The first thing I do in the morning? Dance.

Usually when my alarm goes off in the morning, my routine goes as such:

Snooze.
Jolt awake. Snooze again.
Jolt awake. Snooze again.
Set a new alarm for 3 minutes later.
Set another alarm for 2 minutes later.
Read my emails. Scroll through Instagram.
Leap out of bed and run for the shower.

We can leave the rest up to your imagination.

However, as of 24 days ago, this routine has been a little bit different.

Jolt awake. Snooze again.
Jolt awake. Snooze again.
Forgot those last minute alarms. Forget the Instagram scrolling. No Facebook checking.
Instead? I leap out of bed and dance.

You know that scene from Charlie’s Angels where Cameron Diaz wakes up to face the day and bounds out of bed to dance In her underwear? And you’re sitting on the couch in your sweats and top-knot thinking ‘man, that looks weirdly fun’. And then you fall asleep with your empty ice cream bowl in your lap and forget about the whole thing and move on with your life as planned?

The idea came one gloomy afternoon from a long distance friend of mine. Our WhatsApp group chat had been a tad depressing lately, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it was change in weather or the fact it gets dark so sadly early or a simple case of the pre-holiday blues.

“We should dance every morning,” she said. “For 30 days. One full month. To see if starting your day out with a dance can actually cheer us up.”

The first morning I almost bailed on the idea. I was lying in bed. I was sleepy and warm and wasn’t looking forward to venturing out into my icy abyss of an apartment. I was sad and my entire being felt drained and heavy. The last thing I wanted to do was channel my inner Cameron and bust a move.
But I realized that this was the whole point of the experiment. The fact that I was overwhelmingly bummed out only gave this endeavour a greater chance to be successful.

So, I pulled myself out of bed, cranked up the volume on my laptop and let the sounds of the most beautiful band in the entire world FLEETWOOD MAC fill the room.

Then I danced.

I mean, I’m using that term pretty loosely here.

I suppose it wasn’t so much dancing as it was me awkwardly shuffling around my apartment, head-bobbing until I bobbed the elastic right out of my hair and it fell free. But then the chorus came on. And I felt this kind of leap in my heart which I always feel when this particular chorus starts and I thought to myself, hey. Life ain’t so bad. So I whipped my hair around and got rather lost in the music and picked up this pumpkin I [still] have in my kitchen and did this weird little dance with it. And then I swapped out the pumpkin for a milk can and waved it around for a while. And then it was over. And I was a little out of breath (I guess my gym membership really isn’t doing its job) and I watched the video back and I smiled. The whole time I smiled.

I couldn’t help it. It was so weird and fun and hilarious that while the rest of the world was groggily stepping out of bed or drenched in the shower or already crammed on the streetcar en route to work, I was joyously flipping around my free-fallin’ hair.

I realize this is weird. This is a really weird thing to do for 30 days. BUT.
It’s working.

Am I having an endless string of smile-filled stress-free days?

No. It’s quite the opposite. But at least they’re all starting out right. And it’s reached the point where you almost look forward to it. It makes facing the day a tad less daunting because at least you get to dance [flail] first.

It’d be fitting to end this with a “dance like no one is watching” kind of feel. I would never do that. But I will say: You should dance like no one is watching. Because it is fucking fun. And regardless of how bummed or cold or sleepy you are, it’s fun. And sometimes 1 minute of fun is all that heart of yours needs.

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