Once again it’s been one heck of a week. I must say, this job I’m doing at the moment (surrounded as I am by the Gossip Girls) is not what I’d call the high point of my career. Despite the fact that the constant running back and forth and up & down stairs (from desk to tape vault to control room to edit suites back to tape vault, up to desk, back down to tape vault, over to control room, repeat…) has taken me down at least one trouser size, ultimately if I had to choose between doing this job and having bowel surgery in the woods with a stick, I’d probably choose the latter.
Earlier this week I spoke to one particularly demoralized young person who has actually decided to change careers based on her experiences there (I am not making this up) and she said, among other things, that the place could do with “a lot less of the Slumber Party Banter.” It is nice to have a sympathetic fellow sufferer, I must say, and one with such an exquisite sense of humour about a situation that would probably drive lesser mortals to full-time use of pharmaceuticals.
On the upside, the play in which I’m involved is now in its final few days of rehearsals and even though it adds many long hours to my already packed days, it is an absolute joy to be working with these folks. The 9-to-5 crew at my day job could definitely take a lesson from them. Tensions are high, there’s a lot of stopping and starting and do-overs and changing of key things at the last minute, not to mention backstage collisions, shattered glass and the time Yours Truly turned her back on a rather large bit of scenery for a second and damn near knocked a wall over.
And yet…at the end of the day, everyone is still friendly, there are cookies and fruit in the kitchen, and hugs as we clean up together and lock up for the night.
And we’re not even being paid for this. I love it.
The final chunk of perspective, however, was delivered to me on Saturday morning as I warmed up for my spin class. I was overtired, grumpy, hormonal, and feeling not a little sorry for myself after the aforementioned long week, when suddenly the door opened and in came one of our young classmates. A few weeks ago she looked extremely ill during class and, as I know first aid, I asked whether she was all right.
“I’m having chemotherapy,” she said quietly. She didn’t want to say much more, and I can scarcely blame her, so I said to let me know if she needed anything, and we’ve left it at that.
Anyway, she showed up again on Saturday morning and to my shock and dismay, was minus her hair, sporting just a baseball cap over her downy little scalp.
And suddenly my own problems and drama and whinging seemed very, very paltry indeed. There is, of course, no way to say something like that without sounding a bit pompous & self-referential, like I’m turning this young lady into my own personal totem or poster child – that is not my intent. But it was, and is, a stark reminder that life does go on, and that my own hitches, glitches and bitches are very small potatoes indeed.
Which I knew already. But sometimes it’s good to have that little boot up the arse, just to keep me in line.
So now, without further ado, it is time to have a bite to eat and then head over to the theatre for our dress rehearsal matinee. With any luck, I will not knock over any walls today. And there will be cookies and fruit, and that sense of belonging that I just love.
Life is good indeed.