This year’s Fringe is currently rolling into its sixth day, but for whatever odd circumstance of scheduling my first volunteer shift was not until today. It starts sometime later this afternoon; after I finish my lunch break, after I find my way back to my car, and after I make my way to the grounds.
I haven’t told many people this (with the small exception of those people who actually need to know) but after this, my eighth year of volunteering for the multimedia team, I’m hanging up my photographer’s pass and moving on. What starts later today (for me) and ends sometime on Sunday evening is my last year volunteering with this organization… at least for a while.
As with all these types of transitions, I’ll try my best to be politik and avoid some of the specifics, frustrations and temptations to fling mud that always — invariably, inevitabally, unwaveringly — follows eight years of entrenchment in any position. Instead, I’ll suggest that as I always have tried and succeeded at coping with this kind of drama in years past, and I would have again this year… next year… and the years after that as well, there were some other more positive reasons to bow out gracefully at the end of this season.
As we were reminded while attending Claire’s kindergarten orientation last night, my daughter starts school in two weeks from today. Summer and childhood, it would seem, are in transition, and subsequently Augusts — this, next, and for the next twelve years — just got a lot more precious. Giving up August and rare chunks of holiday time up to various meetings and shifts and… well, it just got old real quickly.
Karin and I were married in August of 2003. Next August is our tenth anniversary. Next August, as tradition might suggest, something special is in order. Begging the night off once again to wander around Whyte Avenue in anticipation of a fancy dinner is great for anniversaries three through nine… but ten? Ten might require some more planning.
And so on.
In a couple hours I’ll be on site once again, revving up for the first (of my last) shift(s) and gleefully snapping photos, chatting with dozens of familiar peoples, and basking in the standard Fringe fare that’s become so routine for so many years. Then in a few more days… and then it will be done. And I will be on to something else, peppered with scattered regrets, pluck full of memories, and most certainly back to watch some shows as the years press on.