acting · balance · change · grief · priorities

Sword of Awareness.




Yesterday morning, I was on the phone with a mentor of mine,
talking about how busy I am, and how bone-weary I am as a result. Sure, busy
with good things. That’s what I tell people at the “How was your weekend?”
congenial Monday-morning chat. “It was busy, but busy with good things.” So that,
of course, makes it okay.
My mentor asked me why I thought I was so busy – and I know, and have known, the answer: TIME.
Damacles’ sword. The tale of the king(?) who had a sword
suspended over his throne, he sat and ruled from under the constant threat of
annihilation, never knowing if it ever would indeed fall.
How do you live from that place? Certainly, we all are
living under that sword. Some of us are more aware of it than others.
Sometimes I hear people talk about things they’ll do when
they’re old, or older. Things like travel, or tell their grandkids, or when
they retire. All of these future plans, all under an assumption of life. All
under a naïve assumption that life will be there when they get there.
Ignorance sure is bliss. Because when I listen to them
say this, my heart steels and in my head I say, “Maybe.” By which I know I mean,
loathe though I am to admit it to you, “Maybe, or you could be dead.”
So, TIME. I am so very busy, because I don’t believe there
is enough time for me to be The Great And Powerful Molly that I want to be.
This wasn’t a cancer-causation. I felt this way long before cancer, that I have
missed the bus on things, or that I just know there are so many things I want
to do, I lament how to do them all – while I’m alive.
Cancer just rubbed rock salt into the wound. Brought my attention to a pin-prick of the value of life. And cancer has made me a little sour on others’ assumptions that it will be there.
Hence, my goal to prioritize. What is important now? What can’t wait? What feeds me the most, brings me
the most joy, is a 5 on a joy-scale of 1 – 5?
That’s what my friends and I spoke about yesterday morning,
after I got off the phone with my mentor. As I’d said, I wanted to get help
with how to prioritize the bevy of interests I have. And, we did. We
talked about a lot. I cried a little. I got to see how fear, rather than joy,
is motivating many of my projects.
And they told me it was okay. I’m allowed to feel frightened and desperate if that’s what I’m feeling. I’m allowed to feel sorrow over the uncertainty of it all. I’m allowed to feel a sour-green envy of those not aware of the sword, and I’m allowed to feel self-righteous over them, too. But, I’m allowed to not feel this way also.
They charged me with the task of focusing on
one interest, if only for one week. We created a “time plan,” sort of like the
kind of money spending plan I have each month. It’s a goal, it’s an allotment
of values. Everything is a choice, even paying rent. If I’m willing to accept
the consequences of not paying rent,
sure I could not pay it. But I’m not!
Performance, acting, right now, came up as a higher priority
than anything I’m currently involved in. Though painting was the only thing
that earned a 5 (though, I imagine, mostly because I’m not engaged in it at all
right now).
This value judgment will have consequences. It means the
reduction and phasing out of other things I’m involved in. AND, it’s only a
guide, this new time plan. That’s the important thing for me to remember. It
can change. And if I have more time for rest and centering, there may be more
ease to do other things.
When we plugged in “Acting Activities” (e.g. researching
roles, practicing monologues, etc.) as the only creative activity this week, I could feel my hackles rise: “But what
about painting??” My two friends encouraged me to just try this, just for one
week, just to see how it feels.
If my goal is to “Focus, Prioritize, and Follow-through,”
this is their suggestion. It’s just a trial. How does it feel to commit to one thing fully — oh my G-D –
Oh Lord, grant me strength to focus… to (gulp) commit. (shiver)
Because though the sword be there for all of us, for me, I have learned
that racing to it all is wasting my time. I’m not getting better at any of my interests, because I’m not spending
…committed… time on them.
It is an imperative in my life to use my time efficiently.
And this is an avenue I’ve never tried before. 
Results: TBD. 

abundance · life · order · priorities · vision

The Good News

The good news is that I’m alive, so I can accomplish all the
things I’d like to. In order, and in “the Universe’s” time.
Here is a list of creative projects and endeavors I’m
involved in at the moment:
  • Playing
    Bass in a band in SF 
  • Memorizing
    and practicing audition pieces
  • Looking
    up and applying to new casting calls
  • Sourcing
    a photographer for a new headshot
  • Submitting
    myself to modeling agencies
  • Writing
    new songs
  • Forming
    a new band in the East Bay
  • Practicing
    jazz and blues standards with the keyboardist from the first band, in
    order to busk in BART stations (ostensibly eventually in actual lounges)
  • Sourcing
    a voice teacher
  • Taking
    an acting class
  • Writing
    my blog

Here is a list of creative projects and endeavors that I
have on back burners:
  • Actually practicing the bass 
  • Learning the piano
  • Writing
    and developing my musical about race
  • Painting! (and sourcing an art studio — don’t do oils in your kitchen, kids)
  • Developing
    a “home organizing” on-the-side business
  • Gardening
    (learning to)
  • Learning
    to sew
  • Re-developing
    my creativity workshop
  • Reorganizing
    my closet (yes, that’s creative!) 
  • Fixing the brakes on my bike and learning to ride again.

Not to mention the commitments I have outside of my regular
work hours, including some personal inventory writing that I’ve been stuck on
for months. Plus the daily things we all need to do, like eat, shower, grocery
shop, cook food, spend time with my neglected cat. Let’s throw in “dating,” just to
make it a maelstrom.
So… I’m tired.
And I sometimes try to counter this fatigue by watching several
hours of Netflix when I come home, which means that all of the above things get
pushed back and I feel even more crunched and overwhelmed.
So, today, I’m meeting with two friends to talk about my
priorities. I know I wrote about this earlier this week or last, and now I’m
putting action to it. I have no idea how to juggle it all, and so balls get
dropped, and things important to me get shuffled down the calendar like a
shuffle-board puck. Clean cups move down no room at the inn tomorrow and
tomorrow and tomorrow.
Because SOME of these things are meant to be focused on NOW.
And some are allowed to be worked on later.
Someone once told me I can’t do everything, and I nearly
lost it. She clarified and said, “You can’t do everything all at once.” Phew, okay.
I WANT to do it all. But, am I meant to? Who knows. I do
know that I’m not meant to do it all at once.
It’s like shoving a spoonful of every part of your meal into
your mouth at once. It doesn’t work, and you end up choking on a chocolate chip with gravy on your shirt.
BUT, if I take a bite in order and with precision, focus,
and priority, then I have a chance of not only enjoying the meal of life,
savoring what’s happening, and appreciating the company I keep, but this order and
priority will allow me to digest it all slowly enough to create room for
dessert. And by dessert, I mean sex.