• Jodi Samuels

Dance To The Music



On Tuesday I went to the ballet to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was spectacular. This week I also saw Shakespeare on the Run, and the Salome orchestra. Even though I am very busy with the JICNY gala coming up this Wednesday night, I keep in line with my philosophy of balance, and I commit to spending quality time with family and friends and taking some time out for fun activities and relaxation (as I explained in my blog last week, I LIVE, LOVE, LEARN and LAUGH). I also realized that (especially the week of the Gala) I LIVE, LOVE, LEARN, LAUGH and WORRY too.


While listening to the music I was reflecting on a newsletter Rebbetzin Jungreis wrote when she was in rehab after breaking her hip. She wrote about how things in life change and one has no choice but to dance to the music playing at that time in your life.


So being Jodi, I took out a pen and in the dark I started writing notes for myself on the playbill. I was thinking about many things that I have experienced and how often the music abruptly changed in my life. At those points, you cannot just stop – you have to simply dance to the new tune life has started playing.


After the ballet I was walking home with my dear friend who had accompanied me. We were discussing Caily and how well she is doing. The conversation moved to a friend’s daughter who is high functioning with Down syndrome. She went to Jewish Day School all the way through high school, and completed two years of study in Israel with her peers. Now for the first time she is challenged because her friends are all getting married and having kids and her world is so different. I was thinking ahead and worrying that Caily’s music will change at this life stage and I expressed my fears. This friend looked at me and said, “I am in my 30’s, all my friends are married and having kids, I have these exact challenges and I don’t have Down syndrome.”


What a wake-up call. Her situation is her reality. Her dance was to be positive about being single. Another friend in her 40’s became a single mom by choice this week. She had the courage to go for a challenge, follow through and choose love.


In reality, all of our lives are like a game of musical chairs with a twist. In this game, not only does the music abruptly stop, but when it starts up again, there is a completely different tune playing. Our challenge is to rise to the occasion, put our own challenges in perspective, have empathy for the next person with his or her challenges and simply, keep on dancing!


Originally published: June 10, 2012

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