“Now, Dawn.” Debbie said in a whisper as she ushered me close to her.
“There will be an appearance of a songstress tonight. I know you like to take pictures and videos, but the songstress, who shall remain nameless, has requested there be no photos or videos taken during her performance.”
I know Debbie. I know her desire to entertain and I know her talent and ability in breaking out into song at any moment. I also know her wit.
“OK, Deb. I will keep my phone out of reach. I will photograph and video with my mind. It’s better for the brain anyway.”
“Yup. Yup.” She quipped with a wink and a grin.
A few hours later the ten of us are gathered in “the fish bowl” and Debbie has announced it is time for her to give PJ her husband, born on March 18, right in the middle of St Patrick’s Day and St Joseph’s Day. “PJ, this is the year of the recycled, no re-purposed, gift. After all, we are almost retired and we must watch our pennies.” Everyone is smiling and chuckling at her presence and sarcasm. She proceeds to give PJ the birthday card he gave her a few weeks earlier, only she has crossed off wife and wrote husband. “And this,” she paused, “is from Aunt Helen. Aunt Helen always made you cut out cookies for your birthday and I wanted to be sure you had something to remember Aunt Helen that was from Aunt Helen.” PJ opens a package of 2 shamrock cut out cookies from Leo’s Bakery and Deli. The final re-purposed gift is a Godiva Chocolate box filled with Dove Hearts.
Billy followed suit and gave both Debbie and PJ recycled gifts (that’s a slice for another time).
And then, the songstress took her place. “In the spirit of St Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d take the time to share with you some of my favorites. Please, please join me if you know the words or just a refrain. Your participation is welcome.” She’s cracking herself up as
she sets the stage for her moment in the spotlight.
Then she breaks out in song of these old Irish Hits. We sit and watch as Debbiecommands our attention with her dramatic arms and vociferous vocals. We can’t help but laugh and smile from places deep down.
Early in the challenge, Stacey Shubitz, asked how we would practice self care during the challenge. My response was “I’m not sure, I’ll let you know.”
Our profession is a calling. It is a calling that can consume us, especially when we embrace the March SOL Challenge along with all the “other” work we embrace. Stacey’s post was a timely reminder that we must take care of ourselves first if we are to continue to grow and stay true to the beliefs that have called us to our profession.
This past weekend, I took care of myself. I took care of my family and my husband by just being with them – skiing, eating, laughing, and eating some more. It was the best self care I could have given myself.
Added bonus, I think I got at least two slices out of it 😉