I’m a lucky man.
Sunday, I got a massive surprise.
In fact, it was a surprise PARTY!
My wonderful wife Jeanne organized a big Surprise Party/Toast thing (which is what she kept calling it) at Williamston Theatre, in my honor. I was totally floored to walk into the theatre (after a note session and quick beer at the bar around the corner) and find almost 70 people filling the place!
THEN – as if that wasn’t enough – we all sat and watched a video she’d made of all sorts of photos and sound bites from a bunch of folks I love and admire saying the kindest things about me and my work – it was truly humbling, and I was just blown away.
There was also a TON of food, and a TON of drinks, and some people even brought gifts! (Most of the gifts came in liquid form, and let me just say that I now am the VERY happy owner of enough thick yummy beer to last me a year!)
It was such an amazing, wonderful thing. The fact that Jeanne put so much work into the party and into the video, and the thoughtfulness behind the whole thing, it just makes my heart swell. And the fact that so many family and friends came to share a few hours of their lives was just incredible. I just wish I had had more time to catch up with everyone – it was so nice to have so many great people in the same place, I could’ve spent hours longer talking with each of them!
One of the most touching things about the evening was the discussion about working in the theatre. The balance between home and work is something I write about a lot here – it’s something I and, I assume, most of us, deal with all the time. Heaven knows that I, like many folks, struggle occasionally with the whole “Loving what we do, but worrying about money while we do it” issue. Starting a theatre has been one of the most fulfilling things in my life. But it hasn’t filled my bank account as much as the bill collectors would like it to! Because my wife is a saint, she puts up with my alternating between “I have the best job ever!” and my “Good God, I need to get a job that will pay the bills” mood swings! (Strangely, those happen right around bill paying time, or when my kids come up with ANOTHER after-school activity that costs money!) 🙂
So, in organizing the event, she shared some of my frustrations with folks and many of them shared their thoughts on why I should stop worrying about it, and their gracious, supportive thoughts on me and my work! I was really, really humbled and thankful; I’m a lucky man to have such family, friends and peers.
I feel blessed to have the life I have.
Looking at my kids, I know I will probably never be able to truly stop worrying about providing… but I’ve also been reminded that providing includes a lot more, a whole lot more, than bringing home the paycheck. It’s funny how sometimes it just takes someone SAYING it to remind you of something you’ve made yourself forget. One more good reason we all need a group of people that we enjoy being around, people we can trust and talk with and laugh with. And share a mountain of beer with!
So… amazing Sunday. Amazing wife. Amazing get together with friends, family and colleagues… and a handful of life lessons and important reminders sprinkled through all of it. No question, I’m a lucky man.