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  • Writer's pictureGretchen Klinedinst Furst

dreamcatchers and such

I know. I sort of fell off the blog grid a while ago. That's because I became swamped for a bit. First, swamped in the imaginary world of my kids' play (Shrek Jr.) Then, literally swamped by the soggiest, rainiest, awfulest succession of wet soccer practices, cold games, and tirelessly swampy tryouts. Once soccer finished up, I found myself unexpectedly up to my ears in an elementary school lip sync that needed my help. That, in addition to a few NYC trips and now the summer world of little getaways have kept and continue to keep me busy. And that's OK. Most of my focus typically falls on my children's lives and most of the past few months has involved their joy and their creative and athletic passions.

The above project I made in the 3rd grade. It was what I wanted to be: a performer. It stands on the shelf in my inspiration station. And even though I produced full on musicals, singing, dancing and acting all over my house (a total triple threat performer), a lack of self-confidence kept me from pursuing that dream. The only play I ever performed in was my 6th grade production of Alice in Wonderland. I was the queen. But, the next time I actually stood on a stage to perform in a play, I was 24 years old. It took me that long.

So, what's my point? Well, first off, I think it's important to foster in every child the courage to try new things and follow their bliss. But also, it's never too late. Since beginning my world in the theatre, I've since made it an essential part of my life, teaching drama, performing, volunteering for the past 20 years. I more than made up for lost time. And so can you.

Sometimes it's really hard to remember what we once dreamed for ourselves when careers or kids or life's paths take us on twisting journeys. I'll admit, I've had to work very hard with my family's full support to stay involved in the theatre. I can't perform often, but when I do, my family knows full well what the sacrifices will be. And yet, they applaud and encourage me to do it.

As important as it is to push our children in the direction of what they love and what inspires them, we must also search for those things ourselves. Or what kind of model are we to those who look to us as a guide.

I'm lucky in that my kids share some of my passions as it makes it easier for me to remember mine. We all love the theatre. We all write. We all love to sing. But they have many different and interesting endeavors as well and so do I. The key to keeping your passions alive and seeking out new ones is the same as anything: balance. But in doing so, you remember to feed your own soul as well as those you're raising.

I doubt I'll blog for a while. As a creative, I tend to get over projects and discover new ones with much more zest. So for now, writing my drama class showcase pieces and working on a play are more my focus.

Best wishes remembering to follow what you love!

Gretchen K. Furst 2018

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