So What? Nothing Can Deter Us
Elita Sohmer Clayman

Can you believe it is now January 2009 and thank God we are here to live it. When I was thirteen years old, mom was about to turn forty the next day May the 8th. I thought forty was extremely old and I worried would mom turn into a mean and strict mommie because forty was surely old to a thirteen year old kid. The day came and went and mom was the same sweet and good mommie she was the day before.

So forty was old then and now the seventies are still young to me. My friend Virginia became a grandmother at the age of seventy two and half (her words) six and half years ago. She said to me that she was the oldest first time grandmother in Pikesville where we live and I said so what. You are that and that is wonderful at whatever age it occurs. I have a new physical therapist helping me to stand straighter and walk easier (after our horrible auto accident this past June, where a man was texting and ran a red light and hit us really hard- car and Jerry and I.) The physical therapist was checking me over and I mentioned that I am knock-kneed (technically called genu valgum) and she said so what?

She at age thirty four is herself knock-kneed and her doctor told her because of that not to run daily for her exercise. She said to him I will and she does and very successfully. So our medical people do not always know how to tell us what not to or to do and to be right.

Some people believe that they can never learn to ballroom dance successfully because they are too old now or knock-kneed like me or maybe not hear too well or even wear thick glasses. Everyone can learn to ballroom dance and do it well if only they really want to learn and be superb doing it. I have seen in my dance lifetime career so many people who would seem unsuitable to dance. I saw a lovely couple who met at the dance studio who were physically almost unattractive together when they danced. The reason being he was a man of a fully extended belly and many inches taller than she, who was short and kind of plump.

They met there, she was a divorced mom of several children, he had never married and they clicked when they danced. They wound up marrying and he became an instant dad and grand pop. They excelled in their lessons together and competed as a couple and won medals. When they danced, they were like velvet, smooth and attractive and when you watched them, you thought them stunning. You never noticed his extended belly or that she was so much shorter than him.

They were golden in their movements and platinum in their performances. They were what one tries to be when starting out to dance. They did not let their unusual height difference dissuade them from achieving their goal. They became very well known in their community and encouraged people to dance. They even hosted out of town dancers coming to the studio by having them stay at their home overnight at no cost. They transported these people and hosted them with great hospitality. They were what we call real menches (people of worth to other people). They were and probably still are good examples of dear souls

So everyone can go and dance at any age and the starting period does not have to be early.. It can be in the forties as we did, the fifties, the sixties and even seventies. One fan of my columns started at age seventy-nine and a half due to reading one of my articles encouraging everyone to dance. It is now four or five years later and dancing is the love of her life.

Shakespeare said ‘those whose beauty gives them the power to hurt others but refuse to, then those are the ones who rightly inherit heaven’s blessings and keep nature’s treasures from being wasted.’ We do not want to waste nature’s treasures to us and learning to ballroom dance is definitely valuable jewel.

We should all tap our potential in anything we have desired to do regardless of our now age. We are at a peak time in our life and if finances are good or even not so great in these trying times and we can spare some money to spend on our self for great gratification, then we should attempt to do so. We cannot always keep thinking of the future and monetary needs then (though that is extremely important too) but we should enjoy life now as long as we are healthy and able. I am not saying to spend and not think of the future health needs but we can try to maybe cut down on other unnecessary items and spend that money on some fun things.

I have a friend Sheila who spends lots of money on purses that cost four hundred dollars or blouses that cost two hundred dollars etc. She does not really go any place where those very impressively cost items would show her off. She just has them and wears them to work. She once said she works even though her husband is retired so she can have these costly apparel items. She eats out in expensive restaurants where a baked potato costs eight dollars and that same potato costs thirty five cents in the supermarket. She will eat at a dinner that winds up on the check for over one hundred fifty dollars and I always say I can be filled up on a thirty dollar meal of nice and clean food just as well as the costly dinner with the expensive baked potato.

We would rather put our money into something tangible like for home furnishings or electronics or a vacation or ballroom dancing. Then we have something to show for it rather than a full belly like Sheila. A full belly is over within a day or so and the only thing you have to show for it is acid reflux, a tummy ache or some added weight.

When you ballroom dance you have learned a skill that is not only excellent for your mind, your feet, your arms, your soles, your soul and your brain. You will scare away Alzheimer’s possibly and your mental status will be full.

We can encourage others to go and at least try to dance at any age and we can inherit heaven’s blessings because we will be content in knowing we have accomplished a new feat with our feet and our mind will be richer for the experience. I do not need a four hundred dollar purse to carry my reading glasses or my makeup in because my thirty dollar or less purse will still hold the same items. The items in my mind are attempting to execute the steps of the dance and my abdomen is emptier because I did not eat that eight dollar baked potato to fill me up.

The knock-knees that I truly did not know I had until about six years ago when during a physical yearly exam and the doctor said ‘you really are knock- kneed’ I said what? They are still working and dancing.

So they did not deter me from winning over the years fifty eight trophies and medals. To the two doctors, mine and the physical therapist’s one, as she said to me “so what”.

Knock-kneed did not deter me or does not deter her, her name is Temma and we both are stronger regardless of what the medical people assert. We are inheriting heaven’s blessings, me who can dance with it and she who can run miles with it.

Her miles and my steps are bigger and better than any doctor’s diagnosis. My diagnosis is for you all to reap heaven’s blessings and go out and bring to fruition that what you want.
Do it now and do it soon and you will be thrilled at what you can procure.

To modify Shakespeare a bit, I say YOU have the power to change nature and to reap all blessings you deserve. Go out and ballroom dance or anything else you think you cannot do. Mom was the same dear person at age forty that a little kid thought would be altered overnight. You are a qualified and wonderful person that you always were and age should not transform the fact. Age is making you more precious and special. You are steady, regular and stable. You still have heaven’s blessings.

Always Keep On Dancing

January 2009

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Published by René Zgraggen
Montgomery, AL