It's been about a week since I last wrote here, I think the longest I've gone since the new year. It was a challenging week and I'm glad it's over; life lessons and all that. I had the lovely opportunity this afternoon to volunteer at a Highland dance competition. I was actually signed up to compete, originally, but have not been keeping up with practicing or classes at all. Aargh. As my teaching partner says, "My job is getting in the way of my life!" So true, so true. When I made the decision to pull myself from the competition a couple weeks ago, realizing there was no way I'd be ready in time (and, trust me - when you're 30 years old and dancing against nationally ranked 16-year-olds, you *need* to be at the top of your game!) I offered myself up as a volunteer. After all, I had the weekend off, the boys and I weren't traveling to see each other - might as well, right? Gotta get my bagpipe fix somehow!
Several of the board members (who run the competition) made it a point to thank me for volunteering, which I thought was very nice. It was definitely interesting to see how it would be attending a competition where I was not dancing, nor were any of my students (still fantastically fun, in case you were wondering). So then it struck me - the reason I was able to compete at these same competitions, run by the same organization and its (volunteer) board over a decade ago is because people stepped forward and did what needed to be done because they loved Highland dancing. No other reason. Because they loved it. So, while I truly appreciated the kindness and gratitude of the organizers, I must say that they were the ones doing me the favor today - giving me a chance to "pay it forward" to the next generation of dancers who will keep the strength and tradition of Highland dancing alive in the United States. Thanks, y'all.