November 30, 2016
Leading Into the Administrative Meeting
Emerging From the Darkness
During Jonathan and Sherri’s weekly Tuesday meeting (Nov 29), Jonathan had his first opportunity in what felt like forever to process the extraordinary experiences of the last few weeks.
The severity of Eliza’s illness required Jonathan and his wife Rhonda to devote themselves to her round-the-clock-care. Rhonda was unable to work for a week while Jonathan could not teach his classes at Purchase or attend Second Story rehearsals. In fact, they had to eliminate nearly every other responsibility to fully focus on Eliza’s recovery. Jonathan’s description of this period of time evoked images of being trapped in a deep black hole; the world shrank to the single task of Eliza’s care. In this way, life’s usual pressures were temporarily suspended. Interestingly, this allowed Jonathan and Rhonda to let themselves “flow” with the experience instead of drowning in it.
Nevertheless, Jonathan still felt guilty about missing several Purchase classes. He worried about the impact his absence would have on both his students and the administration. Moreover, he felt disconnected and out of shape. To add insult to injury, Jonathan discovered that none of his students received his emails alerting them to his absences and assigning them a paper. Not surprisingly, this situation exacerbated Jonathan’s guilt and anxiety.
The light at the end of the tunnel came in the form of a long-planned trip to visit Rhonda’s parents in Georgia for Thanksgiving. Knowing that Edgar and Eliza were having a great time in their grandparents’ care, Jonathan and Rhonda could finally let go – and promptly became sick themselves! Thankfully, they could rest and focus on their own recovery.
This reprieve also enabled Jonathan and Rhonda to discuss potential professional development options and evaluate their implications. The process was both exciting and nerve-wracking.
Tolerating Conflicting Needs
Jonathan continues to struggle with a fundamental conundrum at this stage of his life: the demands of full-time parenting dictate the parameters of his artistic projects – few in number, small in scale, limited in scope. At the same time, his creative desires and ambitions pull him in the opposite direction – many in number, large in scale, grand in scope. These conflicting needs have him riding a virtual pendulum swinging back and forth. As if on cue, the pendulum moves to the minimalist side every time another logistical challenge arises. Jonathan becomes overwhelmed thinking about the time and energy required to meet the challenge, knowing he has no surplus of either time or energy. Consequently, his instinct is to retreat. Whatever precarious balance he previously maintained is now thrown off. Moreover, it is hard to get his bearings when he feels his roles and circumstances are not clearly defined.
November 30th Administrative Meeting
Meeting at Jonathan’s house (finally germ-free), the team revels in our fundraising success so far! As we have already surpassed our $5000 goal – and the donations are still pouring in, we are extending the Indiegogo campaign for another month.
We can’t get too carried away, though; there’s still work to be done! Accounting and tax-related tasks are divided among the group. Focusing on the admittedly tedious work is a bit challenging as we repeatedly jump up to change diapers, soothe boo-boos, avert falls and crashes, and feed Sebastian and Eliza. Fortunately, preparing donor acknowledgment letters feels less stressful than soliciting funds!
During the final portion of the meeting, Jonathan and Sherri revise the documentation of last week’s rehearsal and brainstorm about the final correspondence of the campaign.
Sherri Muroff Kalt, founder of Process Portraits, LLC and author of Portrait of an Artistic Journey: The Creative Process in Real Life Context, is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Duke University with a B.A. in psychology. She began her career in marketing and sales in New York City with L’Oréal, Monet Jewelers, and Givenchy. READ MORE