Two nights ago my husband, Bob, and I went to a book-signing event for A. K. Patch. I know of Dr. Patch through my work in dentistry. He held his event at St. Spyridan Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego. This church happens to be where I married my first husband.
As I drove up to the church and parked my car, a flood of memories assailed me. Of course, my first wedding was in my thoughts, but those weren’t the memories coursing through my mind.
The memories that mattered at that moment and held so much meaning to me were the memories of when I was in high school and college and I belonged to a Dabke dance group. Dabke is Arabic folk dancing. We also did Greek folk dances as well. Many events hosted at St. Spyridan’s, such as the Greek festival, included performances by me and my friends in the dance troupe.
Suddenly, with these memories came strong emotional feelings of joy and of peace with myself and of feeling alive. Really alive and full of energy. Young, beautiful, and ready to take on the world and make a difference.
I remembered how thin I was and how light I felt. I remembered being swept away with the music, and how my feet, as they danced each step, moved so gracefully through each number. I remembered how beads of sweat would begin to drip down across my brow after so many dances, and how while on stage I worried if my make-up would begin to run from the teardrops of sweat. I remember wiping my brow after a performance ended and really not caring if my make-up was smeared. How could anything in the world matter when I felt so alive in that moment?
Then the evening would be over with, and everyone would be kissing one another on each cheek. We all felt exhausted and invigorated at the same time. And if anyone said, “Come on, let’s dance some more!” we all would have jumped at the chance.
Instead, we would go home. Once I got home, washed up and changed for bed, I remember climbing into bed feeling so content with my life, and so happy to be alive, and eager to see what the world would bring me next. Nothing bad could happen when I felt this good.
Oh, those were such wonderful times, and now those great memories remind me that every day is still an adventure. This ol’ gal has a lot of memories to make and is not ready to give up on feeling that alive.
This kind of alive feeling only comes from certain things. Creating that feeling means we need to have and attitude that supports wanting to know more, do more, and experience much with people we love and care about. This kind of alive feeling comes from believing in ourselves, and believing in the goodness and abilities of others we share our lives with – that we all want to live life to the fullest.
I want to be so busy feeling alive from the memories I am creating today that I don’t have time to remember the feelings from yester-year.
Until we meet again, this is Linda Misleh Wagner, Future Former Fatty.