Tai chi Y2D314: smoothenify

My mother is fond of making up new words, and the word that
came to me today was “smoothenify”. It’s possible that it came from
her mother, who had a great ear for clever language. But
“smoothenify” is a verb which means something like “to make smooth
or even”, particularly something that doesn’t want to be made
smooth. “once you smoothenify your hair,” my mother would say,
“you’ll be almost presentable,” for example. I think my tai chi
forms should be smoothenified (what part of speech is that, the
past passive participle?). They don’t really want to be smoothed
out, but I’d like to try, it’s amazing how, in the depths of
winter, that the hardest part about doing tai chi is the getting
out of bed and getting started, while the second-hardest part seems
to be learning from yesterday’s mistakes. It means learning to
focus on small changes over time. For example, I think I’ve been
doing the first Ward Off Left wrong since Day
1. My hand is always too far forward, and my elbow is always too
low relative to shoulder and hand. The resulting bubble of space
inside the frame of my arm is too easily popped. And two years into
my tai chi practice, and I’m still getting that one thing wrong,
over and over, and over. Not every day, but it’s a persistent error
— it keeps returning, usually at the point where I say, “but I
fixed that!” Gee. Who knew bad habits were
hard to kill?? I think I’ll be smoothenifying them for the rest my
life.

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