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Coping Skills

One of the reasons I love ballet class is that the immense challenge of it forces me to stay in the moment, both mentally and physically. I get an hour and a half reprieve from the parts of my life that cause me angst. And afterwards, I walk into the day renewed. What keeps you present?

Illustration by Lisa Congdon


6 comments for “Coping Skills”

  1. Dee says:


  2. Petra says:

    Cooking, like Dee! And watching the insects and bugs on my little farmette (a couple of small raised beds and numerous containers with herbs and vegetables). Black swallowtail caterpillars, assassin bug nymphs, honeybees, lightning bugs, etc–so much to admire in the small fauna.

    • wendy says:

      From my urban perspective, that sounds so exotic. What is it about watching insects and bugs that keeps you present?

  3. RS says:

    Similar to you, it is my weekly 90 minute ballroom dance lesson. I have been taking lessons pretty much non-stop for the last 25 years, but in my lessons we eschew flashy open choreography to focus very much on working basic movements, techniques, and patterns by my choice. I sometimes tell my teacher that teaching me must be like teaching algebra to somebody with Down Syndrome because I am a slowwww learner and lack much natural talent. We still work and work and work on the most basic movements and I still struggle with them. But I love it. As slow as I am, I continue to make definite progress and – at the tender age of 55 – I dance better now than I ever have. I love concentrating on the basics. Dancers who have mastered the basic movements can dance the simplest patterns and look absolutely sublime. I don’t think I will ever achieve sublime, but I love reaching for it. I love the ache in my legs after a lesson and the deep body/mind concentration and just getting *into* my body (because my 9 to 5 career is very much work in my head). I think of my weekly dance lesson as very much a kind of therapy – and a very productive kind.

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