive to always be busy comes from, and the feeling of missing out. I've done more in the past 6-12 months than perhaps in any other period of my life so far, so why this relentless feeling of needing to do more? Anyway, for the rest of this weekend I’ll try to be content with stillness – and reading – and also avoid Facebook. J