In my most recent round of climbing out of the rabbit hole, I’ve read and listened to lots of people with lots of ideas about self improvement. In my interpretation, the most useful advice all stems from the exact same core ideas.
Not that I’m going to summarize them for you here. If you ended up on this blog in hopes of the answer to life’s mysteries, that’s unfortunate and hilarious.
I just finished two weeks of tech rehearsals for my new show. For you civilians, that means I haven’t slept or done the shit I need to do to be less crazy for a while. If you’re a parent, it’s a lot like having a newborn who doesn’t like you. I’m lucky to remember how the coffee maker works, I’m constantly checking to make sure I’m wearing pants, and my head is most definitely not my friend right now.
So core self-improvement ideas may be the same, but unless someone presents them in a way that resonates with you, they don’t hit. I’ve read innumerable versions of these same ideas over the years that didn’t make a dent.
The fact that I’m even attempting to write today comes directly out of what Scott Adams says when he speaks of Systems vs. Goals. If you have system in place, you can fail at specific goals but still win. Putting out a blog post on Sunday is a system. It forces me to create something, connect, think about something other than work, practice writing, and do something scary that pushes me outside my comfort zone. It isn’t a goal to have x-number of comments, garner a book deal, or get more people than my immediate family to read it. Doing it is the system, and that’s enough.
Tim Ferris says that when you’re struggling, share the thing that you’re struggling with. Let it be embarrassing. Let it be honest. Let it be.
I can do that.
So we’re working ridiculous hours. It’s temporary, it’s part of the gig, and we’re making overtime.
Stupidly, we had a conversation about what we were going to put the extra money towards.
In the past month, the washing machine broke, was repaired, then finally had to be replaced. The next week, the garage door went. After that, #3 suddenly required a housing deposit for college that was inexplicably three times what it was last year.
Then the door fell off the minivan.
This was after the snow storm (By the way, stagehands don’t get snow days. Although if you’re super fortunate, your show may get you a room in the city, which mine did).
The door on the minivan was a conundrum. CC and I stood in the parking lot at eleven o’clock at night, with a combined total of six hours of sleep between us, completely baffled. We couldn’t get the door all the way off, and we couldn’t get it back on. Plus, all our tools were at work. It was towed to our mechanic. Then towed to the dealer. Then to the dealer’s body shop, where it remains today, ten days later. It might be ready tomorrow. It might not. CC leaves for Toronto on Tuesday.
And I’m still in production. Someone I love is in the hospital in another state and I can’t get to them yet. My dreams at night are of destruction and trying to solve problems that don’t have answers. I’m sure I’m going to be fired any minute, and convinced that this is the last job I’ll ever be hired for. I hide on my meal breaks and try to regenerate enough energy to finish the next session. I’m embarrassed how hard it is for me, but this is what happens to me when I don’t sleep.
Sleep deprivation is an exponential power added on to every single flaw and concern in my life. I just keep trying to remember that not all of the things in my head are true, and that all of the things both in and out of my head will pass.
Saturday morning I chose sleep over a shower.
Last night our hot water heater went. The plumbers come tomorrow, well after I’m at work. Once again, our overtime has other plans. And now it’s been a little while since I’ve been clean. I’m currently debating the merits of going to the gym to take a shower, taking a cold one here, or just simply not giving a fuck.
Right now, the latter is winning. It has a high chance of still winning at 5am tomorrow. I’d apologize in advance, but it appears I’m all out of fucks to give.
5 thoughts on “Treading (Cold) Water”
Sometimes life is messy. My family is three for three. Translation: Three deaths in three weeks. At some point I skipped a shower, too. Twice. Zero fucks given. Hang tough, girl.
Not showering won’t kill you. Not sleeping is a much slipperier slope. Throw some baking soda under your arms and wear a hat. Shower for opening night!
I like the systems versus goals concept. A system is methodical and encourages consistency which can lead to goals. Goals are just a trophy; desirable to achieve but provide no plan.
That sucks about the minivan. We stopped driving our car for about six months ago, although all of the doors are still attached.
All I can say is, I’m sorry, and I’m hoping things will get better. And I agree with everyone, sleep is the priority.
I was always amazed at how slap happy some people get when doing production with it’s sleep deprivation; some story like the minivan door would send them into fits of laughter. Realizing it’s still cold, though, it’s no joke. Had it been in the summer, I would have advised gaffer’s tape and blackwrap.