Regular readers of FWIS will know that I’ve been preoccupied with a mammoth undertaking: coordinating a two-day festival that didn’t exist seven months ago. It’s been a journey and a rush; challenging but gratifying, maddening but worth persevering over.
I’ve discovered new strengths and skill sets in myself and have come to love those people who give their word and keep it. I’ve had a helluva lot of fun. I’ve also wanted to weep in frustration. But mostly I just keep on going, day after day, setback after setback, victory after victory.
While the event is still a couple of weeks away as I write this, I’m sure it’ll be a success. Too many people have invested too much blood, sweat, and tears for it not to be. I’m sure we all will look out over what we’ve wrought and say, ?Yes, it is good.? And like the pain of childbirth disappears once you survey the precious infant, soon we will forget all that has gone into birthing this brand-new event. we’ll soak up the compliments and analyze the criticism. I’m already proud of my role in this undertaking.
But there is one thing that has ticked me off this summer. No, let me restate that. I’m not just ticked off, I’m bitter. Time and again, when I needed answers to a phone message or email, I waited and waited. And waited. Sometimes I called or wrote again. Nine times out of ten the reason was ?I’ve been away.?
It didn’t matter if it was festival business or family matters. Normal, well-adjusted people with a refined sense of work-life balance took time off. They went on vacation. Took road trips. Extended weekends at both ends. They went places and did things. There were girls-only junkets and trips to the lake. Some people played golf like there was no tomorrow. I won’t even mention the outlet shopping sprees. Even those who went to visit family, babysit the grandkids, or help with flood relief seemed to be lucky to get away.
In the meantime, my cohort Jim and I just planned for after the festival. Boy, oh boy, That’s when we’d live it up. We’d have a celebratory drink. Then, with the pressure gone, we too would take off. Separately. He might have golf on his mind. I thought I’d start by sleeping in or taking a nap. Going to Edmonton for no reason whatsoever. Reading a book. Putting the cushions out on the new patio set for the first time. Planning a trip to see a friend who needs me. Going to a garage sale for no reason. Frittering the day away without feeling guilty.
But then there’s the postmortem, final report, and recommendations waiting to be done. And harvest can’t be far behind. Or the fall weddings I’ve booked. But next year will be different, you’ll see, from where I sit.
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.