One of the things Zumba class requires is a great deal of energy. (In case you're not familiar with Zumba, it's mostly Latin dance steps mixed in with a good blend of aerobics, kickboxing and hip hop.) It's super-fun - unless you walk into class utterly exhausted. If you walk in tired - well, be prepared. Zumba will kick your ... um. Well, let's just say it won't likely go all that well.
Today was one of those days when Zumba just didn't go well. I walked in already tired. I thought several times about just cutting out early - and honestly, today, I didn't stay because of what people would think if I left. I think I stayed mostly to see if I could. And I did actually make it all the way through the class.
But let me tell you: there were some less than stellar moments. I tripped more than once. There were dances and steps I just couldn't seem to master today - even though none of them were new. I made so many mistakes, and found myself relying more heavily than usual on the instructor's encouragement and smiles. (She's really awesome that way.) I had to remind myself to smile. It wasn't fun, most of the time today. It was work, and it was exhausting, and it was very hard to remember that the point is to have fun and keep moving as I watched myself make error after error. For some reason, most of my injuries from my bike accident chose today to be achy, which affected my concentration and added to the discouragement I felt. There were a few moments here and there when I found something positive to focus on - things like "my Zumba shoes are really cute" or "I didn't trip that time" or enjoying the camaraderie that exists between those of us who have been taking this class together for awhile. But mostly it was just a long haul for an hour, and I was glad when it was over and I could retreat to the introvert heaven that the rest of this day has been.
And life's like that. There are days when you get up and everything just seems to go wrong. You wake up tired, you push too hard, you overcommit, and your responsibility streak won't let you drop things you promised you'd do because people are counting on you, even tho dropping them would be the best possible thing for you. You forget things - important things - and it affects other people negatively. (Which makes you feel worse.) You make mistakes, and you say the wrong things and you send text messages you shouldn't send. Your emotions get out of control and you spew negativity. People don't respond the way you wish they would and old wounds surface and try to declare themselves unable to heal, ever. Life seems suddenly overwhelming and obstacles insurmountable.
But the truth is: it isn't and they're not. You can do this. You just need to give yourself a little grace. Be okay with not being perfect. Be okay with not getting it right all the time. Trust in His grace. And trust your friends to love you enough to be gracious to you even when you're having a rotten day and not being the best version of yourself.
And call it when you need to. Check out. Take a nap. Read a book (for fun). Watch a movie. Take another nap. Be an introvert. Ask God to speak. Listen for His voice.
And know that while it doesn't always go well (welcome to life on a fallen planet) - there will be other days and other dances, and life isn't going to permanently kick your anything. You'll get back out there, and it will be fun again.