My online journal.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Shed no tears for me; there'll be rain enough today

Ed likes to throw things, just to hear what kind of sound they make when they land. And the other evening he actually asked for his "cowboy pajamas" and when I told him they were dirty, and could he please wear his dinosaur 'jamas instead, he agreed. A couple minutes later I found him rifling through Lucy's pajama drawer, throwing things everywhere. And I said, "Ed, what on EARTH are you doing?"

Through his little tears he sobbed, "A dinosaur 'jamas instead!!"
He was looking for them.

And he LOVES to say who he is. Now that he's figured out that HE'S Eddie, and nobody else is. "I'm Eddie!" all day.

He also came up to me one morning, fully clothed, and said "A take off a shirt. A be nay-kay. A take off a biaper. I'm a naked data." I don't really know what that was all about.

I got my Winona Currents alumni magazine in the mail yesterday and there was an article on A Prairie Home Companion's broadcast from Winona State this February. Featured in the article is Kathryn Hauser Slusher, whose name and very-fuzzy-and-barely-visible profile I recognized from my days at WSU. When I read she'd been a dance minor, I realized I DID remember her -- she was in Dreamscape, the spring-of-1995 modern-dance show that I was cruelly coerced into doing... that I did not enjoy at all... that included Chris Badger rolling around on the floor with a 15-foot tree root to the song of the humpback whales... that drove a knife into my burgeoning love of dance and theatre.

Anyway, Ms. Slusher was in that show. I found her picture in my scrapbook this afternoon, along with the program with our names in it. I only barely remember her. But in this article, she spoke of WSU in glowing terms.

Note that this gal has something akin to my dream job: working at APHC.

And it occurred to me that I've spent lots of brainpower recently maligning Winona State, or at least my experience there. I received a degree in a field I don't care ever to work in again, and I have a good friend and former classmate who had to learn the hard way that WSU wasn't prestigious enough to get him into the grad school of his choice. I spent way too much time having fun and way too little time appreciating the education I was receiving, at the price I was receiving it.

I felt mostly unmentored and uncounseled there. I have a passion for helping people, for teaching, for service... but I didn't discover any of those things until long after I graduated... after it was too late to take advantage of the scholarships I'd been receiving, and get a degree in a field in which I have true interest.

I have felt that some of my time there was wasted remaining uninvolved in theatre, in part because Winona is not a hotbed of musical theatre performance. Or at least I didn't seek it out. I regret missing out on some of my potential and I have been blaming, in part, Winona State.

But I read Kathryn Slusher's words, and I realized how ungrateful I'd been. I've long heard that it's not what happens to you in life, but how you react to it, that makes the difference. I understood the concept but just wasn't really applying it to myself. Well, I get it now. I was sort of feeling... well, "victimized" is WAY too strong a word, but I was feeling somehow wronged by my choice of college.

Now obviously that is ridiculous. I met Joel at Winona, as well as some of my very best friends in the entire universe. I DID get a degree, and while I don't care if I ever work in that field again, and while YES it makes me a little wistful when I realize I'm never going to be a paleontologist or a doctor or a licensed teacher or a Broadway dancer or a large-animal veterinarian or even a college professor... I can indeed choose to embrace the positives. The very big, weighty positives which make up my life right now -- not the least of which is this little life that Joel and Lu and Ned and I carve out daily.

The lead article in today's Pioneer Press Daily Life section is about "feeling slighted" and I feel that here is one thing I can do to make the world a more peaceful place.

I can choose how I feel and how I react.

I can sulk, or I can decide sulking is a waste of time.

I can allow things to offend me, or I can let it roll off my back. Better yet, I can try to figure out what was meant by the "offender" because most likely it had very little to do with me.

I can wallow in self-pity or I can forge my own path.

So that's that! Oh, the title of this post is the first line of "Stranger to the Rain," a beautiful song from Children of Eden by Stephen Schwartz. That song came to me in a couple weird ways last week, and I felt it was trying to tell me something. It's about not crumbling in the face of adversity.

In other news, the Hastings HS gig is going great -- except in true Meg form, I may have made the dances a *teeny* bit too complicated. I'm going to have to go back next week, which means securing a nanny for a couple hours on a couple mornings. *Shrug* Calling Grampa Books...

I acquired some plants at the ECFE plant sale last Friday. I know, I KNOW, I hate plants! I hate how they don't cry when they are hungry! I hate how they die just to spite me! But there were a couple "leftovers" after the pre-orders were filled: orphans in need of some love. I took 'em home with me. A couple coleus, some impatiens, some tomatoes and basil, and some "walking green onions." And something white I can't pronounce or spell. I don't have real pots to put them in, and I know I can't put them in the ground until Thursday and even then I might hesitate because it's only like 40 degrees out right now! And, like, I have sooooo much free time to spend repotting plants. Arrrgh, what was I thinking?


Tendrils said...

I know exactly what ya mean about your college days..... I think that we did the best we could back then with what we had......a lot of our "wisdom" is from your post-collegiate life experiences.....which is what we have to go through in order to be able to reflect on our past. I've had this conversation with my husband, too.

Good luck with the plants....when will spring ever come and STAY!!!!!

Kathryn of Minneapolis said...

Ha! Love your succinct description of Dancescape '95 or whatever. I was in three of those productions, and while I would love to go off in more detail on the experience, and the dance minor thing in general, I think the word "coerced" is rather apt. I did have a good time at Winona State. It's also interesting that you say I have your dream job- I think you have my dream job. I would love to stay home with my two year old. Your job is the most important one there is, and for you for making it happen.