August 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Today I rode down in the elevator of my building with a delivery guy who’d been bringing lunch to my neighbor. Looking into my stroller he asked, “Is that your baby?”
“I have . . .”
“You have a baby?”
“Wow! Boy or girl?”
“Boy.” He had his head in his blackberry. A pause. And then he showed me: a photo of him holding his little boy on his knee, both smiling.
“He looks like you,” I said.
“Yes.” He beamed.
Six floors. Human connection. Hard to ask for more than that from an elevator ride.
August 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
Over the weekend I had an audition. Atypically and inexplicably I got really stressed out about it. I was right for the part, I was prepared . . . what was my problem? The audition went fine. I left and stressed out even more, picking apart the experience.
Many of us believe that when we feel down, we should try to focus inwardly and evaluate our feelings and our situation in order to attain self-insight and find solutions that might ultimately resolve our problems and relieve unhappiness. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, I, and others have compiled a great deal of evidence challenging this assumption. Numerous studies over the past two decades have shown that to the contrary, overthinking ushers in a host of adverse consequences: It sustains or worsens sadness, fosters negatively biased thinking, impairs a person’s ability to solve problems, saps motivation, and interferes with concentration and initiative. Moreover, although people have a strong sense that they are gaining insight into themselves and their problems during their ruminations, this is rarely the case. What they do gain is a distorted, pessimistic perspective on their lives.
(here is the link to the full blog post on the subject)
I had, indeed, been guilty of overthinking both before and after my audition. Not helpful and certainly not conducive to the joy I like to feel (and generally do feel) when I get to participate in my career – in this case, by going on an audition.
It’s a good reminder in general. Sometimes I feel like I have to suffer in order to demonstrate to the universe how badly I want/am working towards something. I’m pretty sure the suffering actors aren’t the ones getting the parts.
August 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
The other night I had a pang of missing life pre-baby. Mostly what I was missing was my giving my husband my undivided attention and vice versa (and a little bit going out to dinner on a more casual basis).
Tonight my husband’s off on a man date seeing a friend’s show (it’s my turn Wednesday) and I’m feeling some nostalgia for my single days.
It was great to be single and I’ll be really happy when my husband comes home tonight.
It was great to be just a couple but I’m looking forward to seeing my little guy when he wakes up in the morning.
August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
I was pointed to this essay, What My Son’s Disabilities Taught Me About ‘Having It All,’ by a blog that I read (Mighty Girl). It’s worth the read.
I read the article in the Atlantic (like everyone else) and, since having my son (in truth, to some extent, before I even became pregnant) I have been as concerned as the next lady about work/life balance. For most of my life, Acting was the number one most important thing to me, my biggest passion and priority. Now it’s number two, snuggled close up behind the new number one: my family.
I don’t mean to brag, but I have the most wonderful baby. And it isn’t really bragging because, honestly, he just showed up like that. Beyond taking my pre-natal vitamins and staying away from the obvious hazards, I swear I had nothing to do with it. He doesn’t even really look like me. Since having him, I have felt more capable and ready to succeed as an actor than ever before for reasons that relate entirely to what the author of this essay is saying. I appreciate how great my life is, how lucky I am, and while I still hope to “have it all” – a family and a successful career as a working actor – and I fret regularly about whether I’m doing what I need to get myself there, not being there yet doesn’t get me down the way it used to.
August 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
If you have work to do, stay away from the NY Times’ GORGEOUS photos of the Olympics. If you have some time, check them out here.
August 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
I remember in college having close friends who often took naps and thinking that napping was a really lame use of their time – there were things to do: work things, fun things . . . things! How could they give up time to napping? I’m a little softer on naps these days – I still don’t like them and still rarely take them – but I’m less judgmental of those who do.
No, the naps I’m talking about are the naps of my little boy. Not a big fan of going to sleep during the day, my guy. Like his mom, he seems keenly aware of everything that’s going on and wanting not to miss a moment. So we’ve been working on naps and, hopefully, we’re making a little bit of progress. Today, he took an epic nap. It was so long I got worried. But I also got a LOT done.
These days, my baby’s sleep time – during the day and in the evenings – is my time to work on art. Days that he takes a good long nap let me get a ton of work done towards my arts/career goals which, in turn, lets me be significantly happier and more present with him when he’s awake because I don’t have the nagging sense that there’s so much else I *ought* to be doing. It’s kind of satisfying to be able to switch roles so clearly: awake baby = mom; asleep baby = actor/writer. And knowing how precious my work time is (most days) helps me not waste it.
This is not the first, nor, I’m sure, will it be the last surprising and life-improving lesson of parenthood. Thanks, kid. Sweet dreams.
August 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
I love Pinterest.
There. I said it. It’s true. I find it so relaxing that I can save all of the interesting or helpful things I find via the internet in one organized place instead of adding bookmark after bookmark to my browser which I, inevitably, forget.
Thank you, Pinterest, for being such a value-add to my life.
(If you like, you can follow me on Pinterest here.)