Living With Flair
Like most people, I'm busy. I'm busy cleaning, writing, cooking, teaching, exercising, or doing any host of activities that consume the day. Sometimes I move through life so quickly there's no time for reflection.
I teach writing, and in my classes I teach the concept of writing with flair. I talk about creating amazing sentences with delicious verbs. My writing advice made me wonder, “What would it look like to live with flair?” What if I made a conscious choice to make everyday amazing--not because of what I produced, but just. . . because? What if I could find “daily flair” to help me catch my breath and reflect?
One morning recently I decided to do something full of flair. My neighbor and I learned the choreography for Michael Jackson's “Beat It.” We had my laptop propped for maximum visibility and water glasses filled for potential dehydration. We adjusted our workout clothes so they wouldn't inhibit our moves.
We learned the whole dance from a youtube video. This is no small thing.
I'm not sayin' I can do it well, or in any way resembling MJ, but I did learn it.
It was my flair for the day.
Living with flair means I'm doing something a little ridiculous, a little beyond what's expected or appropriate every day.
Joy often lies dormant. It waits to be unearthed. What made learning dance moves with my neighbor so joyful? Was it the spontaneous, the supremely useless, the silly… that let the joy in?
Whatever it was, I needed it.
Flair means embellishment. I want to embellish the day; I want to celebrate it. Doing my MJ moves made things shimmer that morning. It wasn't -- in terms of productivity or market value -- useful.
But the day felt hopeful, not because I scrubbed a kitchen floor, but because I danced on it. And then I told all the neighbors. And I want to keep telling them. In fact, I started a “live with flair” blog to celebrate my daily flair.
Flair needs company. Dancing with my friend, banging into her when I mirrored the moves incorrectly, made us giggle like preschoolers. We weren't talking about anything. We weren't processing all the dysfunction in our lives or in the world. We were just trying to learn this dance. . . together. And we did it. We participated, somehow, in some larger dance. We’re wives and mothers, with tons to accomplish in any given day. Who has time to learn a dance from the 1980's?
And yet, we danced. It was the perfect flair for the day. I believe in living with flair. And now, the neighbors do too. We talk about what made our days amazing at the playground or at the school pick-up line.
Just the other morning, a dear friend brought over a bright pink scarf for me to wear when I teach. “It's your flair,” she said and did a little curtsy. That's flair.