What I would like to be doing: catching up on episodes of Revenge. Eating my weight in ice cream. Working off the ice cream by doing Yoga or something else that might make me feel strong and healthy and be able to stop my brain from doing the Neurotic Tango when the lights go out - three things I haven't felt or done in a long time.
What I am doing instead: memorizing lines for the show I'm in once a month; memorizing lines for my acting class; memorizing lines for the web-series I'm co-starring in and shooting almost every weekend day (which means I haven't had a proper weekend in a month, as I work Monday through Friday, then shoot 8 am to 8 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, then go back to work on Mondays); memorizing ASL signs for the ASL class I'm in (my final was last night, and I passed with flying colors); and doing production work (putting together call sheets, call times, time schedules, etc) for the web-series I'm also acting in. I also just got elected to the Board of my church, as its youngest member. Oh, and hey, I'm also planning my wedding.
Color me overwhelmed. With what feels like permanent marker.
So here's a list of things that have got me through the past few weeks.
- I've started leaving my office during lunch. Instead of sitting at my desk and eating in front of the soft, romantic glow of my computer screen, and occasionally working during my lunch (answering phone calls, responding to the boss' needs, checking work email), one day I just walked out of the damn building with my food and a book and found a quiet place to sit and read while I ate. And it was the best lunch hour of my life. So I did it again the next day, and the next. I can't tell you how much it's improved my sanity to eat while no one is bothering me, and to eat outdoors. It's like getting a high-five from the universe every single day.
- This line by Mary Oliver, which pretty much has become my dictum for life: "Pay attention.
Be astonished. Tell about it.” Just about every thing Mary Oliver writes comes down to attention, so much so that she compares it to prayer on numerous occasions. And whenever things suck in my life, it's usually because I'm not paying attention to what really matters, to being in the moment and instead I'm elsewhere, distracted, half-assing it. It's the Kairos moment I talked about as my new year's theme and it's where the root of my spirituality lies and every second I am kind to myself or to someone else (which is by far the most important thing on this planet), it's because I was finally paying attention.
- An interactive photograph of the entire universe. It's not fake, it's not Photoshop. It's the deepest photograph of the universe as we know it yet, and when things get stressful I literally just go to the website and tilt up the picture 90 degrees so that it feels like I am lying on my back, staring up at stars. It works wonders.
- Realizing my ego does not go gently into that good night, and reciting this line over and over again to counteract the loudness of its tantrums: "Do you value your reasons for staying small more than the light shining through the open door?"(source here)
- Following this guy on Twitter. He also wrote a book. Sample dictionary definition of his: "Between, prep.: I live in the area bounded by my expectations and my disappointments."
- Buying tickets to not one but TWO Hollywood Bowl shows this year: Pixar in Concert in August and Florence + the Machine in early October.
- Oh and: fresh strawberries, naps, back rubs from my favorite guy, engagement parties, flip-flop weather, Mother's Day picnics, ice cold pink lemonade, frozen yogurt, clean sheets, too much poetry, letting it go, letting it go even more, and gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.