A Big Life: Encouragement for People in the Arts –
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go.
– writer Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
One summer after a busy year of teaching and directing, I went to visit my sister for a month in a little village in Spain. She and her husband were teachers there and I was excited that we were going to have a summer off together. Then unexpectedly they became busy with some online classes and didn’t have a whole lot of time to be with me. So I hung out with their children.
It was an enlightening experience.
The children never knew what they were going to do in a given day. They weren’t the ones in charge so they never made any plans. Sometimes their parents rose to whisk us into Madrid and we would spend 14 hours going to the museums, the parks, and the squares. But other times their parents disappeared for hours into the basement to work. Day after day, the children and I rose, ate, and read in the morning coolness. We strolled to the bread store or wandered down dusty cobblestone streets which were lined with bright orange poppies. We swam in the courtyard pool near our townhouse during the dry heat of the day. At siesta, we ambled to the ice cream store and ordered vanilla nut cones in broken Spanish. We trekked into the hills and surveyed groves of olive trees and the remnants of rolling wheat fields. Then we read, ate and went to bed.
Eventually both the summer and my job ended. Now I’m a part-time worker. Since there are such big stretches of time during which I am looking for work, it is hard for me to know when to relax. It’s easy to feel like I must be missing something if I let some things go. But there is no way I’m going to catch every job announcement (or get the job if I apply), meet every deadline (self-imposed or otherwise), or meet all of the right people at the right time.
Popular encourager Joyce Meyer says “We are human beings, not human doings.” It’s Spring Break in Oregon this week and I am on vacation with some lovely friends and family. Yesterday I met some elderly people in the hot tub (I wore my latest non-bikini). Both couples had children my age and had been married (happily) for over 50 years. They helped me to remember that no matter how old I am, to the previous generation, I’m just a child. And it’s okay to be one.
So. Enjoy the sunshine.
Or if you’re at the Oregon Coast on Spring Break, enjoy the hail!
Photos by Katie Bennett