When thinking about this particular blog, I considered all the different types of metaphors that I could use. Too many irons in the fire, juggling glass balls, one misstep and my house of cards could come tumbling down and so on. There are many different ways to illustrate how busy we are in life and the delicate balance it takes to be able to continue to keep everything that we work at, enjoy and live for a part of our lives. In my mind’s eye, I think of different aspect in the glass ball analogy, in the example of Jareth the goblin king from Labyrinth as he sits spinning the glass spheres in his hand, sending them out the window. How many dreams, ideas, projects have I let go sailing out the window my life while I have kept others close at hand? What caused me to chose some over others? What am I going to have to do to keep all of the ones I want spinning in motion and am I willing to release others?
Glass ball #1: Family- My family is hands down the most important ball in the equation. There is nothing I wouldn’t do and no lengths I wouldn’t go to for them. Throughout the years, I have received so many compliments about my family and the unit that we are. What they don’t see is the work behind the scenes that it takes for us to be this unit. So far, knock on wood, my husband and I have defied the divorce statistic and we will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary this year. After a few stumbles in our early years, I decided that nothing and no one would ever be more important than him and my kids. Ahhh my kids the four most incredible boys on planet earth. My oldest is a glass ball unto himself. There for a while I lost the precious boy of younger years and we went through several years of constantly butting heads. At sometime over the last year we both did some changing and have an amazing year together so far. Sadly I wish we could have found this before he graduates in May. The biggest stress of this particular glass ball is that we are a LEO (law enforcement officer) family. Unless you have been related to an officer of some sort this is a stress that I can not describe to you in a way you will understand. It is not unlike that of being married to someone in the military or a corrections officer. As Butch has been both, I can honestly say there is more daily stress involved now in comparison. Children who grow up in a LEO household deal with stress and situations that their peers don’t understand. They are sometimes ostracized because they are viewed as narcs. They have to deal with Dad (or Mom) being gone again, missing family holidays and birthdays and in the back of their minds, will he come home at the end of his shift.
Glass Ball #2 Band- The Pride of Hennessey is one of the most important entities in my life. More times than not, you will find me at the band room working on something. I long to help make the band program something exciting and fun for the students, but also encourage and edify them. I want to help Mr. Steuart be able to run the best band program in the state of Oklahoma as smoothly as possible. There is so much that needs to be done and while we do have a lot of parents that help, like every other program out there, there is never enough help. The current project is cataloging the entire music library, seeing how many of each part for each and filing them in alphabetical order. This may not sound like much, but when you consider there are hundreds of music folders to go through, it can be quite mind boggling. It has taken four days to do Christmas music alone, and I’m not even sure that we have it all. At the completion of this project, Mr Steuart will save time when looking for and locating music, as he will know exactly where each piece is and how many parts for each instrument each has instantly.
In the very near future, we will have Red Carpet Honor Band (this weekend), solo and ensemble competition, Cherokee Strip Honor Band, the spring band concert, the band ball, the band banquet and Tri-State. There is also the possibility of concert competition. All of this between now and May 1st. Now, add into the mix (oh look, a cooking metaphor) the boosters are working behind the scenes on this year’s mini band camp and the rebirth of Hennessey Band Day, the band king and queen coronation at the band ball, keeping the band hall decorated, and getting ready to start props and decorations for the spring concert. Band=Busy! But when you see the kids light up after a contest or seeing a decoration or special effect thrown into the concert that they didn’t know was going to happen, when you see the director’s relief that he doesn’t have to tackle the mountain of chaos that he inherited alone, when you work together with other parents to build a program for the future Pride of Hennessey Bands, it’s an amazing feeling as a band parent.
Glass Ball #3 Wives Behind the Badge – This is the newest of the glass balls in play. And I want to introduce it by saying this first. Hello, my name is Melisa and I’m the wife of a cop. While you may not appreciate the fact that he wrote you a ticket when you were speeding, or hooked you up on a DUI to not just save others on the road but you as well, keep in mind that just before, he worked a double fatality wreck, did wellness checks on various businesses and the school to make sure they were okay and gives up time with his family to make sure the streets of your community are safe. I am a cop’s wife and I love him, honor his profession and stand behind him 100% of each and every day, of each and every shift and pray that he and his brothers and blue go home to their families at the end of their day. Because of this and knowing the stress, the loneliness and heartache that LEOWs go through on a daily basis, realizing the statistics of how many of our officers are being ambushed and murdered and have to deal with stupid situations that puts them in jeopardy day in and day out made me want to step up as a wife and be there for other wives and their families. To get an area support group going because you never know what is going to happen, when it will happen and if it’s going to happen to you and yours. In trying to do this, at first I hit several dead ends and roadblocks. Then I got smart and sent an email to Chelsea at Wives Behind the Badge asking how to get something started for my area. This set the ball in motion to start an auxiliary chapter of WBTB here in Oklahoma as there wasn’t one currently here. As this is in its infancy stages I am going to be doing a lot of legwork, phone calls and outreach to make this a successful branch of an amazing program that is all about supporting the families of our LEOs.
While I do have other glass balls spinning in the mix, such as Ren Faire, the book I’m working on, fireworks sales this summer, those are three big ones. The three that I will not let sail out the window under any circumstance. They are the three that make up strong threads in the tapestry of my life, defining who I am. WOW, now that is what you call mixing metaphors. 😉 The key to not dropping any of these is time management. It’s something that I’m having to work on diligently to keep the wheel spinning. I want to be able at the end of it all to be able to say that not many of the balls I juggled dropped and shattered. As a phase comes to it’s completion, I want to be able to put them in a shadow box on display for people to look at and learn from. To inspire them and motivate them. To drive them to evaluate and look at the glass balls in their own lives and may they never drop a single one.