Saturday, October 3, 2009

Free spirits

Last Wednesday I attended my first freelance networking luncheon with some local writers. We are all different, but have one thing in common: we're free spirits. Okay, okay, many of us also have "day jobs, " at least for the present; but there is still that spirit of freedom, that level of self-motivation of writing and scrapping for writing jobs that differentiates us from your average bear.

The closest thing I've had to this level of camaraderie was at the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop in Dayton two years ago. Loved it. What a kick start in the pants. We were laughing so hard that we didn't realize how much we were learning. Kind of how great teachers operate...
I'm going back in April with my writer buddy Joanne because it's such a great environment to be in ~ people doing or dreaming about what you're doing or dreaming about. I have an inspirational magnet on my refrigerator by Henry David Thoreau: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined.

My son Alex, number three on the family totem pole, is pursuing such a dream as we speak. His football team is ranked #1 in Division A (really small) schools. He's a senior and has been playing football with the same kids since fourth grade. By the time they were 6th graders, they had not lost one game in three years. In each year of high school, they have come so close to winning the sectional or regional championships, it's heart-wrenching. We're all feeling like this is the year. It's Remember the Titans, Hoosiers and Top Gun all wrapped up into one. What makes this team so special, is that they all pull for each other, love each other, fill in for each other when needed, and leave their egos at the door. Many of these guys could have played for larger city or county teams because they're talented enough, but chose to stay together in their small Catholic school. There's 66 guys on the team, over half of all the boys in high school! We've got spirit, yes we do!

Why am I blathering on about football, when this is supposed to be about my adventures in Spanish? I'm not sure, but I was so touched on Friday during Senior Night when those big lugs walked us parents across the football field at half-time. My heart swelled with such pride that I tripped and broke my long-stemmed rose in front of everyone. Oh well. Knowing that winning is ever present in their every action just carries the crowd in a big wave. As parents, I believe in giving our kids a vision, opportunities to succeed (that are within our power to give), and loving encouragement. It's up to them to run with the ball. And I love to see them run!

I did have a Spanish conversation with Maria from my office this week. We had all these big wig donors coming in for the dedication of our newly remodeled advising wing, so we needed Maria to take extra care in cleaning around our newly "staged" office space. Honestly, I felt like we were on HGTV.

Maria was happy to help because she likes all of us. I gleaned this nugget from her Spanish sentences about trabajo and buenos ustedes and there was something else that involved spinning that I didn't quite catch. The fact of the matter was that I really understood most of what she was saying, with only a month of EspaƱol under my belt. Weird, but nice. Rosetta is certainly holding up her end of the bargain. I just need to keep my eye on the goal to succeed.

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