Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 21st August

Somehow I missed the memo that stated something like rehearsals for a play are optional, or can be negotiated according to what the individual performer wants to do, or can simply be missed – and rarely arrived for on time.

‘African time’ takes on a whole range of different meanings.

Out of a cast of, originally, 18 for this play I am doing, all but 3 have had at least one incident of ‘dumping us in it’ (as one of the characters in the play says). I can make a whole of lot of allowances for the students ranging from personal pressure to not being professional drama students, to not quite understanding the etiquette of rehearsing for a production. All of these would be simply that, though – making allowances for what, really, is a disregard for the demands of a process and, possibly, an inability to make a true commitment.

I am also convinced that I speak a foreign language, as the process and requirements have been explained to all of them more than a few times.

Still, on we go and make sure that everything will work out!

It does leave me with a feeling of, ‘I am not doing this next year – especially giving a large group the opportunity to learn and perform’. At this stage, in fact, I am determined that next year I will do something like a 4-hander with people I know will actually rehearse!

Of course, being me and being an educator, I may just change my mind…

For the last few days, I think my tolerance levels may have been a little compromised because I have had the chemo taste. It seems to be trying to cling on just a little too much this time. As I have often said, it must just go!

I’m still convinced that there must be something I eat (or a combination of somethings) that causes a chemical reaction and produces the taste – specifically so long after the chemo. I understand that the drugs may still be working their way out of my body, but just about all the other side-effects have gone. It’s time for this one to stop reminding me of the whole process J

As if I would ever forget.

I went for a paddle today – not very far, not very fast, but it felt good to be back on the water after what feels like an age of just working and rehearsing. When I paddle, I am, of course, constantly aware of the fact that my muscles are not completely healed yet. I keep going, though – time permitting – and will, eventually, comfortably paddle 6/7 kms again. Some day.

The ‘one step at a time’ philosophy still holds, even though the steps are only dictated by me now, not by professionals and the requirements of a process to get rid of the cancer.

Perhaps that is my legacy from this whole thing: an ingrained approach to everything I do that understands that one step leads to another and that each step has to be taken on its own before the next can be negotiated.

The lessons we learn from everything we do. Including some form of patience when dealing with those who, apparently, don’t understand about process, time and commitment.

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