This week has been a whirlwind. Last Friday, I was on a bus to New York City. Usually I take the train, but having spent too much money on theatre tickets lately, I rode the bus. I’ve only done it once before and it wasn’t great. The bus was late, packed, and not very clean. It was a little incongruent with the rosy-cheeked man plastered on the back of the bus.
This last time was a positive experience. The bus was punctual, clean, and dropped me a block from my hotel. Roundtrip, the fare was $48. That’s hard to beat. It takes an hour longer than riding the train, but that’s an extra hour I have to read. In the future, taking the bus more often will also mean more theatre tickets too. It’s a very good trade-off.
In the last ten days, I’ve seen three shows. Next to Normal in DC, and Hamilton and Beetlejuice in NYC. The theatre is my greatest guilty pleasure in terms of spending. Live theatre is like holding a book in your lap, as the characters and set come to life, right before your eyes. Every time I am lucky enough to have a seat to the show, I never fail to be amazed at the sheer volume of talent that exists in this world. From the actors and actresses, to the musicians, to the set and lighting designers and directors. It is a ton of moving and beautiful parts, all choreographed to perfection.
Three shows in four days. Add time spent with great friends, in a great city, and it’s intoxicating. But what goes up, comes down, and I was left spent. (Take the pun, or leave it.) I can’t party how I once did.
I had a lot of other engagements this week with friends as well. I try not to stack my week so full, but I haven’t seen some of these friends in a long time. It is always worth it to make the effort. It sounds melodramatic, but it’s true—no one knows if another chance to get together will arise—it may never, or not for another year, or not for a few years. Time is slippery as an eel, and as unforgiving.
KERNEL OF TRUTH
I woke up every morning this week exhausted, pinned to my sheets. This inevitably led to a long conversation, back and forth in my head, about removing myself from said bed…and going to yoga. I have yet to begin a yoga class grumpy, and leave feeling the same. Yoga has a way of shedding the unnecessary away. This was the winning kernel of truth. Every day I peeled myself from my comfy mattress, grumpy as fuck, and pulled on my tights. My advocator for laziness, ironically, doesn’t give up talking its smack, until I have both feet planted on the other side of my front door.
My brother sent me a quote this morning. It said, “Motivation is a mood, discipline is a habit.” I laughed at its relevancy, especially this morning. When I walked outside the studio it…was…pouring, like the rinse cycle of an automatic car wash. I walked the mile to work in a metropolitan monsoon.
“What’s a mile?” you ask. You’re right. A mile isn’t long or hard, but it is seriously un-fun in a downpour. I had prepared for rain, not a down pour. My Blundstones became fish bowls of sloshing, salty water. Well beyond its point of saturation, my raincoat melted against my skin like paper-maché with glue on one side.
I’ve called myself “a walking pantry” before, commuting to work, and it was true today. All of my clothes for work, my lunch, etc. were tied off in plastic bags and thrown together in the tote I carry over my shoulder. By the time I reached my office, my dripping tote a welterweight, I was laughing at the ridiculousness. Holding on to the front doors of our building, I kicked one foot at a time, up to my butt, to let the water run out of my boots.
I’ve been reading Stephen King’s On Writing. It is such a great read. I’m not a huge fan of his, not because he’s not a good writer, but because I don’t normally seek out scary material, books or movies, which his collection falls under. I saw The Shining, once.
It scared the shit out of me.
I saw Pet Cemetery, too. And you know that old cliché: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I’ve stopped torturing myself. These days, real life is scary enough. I don’t need to spoon another helping onto my plate by signing up for it.
On Writing, however, could almost be considered a memoir, with advice on writing added to it. I enjoyed learning about Stephen’s past and his journey to authorship. I appreciated his explanation on what inspires his creation of scary thrillers. His words convey he is humble and just as human—prone to mistakes—like the rest of us, despite all of his success.
This is one of my favorite quotes in the book:
“Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.”
I laughed when I read it. It sounded so official. I thought it was great advice for dealing with just about everything.
I would like to add to it: “Laughing is a perfectly legitimate response to adversity.”
Like dumping the swampy foot water out of my Blundstones.
Laughing, not crying, holds more possibilities. Even if you look a little crazy at the time. Being an optimist when facing failure, (maybe you’re even having a bit of a laugh then, too), opens yourself to options you may not even be aware of, whereas laying down on your sword does not.
Tomorrow I head out to Houston for a little family time. Tonight is my one night with Russ, who I haven’t seen very much of this week.
He is one very patient man.
I told him I missed him and will miss him all over again this weekend. He said, “Well Sweetie, we can’t miss each other if we never spend any time apart.”
I nodded, mulling over this wisdom.
“Wait…” I said. “That’s my line!!”
It’s true. It is.
Did we just become Russifer???
WORDS TO LIVE BY
As everyone embarks on their weekend, doing whatever it is they’ve scheduled themselves to do, think about this:
“Try any goddamn thing you like, no matter how boringly normal or outrageous. If it works, fine. If it doesn’t, toss it.”
—Stephen King, On Writing
He might be referring to writing, but it applies to life as well.
Get on with it.