Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 26th August

Sometimes, I think, we expect too much – especially based on past experience and our anticipation of things to come. At times, we are right and things just do get better from where they are. At others, there is ample evidence that things have just not got through, the lessons haven’t been learnt and nothing, apparently, will change.

That’s when it is impossible not to be disappointed.

Maybe it also comes from having expectations that are too high, especially of others. Maybe we all need to just simply acknowledge that everyone is human, old habits die hard and a leopard can’t change its spots.

Given all the clichés that tell us that it may simply be better to accept the vagrancies of people and just to expect the worst, without any learning taking place, the lesson to be learned is, possibly, just to accept the inevitable.

Not me, though. I am an incurable optimist and have this ability to believe wholeheartedly in people. I truly believe that lessons can be learned – and mostly will be. When they aren’t, though, the disappointment is huger.

Apparently, despite my great efforts to the contrary, it is difficult to understand that ‘your call is 4:30’ means actually that and that time, specifically in theatre, is actually a fluid thing open to different interpretations.

This I may have got wrong, but I have been right about the ability of a group of non-professional Drama students with many demands on their time to put together a production in less than 5 weeks from first audition to performance and to do it really admirably. Ultimately, that is what counts. And my students have done brilliantly!

I feel like a proud parent with multiple offspring.

Oh, wait, that is actually what I am. 😉

This time, though, I have an extra 17 ‘offspring’ involved 🙂

Our other wonderful news this week is that Bridget is free from her cancer. She still has to face 6 weeks of radiation, but the invader has been removed and the effects of the chemo regime made that all the more possible. Her treatment will end on her birthday and, after that, it will be about recovery and getting her strength back.

I have decided that, although my cancer was found early and resoundly treated relatively quickly, this does not mean that I necessarily had an easy time through it all. In fact, when I just think of the fact of having had the damn drain in for 33 days, I quiver, slightly.

Once again, I am reminded that the cancer journey is so different for each individual. I suppose that is what life is about – even one shared experience, like this production, has been lived so very differently by each of us.

And that is what makes doing something like this all the more richer. For those hours that work happens, or the performance runs, we are all of a mind. Everyone comes together and contributes a piece that makes the whole work.

The lessons learned are all individual, though, and I must remember that everyone learns at their own pace.

Maybe, just maybe, one day, 4:30 will actually mean 4:30 to everyone involved – for just one, brief moment. I live in hope!

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