It’s been a funny ol’ end to the year. Family bereavement, work challenges, projects derailing … it feels easy to resort to ‘death by duvet’; or in my case the ultimate procrastination: watching reruns of Friends (again!) in front of a roaring wood burner.
There’s also a lot of mixed feeling in our house about Christmas … that Christmas songs should not be played on the radio until mid-December at the earliest, gifts are an over-rated pressure and it’s all consumerism gone crazy. I agree with the first and last point but definitely not the middle one! Sometimes ‘death by duvet’ really can feel like the best option!
But I have a secret weapon. A guilty pleasure … Strictly Come Dancing.
Actually, I think it is really about Motsi Mabuse, the latest judge to join the panel.
Strictly is the only reality tv I watch, and I don’t even start watching it until around week 6. But there’s something I’m drawn back to year after year. It is a celebration of people stepping out of their comfort zone, of attempting something new, getting fitter and improving, of embracing diversity: of colour, creed, race, sexuality, ability, background, self-belief.
Of course, I have never met Motsi Mabuse but, to me, she seems to ooze a vibrancy and vitality which feels infectious. She seems the epitome of a confident woman; she’s large and still sexy, she’s elegant, she appears to laugh so easily and seems to spot the brilliance in others. If ever there was a positive role model for younger women, I think it could be her.
Whenever I watch Strictly I laugh, I cry and I feel ready to take on the world. Am I saying the answer is in a tv programme? No. But how lovely to be able to sit down for an hour and have a sense of dropping away from the brass band noise in my head, shifting back into my innate peace and acknowledge that there is a lot of fun and good feeling out there. I am drawn to the energy the show creates, the emotion being shown and (above all else) the sense of love and joy.
Of course, it’s not about Strictly at all – that’s just a manufactured tv show. What Strictly really provides is space for me to acknowledge that I’m fine just as I am and so is everyone else around me; even if we aren’t feeling it right now.
How lovely to so easily be able to drop away from my noisy head, my thoughts of confusion and derailed projects, of family relationships and practicalities and be guided back to the stuff that’s important: love and laughter.