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Nothing Can Stop You From Dancing

But a heart can't be helped and it gathers regret
Someday you'll wake up, and feel a great pain
And you'll miss every toy you've ever owned

In a karmic twist of fate, I celebrated my 39th birthday the same day my 66-year old Uncle David was laid to rest. Well, not exactly the same calendar date, but due to an international time zone, both events were held during the same time in space.

I spent the weekend thinking about mortality and about how someone would sum up my life: "She complained about money quite a bit... and never did seem to catch up on all that laundry."

I thought about how I haven't done any of the things I said I was going to do way back in high school. I thought about how many times I had made a decision and then life got in the way and decided things for me.

You'll want to go back
You wish you were small
Nothing will console your crying

And my dad and I sat in his kitchen until way past my bedtime talking about his baby brother who he can no longer touch and how he made promises to himself that he hadn't kept (mainly about traveling back home to Australia more often to see family).

And I listened as he told me about a prank the two of them played on their father that involved explosives and hiding in a ditch and how they almost got caught but totally got away with it and how they giggled in the dark and he can still hear his brother whispering:

Hey, Billy?
Yeah.
We're real lucky.
Yeah, yeah we are. 

And I listened as he told me about the time Uncle David came over to the US to visit and he came home from work to find Uncle David sitting on the back patio. Feeding the chipmunks and gophers crackers. The same chipmunks and gophers he'd been trying to remove from his garden because they were destroying all his plants and flowers. The same chipmunks and gophers he had set poison out to kill. But there sat Uncle David with a box of crackers. "Ahh... they're real cute, aren't they?" My dad smiled. "Yeah," he said, shaking his head. "Real cute."

You'll take the clock off of your wall
And you'll wish that it was lying

I also went out to dinner with my friends; my dear, dear friends who keep me sane and make me laugh until my ribs hurt and intelligently question things and set goals for themselves and motivate others; and it was so pleasant just to be sitting with them, near them, sharing the most humungous plate of nachos I've ever seen in my life, and talking about stuff. Stuff like running a half-marathon (them, not me) and climbing Mt. Rainer (them, not me) and taking a chance on  apossible new business venture (them, not me).

They try to remember
But still they forget
That the heart beats in three
Just like a waltz

But listening to them and thinking about my uncle made me realize something: no one is pushing time out of my way; I've just been letting it slip through my fingers. And everyone has things they want to do before they die, including me (just not climbing mountains or running for hours), and it's about time I just do them.

And nothing can stop you from dancing


lyrics by Regina Spektor, Firewood

Comments

Dan said…
Very sweet Bridget! Now go get em!!!!
Well I hope whatever your big plans include, that writing is on the list. Love your words.
Anonymous said…
This one gave me chills. Maybe it hits a bit close to home? Happy Birthday. Good luck grabbing onto that time. I hope you are able to reach some of your goals.
Rebecca said…
A beautiful post. I wish you the best of luck on achieving some of those life-long dreams.

On a completely creepy note, I present my horoscope for today...

"Are you living your dreams, Aquarius? Are you still in touch with them? The energy from today's planetary aspects can lend strength and encouragement to this part of your life. Take hold of the things you want most of all. Ask yourself, "What do I want people to say about me when I'm gone?" Get back on the road to a fulfilled life by taking steps toward your desires.."

I guess it's just in the stars.
Brenna said…
You know what I think? I think you can't ever feel like you've done enough or loved enough or said enough. What happens if we did? Stop talking? Decide we don't need anyone new to love? But you make plans and go do things, I love to check off a list as much as the next guy.

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