Diaries: October, 1978

I was not a consistent diarist. The prior entries for 1978 are from January. The next ones are from October. At least I’d write a few entries in a row before losing steam. Actually, this is something I still struggle with: full of good intentions but not so full of sticktoitiveness. I get more disciplined as I get older, but it’s still a “growth area.”

10/7/1978   Today at modern dance we learned how to use the balls.

I loved that class. It was actually rhythmic gymnastics, which I was really good at, but my cousin (who I took the class with) didn’t take it the second year and I was too shy to take it by myself, so I dropped it. I wish I hadn’t. I had the flexibility and gracefulness that the sport requires. Coulda been a contenda! Can’t do anything about that now. At least I still use those skills many Sundays when I take out the big ribbon on a stick to wave during praise and worship. Although I got it tangled around my neck once and I tied such a multi-knot in the air that I had to stop and undo it this past week, I try to make patterns with the ribbon that go with the words of the song.

And, out of all the things that I’m discovering are still an issue for me, these 30 years later, this one is not: I’m not afraid to be really good at something. It isn’t considered very feminine to boast, but I’m going to do it: I’m really good at Zumba. My spot is in the front line, right by the mirror, and I dance the living daylights out of every number. I came in almost late this morning, and when two other regulars saw me, they said, “Oh good, here comes our teacher,” which we had a laugh about. My theory is that I’m not snotty or obnoxious about being good at it, I’m not falsely modest although I do highlight when something is hard for me, and I take such obvious joy in it that nobody can feel I’m lording my Zumbabilities over them. Also, I just plain love it, and I’m not letting anything get in the way.

10/8/1978   I felt so stupid standing at the church doors handing out newsletters. Boy, is Mrs. M. ever pregnant. It looks like she’s about to burst. I went over to E.’s house, we listened to Grease twice. It was freezing outside, no wonder R. wore mittens to Church. Near the cottage it snowed. Here it rained and hailed.

Oh, the self-consciousness of the tween. No idea what the newsletters were for. And I don’t remember noticing adults all that much, so Mrs. M. really must’ve been ready to have that baby. This is the problem with trying to tell a self-conscious child not to worry about it because nobody is looking at you: they often are. It was apparently ridiculous enough to wear mittens to church in early October that it became one of a half dozen diary entries for the year.

Conversations between my daughter and her friend bear this out, too: it’s all about the other people in their classes. So maybe I need to revise the advice, turn it to: “Whether you do nothing or something, some people will love it, some people will talk smack about it [shrug]. So you might as well do something.” Not that anyone will listen to that, either, but a mother’s got to try.

10/9/1978   There wasn’t any school for us today. Guess why? It was Thanksgiving. Oma and Tanta Re came over for the turkey dinner. After supper we saw some slides. Most of them were from Holland. Today was chilly and if you were going to be outside for a while, you had to wear a jacket.

10/10/1978  Today was Guides. I showed “Sparky” my stamp book and she said she would send a tester.

Let’s set aside the nod to the expectation that other people would be reading this with the “Guess why?” Although that is happening now, it’s silly in a ten year old.

I think these two entries are connected. A relative from overseas brought me a huge envelope of international stamps for my collection. It could very well have been Tante Re. I still have the stamp book. I have pinned a post on using stamps in art, and now that I see these all again, it makes me want to take them out of their little book and put them on the wall.

And now I’m going to give ten-year-old me a hug. She was a sweet little thing.