Do the Cartwheel!

When it comes to evening television, there’s only one thing I make an appointment to watch: The Voice.  However, since it does not begin until next week, my daughter and I sat down to watch the season premiere of Dancing With the Stars on Monday night. I do not know half of the “stars” but still found it entertaining. What surprised me most was the moment of inspiration I experienced while watching!

Betsy Johnson, a 72 year old fashion designer, is one of the “stars.” I think we would all give her credit just for saying ‘Yes!’ and being out there at the age of 72. Her routine went terribly awry towards the end. The props became tangled and their dancing came to a halt. Before they could recover, the music ended. Instead of melting into a pile of tears or frustration, she did a cartwheel and went right into the splits! The audience was delighted and she was rewarded with enthusiastic applause, even though she eventually received the lowest score of the evening.

Lolo Jones is a 32 year old Olympic athlete. She was also one of the “stars.” A smaller glitch at the beginning of her routine, threw her off mentally and she was never quite able to recover. She was voted off the show after only one appearance.  In an interview today, she said she tries to learn the lessons that life serves her through her experiences. She explained that she was very angry and frustrated with herself. She went backstage, and spent the rest of the program trying not to cry and rehearsing in her mind what went wrong. She didn’t see any of the other couples perform. The lesson she took away? She missed it. It would be her only night to be on Dancing With the Stars and she missed being a part of the joy and the camaraderie because she  couldn’t stop sulking.

I have actually given a lot of thought to Betsy’s cartwheel/split combination and Lolo’s confession. I don’t want to miss the joy around me because I am recounting past failures, big or small, in my mind. The truth is, this may be our only day. None of us are promised another. I have a feeling Betsy understands that. It may be why she went right ahead on with the cartwheel and the splits. It is what she is {amazingly} able to do. It is what she had planned on doing. She was determined to do the one thing she KNEW she could do, with or without the music.

Each of us have different expectations for our own lives. The ‘dance’ may not go quite as we had planned. It is easy to compare ourselves or our lives to others. The truth is, as Ann Voskamp so beautifully writes, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Each of us must live this one life as best we can. Can you give of your time? Share your food? Give someone a ride? Leave someone with a word of encouragement? Write the check? Share the smile? Offer the help? Can you lend your faith or hope or love or joy to a situation? We may think our contributions are insignificant. We may never know how much difference even the smallest kindness may have made in someone’s life. Whatever is in our means to do, is our ‘cartwheel!’ Let’s add it to our dance, share the joy and rest knowing  we did all we could in that moment.

Learning to Do Cartwheels With You,


About debbierivers

I love to share what I can whenever I can. My goal is to live simply and love lavishly. I enjoy inspiring others with my writing. I am married to Steve and am the mother to two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Jenna, and grandmother to Kinsley. My desire is to encourage and to bless others through my life and my words.
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1 Response to Do the Cartwheel!

  1. Eileen says:

    I absolutely loved this! As always, you’re an amazing writer! What I love too is that you live it! Thanks!

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