Something was set in motion today at around 2:30 AM after ending a call with the gf and I’m not sure I quite understand it yet. I’d just made the decision to commit to helping out to make an upcoming graduation surprise more of a reality. I jumped into action immediately with a half hour call to the partner-in-crime who’d come to me with the idea earlier in the week, to catch up on what I’d missed while AWOL this week. Now I’ve drafted a plan for who I’ll be calling in the morning and what needs to be done so that we can make this surprise actually happen.

Groups of people to be coordinated. Pieces of information–like whether the target of our surprise might be busy at the intended showtime–that we need to know. And several dance pieces to (re)learn, all in the span of perhaps two weekends. This is all a familiar situation. But this time I’m wondering. Am I really helping out by jumping (back) in? Is my particular brand of productivity/organization needed or helpful? What would happen if I wasn’t here? Of course this event would roll on merrily without me (maybe not quite as merrily, of course). I wonder as to what I bring to this situation aside from my presence, which the gf believes is a large part of the point.

Am I doing the right thing for the wrong reasons? The wrong thing for the right reasons? The wrong thing for the wrong reasons? The gf’s viewpoint is that this endeavor is appropriate to show our appreciate for someone who’s had an impact on our lives. I don’t dispute that our group has had an impact on me; but I understand that in large part the group impacted on me because I had also impacted it. I’ve put in time and effort demonstrating that appreciation in various events. So what is it this time that’s different, that has me considering the ramifications of my actions here?

On the reasons why this may be the right thing to do: this is a surprise short dance set for the most influential captain of the troupe to celebrate his long-awaited graduation from the banks. We’re friends. We’ve together, to varying degrees, helped transition the troupe’s culture from group to family. Likely no one is more iconic of the group than he, and he would likely enjoy this small token of our appreciation.

On the opposing side are certain costs, which appear at initial estimate to be 6 hours of driving over three days, around 8 hours of dance practicing for perhaps two days, and perhaps another 2 hours of estimated organization time. Hmm so around 16 hours? I wonder if this estimate is larger or smaller than what the truth will be. This is more than a half day’s time spent for a few minutes of performance in tribute and appreciation. This is first time spent, and simultaneously time not being invested in career development, personal development, steps toward understandings that I can’t wait to achieve. 

What could a few hours here matter and why haven’t I cared as much about my time before? Haha. This has been the year where I’ve paid most attention to how my time is being used, and this has been the year where I’ve accomplished the most intentionally. Now yes, one may notice that this endeavor could potentially fall under my “Growing The Family” area of attention of my 2013 goals. And I certainly don’t know the impact that this will have in the future; it’s completely possible that during the course of this work that other interesting and serendipitous things will happen. I will guarantee here that should all this planning go as expected, I will be encouraging and inducing serendipitous things. Practicing charisma. Renewing and strengthening other relationships. I will progress on my goals one way or another.

It’s interesting that this matter was set in motion by the gf. I like her loyalty and sense of appreciation; what I don’t know is if this participation is misplaced for me. She sees me as a part of the history of the group’s transformation that ought also take part. Should my participation be the same if I was affected differently or to a different degree? What obligation do I have here? Yes, I helped spur this project forward at the onset, but I’d had second thoughts when I considered the amount of time this would absorb combined with my priorities for this year. Yes, my relationships are a priority. Hmm, what about with people who aren’t that great about keeping up with me? Well, how interested am I in growing, renewing, continuing, our relationship? Hmm, how much time is too much time spent on unfocused relationship development? What is the one thing I can do for my graduating friend such that if I do it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary? I don’t have an answer for that.

Some lessons I”m already learning here have to do with the importance of better understanding my own thoughts toward obligation toward others. I see another reminder of one of the things I bring to a group: some greater organization, structure and efficiency with a quirky flair. I see a decision that I will consider again shortly; not to change it but to understand why I’ve made the decision I did. 

Whatever discomfort I’m feeling will pass soon, because whatever happens, I’ll be rewriting it so that I grow. And you know what? This choice does make for the better story. Assuming this is all happening for a reason, how will I choose to grow from this?


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