December always seems to take me by surprise.
My performing work usually picks up this time of year and I also work for my friend at the Union Square Holiday Market. Additionally, Community Stages did an awareness campaign for the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation and we held our very own first fundraiser – “Open House Celebration of the Season of Giving”.
At the open house I sold hand-made gifts I have been making around the clock for the last month; magnets, pins, necklaces, greeting cards, paperweights and so on, all featuring my photography. My apartment is covered in pin backs, construction paper, glue, wire, organza bags and mountains of photos and paper shreds.
Working 18 hours a day for weeks paid off though, I’ve lost 5 pounds without going to the gym and Community Stages’ raised well over $500 at the open house!
Work, work, play, work, work, play that feels like work, work, work that feels like play, and some more work- has been the order of business without a break for a very long time. “Wow, I just can’t wait till January!” I have muttered under my breath on the crowded NYC streets.
I have become grateful for those moments I have been forced to stop for just a moment.
- A long line for the restroom
- Delays on the train headed TO work
- Something taking longer to work out at the bank ( I thanked my banker for this)
It was that moment at the bank that prepared me for a more powerful one that night. I was racing into church for an impromptu rehearsal. I was early but “racing” none the less. Sitting in the back of the sanctuary was a woman who I know marginally, but enough to know that her husband has been very sick for a very long time. I said hello and smiled and raced by. A few steps past her, I stopped and turned around. I sat next her and said “I’m not in so big a hurry that I can’t enjoy your company awhile”. We sat and talked and she offered some of her sandwich. I was as grateful to have those moments with her as she, likely, was to have with me.
With Christmas Day a week away and 2011 barreling down on us, I am reminded of what this season is suppose to be about- love, faith and quiet preparation. I am always going to be CRAZY busy in December, but I am on the look out for more peaceful moments and working to not rush by them.
When thinking on this piece, the lyrics of O Little Town of Bethlehem came to mind. Here’s Burl Ive’s rendition. “How still we see thee lie.” Enjoy.