Monday, January 04, 2016

Swimming downstream...

I feel strange today.  New Year's Day arrived on a Friday, so today- Monday, is my first real "back to work" day.  I don't have any auditions (yet) for today, and when that happens, my "work" for the day usually consists of:

  • life-management tasks (paying bills, cleaning up, etc.)
  • LOOKING for work (researching what new shows and films are in production, which ones tickle my fancy, who's casting them, and how do I get to work on them)
  • being ready for quick turn-around auditions (i.e. "can you be in Santa Monica in 2 hours" or "put yourself on tape today for this 8-page script that I'm about to send to you")
Also, this is the first "back to work" day for most people, so I'm likely to receive more calls, messages, texts, emails, tweets, comments... WHATEVER- that I am expected to respond to.


For the past decade, this has meant that I always have to be "at attention" - plugged in & ready at a moment's notice to deliver what needs delivering.*

The stress of the last year and a half (or so) has taught me that I am not a robot, and that I need to be more patient with myself and actually RELAX.  It may take me longer to boot-up from a relaxed position when called upon, but I'll do the very best that I can, and that will have to be good enough.

Sometimes the answer will have to be "No, I can't do that in 2 hours but I can do it in 3."  Or relying on my reps to do their jobs (they are all truly wonderful & quite competent), while I stop flipping over stones for a day so I can take a siesta or tend to my garden.

Burn-out is the alternative.  I've known (and written about) this, but it has take much longer for me it to crystalize into emotional understanding so that I can figure out how to implement change.  All work & no play makes Nicole a crazy girl.  And not "good crazy," either.

I'm seeing & hearing all of these "helpful hints" about being more productive in 2016, and it makes me feel like I'm going in the wrong direction, but I know it's just the pull of habit.  The little voice that whispers in my ear reminds me to "Go placidly amidst the noise and haste..."

And, of necessity, I'm creating the NEW habit of trusting it.

It may be little, but it knows LOTS of useful stuff.

("It" just smiled & told me to stop calling her an "it.")

Duly noted.

--Nicole

*Seriously - take a moment to feel what it feels like to be "at attention" and waiting for something important to happen.  And waiting. Ready.  And worrying about what form it will take.  And being as perfectly ready as you can to cover all bases.  And that "something" never calls before it comes, so you stay at attention & keep waiting, and wondering, and worrying... because you know it will come, and if you miss it the results will be at least unpleasant.  And it will all be because you weren't ready.

How does that feel to you?

This is what my anxiety feels like.  And this is what happens when I allow my ego to "protect" me.

It ain't workin' no more.

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