Archives for the month of: May, 2015

  
I’ve been off for almost a month and, besides attending the writing class I signed up for, feel that I’ve done very little of what I set out to accomplish with this time.  I haven’t consistently gone to yoga or organized my studio or sat in my studio and made a bunch of stuff like I’d planned. 

But, what I have done is begin to calm down, get still, and just be. I bought a hammock and a stack of books, which I devour by the week. It reminds me of the summer between 7th and 8th grade when I sat on the front porch rationing pages of “Gone with the Wind” until finally it had to end, at which point I simply started it again. Somewhere along the way, reading went from necessity to luxury in my life and this summer I plan to reverse that trend.  

After living on the adrenaline high of a film set for months, it can be difficult to see how being is just as important as doing, if not more so. One month into my “self funded sebattical” and I’m only beginning to unwind. I look at the titles that caught my eye in the bookstore and I see a theme- stillness.  It is where we find the answers and the inspiration.  The answer being that our only job is to be our most authentic selves and that once we understand that, all else will fall into place. I like what these ladies are saying. 

In addition to reading, I’ve been gardening, cooking, and meditating; all things that are quickly ignored and forgotten when life gets crazy and chaotic, but which do more for my health than all of the supplements, acupuncturists, and massages combined. 

As I lie here wondering how to make a living from reading, swinging, writing, creating, traveling, and imagining, I realize that’s not for me to figure out. All I need is to keep doing the things I enjoy, make time and space for them, and trust that the next little clue will appear if I’m still enough to notice. 

 

I’ve actually slept the past few nights and, not to be a total bore and keep talking about my sleep or lack thereof, it really does help one to notice the beauty that is all around. 

Without it, I am in a state of foggy autopilot, going through the motions but never really there. Lists of things I hope to accomplish get pushed off until next week, I snack rather than cook, am too tired to exercise, and the cycle perpetuates. 

I’ve struggled with insomnia off and on for about fifteen years but this last bout was one of the worst I can remember. My first bad case was when I was a sophomore in college and didn’t sleep for my entire spring semester. One night, a friend called to see if I wanted to go see some movie called “Fight Club.”  I didn’t, it sounded like a boy movie, but I ended up going and was transfixed by Edward Norton’s insomniac crazed character. I totally related to him. 

In the years since, I have periods during which I sleep great followed by months when I don’t. I’ve worked hard to stop worrying, stop trying to control things that are out of my hands, and lower stress and that has helped a lot. But when I can’t trace sleeplessness back to anything, and feel pretty happy in my life, it is more frustrating than when I can. 

Well meaning friends suggest remedies and give advice but, after having tried everything, that too becomes frustrating. But then, one day, one of them actually worked! My dad kept suggesting that I buy some Brewer’s Yeast at the health food store and mix it in a glass of juice before going to bed. And, though I don’t know if it was just that,  or the combo of accupuncture, kinesiology, massage and time off I’ve had lately, it did the trick. So, if you need a little help relaxing in this beautiful, crazy, high strung world, give it a try. 

Original photo by Rebekah Potter

I am sitting outside of a coffee shop in Albuquerque and a movie happens to be shooting across the street. Men in workbelts scurry around and I had to park around the corner because the street is full of “no parking due to filming” and “businesses are open” signs. And all I feel is relief. Relief that after sitting here for half an hour I can leave and go about my day. A day that didn’t start with an alarm and will end whenever I get tired and feel like going to bed. I’ve been off for just under two weeks and am only now starting to feel rested as the insomnia that dominated my last show begins to subside. 

I have a list of things I hope to accomplish during this self funded sabbatical, not the least of which is beginning to try to figure out a new way to make a living that doesn’t wreak havoc on my nervous system. Yikes! Whether it ends up taking over my film career or simply gives me more of a purpose and income in between film jobs, I don’t know. But, I do know that as I get older, the lifestyle that goes along with the film industry seems less and less sustainable for me.

I’ve signed up for writing classes and jewelry classes, I revamped my long neglected Etsy site, fresastudio.etsy.com, and am trying to stop thinking of such things as just hobbies, incapable of possibly supporting me. What if I gave them half of the hours I give my film career in a given week? Chances are they’d flourish. 

I am very grateful for a career that gives me the time to explore other options and has been such an interesting one for over a decade. But, at the moment, my studio is calling and I’m going to go see what I find there. I’ll let you know.