Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Resume a Routine: Survival Tips from the Festival

So I guess now that the kids are back to school in NY, the Labor Day holiday is over, and vacations are a memory, it's back to the swing of things at work. I don't know about some of my other colleagues, but I have at least 6 standing meetings a week. (Not physically standing - you weisenheimer, you -- they would go faster if they WERE standing.) SIX! One day this week, the entire day is meetings. Not work. Meetings. ?WHY?!

I wonder what survival tips we'll have to adapt for the fall and the Fall Festival.

~ ~ ~

For the summer, we had a variety of coping mechanisms, survival tips if you will. You do what you can.

There was the Departmental hooky day at the lake last month.
Of course with a buffet, because our department doesn't "do a thing" without some kind of buffet.

We may have been wondering if there was some way senior management could delay coming back from their vacations. We might have needed them to be on vacation for at least another month, so we could have caught up from the last 8 MONTHS. (Not 8 weeks. 8 MONTHS!) {Why? MEETINGS!}

There was the post-concert, staff Karaoke Kontest, and Kameo by an Ice Cream truck on Closing Night of the Festival.

There may have been some lapsing into some outrageously outre accents. Da, comrades?

Someone MAY have been making up lyrics celebrating the end of the Festival. With apologies to the writers of One Day More from Les Miserables:

One day more! Another day, another destiny. This never-ending road to [revelry]; These men who seem [pay my dime] Will surely come a second time.

Tomorrow we'll discover What [the HR ladies have] in store! [party] One more dawn [Can I make it?] One more day [I will make it!] One day more!
There was a farewell to departmental seasonal help at a final seasonal staff meeting with, of course, a buffet.

Week 6's Opera evening saw some art therapy going on during the intermissions.

There may have been an impromptu dance solo during a rain burst, leading to the question/answer:

Q: Should I apologize to all the audience members who saw me dancing barefoot with my umbrella during the pre-concert microburst? #sorrynotsorry

A: Nope. Perfectly happy to enioy my #singingintherain solo. Life is too short, and I work too hard, not to dance like no one is watching.

Other people on Twitter agree.

We ate a lot of leftovers from the previous night's party platters. If the cookies have oatmeal and raisins in them, it's a healthy option for breakfast, right?

We got MORE punchy. Even "Secret Summer Santa" has having a hard time.

There might have been low-tech hot stone massages and fake tans (aka our feet hurt so much the radiant heat on the train platform felt good on dirty swollen feet.)

People came in on an "early" train just so they could sit on a bench in front of an indie bookstore in the sun, to enjoy 30 minutes of a book, when it wasn't too hot, before the car pool arrived.

People left at 5pm a day or two--and refused to feel (too) guilty about it.

There may have been meditation moments during musical interludes. NOT sleeping. Nope. We weren't sleeping. We were mediating. (Rigggggghhhhht.)

We may have gambled on not getting Lyme Disease, malaria, or other foot/mouth diseases, by walking around barefoot in the grass.

One rainy night on a late night commute, we got to enjoy the musical stylings of a quietly playing, considerately mellow, talented guitarist on a train platform.

We may have started paraphrasing the Bard as we longed for sleep.
"...to sleep, To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there's the rub, For in that sleep...what dreams may come," ~ Hamlet 
Still-lifes may have been artfully arranged.

We were burning the candles at both ends. When we weren't actually burning candles.

There actually MAY have been naps. A LOT of NAPS. And the 12hour sleeps of the NyQuil-assisted.

We may have gotten a little too excited when other departments showed up with the rest of the summer swag.

There were random ice cream socials with a cases of ice cream shipped in from Graeters Ice Cream.

Every meeting seemed to come with some kind of decor, treat, and/or buffet of goodies.
EVERY.  Meeting.
This was National Popsicle Day.
  I forget why there was champers and strawberries. Though, do you need a reason?
But then there were ALSO cheese-cake birthday surprise bashes and birthday buffet dinners.

Maybe our eating habits were REALLY random.

Maybe there were occasions of breakfasts of PB Cups. Logic: PB is Protein, Protein is necessary. Sugar is Energy ERGO PB Cups.
Days that started with PB Cups and ended with Tastykakes. Because we are adults. And we didn't have time for that whole "balanced diet" thing.
Days that started with 3 Twix for breakfast, then a chaser of knockoff Fruit Loops w/a 1.25 liter of Diet Coke, and 3 Advil. Because, yeah -- sometimes ... 

Perhaps meetings involved random exercise breaks including planking and jumping jacks.

Mayhap there was a H20 drinking game involved during marathon Gala prep sessions. Mayhap I should leave the details of this drinking game out there on Twitter for everyone to enjoy and not document it here.

Could it be that the backstage crew had the best coping mechanism of all?

Could it be that this phrase really best describes multi-week Festivals?

"It's not a sprint, it's a marathon" does NOT apply to multiweek Festivals. It's more a decathlon, that starts with a Gala/marathon.

A FEW people tried to start our summer out right. Not one, but THREE people had goodies ready to go at our Festival kick-off meeting.


That should have been a clue.

As for ME, my coping mechanisms are front and center on my desk - as long as I remember to look at them:
 The paperweight is there for DRASTIC moments when I absolutely HAVE to chuck it at someone's head.

THOSE CUTIES! (Minus Jaime -- unfortunately.)

And the realization that THIS email exchange was more honest than anyone can know.
Query: "What do you do to keep yourself sane."
My instant reply: "I'm not sane. You think I'm sane?"
(We kid, because there is truth in comedy.)
A day without meetings ... is like a . So precious. So rare. To be treasured and noted when spotted.

Maybe one day I'll spot my unicorn again.

~photos by iTouch

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