Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sometimes, Big Things

Most things I write about are little things. No, really, they are. I say that in plainspoken earnestness, not as a martyr or moper. They are important to me, my family, and a few others. They will never affect the outcomes of global events, nor will my little words influence ideological trends. I'm totally fine with that. I promise I am not trying to be dramatic or silly. I have little ambition for big things. But sometimes they happen anyway.

This week, I'm in Denver, CO recording a video class that will be part of the Craftsy collection of online education. Check them out. They're a major player in the craft and maker world. It's actually quite big. An amazing privilege. An exciting development for my already pretty great work life. An admittedly awesome prelude to the beginning of my 50th year.

I'm trying to identify the feelings I had today as the many weeks of preparation went from abstract to very real as I entered the studio. I'm all about the feelings, so it helps me understand things if I analyze them a little bit.
  • Vulnerable. Yes, that one surprised me, but it's true. I'm on camera. Everyone in the room is watching me and what I do. While I realize it's not really personal to the producer, cameraman and editor in the room who watch people do this every day; it was very personal to me as I became the focus of everyone's attention and effort. Usually I'm the behind-the-scenes helper because I like it that way. I like being the engine, the mover, the support. This week, I was the one being helped, looked after, and given encouragement. I was definitely not invisible and it was strange and wonderful. And scary. 
  • Incredulous. Every time I would finish a take and my producer would lift her fist into the air and tell me that was a cut with no pickups (re-dos) needed, I couldn't believe it. I'm teaching only with an outline, not a full script, so sometimes I would become nearly unaware of the words coming out of my mouth and would feel certain I'd need to do that bit again. I still don't quite believe it's going to be awesome, and in a few months, you may come to agree with me. But, the stakes are higher for the folks making the videos than they are for me, so I suppose I must believe that I really am doing enough that the final effort
    will reflect as well on their expertise as mine. 
  • Relieved. The last few months have had the preparations for this class nearly constantly on my mind, overlaid by Sam's wedding and my road trip west. There have been hours of work to do on many of those days, including some Skype and telephone meetings in hotels along I-70, and there were minutes when the effort of thinking through exactly how to show something or explain it on camera (it's such a different process than teaching a regular class) made me feel so thick, I wanted to change my mind and tell them they had the wrong middle-aged woman. But now, that part is done. There will be new responsibilities when the class opens, but right now, I feel like one challenge is met. 

Today was day two of the shoot, and yes, some things were easier by virtue of the second time around. In the meantime, I've had some great food (um, chocolate mousse? yes please), found a possible new favorite shop for yarns and fabrics in the entire world, and made a new friend.  No, this class still won't affect the outcome of global events, nor will it influence ideological trends, but it's the farthest I've ever gone into the larger world and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity. Tomorrow we wrap up, and I'll try to relax the muscles holding up my neck just a tiny bit more, make my smile a little more genuine, and have as much fun as I can. Oh, and see as many sunsets over the Rockies as I possibly can, thank you very much.


  1. So happy and beamish for you! PS Stephen Fry was a hit. He took us west across 90. :)

  2. Wow. That IS big! Congratulations!


Thank you for sharing your insights!