Nine months.
Nine months of isolation, keeping to ourselves and trying to do the right thing. Trying to cope with and understand the new “normal”.

If things are not bad enough, winter is here with it’s blowing snow and cold temperatures. The so-called “second wave” of Covid-19 is upon us. Dancing is at a stand still. I am wondering how my dancing friends are doing. Are they running the gauntlet of this brutal attack on what was our routine, our life before Covid-19? Will we ever dance again? Will we remember how?

Mental health issues related to our lockdown and this miserable pandemic affect us all in some way. Some people are more susceptible than others, not only affecting themselves, but also those around them. Those that suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD and other psychiatric disorders can become suicidal, angry and frustrated. These people need help. And that help is available if they reach out. (24-hour CMHA help line 1-833 456-4566)

But here is some food for thought.
It saddens me to see people miserable, complaining, blaming and criticizing others for the way they themselves feel. It baffles me to why some people allow themselves to be mind manipulated and let others dictate their own state of mind. Why do we let other people’s negativity affect us? Why do we let them bring us down and into their world?

News Flash! ! !
Only you can change this and manage where your mind goes. Only you can edit out the negative and keep the positive. The choice is, do we want to be happy? Do we want to enjoy life? Or do we want to be miserable and sad? Easy choice. right?

This is not “rocket science”. We have the ability to control what we think. We have the power and the mental capacity to make ourselves happy so why do we allow other perceptions of uncontrollable circumstances to affect us?

How do we make ourselves happy?
Happiness is a choice. You are not “stuck” where your mind is. Your mind can take you wherever you want. It is a wonderful thing that allows you freedom and can put you in wonderful places.

Dancing is one of my “happy” places; a place to forget about all the negativity that surrounds, a place to dwell into the positive. I feel the friendships around me, the closeness of my dance partner. I feel the desire to listen to and move to music. I feel the satisfaction that I can dance, that I have learned steps that have been taught me. I feel good about myself. I am meeting new people and expanding my friendship circle. A sense of accomplishment envelops me. I have involved myself in a healthy lifestyle that pleases me, and I know I can accomplish all the above every time I dance.

Until this pandemic is over, Avril and I will involve ourselves in virtual dances and dance wherever we can find room because this is what makes us happy. How good is that?

Be happy. Dance.

Austin Hayward
(Thames Valley Dance Club, Woodstock, Ontario)