Starlight. Starbright.

Yeah, this is one of *those* days. Thursdays are often like that and I can’t even blame it on my job because Thursdays were like that when I was an overworked, underpaid theatre guild administrator too. Working from home. Or from the bowels of the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. Or wherever we were rehearsing. Or Office Max. In a lot of ways, I liked that job. I mean, the pay was terrible but I wasn’t totally looking for money at that time. I had started out as a parent volunteer and a rather reluctant one at that. I was already over-committed with volunteer stuff. PTO treasuries, reading with at-risk kids, playing math games with at-risk kids, girl scouts. I made a lot of good friends doing all that stuff but the only thing I was ever really good at was running treasuries. Why? Because I’m really not all that good with kids. I don’t dislike them. I *have* two of them. Believe me, they were planned. But I am not good at entertaining random children and crowd control is not my forte.

I loved the actors guild though and, slow as she goes, I wormed my way into working on things that I could actually DO! Which means things that you do on a computer. Like play programs and maintaining addresses lists and things. I got more involved and started making friends and then they asked me to be on the board *and* handle administrative tasks for a stipend. I wasn’t doing much else at the time except being a mom and volunteering and I went for it. This was around 1998 or so and, since I had spent a couple years having to ask after every single blasted rehearsal, “when and where is the next rehearsal and do either/both of my kids have to be at it?”, I dragged our organization onto the World Wide Web! One place for everyone to go to find rehearsal schedules, et al. It was a beeeyoootyus website with a royal purple background and white letters.

It was all fine for a while. I had my traveling office and eventually I had a laptop and wifi started popping up everywhere and it was *fun* bopping around town working. But this was one of those disorganized organizations where not all of the board members were pulling their weight, at least not on a consistent basis. They were volunteers, after all. Sitting at the center of the communication structure, I felt responsible for dealing with whatever came in. That was fun the time a famous sci-fi author contacted us when we produced one of his plays. Alas, more often than not, what I got were parent complaints. Usually about things that I had absolutely no control over and often didn’t even have a straight answer to. Sorry. This organization is what it is. It is wonderful for those who can understand what it is. The stereotypical “soccer mom” with her highly organized schedule did not fit in. I hated dealing with those babes. Not to mention the folks who thought their kid should get the lead role in every blasted play they auditioned for.

Eventually, I decided I didn’t fit in either. My brother had died that summer, both my kids were in college and I had sent myself back to college. I was overwhelmed and over-scheduled and somebody stood me up for a meeting. Or so I thought. I found out later that it was a communication snafu involving my own cell phone. But it was too late and I had already quit. Abruptly. That’s not like me. I was shaking when I sent the email. Some people asked if I would consider coming back. Others didn’t and I knew that they were ready for me to move on. And so I did. And then the rest of that year ended up being horrendously awful. My dad fell down on his daily hike to his Sault Ste. Siberian post office box, smashed his pelvis and died after seven weeks of air ambulance rides and surgeries and crappy rehab facilities and, well, that’s a whole ‘nother story.

I spent that spring in a pretty big fog and then I started pulling myself out of it, reconnected with Uber Kayak Woman (big help in the whole pulling out process), threw myself back into school taking on project management roles with a vengeance, and somehow, in another year, I ended up with a real job with a real salary. I still fall back into that fog sometimes but things are not really too bad.

Aaaannnndd… Not sure how I got into all of that crap. When I started this, I could not think what to write about today. Total writer’s block. All I could think was that when I walked into the schoolyard this morning, I could look up to the left and see the Big Dipper and I could look up to the right and see Orion. Those two are my childhood constellations. I saw the Big Dipper on the moominbeach in the summer and Orion walking south in my alley in the frigid Sault Ste. Siberian winter. Beauty.

Kayak Woman

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