The Weather, The Holidays and a Winter Square Dance
I got to kick off my holiday vacation with the KBOO Winter Square Dance. Our own Saturday-morning bluegrass host Dave Elliot and his band Loafer opened, and then we got introduced to square dancing with Paul Silveria and Ebenezer. The Too Loose Cajun Band brought it all home at the end of the night with their performance. Even for a non-dancer like myself, the KBOO square dance was a lot of fun! And it felt inclusive for anyone who showed up. I was talking to one of our board members, Joe Azavedo, about how I’d hoped to stop by the thrift store and pick up some blue jeans and a plaid shirt, but I hadn’t managed due to the weather. He said, “That’s the great thing about a KBOO square dance: You can just come as you are, just be yourself, and fit right in!” It was a great time, raised money for the station and was a fun community event...
Along with the good times at the radio station, it was wonderful to slow down the past couple of weeks thanks to vacation, personal practice, and the beautiful snowstorms. I remember when I started at KBOO ten years ago, we had a couple of months in the winter and a couple more in the summer where the pace let up pretty much station-wide. I was Membership Coordinator back then, so part of it was the membership-drive schedule, but the whole organization had more seasonality. Like so much else about our lives in the “information age“--work seems to have gotten faster and fuller. These days, there seems to be only one season--the busy season. But you know what? We can do something about that.
I had a grant deadline before I left on vacation, and a friend suggested to give myself a lot of “spaciousness” around it. So I blocked out time to work on it, went home after eight hours instead of working until late in the night, followed my breath and relaxed. The FedEx deadline was 3pm on a Wednesday. At 10am, I was still gathering final details (from this month-long project) for the narrative, equipment list and budget. At 11am and noon we were assembling eight copies of the six-panel packets. And then it was done. It would've been easy to stress out, but it was all fun in the end.
I was grateful to the weather--and even to the TV-news "severe weather alert teams"--because all the predictions of bad weather made it easy to go home at 6pm when I could've justified another three or four hours at the computer. Especially coming this time of year, the snow really did help our city slow down, and it made everything quiet and beautiful. Most of us have been fortunate to have electricity through it all, the busses have been running, and the grocery stores are stocked with food. There was a lot to be grateful for and space to appreciate it. From this place, I did my personal work of being present in the moment, following the breath and practicing acceptance.
This kind of personal practices is part of the work that we do here at the station. Because we’re a community organization, it’s important for each of us to consider how our actions and our state of mind help the people inside the station and in our larger community. It’s true that changing the world starts with changing ourselves, and we’re fortunate to be part of a group that really does want to change the world in positive ways.