Also, I turned 40 this past year and all of my edges got softer and most of my clothes shrunk.
During the same period, there were some shifts in leadership and government and a presidential election. Then I realized that I could not watch or read the news for days and my day-to-day life would not change.
My brain was soft...and it needed more edges.
Body soft, mind sharp.
So I looked up my State Reps and Senators. Then my D.C. ones. I looked for a huddle. I attended a meeting about How To Talk With Those With Whom I Disagree. I tried to figure out what I really believe. About each issue. (Still working on it).
AT THE SAME TIME, I fell in love with the smash Broadway hit Alexander Hamilton. Suddenly, this story in American History became accessible to my brain and understanding through rap, hip hop and rhyme (THANK YOU LIN MANUEL MIRANDA).
Then Svea and I got tickets to Hamilton (thank you dear friends) and we saw it over Spring Break. I had studied; I was ready.
We were in the balcony. Svea had the binoculars.
First Act, I did not sing out loud (just mouthed the words) but I used some hand and arm motions for emphasis.
Second Act, the guy behind me SHUSHED ME. He asked me to "tone down the choreography." I was horrified. I had ruined his experience! I had annoyed him and his people around him! We were 4,000 feet up from the stage, but I had been Too Much! I kept my elbows glued to my sides and my lips sealed the whole Act II.
After several days of breathing and grief, I realized I SHOULD NOT BE SHUSHED. My choreography was relevant and full of joy! Hamilton himself (as well as Eliza and Angelica) would not stand for shushing. I cannot Tone It Down.
My soft brain freaked as I connected the boldness of our Founding Fathers with our current political climate along with my new-ish challenge to sharpen my brain, and I committed to Less Shushing, More Listening, More Engagement, Deeper Understanding.
Y'all. Figure out what you believe. Call your Reps and Senators. Be nice to your neighbor. Stop talking and listen. Do not be shushed.