I’m working with my life coach again. Rita’s coached me on and off since 2005 when my boss sent me to her after a bad performance review. He thought I might need some support. He was right. Many of my happiest hours have been spent learning from her and rediscovering my purpose and life goals. She’s part of why I’m here in Hawai‘i.
This time I’m working on goals around publishing my book. I’m also back on a health kick after falling off the wagon for several months. I stopped going to water aerobics because it interfered with my most productive writing time – morning. I gained more weight than I care to report. But Dianne and I are back at the pool a couple afternoons a week. Meanwhile I’m reporting weekly to Rita on my exercise regime and other resolutions. I’ve found that being accountable to someone helps me keep a new schedule until it becomes a habit. You might find it useful when you’re making a change too.
Unfortunately I tend to over-estimate how much I can accomplish in a week when setting my objectives. I’m finally admitting to myself that I’m over-booked with volunteering. I began to suspect it when I recently heard four different people exclaim, “You volunteer here too?” and “You’re everywhere I look!”
I’m secretary for the Women’s Empowerment Circle and Third Thursday Thrive, so a couple hundred people hear from me weekly or monthly. In Waimea, I also lector for our church on Sundays and volunteer at St. James Thrift Shop on Tuesdays. That started as a shared commitment undertaken with my daughters for the summer. Well, they’re back in school and I’m still working at the thrift shop. The people there are so sweet; they even gave Jade a fresh lei her last day before she went off to college. Recently I also agreed to be a volunteer usher with the newly re-opened Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, with a side benefit of seeing the live performances.
And Faye volunteers at Teen Tech Tutoring, a service to help older adults understand their phones, computers, email, Facebook and anything else that befuddles them. That makes me a Teen Tech Parent, though I go to their sessions more often than I’m scheduled because I use their services!
Last weekend was HPA’s school fund-raiser, Pumpkin Patch. I’ve volunteered in the past, and this year was no exception, as Stacy was in charge of corralling people to monitor the silent auction. It’s hard to say no to Stacy. I knew I’d be standing all day, answering questions and later arranging items for pick-up, but didn’t think about how long my legs would last. And I had forgotten that the evening before I’d be volunteering at the theatre. That night I stood four hours, ushering people to their seats with my official flashlight, and peaking from behind the curtain at the performance.
So Sunday morning I awoke with sore legs and hips. None-the-less I looked forward to Pumpkin Patch, as I knew that on my break I’d hear my favorite live music, the Honoka‘a High School Jazz Band, led by Music Director, Gary Washburn. I’m a Washburn Groupie.
The day was hot with scant breeze. Luckily the stage was under a tent as was the audience. (This is Waimea – there’s always a chance of rain!) The jazz started at 12:15; I grabbed some spicy beans and rice from the Chili Cook-Off Tent, and settled down in front, sighing with relief as I gave my legs a rest.
The band plays jazz from the’30s through modern, though they seem partial to the older music especially from the Big Band era. Their brass and keyboard sections are well populated and talented. One of the most spectacular players is a young woman on an electric violin. She smokes that instrument! And the vocalists are excellent.
Gary performs too, but he’s often playing Mother Hen, stepping out into the audience space to observe and listen to his students, checking on the sound volume and balance to provide feedback to the sound engineer, and dashing around the stage to adjust the microphones when a student has a solo part, making sure that kid has his or her moment in the sun. Just watching him is fun; he’s full of raw energy whether performing or dashing with purpose.
Gary can also be funny. He tells the audience that the band’s latest CD is available absolutely free…with a $10 donation to the high school music program. It’s a good deal and a quality product. The 2011 season’s CD even won a Grammy. We’ve been lucky to have him at Honoka‘a High, inspiring budding artists for the last 34 years.
When their gig was up, so was I – back on my feet at the silent auction for another three hours. It gave me time to think about the possibility that I’m spreading myself too thin, doing too much volunteering. Maybe it’s time to make a new resolution with Rita on cutting back so I have time to get involved with the Hāmākua Youth Foundation in Honoka‘a, a worthy cause closer to home.
As for working the silent auction, it gave me the opportunity to monitor my favorite items and continually update my bids. I scored big time, winning premium tickets to see the Honoka‘a High School Jazz Band performing at the Kahilu Theatre. I’ll have to cancel my ushering for that night.
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