Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Priorities

The second half of that day (that I wrote my last post) went significantly better than the beginning. I gained a little perspective. Basically, I got to spend some time with my sister and we saw a great show and talked to a friend and colleague a little bit, which helped me relax and enjoy the trip more. I realized something as I talked to my sister, who is comparing her options for after she finishes college. We all have a single basic priority in life, and it's that priority that keeps us grounded and keeps us from feeling like we are torn in all sorts of different directions.

For a lot of theater people, theater is their main priority. But, for me, there is no question. My family is my first and greatest priority, by a LONG shot. And I can do other things, like work, and theater, and farming, but my main priority is and will always be my family. Theater needs to be in my life, because I am an artist and I just cannot stop creating. But when theater and family conflict, my family will win, hands down, every time. It needs to be that way, because this is the life I chose to live, and for very good reasons.

Instead of envying my young, single, unattached colleagues, I simply saw their paths and mine diverge. I tried that life, I lived that life, and I was miserable. Simply, my son, husband, and baby-on-the-way give my life meaning, and without that meaning I would be lost and depressed. The world of theater is glamorous, but often shallow. As an artist, I often wondered what my purpose was, what gave my life value. I'm a lucky woman because now I KNOW what gives my life meaning. And, I'm fortunate in that I don't have to juggle a ton of things in order to survive. Many women need to balance work with family with personal interests, some need to balance work with children with relationships. I'm lucky that my children ARE my work and that I have a loving husband to support me.

Sure, I will always struggle with balancing my individual needs with my family's, because both are necessary and both are healthy. But I think I've grounded myself enough that I can look at my life and say that there is both value and beauty in what I do.

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