This week has been one filled with contrasts....
In the past seven days....
We were proud to watch our daughter participate in a fundraiser for the Children's Wish Foundation. The fundraiser took the form of dragon boat races, which, if you aren't familiar, are like giant canoes that hold about 22 people paddling like crazy against other such boats for about a half a mile, over and over again. It looked like a ton of fun, even though, I've been informed, it's a lot harder than it looks.
In contrast, we went from dragon boats to Shakespeare....
After the races, we were kind of cruising around, looking for something different to do, and decided to take a walk down by the river. where we stumbled upon the Shakespeare On The Saskatchewan Venue. I love Shakespeare and have been wanting to attend this Saskatoon summer staple for years, without ever being able to make it happen. This year, as we've been super busy, I hadn't even entertained the thought of attending, therefore, hadn't paid attention to the wheres and whens of it. Well, we had parked and were kind deciding in which direction our stroll would go when we came upon the venue gates...and they were open. We looked at each other...you don't suppose..... we stepped through the gates and discovered that, although the production of Richard III had just begun, we could still get in, as long as we were super quiet. It was so awesome! My hubby is the best! Even though Shakespeare isn't exactly his cup of tea, he was willing to attend with me, actually enjoying it more than he thought he would.
With a leisurely weekend under our belt, it was time to hit the ground running when the work week began.
With camping season in full swing, we not only have a, gratefully, super busy shop to keep up with, but also have mobile repairs to take care of for our customers at different campgrounds. This means putting on a lot of miles, long days in the heat, and, when you add in hot flashes, a lot of sweating.
In contrast, I went from assisting with camper fixes, (fun fact: when the temp outside is 32*C, the temp inside a closed camper is about 44*) to full hair and make-up, glammed up for the McNally Robinson Launch of "Once Broken."
Launching my first novel in Canada's biggest independent book store.
Talk about a surreal moment.
When I allow myself to think about my children's stories being read to thousands of munchkins in different corners of the world, it's incredibly humbling, thrilling, and makes me especially grateful. I don't think the desire to create stories for this most precious group of humans will ever fade.
Other than the fact that doing a reading in front of grown ups rather than my usual crowd that rarely reaches the age of 9, made me nervous, I didn't think the over all feeling of doing so would be all that different.
I was wrong.
As I listened to the events coordinator read a short bio and introduce me, I walked down the short aisle, passing the grown-ups in the seats, under the grown-up lights, and stepped up to the grown-up podium.
Then it hit me.
I wrote a novel. An actual novel.
I was overwhelmed with a rush of emotion that threatened to steal my voice. It wasn't nerves so much as the fact that, in that moment, it was real.
I was about to read a portion of the thousands of words that had won the fight for their space on the page. I was about to read them to a group of adults, some of whom had already read the book, and, if the feedback is to be believed, enjoyed it.
I was about to read aloud to others, for the first time, in the voice and tone that echoed within me as the story took shape.
I wrote an actual novel. I gave myself permission to accept and acknowledge what was actually happening, took a breath, and began.
The reading was followed by a Q&A. It was a definite departure from the questions I usually get at a reading. Nobody asked if my shoes fit, if I have a bed, or how old I am. No, they hit a bit deeper, and, to my surprise, I found myself getting a bit emotional in trying to find answers.
Although the story and characters are fictitious, I, for one, have found the process of creating, developing and writing these characters very personal. It's like you actually get to know them, care about them, and what happens to them. I wasn't just writing about them, I was living it with them.
I wrote an actual novel. I look forward to doing it again.
In contrast, the next day, I was back at the lake, assisting my hubby, in the heat, sweating.
The contrasts in life are what keeps both our feet on the ground, and our chin up.
Oscar, and Pulitzer prize winners, rock stars, and presidents all stub their toes, get the flu, struggle in relationships and lose loved ones.
Stable hands, daycare workers, gardeners, those with hands and feet covered in calluses and blisters all celebrate birthdays, graduations, weddings, promotions, and other moments in the sun.
These are some of the common things that connect us in our humanity. The contrasts make the hardships easier to carry, while reminding us to remain humble and grateful in our highest moments of joy.
As for the upcoming days..............
Working at the shop....month end, and trailer assists..
Kill some dust bunnies and do laundry............
Start putting together ideas for Word On The Street........
Get a start on next Children's book..............
And that about does it for now. Until next time, I'll leave you with this wish......
May every valley be followed by a climb to the highest height.
May every struggle lead to a multitude of occasions filled with sheer delight.
May every blessing fill you with a sense of gratitude, never taking good fortune for granted.
May you be reminded that you reap what you sow, be ever mindful of the seeds you've planted.
May you take the time to step back, take a breath, accept and acknowledge how far you've come.
May you see that you've gained confidence and strength with every step, keep stepping, to your own beat, your own drum.
Until next time......