They were already done – long over and done, sitting on their beds and staring at me intently…as I pulled out a shoe from my bag.

From the shoe, I pulled out two pairs of socks – and then, from deep in the toe, I pulled out a small bundle of tissue – unwrapped it, and placed some jewelry on the dresser beside my bunk.

“You’re like…Mary Poppins. It just keeps coming!”

I remember her incredulous tone and catching a nod from the other one out of the corner of my eye and I still – even now – feel a ping of pride. I was a damn good packer. And with 3 months in London, I didn’t know what I was up against, so I packed as much of my life as possible (as much as my luggage weight restrictions would allow) and brought it with me. I wanted to be prepared for anything – and I was happy to get a vote of confidence from my new roommates.

That was 2001.

I’ve moved so many times since then, and more often that I care to count (3 addresses in one year…for a couple of different years). Let’s just say, my packing skills have definitely passed their prime.

Here – in my most recent moving adventure – I look around and feel like I’m drowning in the clutter. And instead of feeling prepared, I mostly feel overwhelmed and lost in the congestion. And I’ll try not to repeat any of the words that flash in my mind, and sometimes past my lips, when I bang my shin against a box.

Damn boxes.

But in the chaos, there are moments of Zen. Some planned. Some pleasant surprises.

And it was certainly a pleasant surprise to receive an invite from the North Carolina Bloggers Network to attend Mary Poppins at the North Carolina Theatre. An ironically-timed, pleasant surprise to say the least.

The opportunity includes a +1 – and you know how much I love taking the kid to see live performances. I know that with continued exposure, he’ll find the right fit, and use his passion and creativity to find himself and inspire others.

But I digress (as I usually do when thinking of the kid and his development)…

In this moment of realizing how un-Mary Poppins I’ve been during this move, I get to escape the boxes and the overflow, and just relax and relish in the art and music of a dearly loved story, and a character who inspires me to find the best – find the happy – in the bleak moments.

Photo Credit: Curtis Brown

From the Press Release…

North Carolina Theatre, the region’s premiere nonprofit professional theatre producing Broadway musical revivals, is thrilled to announce the cast of its upcoming summer production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins. Leading the cast in her North Carolina Theatre debut is Broadway sensation Kara Lindsay as everyone’s favorite nanny, Mary Poppins” alongside Nicolas Dromard. NC native Eric Woodall is set to direct with choreography by Ryan Kasprzak. NC Theatre’s production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins will play July 26-31, 2016 at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. Read more.