Lately the ice rink’s been full of holiday music and skaters moving across the ice in lines, blocks, and pinwheels practicing group numbers for the holiday show. When they’re out there it’s hard to do much on the ice besides stay out of their way. It gives me a holiday attitude check: am I going to to be annoyed that my practice is disturbed? Or relax, watch the skaters’ programs come together and enjoy listening to classic tunes like “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Sleigh Ride”, and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside?”
I’m going to be in a holiday group number, too, at a different rink (I skate at two rinks). On the day of the first practice I was wondering why I signed up to do something that required a 45 minute slog through rush-hour traffic every week just to get there. And the first part of the practice found me distracted, foggy about when and where I was supposed to go, and out of sorts.
Other skaters, possibly tanked up with more sleep or caffeine in their systems than me, pointed out my spot at a couple of points where I was going astray. By the end of the hour I started to feel the energy of all of us working together. And I realized that yes, of course this is something I want to do with my skating friends. Our music is great, our coach has put her heart and soul into the choreography, and we’re going to open the show in a really fun way.
About a week ago I felt the nearness of the holidays and it felt like a shadow. Not exactly the prescribed holiday feeling, but it was real. If I’m going to enjoy this season, I have to stay open to the experiences it presents and keep checking in with myself about which activities I actually want to do. It’s OK to tailor my holiday around those. I do want to do the holiday ice show, so my family’s tradition of seeing two different holiday ice shows at the rinks where I skate will continue. I hope my family will enjoy and remember that as much as if they had a mom who loved to bake, decorate, or wrap gifts.