I tried something I’ve never tried before, and I posted a one-question survey on Facebook asking for your vote on what post to share this Friday. And you surprised me with your results.
Freewriting! By George, you wanted freewriting! So, freewriting you shall get, my dears.
Five Minute Friday
It has actually been nearly a year since my last Five Minute Friday post, and I was eager to bring it back today. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this series, here’s a quick run-down of how it works:
- Five Minute Friday was started by blogger, Lisa-Jo Baker, and each week, she provides a new topic on which to write. This week’s topic is grateful.
- You set a timer and write for five minutes only. No more. No less.
- This is freewriting, which means there’s no stopping, no going back, no editing. (Scary, I know.)
- She invites you (yes, you!) to participate and then link up your post at her blog. You can read all about it by visiting here.
As someone who relishes in the writing process, but is painstakingly slow about it, I find Five Minute Fridays to be simultaneously terrifying and liberating. (Like most worthwhile endeavors.) And so, here I go again.
This week is teacher appreciation week, you know. I’ve been blessed with many teachers who have helped to shape me into who I am today. Teachers who have changed me for the better. But I’d like to focus on just one of those teachers today. After all, I only have five minutes. Ack! Scratch that. Now, I only have four. Her name: Pat Rinello.
Rinello was my high school theatre teacher, and yes, we called her Rinello. Just like she called all of us by our last names, as though we were teammates hollering across a sports field. And in many ways, that’s exactly what our musicals were like: she worked us like we were training for the Olympics. Expecting more from us than we knew we were capable of. Pushing us harder than we ever thought we could handle.
I remember when one of our ensemble song-and-dance numbers from Once Upon a Mattress was painfully low on energy, she actually left the building and made us run-through it 10 times until she could hear our singing from the auditorium stage vibrating through the glass outside. We were tired. Exhausted. But it was Rinello. And she demanded the best. So, we worked our tails off to give her our best. And when she finally could hear our voices loud and strong, she bounded through those doors and down the aisle, screaming, “Yes! Yes! That’s it! Did you feel it? Did you feel that energy? Now you can never go back. Never deliver less.”
And we didn’t.
And I grew up. I became a theatre teacher, too. I yearn to instill in my students the same belief she instilled in us. The same drive. And every opening night of every show I direct, I have to make one phone call. To one lady. Who forever altered the course of my life. Pat Rinello. And every time, she picks up. And I hear that warm, familiar voice I love so well. And we laugh and share about how grateful we are to get to work with some of the best kids on earth. Doing one of the best jobs on earth. (Though I suppose we might be a bit biased.)
I should tell you there are tears streaming down my face after writing this. It seems that whenever I sit down to write about Rinello and the impact she had on my life, I crumble into a weepy mess.
Dear reader, is there anyone in your life who does that to you? Moves you to tears because the gratitude in your heart for them just wells up and overflows?
If that’s the case and even if it’s not, I encourage you to take five minutes to write about them. Someone for which you are grateful. Maybe even write a letter TO them. And then, share it with them. I’m going to do that with Rinello: call her up because it has been over a year now since I’ve directed a musical, and we are long overdue for a catch-up.
Plus, expressing your gratitude will make you a happier person (between 4% – 19% more happy). It’s scientifically proven. And if you don’t believe me, you’ve gotta watch this Soul Pancake video. I really love it; in fact, I love it so much, I shared it here before in one of my Friday Fives. But it bears sharing again.
And if any of you decide to jump on the “Five Minute Friday” train and link up at Lisa-Jo Baker.com, let me know! I’d love to read your grateful story.
Speaking of grateful…I’m grateful for you, dear reader. Thanks for taking the time to read my short story today. Just as is the case with live theatre, the work really finds its true meaning in having an audience.
Here’s a look back at past Five Minute Fridays…