August’s SFD

Writing three posts at a time.  Have two sick toddlers.  I need a vacation.  Or a steak dinner.  Let’s go with that.  Steak dinner! 

And here we are, nearing the end of September.  I’ve been much better about September’s SFD; it is fascinating what I consider a SFD and how much more I have yet to do.  Good thing I’m not dead yet.

As I mentioned here, I didn’t fulfill my desire to do a SFD every day in August.  My apologia covers the guilt, the self-kick in the fanny for not Doing Enough.  It takes a special kinda neurosis gal to turn purposeful Good into something Worrisome. And yes, I’m back to my Winnie-the-Pooh Germanic capitalization. (At least I don’t put periods after every word in a sentence. For. Emphasis. )

Here is what I did accomplish in August.  My small ways of trying consciously to bring a little bit of Good into the world, and a little bit more Good into my life. 

In no particular order:

  • Sent a gift card to someone I only know electronically because her family lost everything in a fire.  At least she said they did.  The SFD is that even if this is not the case, I choose to believe that she needed it for some reason.  I did not ask about it.  She is in my thoughts a lot.
  • I checked in several times with a family member with whom I have had a rocky relationship.  I am trying to have a good relationship with this person so that I can be at peace with myself.
  • I donated a lot of clothes that I love but that someone loves/needs more than I.
  • I gave my Mom perfume for her birthday.  She had said about six months ago that she wished someone (meaning my father, probably) would get her perfume without her asking for it.  I had to do some poking around and figure out what she would like.  She was pleased.  (And yes, I did suggest to my dad that he get it for her.  He had already gotten her something else.)
  • In signing up for working on a show, I learned that an ex (well, sort of ex.  We went out once.  So a one-time-first-date) was in the show.  Ordinarily this would cause me a lot of anxiety.  Would there be tension?  Would I have problems working with this person?  Would this person go out of his way to make me uncomfortable?  Would this person blah blah blah.  I realized this time around that I cannot control anyone else, but I can control myself.  I contacted this person before rehearsals started and told him I’d heard we were working together and how nice it would be to catch up all these moons later.  It’s been a great working environment and great to-re=establish a casual but sincere friendship.
  • Speaking of shows, I was originally supposed to share responsibilities with another person.  That person dropped out.  I still said yes.  A terrified yes.  An “I’m in over my head” yes.  It’s been one of the most rewarding yeses I’ve said in my professional life.  I like being on this side of the script.  I like how my thought process is a plus.  I like how instinct meets research.  I like how I feel I’m making the actors’ dreams come true, in a small way.  I like that they are happy and feel confident, despite the rather simple nature of my work.  I like that I focus on them, on the project, on the director, on the music.  It feels selfless, although the joy I’m getting from it feels so good it has to be selfish, doesn’t it?  I’ve come to realize/accept that I’m an above-average performer who is fortunate enough to get cast a lot, but in this town, I’m one of thousands…most of those thousands are exponentially more talented than I.  However, as a director/writer type?  I bring something original to the table.  I can utilize my writing and teaching skills in concert with my music and acting background.  It energizes me like nothing else I’ve done.
  • To this end, I asked the director for more responsibilities.  I usually just wait and see in new situations like this, but I’m opening my mouth in an effort to soak up as much opportunity as I can.
  • I dropped off a “lice care package” to family who were in town on holiday.  Due to the lice, they couldn’t really visit and meet my boys.  I sent along some treats to ease the pain for their two little ones, who had to undergo a real shearing.
  • At the grocery store during my weekly manic grab-n-go, I encountered a mama with three kids ranging from 4-13.  All three kids were having some sort of meltdown, and the mom was not far behind.   The four-year old had just dropped a jar of something — peanut butter, perhaps? — on the floor and was in tears.  Usually I try to melt past, not make eye contact.  My thinking is that the mom just wants to be left alone to deal with her kids and the mess, that any comment on my part is meddling judgement.  However, for a change, I asked the Mom if she needed any help.  She practically burst into tears thanking me as I went off to get someone to clean up the mess.  Her husband, I heard upon my return, had just moved out.  That is the last time I automatically roll my eyes when I hear kids (especially older ones) whining/screaming/fussing at the store.  Note that I said “automatically” — I’m sure once I ascertain certain situations, I’ll still be a-rollin’ them.
  • In my effort to not be so rigid, I did not freak out when the window washers we scheduled showed up early (when I was in my sweat pants with toddler funk all over me.)  I did not freak out.

Does this sound like I’m bragging?  I don’t know.  These all seem kinda silly and I want to keep up with this project, focusing outward instead of gazing at my own navel.  Carry on, friends.

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