So, spring is coming slowly to town. It's been cold and snowy, particularly on weekends (sigh) so sometimes it doesn't feel like spring, but at least it smells like spring most of the time. You know, it's all good, the warmth will get here eventually.
Roundup to the spring? Well, let's see what I said was important.
1) Work = fine. At this point in the year, I know what I have to get done by mid-June, and what I have to get done by end of June, and I have some kind of a plan for doing it, so barring a crisis, I try not to worry too much. Especially this year with my whole class graduating. It's going to be an emotional time so I want to have my heart and head open for the next few weeks, not in a busy box. More on that later.
2) Revontuli = progressing. And beautiful.
3) Persistent physical ailment = gone. Yeah!! It's been 4+ weeks since the last recurrence, so I feel comfortable saying it's gone, gone, gone. Yay for life without arm and shoulder pain!
4) Piano: Progressing. Well, depending on the week.
5) Journey: Let's just say at present the boat is at the port, and I don't know when it will be setting out. However, and this is the important part, I'm OK with that. At least for now. It's OK to be in port for a while, eating coconuts.
6) The Glass is Half full (or The Glass is Half Empty if it contains something I don't like) Yes, I've done a good job of keeping the positive focus over the past few months.
What's new and important:
Well, there's a lot going on in May. 3 important events, to be precise.
1) Westwinds 25th anniversary celebration day. This means music all day, including mine and Bryan's bands, and then the dinner dance in the evening with the jazz bands. The overall plan is similar to what happens every year, but this event will be extra special because it is the 25th anniversary of this amazing music organization. Westwinds has added so much to my quality of life for the past 7 years. I feel it was instrumental (pun intended) in making me who I am today - the good parts of me, that is :-)
2) Graduation Day at the high school where I teach special education. There is the ceremony in the morning and then the banquet at night. I am facilitating the participation of our graduating students and their families, and I'm involved with the planning. Naturally I really, really want this to be an enjoyable and memorable event for the students that I've worked with for 3 years. It's also a pretty significant event for me - this is the biggest class and most complex class that I have ever seen walk the stage. I haven't put much thought into the event's significance for me though - I am mostly focused on other people's needs.
3) Brother-in-law's wedding. This is a big family event so obviously important for everyone involved. It also happens the weekend after the high school graduation. I am taking the two days after the graduation day off, so the day after the convocation (Thursday), I will be on an airplane flying to the States at some ungodly hour of the morning. It will be fun. But coming right on the tail of the graduation day and all its preparations and demands (temporal and emotional) will make for a potentially hectic week.
Ever since January, maybe even earlier, I've been watching May approach like a gigantic cruise ship pulling into port. At first, it was a tiny speck on the horizon. Now its huge and unstoppable in its approach, and it's filling up the whole harbour. Not a day passes without me going over those three events, especially the last two, mentally sequencing what has to happen when. Hair needs to be cut and coloured by first week of May. (Wardrobe for each event was decided on and purchased, when necessary, weeks ago.) Plans for the days I will be away from school should be prepared by the Friday before, at the absolute latest. Bags have to be packed for the USA trip by Monday, latest. The actual convocation plans are in process: I have a picture in my head of how it will all work, but the precise details need to be confirmed and the necessary people given the right jobs and the right information. I won't rest quite easy until all that is worked out. No, I probably won't rest easy even then. On the flight to the USA Thursday morning, my very best travel pillow must be within arms reach at all times. Etc. etc.
So, what's the point?
The point is, I want to experience these events not just as Big Deals that I have to live through, but as precious real life milestones. When faced with an anniversary celebration or a wedding or a graduation, it's very easy to become focused on making it the "perfect" event. That might mean a perfect event for yourself, if you happen to be the centre of attention at the event. If not, it usually means trying to make it a perfect event for others. Which is a very kind intention, but also kind of absurd because when was the last time any group of people agreed unanimously on what makes a perfect event, or a perfect anything? In other words, it's easy to get caught up in the "what" and "how" of the event and forget the "why" of the event.
Not to say the what and how are not important. I intend to make my plans as watertight as possible. But, I want to be a participant too, not just an event planner. Afterwards, I don't want to be thinking, with relief: "Phew, that went alright." I want to have mental snapshots that will stay with me for life. I want to cry in public if I have to. I want to cheer and laugh and dance and feel gratitude like a dive into deep water on a hot day, feeling it close over my head and knowing the water goes deeper, deeper to a depth I could never reach in one breath. I want to feel each breath like a gift.
I want to appreciate sharing the moment with people who are not often together at once, and may never be together again. I realized the importance of this last year, two years after our wedding in 2010. Our wedding was not that long ago. We don't look very different now than we do in our pictures. But, my step-brother's death last year means that we will never be able to bring that exact group together again, ever. We had no way of knowing that at our wedding. But it makes me extra grateful for the joyous togetherness of that day. And for me that underlines the importance of big social events like weddings and graduations, even though it's easy to say pooh-pooh to the expense and the fuss and even the stress that goes into them. It's important to share those milestones together because we don't know how much time we have.
So, what's my plan? (Yeah, I have to have a plan.) I want to intentionally take the time to experience everything. There's no point in saying I won't worry about how it all comes together, especially the graduation, because I know I will. But I'm going to try to keep in my mind why I am going to all these events, and why they are important to me as well as to all the other participants. That's what I want for May.
It's going to be a heck of a party.