This morning I hosted a “turkey trot” Fat Kid Dance Party aerobics class. I’ve been feeling really generative lately and the best way for me to learn how to teach new choreography is to teach it multiple times til it clicks, and as a result I’ve been throwing bonus Zoom aerobics on top of what I already serve my members.

Hi! I’m Bevin! I believe quality of grief is quality of life and you can’t grieve if you ignore it.

I was so torn about whether to do a class on the 4th Thursday in November. So many people are off work here in the so-called United States maybe some of them wanted to move their bodies with me! So-called because–who decides? Was this land mass called something else? We owe reconciliation and land back to the indigenous people colonized and mass-murdered.

I would encourage you to question the stories made up about this holiday.

And: feasting, gratitude, gathering family and friends are precious things that I want to celebrate.

And: I miss getting to host large gatherings. I want a house with a crowded table and a place by the fire for everyone! (Cue song.) This time of year really hits me in the Feels about what I want and what I perceive to be missing, though I trust what is meant for me is en route. My job is to manage my vibration & life experience appreciating what is around me.

In the end, I chose to throw a class, full of curiosity about what it would be like to connect and dance this morning. Like a classic turkey trot run but without running (not to yuck your yum–I don’t like running) instead dance aerobics.

I work to choose my curiosity over fear. I don’t know if calling it a turkey trot is too problematically tied to the stories told about this holiday. It felt fun and I might change it for next year.

Angela and Egan. 🌹

My favorite part of teaching my aerobics classes is getting to connect with my Regulars in the optional post-class self care check in. Angela, who just released her first pet over the rainbow bridge this week said the beautiful words, “I don’t have to perform okay-ness.” It keeps echoing.

I always want my loved ones to feel free to express themselves with me. What if success was measured in how safe people feel around you (paraphrased from Jonathan Louis Dent)? But I also know very few people are actually available for that and it’s okay to not be up to pretend to be okay.

This time of year is such a land mine for so many reasons, and ever since my first engagement broke off right before the 4th Tuesday in November it’s been a weird time of year. Like a check-in that since I don’t yet have kids things just aren’t where they are “supposed to be” when in fact everything simply is. I’ve always felt a mess, and even after all the healing work I’ve done I still feel like a mess. I’m just far more compassionate with my thoughts about it.

I remember that I once had a house with a backyard that could comfortably seat 40 and I’m grateful we maximized welcoming friends and community to our space.

I no longer shroud my grief in suffering because I’m fighting the grief. I let the grief sit with me on my recliner with my cat after a long day and a big meal thanks to my mom & her spouse Pat. I remember all the work to curate a big holiday gathering. I miss my friends and family and I hope for easier times to come. I hope for the kids as I hold the question mark about whether that dream will ever come to pass. I think of all of my friends who are heroes and making the big meals and parenting and planning for holiday presents during historic inflation. I think of people all over who are suffering and don’t have a full belly and I try to find peace and remember more gratitude. Always more gratitude. It’s a practice because you must keep trying.

If you’re reading this and feeling weird about the holidays, I want to encourage you to borrow Angela’s line “I don’t have to perform okay-ness.” You don’t have to spend time with people who feel draining or who you think you have to tap dance for. In fact, during multiple overlapping pandemiques, your skipping that event likely saves lives.

I recorded a solo podcast episode about my grief this time of year: Episode 115. If you need some company to join you in the recliner with your grief, I’m here to help you feel less alone.

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