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Lots of challenges, excitement, realizations and lessons learned.

Friday, April 30, 2010

I didn't feel the euphoria this time. Although by all accounts, the dance camp was a huge success, I was almost detached by the time it ended. In truth, while being very involved all weekend long, I also observed what was going on with myself all weekend. Regrettably, most of the pictures of me reflect this: almost a dead-pan instead of the usual grin.

This Kochavim was fraught with challenges, starting with the volcanic ash that stranded one of my teachers in London where he lives. We agonized for a week beforehand but the earliest he could have gotten a flight out was Sunday, the day it ended. As this was going on, I came up with a contingency plan to make certain everything that needed to be taught would be handled.

Then on Wednesday, another teacher (and my evening DJ) called me at 4 pm to tell me he was going to miss his flight as he was stuck in traffic. Oh, and he hadn't been able to find the mic he was to bring. After getting him off the phone, I rescheduled his flight for the next morning, called him back and sent him home for the evening. I then got online, found the mic we needed, arranged overnight shipping to Wimberley, after making sure UPS would be able to find the location. All it takes is money, right?

So it seems I can handle challenges. But I knew that. What I didn't realize is that I could do it calmly, almost as a matter of fact.

I also discovered that I can be fierce when I choose to be. A week before camp, the director informed me they'd changed their rules about meal times, requesting that I rearrange my schedule. I pushed back, and would have stood my ground if I hadn't been able to rearrange my schedule. But I pick my battles and this wasn't one I had to win.

The next day, just six days before the event, and about six weeks later than I usually get it, the revised menu arrived. I only expected the one change I had requested, but the new menu was entirely different. Given the number of lactose intolerant and vegetarians in the crowd, it was not acceptable. This battle I fought and won handily.

Thursday finally arrives. I get confirmation my DJ is at the gate and so is his plane. Good news! I arrive at the camp, meet with the director, and discover that the dance floor we bought the previous year has been attacked by termites. I made a beeline for the dance hall, and notice that one of the panels dead center is crunchy: if you step on the damaged part, you'll go right through. I seek out the director and insist the floor be taken apart and the panel removed. This is a multi-hour job, but we can't take a chance. Another battle won.

In the meantime, just to make matters interesting, I get a call from my daughter-in-law and find out my son has been hospitalized in Las Vegas where he went for a 'guys weekend'. She's headed out on the next flight. It's a good thing I can handle stress!

Fast forward to Saturday night, and only one of the teachers (out of four) is on the dance floor. One of the 'requirements' of a teacher is that he or she be on the floor dancing with the participants. One in particular is AWOL, sitting in the next room and talking with two young dancers. So I head in there to see if everything is OK and to find out what's going on. He assures me he's only been gone two hours (!) and that's he's teaching the two girls' some line dances. I thank him for doing so and remind him there are more than two dancers at this camp. Much to my surprise he agrees with me, and for the rest of the evening is seen on the dance floor where he needed to be. I'm stunned to discover that one can have difficult conversations calmly and that they yield results. I mean, I'd always been told that, but didn't know I could do it.

And it continues, as I'm still have billing discussions with the director. The jury is still out on what the result will be, but I'm saying what needs to be said rather than just retreating. I'm being fierce!

And the biggest surprise of all is that I'm creative. Don't get me wrong, I've always done things like sewing, knitting, quilting, oh yes, dancing, but I've never considered that creative because I'm merely following directions. My contention has always been that anyone can follow directions. The only creativity I allowed myself to claim is creativity with time: managing to fit a lot of activity in too little time.

This year, as every year, I came up with a theme for the Saturday party - dancing among the stars. I asked all dancers to send in a picture of themselves at age 5 or 6, mounted the pictures on gold or blue stars, and arranged to have them posted on a wall with prizes awarded to those who recognized the most. Everyone was asked to dress for the theme, with interpretation left to the individual. Everyone loved it! And as I looked around the room at all the decorations, including all the pictures of dancers from prior years (everyone loves to tour the room to see what's new that year), I acknowledged that I am creative. I'm still not artistic, and leave it to others to take my ideas and arrange them in space, but I create the concept. I found the hot pink lights that surround the dance floor, I ordered the bandannas we handed out the year we had a Texas theme, I planned the dinner music for each theme night, came up with the concept for the T-shirt we ordered, for the water bottle we handed out last year. I'm not artistic but I have ideas - yes, I am creative. You have no idea what a huge thing it is for me to acknowledge this.

Perhaps I'm not euphoric because there is so much for me to take in.

Although there were moments when I allowed the joy to show through......

(Oh, no clear diagnosis but it seems my son suffered from pancreatitis, and it responded to antibiotics.)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a wonderful feeling to discover new aspects of yourself like creativity and fierceness. I'm sure they were in you all along, but now you are acknowledging them in yourself.
    3950 days ago
    Wow, Deirdre! You were fierceness (and creativity, and self-awareness) personified!

    No doubt you're still reeling (pun intended) a bit from the aftermath of the weekend and all the planning, troubleshooting, etc., beforehand.

    Give yourself a few days to rest and recuperate, and I'll bet you'll be suffused with pride at what you pulled off--and what you learned in the process!


    > emoticon

    3953 days ago
    I read LOTS of Fierceness in this blog! Good for you! emoticon
    3953 days ago
    Gosh---I am so impressed! This sounds like a HUGE endeavor, and that it was a HUGE success! Way to go! Give yourself a pat on the back, and big yippee and go have a glass of wine!
    You deserve it. Whew---its over!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3954 days ago
  • DEE797
    WOOHOO you did it! emoticon And your fierceness is showing through as needed. So glad to hear your son is doing well.

    emoticon emoticon
    3954 days ago
    I enjoyed reading this blog from start to finish. You are one busy lady. You definitely earned blue ribbons emoticon for being calm, fierce, determined, flexible--literally and figuratively--and CREATIVE. Isn't it wonderful to discover new attributes about ourselves?

    Beyonce' has already taken Sasha Fierce. Deirdre Fierce?

    So glad your son is okay and recovering. Have a great weekend!


    3954 days ago
  • JLITT62
    Wimberley! Dang -- so close to where I used to live -- far South Austin, which some of my friends joked was north San Antonio. Altho it's clear we would never have had time to meet, it just brings back memories. I really loved Winberley . . .

    Anyway. People think I'm really creative, but like you, I'm good at following directions. Occasionally I do get some really great ideas. I think we're both probably too hard on ourselves.

    Hope your son feels better soon.
    3954 days ago
    No wonder you felt detached ... a few days like that would put anyone on overload! It sounds and looks, like a very successful weekend. You clearly did a great job and people obviously had a wonderful time.

    BTW - just from reading your blogs over the last few months - I had no doubt that you could be fierce if the situation required it emoticon and creative and all those other things too. emoticon

    I'm glad your son's pancreatitis responded to antibiotics. It is incredibly painful! Mr. T had it a few years ago and he was so sick!!!
    3954 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/30/2010 3:00:04 PM
    Congratulations on a job clearly well done. You are by all counts fearless, tactful, and creative. emoticon emoticon
    3954 days ago
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