A friend sent me a message this morning, only one word, yet it changed the flow of my entire morning from a “Thank God it’s Friday” vibe to a “What exciting things are just over the horizon” kind of vibe. The word: ONWARD. That’s it. One simple little word. Onward.
My response was, “I think that is the perfect theme for the coming week.” Next week is full of endings and beginnings. It is strange (or maybe not) that, as with most things in life, it seems to be feast or famine. Once I started thinking about the flow of next week, I realized it was an opportunity. Instead of stressing out over the myriad of activities, I can allow myself some space to be present for what is to be a shift in my life and others. Allowing myself to experience these blissful moments.
The busyness of next week begins with the Upperclassmen Awards Ceremony at my son’s school. For seven years, I have enjoyed seeing the accomplishments of these dedicated kids, and it seems all too soon that my son, a senior, is now to be honored for his accomplishments. Yet, it is not about being honored as much as it is about what each of these amazing individuals has done over the years to arrive here. It is about who they are. This is but one moment in a lifetime of choices moving them ever onward.
Following the Awards Ceremony are auditions for the fall musical. Two weeks ago, my son performed for the last time on the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons stage, and next week, he will begin assisting with directing the fall show. As it was bittersweet for us to see his last performance, I am in awe of how the program has shaped him these last six years. These past experiences furthered the desire to give back to what has become his drama family. These things wouldn’t have been possible without the people who have inspired him, one of whom is also in the midst of vast change, moving onward.
For the last six years, we have been blessed with the grace of Mr. Adam Biggs. The hats he has worn are too enumerable to list. Regardless of the hat, his actions are dedicated to the betterment of others, whether students, colleagues, or friends. He has been a role model for my son, and I have had the pleasure of working alongside him for 6 years. As he will be moving onward to new beginnings, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons set the stage (pun intended!) for his future successes. I am very grateful to continue to work alongside Adam with the NDBG drama program even though he is moving onward to St. Thomas the Apostle School.
In addition to the new beginnings of our beloved drama program next week, it is also High School Graduation. Once the honors and accolades are presented, I expect a brief ebb in the energy that has infused these last few weeks. All of the effort and hard work for this part of the journey is complete; as the young adults receive their diplomas next Saturday, their dedication to strive for excellence in High School sets the stage for their future endeavors, the past moving us all ever onward.
“The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that ever is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.” ~H.G. Wells
Onward, my friends.
I want to thank Paul O’Brien for his one-word message this morning. Amazing what a simple word can do at the right moment.
Paul is the former English Department Chair at NDBG and an author. His books, such as “Keys on the Road: A Country Boy’s Memories,” can be found at The Open Door book store on Jay Street in Schenectady.