You Can’t Ride Two Horses with Only One Butt…

Today was an epiphany for me. Last September, I signed up to take a ballet class. I have never put on a ballet slipper in my entire life. I’m not a size two. Mind you, I can cheer, and even coached cheer, but dance? Now that’s a completely different animal. My friend Nickie has a daughter who dances competitively – she’s your traditional “dance mom”. Nickie said “Ballet? Are you sure? That’s the hardest one to learn!” But I wanted to start with ballet, because that’s the dance that all other dance forms are based off of. Or so I’d heard.

So off I went to learn a year’s worth of ballet. Our recital is the weekend after next. About 1/3 of our class is doing the recital. The rest of the class chickened out thinking that people (the audience) would laugh if they weren’t perfect, or someone would see if they had a leg out of form, or if their leotard didn’t fit the same as the size two girls. I figure, so what if it doesn’t? You practice all this time, a year straight, who is going to care if you don’t have a foot in the right place or you aren’t a size two? All that matters is that you danced.

Registration was last week for the next year. Looking up at the recital schedule, and then over at the sign up boards, I realized just how much fun I’ve had, how wonderful it was to learn something new, and how I’ve stretched myself mentally as well as physically each week. The accomplishment I’ve felt at almost 99.99% correctly dancing the recital dance at our last practice was overwhelming, considering I’d never pliéd before last September. So standing there in front of the registration box, I stepped out of my comfort zone, and registered for a few new things. Ballet – to become better at what I started this year, plus jazz, which I would love to learn and I think fits my personality, and a new one – lyrical, which just seems like it will be a great class. I am excited about all three.

Which brings me to today. So I’ve been a consultant with 31 Gifts for three and a half years now. And the hubs and I also work in our travel business. And this past week I started as a founding consultant
with Jewell, which is a sister company of 31. So people who know and love me are lining up to shake me to my senses. “Karen, what are you doing?” “How are you going to do all of them successfully?” “Are you serious about all of them?” and this one – my favorite, and yes it makes me smile – “You know Karen, you can’t ride two horses with only one butt.”

But I don’t think of it that way. When I see a person I think of as successful (take Candice Cameron Bure, for example) – sometimes their resume just says Mom. Sometimes it says Actress. Sometimes it says Actress & Speaker.  In Candice’s case, she’s an actress, producer, author, she runs a blog, a ministry, she’s a mom, and a wife, and a sister…  and successful at all of them. Being just one thing is great for some people, but taking on more than one thing is okay too, if that’s what’s right for you. It’s like the saying “Don’t yuck my yum”. Just because something isn’t what you would do, why does that make it wrong for someone else?

Why do others ask why I take on so many things? I don’t think of it as spreading myself thin, or burning both ends of the candle. I think of it as taking a new dance class. You see, maybe one business is ballet for me. Maybe another is jazz. Maybe the third is lyrical. They each have their own clientele, their own place in my day. And who says I can’t be successful at all of them? Yes, there are professional ballerinas that JUST dance the ballet. But there are also professional dancers who dance more than one style, and that’s okay too. So for the ballerinas out there, bravo to you. And to me, the one who loves being a travel agent, an author, a blogger, a 31 leader, an engineer, wife, mother, friend, and now a Jewell founding consultant, each with their own music, dance style, and costume, I say, let’s dance!

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