Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Two Perfect Words

Henry James once wrote..."Summer afternoon...summer afternoon...are there two more perfect words in the English language?"

Yes, Mr. James. And they are "Snow Day."

And a wonderful one it's been. I made clam chowder in the crockpot. I did a Dancing with the Stars exercise DVD. I worked on a Harry Potter puzzle with my oldest girl. Got some pictures up on Facebook. My daughters wrote a musical about slavery with the neighbor-girl. I cleaned off my desk in the Athenaeum. Talked to my wonderful Craig in Seattle. Lit a vanilla candle. Drank wine. Watched way too much Channel 5 weather reporting and like two hours of DVD extras about was a precious day, a restful day, a day of spiritual renewal and peace.

It's seems that the more I appreciate things...the more there is to appreciate. The Universe, in my little morning notes, told me this would happen, and amazingly enough it always turns out to be true.

So thanks for this Snow Day. Tomorrow is a bit of a question mark for me, but today? Today was just grand.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bits of Things

***Ooooh…I love a blizzard. I double love a blizzard on a day that will not impact my rehearsal schedule, especially when I’m doing Noises Off and we are all in holy-shit-what-have-we-done mode. Doors and sardines. Bang, you’re in, bang, you’ve said it, bang, you’re off…GOOD GOD. Storms, however, can set my middle school students swinging from the rafters, so this morning, they are illustrating sixth-grade examples of Confucius sayings while listening to classical music. I really do believe that the combination of art and music can sooth the most savage of beasts...even 12 year olds on the eve of a Nor'easter.

***I went to an audition on Sunday and loved it for like thirty reasons. One, because it helped me really remember what it’s like for my students, what it feels like to wait and wonder. Two, because it helped me plug into someone that I used to be…someone I can still dimly remember, the girl who had a certain determination and a flutter or hope and a reason to sing showtunes in the car. It was fun to hang out with that girl again. Three, because I just love theater people…the soccer moms who dabble for fun, the super-serious ones who have the appropriate character shoes and their music in a binder, and the crazies…oh, how I love the crazies. The ones who wear way too tight skirts and over-curl their hair and then randomly start talking in British accents and sing songs from Rent loudly in the parking lot. I love them too, and admire their view of themselves and their world. I think my favorite part, though, was getting to witness the moment when the two that I think will be the leading lady and leading man danced together, and it was just glorious magical chemistry, and even just sitting in the audience, I felt that zing of …YES. There it is. The birth of a show, right there. I loved getting to watch that…knowing that I do not have to be remotely in charge of what happens next.

***My oldest daughter turns eleven on Saturday. I remember eleven. I was not so crazy about eleven. But my girl, at eleven, is so self-assured, so joyful, so smart and optimistic and industrious, and I still can’t believe that we made her. Watching her become all that she is, and has yet to be, is one of the greatest gifts of my life. Every day.

***In my mind, lately, I have been narrating my own personal Weight Watchers “after” commercial. Sounds something like, “As a busy working mom, I thought I’d never be able to take charge of my weight. There was just no time! But thanks to Weight Watchers new Points Plus program, I lost forty pounds…just in time for my 40th birthday trip with the girls! AND I did it while still getting to have pizza and chardonnay!” I’m feeling so sure of it, this vibrant picture with the exuberant commercial voice, and the image fills me with energy. Something about narrating my own life story as I want to hear it is feeling very empowering right now. Sometimes, I reach for a snack, and I hear the narration of the “before” segment..."Before Weight Watchers, I would just grab that Oreo and eat it mindlessly…but now, I have to decide, is it worth it? Is there something else I could have that would be more satisfying and less points? It’s all about choices!” I will see it happen. I will make it happen. I will be my after story. Of course, I had to drown the last remaining Christmas snack food (Chocolate Lovers Poppycock - delicious snack of the devil) in dish soap before throwing it away in order to assure its demise and help me on my way to that vision, but hopefully that level of crazy won’t be in the commercial.

***To those of you who read this, and have been wondering where I have been for the past month or two...sorry about that. I lost my mojo a little bit in there. Plus, I have been doing the Artist's Way and doing lots of journaling for that, and it all got to be a lot of "enough already." Plus...though this might sound strange...I've been kind of shifting lately. It's not just sort of passively happening to me, either. I'm choosing new outlooks, choosing different behaviors, becoming more mindful of everything I do and say, and not just around what I eat, though that has been the catalyst. It's been exhilarating, but unsettling, and I needed to get the foundation a bit more square under my feet before I had a sense of what I wanted to share here. So, thanks for your patience. I'm emerging, better and stronger and more full of joy than I have been in a long, long time. And I have stuff to say about it.

Thanks for sticking around.