Thursday, February 28, 2019

I Can See the Groove

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this here but we're still working on a production of my play, Like the Moon. A few friends got together and did a reading of it about a year and a half ago. Then sometime last year we decided that we'd meet once a month for rehearsal until we feel like it's time to rent a venue and show a fuller version to the world.

Last year was busy. This year is proving a bit of a challenge, too. We're getting our rehearsals in but there isn't much other time available for working on lines or writing out back story or whatever character work I might want to do.

The other day we met up and I couldn't see a scenario in which I wasn't going to let everyone down. Surely I wouldn't be the weakest link in this chain. Thankfully the director started us slowly. We read the whole first act before we got on our feet. Then we did get on those feet and got through the first scene that way.

At that point she took a poll of the room to see if we wanted to keep going or go back and I said, "I'd like to go back and do that again. I don't want to oversell it. It's like I'm not in the groove but I can see it from here. I think if we do it again I might get there at least a couple of times."

Dear Reader, I think I did, too.

It feels a bit the same way with everything right now.
  • If I just hadn't gotten sick I could have a cleaner apartment.
  • If I sit down for just 15 minutes a day and work on the application I can finish the writing for this new certification.
  • If we can just get the new admin trained in I'll be able to work on the syllabus.
  • If, again, I hadn't gotten sick I could have written all these condolence cards and sent these baby gifts and be a better supporter and have my taxes finished.
To be honest, I'm doing ok. Just like in that rehearsal I am not dropping the ball for anyone. At least I don't think I am. I am not, however, in anything resembling a groove. I am just to the left of the groove and occasionally stumbling into it by accident.

If that's going to be the theme for the year then lord help me because this jerky, whiplash rhythm might break me.

No it won't.

I don't have time for that. I don't want to have time for that.

What I want to have time for is tripping along next to this proverbial groove and appreciating the fuck out of my friends and colleagues and neighbors who continue to want to do what I want to do. They want to  get my words out into the world. They want to do complex administrative work so that we can hire the right person not just any warm body. They want to celebrate my birthday all year long. They're happy to hear from me whenever that happens and they know that if they truly need me they can say so and I'll trip right off the groove and try to help.

A lot of sad things have happened already this year. All signs point to several more sad things happening, too. If I wasn't surrounded by such stellar people this would all seem overwhelming. But I am. Oh, I am. My people are so very stellar.

Years ago a friend's kid was in the tooth losing stage. My friend was in the sleeping through the night stage. Which meant that a few times she forgot to get up and perform the duties of the Tooth Fairy. So she'd email me and ask me to call her kid as the Tooth Fairy and apologize . So I did. It was certainly one of the greatest acting jobs I've ever had. I went with an accent. My character was always super busy so my message was rushed and bubbly and apologetic. I was always terrified that I'd screw it up. I even wrote myself little scripts. I had only one audience member to please so the stakes were pretty high. The kid has yet to ask me about it, thank goodness, but all reports say that he took me, I mean her, seriously.

The same kid is a tween now. Over the years he has fallen in deep love with my dog. They, seriously, have the most lovely relationship. A relationship based largely on cheese and affection. Sometimes "my dog" sends presents to the kid.

I came home the other day to find a #10 envelope in the mail that was thick and...puffy. Weird.

Inside was a pair of socks and a note from the tween. The note told me that Eddie wanted me to have the socks. The socks said, "My dog is cool as fuck."

I'm warmed from the top of my head to the tips of my toes by the whole interaction. I needed that. I needed to be reminded that it's not so much the huge gestures we make and the big goals we reach as it's the regular tiny efforts and expressions that make our lives something to be proud of. My relationship with this kid is built on stolen moments of dog training, one big knitting project, one game of Exploding Kittens, a couple of Broadway shows, a trip to the M&M store, and several phone calls he doesn't even know I made. I didn't even really know what I was building but I managed to build it anyway.

So I guess I'm going to put on my new socks and understand that, no matter how off the groove this year feels, I'm building a life I can be proud of. I'll be building it until I die but that's probably a long time from now so I may as well get comfortable with the process and not worry so much about the product.

As the old movie tells us, if you build it they will come. And, hey, if you need someone to cover for the Tooth Fairy's mistakes I'm your girl.

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