Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Spare Change

At the edge of the bed
Watching you sleep
Counting, again, all of your shiny pieces
Charting the haphazard precision
of our journeys to this space
Marveling at the perfection of God

dashaFEST 2013

It's here again, dashaFEST.  What started as a single event exactly 20 years ago has evolved (exploded?) into a month-long celebration of ME.

Wait, I know how that sounds.  Let me explain.

I've always enjoyed throwing parties. The theme. The games. The food and drink. Stirring around my divergent circles of friends and associates inside the same space.  I feel a small tug of pride when unlikely acquaintances can trace their connections back to my living room.

Over the years, that one, overstuffed birthday party has unfolded into a calendar of events. A women's only event. An artistic event. A group activity.  A party. Something for my daughters. Something for my immediate family. A performance showcase of some kind.

The enterprise is wholly ridiculous, and I am fully aware of this.  But giving myself permission to be absurd for a change is, actually, part of the appeal.  For what it's worth, I'm not obnoxious about it.  I don't keep tabs of who shows up and who doesn't.  To be frank, I'm not concerned about guest lists at all. The events are for me. Because I want to see them happen. Because I want to try out that restaurant. The rest of the world is simply welcome to join me. Or not.

During dashaFEST, I also challenge myself to try something new. This has landed me in opera seats, calling "pull" on a skeet shooting range, nervously waiting my turn for a colonic cleansing, and proudly brandishing my bruises after a paintball match.  This year: yoga.

The most spectacular element of dashaFEST, however, are the celebrations that happen outside of public view.  I use the month to examine, fine tune and polish ME.  I get real about my shortcomings, by focusing on one or two, intensely each year.  (Hey, I can't fix EVERYTHING at once). I take inventory of my relationships, how I'm investing in them and where I can do better.  I am even more diligent about showing my gratitude to my family, my loved ones, my supporters, my God and myself.  I am thoughtful about being THANKFUL.

I'm especially thankful to the folks who indulge me, encourage even, this self-bacchanal. Friends have begin sending dashaFEST greetings as the dates approach. One of my students said that he doesn't even think of the month as "October" any more.  Truth be told, I'd like to see more people adopt a yournamehereFEST.  Have as many parties as you want, just make sure the most important celebration is for you BY you.  Pamper yourself. Promise yourself. Forgive yourself. Ask yourself. Check yourself. Grant yourself permission to love yourself, one designated day at a time.

It's dashaFEST everyone. Thirty-one days of being alive on purpose.  You're all invited to join me!