Do you ever do a bounty audit? An evaluation of how you’ve spent your energies, your gifts in an hour, a day, or a week? Both personally and professionally? I think it would behoove us all to check in with ourselves on what matters – where have we met our obligations, emotionally, financially? Where have we “paid it forward” to ourselves and others? Where have we fallen short in any area? What excited us about the possibilities for future growth potential emotionally? Professionally? Collectively? What should we be grateful for this week?

If you’re like me, you may be saying “I barely have time/energy/wits to get to work and do my job.”

“I’m too task saturated to be able to see where I’m going.”

“What gifts?”

I love the Monday “Tiny Love Stories” in the New York Times. I think we all could do a personal “tiny love story” and if we did, might reveal (even if only to ourselves) where we have personal impact on the world, in our work, or in our friendships and with our families. Such an audit would take a leaf blower to the self doubt of questions or statements like the ones above. Here are two of my tiny love stories from the past week.

Friday, a week ago, in a pre-production recce related to an upcoming off campus production of Nilo Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics, my colleague Luis Alfaro and I attended the 9:30AM performance of Enter Stage Right at the 24th Street Theatre. This is a long running educational outreach program. Producers Jay McAdams and Debbie Devine have captivated over 100,000 school children from 2nd through 5th grade with this interactive “intro-to-theatre” offering for 20 years. And I instantly saw why. Our audience that day was 5th graders from Montebello, and the audience of 100 students were sitting on the edge of their seats the entire show. From the lobby interaction where they were shown the motions of getting your ticket at the box office, to a charming video interaction with Jack Black they were fully engaged, explosively involved, as the cast of four took them through the terminology and history of theatre utilizing students from the audience in key roles; the experience was enthralling for them and for me. If you believe in theatre and it’s power to elevate the social conversation, then seeing a theatre filled with 100 neophyte Theatre appreciators is one of the most activating ways to start your day.

This weekend, I got to see a lot of my son, Chris, who was in the area for hockey recruiting and a few games. Let’s just say Chris doesn’t spend a lot of his energy communicating about the specifics of his schedule (to me, anyway – I think he does a great job in his work as a coach). I thought he was coming Friday evening until he called Thursday afternoon to say he was on his way. I always love a chance to see him and catch up. So we had two great late night chats; I was out early to walk Friday and he to his recruiting event Saturday at the crack of dawn.

Saturday night I attended his team’s game at Great Park Ice in Irvine, one of the nicest hockey facilities I’ve been in for a long time. Though they lost the game, they played well (for two periods anyway).After the game Saturday night, I asked “The game’s here tomorrow at 12:15, right?”
“No, Cherry Avenue.”

We parted in the parking lot, and I reached out to my friends, Don and Carol, who love hockey, and told them meet me Sunday at Lakewood Ice.

We arrived at Lakewood Ice, and it was clearly not the right rink – there were some public skaters and a stick time happening. No vans of high school hockey players. Chris didn’t answer my text or phone call as the game was busy getting started somewhere else…

After brushing off our bruised egos, Don and Carol and I did what any self-respecting lost lambs would do and went out to lunch at a great Indian restaurant in Long Beach called Kamal Palace. It was great to see them and lunch was yummy. After lunch we went back to see their beautiful garden flourishing from recent rains and they generously bestowed on me bounty from their tangerine tree and native garden, full of all different types of sage and buckwheat, poppies and roses. Carol is a kindred spirit; she was wearing her William Kentridge inspired hoodie today.

It was a great weekend with unexpected connections with friends and family.

Heading into a busy week of making theatre fully restored and grateful for the bounty of my life. Hope you have a great week and don’t forget to audit your bounty.

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