Are you part of someone’s village? I speak about my village often and I’m incredibly grateful that they are there. The last few days I’ve been getting a chance to reciprocate. It can be challenging at times, but I’m sure it was challenging for my friends when I called in my favors. What cracks me up is when people tell me I have no idea how thankful they are that I was there for them. Do they not know about my life?
In case you don’t, I am a single mom who is an actress and independent producer. You can check me out at http://www.tatianastphard.com and http://www.stlewisproductions.com. I often forget that some of you don’t know me or know about what could be construed as a crazy life. The down side of being an actor is that, if you are lucky, you are often called for last-minute auditions or have long workdays.
My village members know that I might call and ask them to do school pick up the very next day because I have to be in NY for an audition. They are so cool. They don’t even blink anymore. Sometimes they’ll ask what the job is for, but they are almost always down for a pick up. It’s common for me to have a call time (when I need to be on set) of 6:30 am. When child care doesn’t open until 7 am that can be problematic.
I remember this beautiful woman, Justine, who worked the morning shift with us at my old job in NY. We had to be in the briefing room at 5 am. I wasn’t a mom at the time, but I recall she would wake up her son at 3:30 in the morning and take him to her babysitter so he could at least sleep at home. I can’t imagine fighting that battle most mornings and how tired she must have been, yet she was always there and her son was a well-behaved young boy with outstanding grades.
It makes me even more thankful that I’ve only had to drag my little girl out of bed a handful of times to go to work. I get how difficult raising a child alone can be. It’s really hard even if you have two active parents! I appreciate being a trusted member of the village for my friends. When I step up for them, it lets me show them how much I appreciate them and allows me to offer them my support.
It’s really easy to give of yourself when it’s on your own terms, but are you a member of someone’s village. Are you there to answer the call when it’s inconvenient or when you don’t feel like it? Some days I’m the #1 village member – ready to serve, other times I’m the reluctant reciprocator. No matter what, I have the opportunity to continue being a strong participatory member of my friend’s village. It means they trust me with their treasures, which is an honor and a privilege.