How Zumba Taught Me How to Be 35

So I’m 35 today. I’m not overly excited about it. In fact, I’ve been dreading it since turning 34. I’m old. I’m cranky. I’m out of shape. Oh, and I’m tired. Oh so very tired. But in preparing to write this post, I tried to think about what the angle would be. I’m old and I don’t like it? A bucket list of what I’ll do going forward? A list of all I’ve accomplished in my 35 years? Nothing seemed just right. I did start thinking about how I’ve changed – how 35 years of being a daughter, 10 years of being an attorney, (almost) 8 years of being a wife and 4 years of being a mother – has molded me. The surprising thing that came to me is not what all of that life has taught me, but what doing Zumba for the past 12 months has taught me.

I’ve fallen in with a Zumba teacher I like, who makes class fun, gives us a great workout and has created a community within her classes. She teaches four times a week and I aim to attend twice a week, though most weeks I’m lucky to make it to one. (Ironically she has the same birthday as I do too!) Doing Zumba is never something I really thought of as being a “me” thing, but I’ve really come to enjoy it and miss it when I can’t go. But more than just a great hour of exercise and fun, I’ve taken more from this teacher and these classes.

– Be silly. Our teacher is always encouraging us to just let go and do the silly stuff. Don’t be afraid to make the “ham sandwich” hand motion during “Wiggle,” do the running man during “Work It” and just have fun. No one is too cool to be silly. Having kids has helped a lot with this. You go from being self-conscious about so many things to singing and dancing to Baby Beluga in the check out line because it keeps your kid happy while the man in front of you tries to push 14 items through the 10 item express lane.

– No one is watching you. Certainly part of learning to be silly and not take yourself so seriously is learning that no one really cares about you. I don’t mean this in a life is cruel and lonely sort of way. I mean no one really cares what you are doing on a daily basis. No one is judging you – and if they are, who cares. No one in Zumba is watching you dance. They are all doing their own thing. Stop worrying about what others are thinking about and just do the fake Beyonce walk – and yeah, do the Beyonce walk not just in Zumba but in life in general because everyone needs more Beyonce.

– Make it bigger. Our teacher always tells us to “take up more space” or to “be bigger” when we’re dancing. Swing your arms, use all your space. It may sound a little frou frou but these are powerful words. Take up space. Don’t be afraid to be out there. Sheryl Sandburg talks about it in Lean In – women tend to sit on the periphery in meetings and let men sit at the table. Sit at the table. Take up space, tell others you belong there. Make your presence known. I just read that doing a “power pose” before a big meeting can help you to feel more in command. Do the Wonder Woman pose. Take up that space. (You know, being Beyonce is works here too. Maybe we all just need to be Beyonce.)

So that’s it. That’s what I’ve taken from 35 years of life. (Ok maybe a bit more, but that’s what I’m thinking about these days.) As I strive to be sillier, not worry what others think and be bigger in life, I feel better (albeit a little bit better) about turning 35. I live a life that allows me to do these things, surrounded by people who support me in doing it and turning 35 isn’t going to change any of that.

Thanksgiving Preparations (or Lack Thereof)

I am aware that Thanksgiving in the time of the Pilgrims was probably pretty difficult. I mean, finding and killing a turkey. Growing everything you were going to eat. Staying alive until the holiday. You know, stuff. But there are things that we have to deal with that they did not. Namely, Pinterest.






Pinterest can be great – recipes, crafts to do with the kids, attractive wreaths for the front door. Look at this stuff:

Baby Rabies Thom Turkey Wreath

Pounds 4 Pennies Family Thanksgiving Crafts


Averie Cooks Caramel Apple Crumble Pie

These all look awesome. Each post promises that the craft or recipe is easy. But here’s the catch. I’m not crafty. I’m not a great cook or baker. Remember these? 

For example, I had this great picture in my head this weekend that I would bake with the girls. All of the baking mixes I had (so yeah, I’m using baking mixes to start) were expired. Like 3 years past the expiration date expired. Then I thought we’d make chocolate chip cookies from scratch. We have no flour. Ok. A suggests using the pancake/baking mix – which yes, has a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Yada yada yada, I burn the cookies. Badly. You can see how fancy meals or handmade pie crusts are not really in my repitore.

So Thanksgiving for me is a time of hope – this is the year I will get it together. I will make handprint turkeys with the kids to save for years to come. I will make place cards for every guest, properly gilded in gold. I will have new recipes that seem like I’ve been making them for years. My pies will not burn.

But let’s be honest. My cookies burn. I don’t do crafts. I’ll buy my pumpkin pie at Costco. I’ll make the same tried and true side dishes for Thanksgiving and I’ll let the Dora plates indicate who will be sitting where at dinner.

Earning a Relaxing Veterans Day

Veterans Day is always a funny day for me. The appreciation for those of us who chose to join the military is nice – as is the free cupcakes and coffee. The overabundance of commercialization of the day bothers me some – camouflage on every football uniform and other feel good actions. The day makes […]

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My Personal Fitness Assistant – ClassPass in Seattle

Class Pass Subscription Fitness Program Launches in Seattle

So here’s the thing. I’m almost 35. (If only you knew how hard it is for me to say those words.) I’m almost 35, I’ve birthed two children. My body is not exactly what it was when I met my husband. (I recently gave away the size 4 dress I was wearing the day I […]

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The Week That Was

Gratuitous Adorable Photo

While it has been quiet here on Two Washingtons, we’ve been keeping it real throughout the internets. Over at Liberating Working Moms, we started the week sharing our real life admissions and realizing that while moms may sometimes feel like everyone but them has their lives together, the truth is we all order Papa John’s […]

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Buried Under


First, the title of this post refers to the Rayna James hit “Buried Under.” If you’re asking, who is Rayna James? Well, maybe you should reconsider your Two Washingtons fandom. Rayna James is the Nashville persona of Tami Taylor. And if you don’t know who Tami Taylor is, well then we really can. not. be […]

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Pumpkin Patches Are Overrated (There, I said it.)

Pumpkins are Cooler than Pumpkin Patches

In today’s social media age, you can watch the seasons progress in photos featured on Facebook and Instagram. Summer features adorable children on the beach, then back to school on the front steps with back ups and now, we’re in the pumpkin patch season of the year. (This will soon be followed by Halloween costume […]

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So Photogenic

Image 9

      Lila and Lucy, can you give each other a hug? Guys, look at the camera! Can you just stand next to each other? Girls, look at momma and smile! Say “we love momma!” Whatever, just eat your bunny grahams.    

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My Favorite Things: Cosmic Kids Yoga

My Favorite Things: Cosmic Kids Yoga

A week or so ago Lila was having a meltdown about something. Who knows what, probably something about not having the right amount of toothpaste on her toothbrush or something. She’s three, you know how it goes. Anyway, meltdowns like this don’t lead to successful bedtimes, so I was doing my best to try to […]

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Raising Kids in a PC World

Raising Children in a Politically Correct World

This past Monday was a holiday in parts of the country, but there was no three day weekend here in Seattle. Not only is Columbus Day not a holiday here, but as of October 6, it isn’t even Columbus Day anymore. Seattle (and Minneapolis) now celebrates Indigenous People Day.  The change in name is an […]

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