I do two things that are just for me. One of them I do with other people, and one I do alone. Well, in the car.

I take Tai Chi. Every time I go back to it after an absence – whether that absence is one of a couple weeks or a couple years – I can feel my entire being release. Relax. Breathe.

Go here to see a beautiful example of the 24 form Tai Chi .

I take it for myself. I go alone – no husband, no sons – just me. It’s my space – the people there are genuinely happy to see me, and email me when it’s been a while. It’s a place for me to cherish myself, to feel that connection back to my ballet dancing days, to breathe and get in touch with the energy of life. When I see friends there, that makes the class better – but when I only have acquaintances around me, that’s fine, too. I’m accepted.

The first time I went back – at the very end of January, after two full years and then some – the emotions ran high. I hadn’t planned on going back – but Tom had been urging me to. Tai Chi is the perfect thing to do when you need to regain your sense of balance!  I had worn the appropriate shoes that day – so I went to the studio, bought a new set of clothes, and signed up for a month.

When Sifu saw me try to sneak by the children’s Kung Fu class to the dressing room, she did a double take, excused herself from her class, and came over and gave me a hug. It’s that kind of place. I felt I had come home.

I’m exhausted both mentally and physically after class, but my body, mind and spirit are better the next day. It fills a need I have that I don’t realize – and I am so grateful for it.

A picture of a girl singing into a microphone

thanks to library.thinkquest.org for the image

The other thing I do for myself is sing. Not just to the radio – I have a set of cds that I borrow from my hubby. They’re vocal exercises, but with a bit of a jazz beat. So it’s not operatic, but it is fun! I also have another cd that helps me learn how to harmonize. (Um, but no, I don’t do karaoke. Never have, never will. That will be all.)

I do almost all my singing in the car – yes, I know, I should be standing up – but still, it’s a fun way to use up some energy, it keeps me awake when I drive, and it exercises my voice. I used to take voice lessons a couple of decades ago, when I thought I might want to do musical theater; but I have to tell you, these exercises are much more fun than what I used to do. And I think I’m a better singer now, too. Everything I’ve heard says that people sing better as they age. Or maybe that’s just opera singers…

So, there you have it. Two things I do, just for me, that don’t benefit anyone else. They are my personal joys. I probably do more, but when I stopped to think about it, the other things that are joys also bring joy to others, and that’s not what I was aiming for this go-around.

What are your personal joys? Do you do anything “just for you” that doesn’t benefit anyone else? I’d love to hear about it!

It’s been raining here this week. Whatever the weather wherever you are, please drive safely – and drink responsibly!