Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Sunny and cold
The show was fine on Monday night, although everyone’s sick and worn out from the crazy schedule. I got home late, because there was a train problem, and it seemed as though I’d barely gone to sleep when the alarm sounded and it was time to haul out of bed and get back on the train.
Yesterday was a long day – a double, eight-hour day call and then a show. It was fine. I’m just tired. But everyone’s tired – and they have a double show day today and another double show day tomorrow. It’ll be a miracle if anyone is left standing by New Year’s Eve.
It also pointed out, in even starker contrast, that I need to speed to transition along and be out of the theatre in less than three years. It’s been my whole life for twenty-four years, so it’s a very painful realization. But, although I am conscientious about my work and take pride in it, I don’t have the passion for it that I once had.
I discussed the situation with a friend of mine, explaining how I no longer have the physical or emotional stamina to do theatre – even swing work is taking a heavier toll than it should. He said something interesting: “Of course you have the stamina. You’ve simply chosen to channel it into the writing.” That’s an interesting perspective.
He also pointed out that it’s better to realize that the passion is gone while the ability is still there than to find out that the passion continues but the ability has waned. Being a pro athlete, that’s something he may have to face in the future.
I tend to be very emotionally vulnerable anyway at this time of the year – from directly after Christmas until about mid-January. I know the events that are the root of it, but I have yet to find a cure. Last year, I thought that going out on the road with a show would keep me busy enough to be a cure, and it had the opposite effect. So, this year I’m staying close to home and playing it all close to the vest. I’m keeping my inner circle twined closely around me and protecting myself as best I can.
Yoga Journal’s December issue had some interesting suggestions. Unfortunately, I didn’t take note of the article’s name or author, so I’m paraphrasing, and I apologize. But the suggestion was to set up “possibilities” instead of “expectations” that are bound to fail, and to “respond” rather than “react” to the world around you. Those phrases resonated within me, and I want to think about them for awhile and see how to apply them.
The Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions are turning out to be scarier and more demanding than I expected. I wonder if it’s because I’m making it public instead of keeping it private? That may be part of it, but articulating a plan that can work is more frightening than coming up with a list of Resolutions that can’t possibly be met.
I have more musings, but there’s work to be done first. I’m going to do another rewrite of the article for About.com and send it off; there are serials to be written, the Lindisfarne article to be worked on, outlines to spin out.
The emotional malaise is threatening to turn physical (like a cold), so I’m taking my vitamins and herbal concoctions. I’ll be spending most of the next few days with a friend and don’t want to be sick.
I’d have a crisis of confidence about my writing work, but I simply don’t have the time. Doing the actual work is far more important than moaning about insecurities, most of which have no basis in fact. I can’t waste time in self-indulgence right now.
One of the more entertaining pastimes in the past couple of days, as I walked to and from the theatre, was to browse in bookstores and imagine how I’ll use my gift card. Will it be Will in the World or Ellis’s new biography of George Washington or a novel that catches my eye? The choices are delicious.
The burn is healing much better and faster than it would if I’d gone to the ER. New skin is forming, it’s remained sterile, and I think there will only be minimal scarring. It’s stopped the constant, gnawing pain and now itches, which is a good sign.
My next kitchen will be big enough so that I can actually stand in front of the stove when I’m pulling dishes out or pushing them in to the oven, not wrapped around the side of it the way I have to do it now.