Thursday, August 30, 2012

Life's Stage

Every time that I hear the saying "life is like a stage" I can't help but think, one, how true it is, and two, how I used to devote part of my life to the stage.
After graduating College and realizing I really was still a bit lost career wise, I decided to spend the summer up north under the roof of our family home. I took up volunteering at the Red Barn theatre in Jackson's Point, it was Canada's oldest summer professional theatre. (Sadly this theatre was destroyed by a fire in 2008 and is no more) My volunteering quickly turned to a paid job and lead me to spend the next eight years working in backstage production. The organization of props, the dealing with actors, the laughter and excitement of the crowds coming to see the show, the lights, the settings for different performances, the chaos that ensued backstage...... these were all things that I grew (quickly) to love.
For a variety of reasons I felt comfortable in the confines of that old barn; sometimes more so than I did anywhere else, including our family home. I will never forget my days at the Red Barn. I had shed blood, sweat and tears there. All of the frustration and disappointment I felt, there, in my life, in me, was washed away when I got to work on stage.

In 2001 my mother had an accident, and I was, funnily enough, at the theatre. I had taken off the majority of that August to be by my mom's side in the hospital and to take care of things at home, but by mid-September I returned to help with the last performance of the season and close things down for the winter. As I did this I realized I would not be returning the next spring. I needed to find something a little more permanent, something that would give me a regular forty hour work week with regular eight hour shifts so that I could spend time with my mom, helping her deal with this acquired brain injury and begin the road to recovery.
As hard as it was to see things this way, it is what I needed to do, it is what I wanted to do. Like being on stage, my role was changing, the setting was changing, I was moving into the next Act.

I obtained a job at a local hotel where I remained for the next several years. I moved my way up in ranks to Front Desk and Accommodations Supervisor. I saw a lot of people come and go over that time period as well as the hotel being sold and placed under new ownership. Ownership difficulties is why it closed in November 2009.
Being in a small town you deal with the same shit you deal with anywhere else really, only because it is a small town with less population, you feel it more. The rumors, the gossip, the played out drama. (I recall at this point when I was younger, in high school, when my sister's friend would come over, plunk down on the couch and state "let me tell you about the latest drama.") Drama can be sad, but also quite foolish. Drama does not just occur on stage in the theatre or back in school where we were younger and maybe a bit naive, drama is part of life...... and there isn't just three Acts, there are dozens of them; and sometimes intermission is skipped over entirely.

I may not have a whole lot of close friends in my life, but I have met quite a few people in my life's journey. Schools, jobs, places I've lived, places I've visited, even online, and I've come to find that there are a lot of people who seem to like drama......... the foolish kind. Rumors and gossip seem to be everywhere. Our world seems to be more concerned with Kristen Stewart cheating on the love of her life or the latest between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and the kid that they share.I sometimes find myself weighed down by this drama; by manipulation and insensitivity and the fact that some people seem to simply want to stayed wallowed in misery.

The other week tragedy struck our small town when a sixteen year old girl was hit by a car and died. Even though I did not know this girl or her family, I felt bad. SIXTEEN! This story breaks my heart, and the really sad part about it is, sad stories like this are happening all over the world. But like the stage, "the show must go on". Roles will change, settings will change, and people will move into the next Act.

But then, I'm finding that there are multiple stages with different Acts being played out. Acts worth seeing, Acts worth taking part in. The title of this post is the same of a website I highly recommend checking out: Life's a Stage ~ Weblog ~ by Estrella Azul to me it is just full of happiness and fun with ton's of creativeness to be shared. There is also The World Needs More Love Letters; a scripted story definitely worth noticing, sharing and taking part in. There are stages that have been set or are in motion of being set by Non-Profit organizations to help others with struggles and challenges they face in our earthly society. Even though not always seen or heard (unfortunately) there are a lot of these well-to-do, with good intention, scripts being played out all around.

For myself, even though some Acts have been tough, I cherish the roles I've always had or have graduated into: Brother, Son, Care Giver, Uncle, Volunteer. If you haven't got it yet, the right role is out there for you, and there are some great ones still to come I'm sure. Don't give up and let the foolish drama get to you. There is always another Act, the show is never over.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Like Sands Through The Hour Glass

Like Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones say "Time is on my side, yes it is", so I guess it must be true. But quite often I am not so sure. Sometimes, on the rare occasion when I feel I'm spinning out of control, I would swear that time is against me and it is my enemy. I am sure that I am not alone in feeling this.
In fact, I just bumped into a friend at the grocery who asked "how's your summer going?" Only to quickly add, before I could say anything, "or at least what's left of summer." Which to some can seem like it blew by in a twenty-four hour period.

The fact that I turned forty years of age this past May does not bother me much; except that it means I've been around now for forty years and I feel like that in that time frame I haven't accomplished a lot.
I haven't become a famous writer. In fact, career wise, I haven't been a huge success at much.
I haven't found love; not that long lasting kind that develops into a future partnership. There has been no great story book romance in my life. (Do those exist?) And how am I supposed to find time for that anyway when I can't even get done all of the things that need to get done around the house!

Time does not heal all wounds. I was sick at the age of six, and here we are, thirty-four years later and I still face challenges that are a direct result from that. Here is one of those examples where I think time is against me, because I think others may be thinking in their heads, thirty-four years? Get over it! Maybe that part is only in my head.
And I get so tired sometimes.
Eleven years have passed since my mom's accident, how come she isn't better?
My dad passed away when I was thirteen and I still miss him today, maybe even more than I did then.

Time, I am sure, has affected us all in some way.
Time is a precious, VERY precious, thing; and I think we waste it! I waste it. I'm guilty of losing my own time. Someone once told me "don't worry, we have plenty of time." Ha! This is my rant on time.

But wait a minute. Wait just a minute!

There is a saying that "Time is ours to waste." And perhaps time is ours, to do anything with.
Perhaps time goes by so quickly because we focus on it so much. Maybe not on the surface, but sub-consciously, I think so.
Everybody seems so rushed, and for what, where are we going? I'm not saying that we shouldn't have schedules and keep our appointments, but getting everything done at once is not life altering important. (I need to remind myself of this as well; in fact, I think I'll write that down and post it somewhere) 
Time is time, it goes by the same way everyday. Only we make it fly by, and sometimes that can't be helped, and that's okay.
The two biggest challenges faced when it comes to dealing with time going by is Wasting It and Making Mistakes; and those two can kind of go together on occasion.
#1 I think we scrutinize over wasting time more so than is actually wasted..... and I say this because, maybe, just maybe, nothing that you do in life is really a waste. It affects you. It affects others. No matter how little, no matter how minor, it is significant.
#2 I think this is summed up best in a saying I found. "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." Author unknown.

As for me, when I put my ranting aside, I have had a pretty remarkable forty years with great experiences. Accomplishments and non-accomplishments combined, (maybe we need to start looking at everything (right minded) that we do as an accomplishment) I believe I just may be where I am supposed to be. Further successes will come; I just got to be open to all types of success. Perhaps my storybook romance will come as well; but if not, that's okay. "Time is on my side." Not only did Mick say so, I do.
And maybe time isn't supposed to entirely heal wounds.... at least not emotional ones. I have learned so much from my experiences and still continue on a path because of them. And my parents, regardless of where they are in life, still teach me new things.