Whether you think of it as recharging your batteries, or refilling the well, getting some down time is so important in your self-maintenance!
This fall was a great time – so much going on at work and at home. It was also, however, exhausting! I had a blast: launching our 13th season at Williamston Theatre, directing the first two shows of the season and a workshop of a new musical as well. Plus of course we’re prepping for the rest of the season and selecting next season and planning some other cool things we’ll be announcing soon, so it’s been busy.
With all of that, Jeanne and I have also been busy at home, getting one kid off to Germany for his gap-year-exchange program, and the other off to U of M, and getting a new exchange student from China living with us. Life has been great, but busy, and I really found myself getting a little burned out. SO – this last few weeks has been an amazing wonderful time of mental and physical rest and relaxation. A lot of deliberate “refilling the well”. Over the holidays we had so much terrific family time, and even though I miss Max terribly it’s so nice to be able to FaceTime with him in Germany and see him having a ton of fun on his year abroad.
We hosted our extended family for Christmas this year, and our family tradition of “Whoever hosts cooks a dinner from another culture or country and surprises the guests with it”, and it was a ton of fun. We made an amazing Indonesian dinner of soup, chicken satay, baked fish, cauliflower fritters, everything turned out so good! Here’s a shot of the Soto Betawi, a delicious beef soup:
We were really pleased with the dinner! I love this tradition we have, and every year it’s an adventure.
Before the holidays, I got lucky and was able to do a little traveling. The National New Play Network was having the annual conference and new play showcase in Sacramento, and coincidentally some friends were getting together for a few days of birthday celebration in Yosemite National Park right before the conference, so I was able to fly out and do both. I will just say this: If you are looking to recharge your batteries, refill your well, find some peace and a reminder of your place in the universe, go to Yosemite and just soak in the amazing atmosphere of the place. Truly. It’s one of those places that inspires awe, humility, wonder and peace. And being able to enjoy it with friends made it even better.
After Yosemite, I had a wonderful time being inspired by the incredible artists at the NNPN New Play Showcase. So much good work, and so many talented and dedicated people devoting time and energy to it. I can’t really announce anything yet, but I will say that the showcase definitely helped me nail down some decisions on Williamston Theatre’s Season 14 lineup! Plus, I got to visit the new B Street Theatre facility, which was gorgeous, and Buck Busfield and his staff were fantastic hosts for the conference. It was my first time to Sacramento, and it was delightful.
Between Christmas and New Year’s Day was a wonderful bunch of time with my family, too. Maggie and Jeanne and I watched a bunch of movies, I got to relax and just spend a couple days reading books (and, yes some plays!) and just enjoying being able to sit with the dogs curled at my feet! Currently reading a small stack of plays and going between a couple different books The Tao of Bill Murray and Collected Essays of E.B. White.
We also took a great trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts. It’s been a couple of years since I had been there, and it was wonderful. Again, a place that fills you with energy, excitement and awe. Spending a day there just immersing yourself in what people are capable of. The ingenuity, the beauty, the craftsmanship, the passion.
I hope you’re all able to find the time to recharge as well. Go, refill your well. It’s not a cure-all, but it helps. Taking time to soak in some of the joys of life helps you deal with all of the crap that’s NOT joyful! I mean, even though these pictures and this post so far have that stupid social media “man, everything looks great there” sheen, all of the hassles of life are still there: Bills are mostly getting paid, but they’re getting bigger, stress about jobs and family is there for all of us, my health challenges are always always always knocking on the door, etc…. The same things that the 99% of us deal with daily. But don’t forget to take care of yourself, and do a little self-maintenance now and then – it frees up your mind to create, free associate, process and just breathe! Take the time – go somewhere that provides you the opportunity to have your breath taken away a few times. Spend a day with some tea and a re-read of your favorite book, or re-watch your favorite movie. You’re worth it.