Thursday, October 07, 2010

Stress Ball

Grand Central Light Fixture
Grand Central Light Fixture

Holy heckaroni, peeps, I'm a tightly-wound ball of stress right now.

I thought last week was epic in its scope - the highs, the lows, the in-betweens - the manic flux betwixt them.1

There was a show I was in and a show I saw; there was an appointment, a party, an out-of-town guest; there were plane tickets booked, and bacon for breakfast; there was an interview, and classes; there were emails sent, and dogs seen, and Scrabble played; there was a surprise encounter with a half-naked person in my bathroom (of which I will say no more).  Plus I spent 50 hours workin' for The Man.  Plus I spent who-knows-how-many hours researching Eastern Europe for my upcoming trip2. It was a full week, shall we say. 

This week, I was expecting to get caught up on things, but instead I feel farther behind.  My To-Do list has a To-Do list, my mind keeps restlessly spinning, and there are Post-It note reminders to myself everywhere.

I had Improv class last night and I didn't want to go.  I had a bad attitude - partly owing to new theater blues (I miss my old, comfortable, familiar theater!) and partly because I just felt like I had TOO MUCH going on, TOO MUCH to accomplish, in TOO SHORT a time frame.  I had NO TIME for class.

But I showed up anyways, and you know what?  It went ok. My classmates were friendly.  My teacher gave good notes.  We even played two games that were new to me: one called "Mission Impossible" and one called "Let's F*** With The Baby" (of which I will say no more).  Class was fun.  And about half-way through the evening, I realized that my mind wasn't relentlessly spinning, I had stopped mentally creating To-Do lists, I had blocked out everything but what was happening before me in that studio space.

And then I remembered one of the reasons I love Improv: it helps me be present.  For the three hours each week that I am in class, I am not thinking about the rest of my week.  I am not thinking about work, I am not mourning what's missing in my life, I feel no guilt for being unable to remember the last time I went to the gym.  I block all that out.  I check the stress ball at the door.  Time stops.  I'm present.  And I get to

New theater, old theater, it's still the same: Improv is a much-needed play-date with myself.  And I can MAKE TIME for that.

Now back to my To-Do list(s)...

1 Betwixt? That's a word? I can use it? Yes.

2 Don't cry for me, Argentina, I'm not looking for pity 'cause I'm stressed about planning a vacation.  We should all have such problems.  Just explaining my head space coming into this week.

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