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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Change your attitude...

Slap the snooze bar, decide to get up anyway, pants, shirt, scrambled eggs, toast, green tea, pack lunch, shower, shave, train.  If only going to sleep was as easy for me as waking up.  Again, last night, I was up until past 3am, all because I decided to stop at a friend's bar after work even despite the fact that the trains were not cooperating and I ultimately ended up having to get a cab from the Financial District (not an easy task) which promptly got stuck behind a garbage truck for 10 minutes.  So naturally, I stayed out a little later than intended. 

As I've mentioned previously, I've been trying to overhaul my nighttime routine, get in bed and sleeping sooner, but I just like unwinding too much.  I was never good at being systematic about going to bed and sometimes when I get home I want to write or read articles or drink wine, and otherwise enjoy the space that I pay rent to basically sleep in.  It's healing in a way, too, to be able to spend a certain number of my waking hours not working or commuting. 

Part of it, too, is that I can't just say, "okay, go to sleep now," and actually fall asleep.  It's no surprise really. My mind is pretty busy these days regardless of how much I've gotten to unwind, full of thoughts about what just happened and the day ahead.  And when one of those thoughts is "I need to be going to sleep soon," it makes it that much harder to actually do the thing. 

I have my methods, though, when I start to realize that I'm in danger of tossing and turning for hours.  The first thing is to relax.  I know.  Sounds obvious but so many times I've been trying to sleep and noticed myself tensed up, trying not to move, trying not to scratch every itch, trying to ignore the fact that I need to eat something/drink something/go to the bathroom.  All I need to do in these situations is just lie on my back and breathe for a few minutes straight, sometimes pretending I'm at the end of a yoga class doing Savasana (Maybe even get up and eat something/drink something/go to the bathroom).

The next thing is to shut out that "oh shit, I need to get to sleep soon" thought, so I try to let my mind wander toward any thought but that.  Not in a "don't think about sleep," kind of way, though, because sleep is the first thing anyone would think of when told not to think about sleep.  No, I just daydream.  I try to imagine positive thoughts, like me getting an award or scoring a really fantastic gig.  Or getting my ass back to Nicaragua to the beach.  Any rich imagery that can completely fill my head and leave no room for stressing about getting to sleep.  Because when I stress about it, that results in the opposite effect.  I'm wide awake.

Lastly, if I really can't go to sleep, I just go ahead and deal with the thoughts about what tomorrow's going to be like.  Big deal if I'm tired tomorrow.  I'll just come home and be tired enough to drop right off to sleep.  That usually does it.  Letting go of results.  I'm going to sound very Buddhist here but I'm okay with that.  One of my yoga teachers uttered this gem on the morning that we heard that Maya Angelou had passed:


I'm sure the Buddha said something similar as well.  There are two aspects to this.  I was thinking about a lot of the things I've been going through and how just letting go of results can do wonders in terms of changing your perspective about whatever it is.  When I was going through my depression about 10 years ago (wow, 10 years ago?), thoughts like this basically saved me and turned my life around.  How easy it can be to spiral down into a pit of despair over something when if you just stopped and said, "well let me look at this another way," you could reverse everything and get back to square one.

I'm finding that every time I get discouraged about any aspect of my career, whether I'm just bummed I didn't get an audition or I am full on berating myself for sucking so bad at something, I can back up a few steps and say to myself that it's not nearly as bad as I'm painting it.  In fact, it might not even be bad at all.  And then, I'm free to look at it however I want.  I just accept my situation and move forward from there.  It's already 3am, I'm already going to be tired tomorrow, there's nothing I can do about that part of so I might as well change my attitude.  I didn't get that VO gig, it's probably not saying anything about the quality of my audition, they were just looking for something else.  I'm still on the right track. 

Lots of people want to tell you that this or that is not possible, or they want you to look at the reality of a situation and not get your hopes up.  "There are so many people doing what you're trying to do," "There's so much competition," "Just don't get ahead of yourself."  Well intentioned stuff, for sure...or maybe not.  I think people just get so mired in negativity, they forget to dream about what's possible.  And they forget that you should never let something like a negative thought stop you from acting on something anyway.   Why would I not try?  How else would I know if I could do it or not? By listening to my negative thoughts that are probably not even grounded in reality?  Of course not.

Anyway, that having been said, I also had to change my attitude about the inordinate number of hours I'll be working so that I don't go insane thinking ahead to how overworked I could potentially be in a few weeks time.  This past weekend, I was supposed to re-train both Saturday and Sunday nights at CNN but, upon getting there on Saturday and talking with my co worker, we both deemed it unnecessary for me to even stay too late that night.  So I left at 8, went out with friends and then decided to make Sunday a day to just relax and enjoy the weather.  Yoga, gluten free pizza, gluten free cupcake, East Village community gardens and a quick drink with a friend before cooking dinner, watching Cosmos (doing a tiny bit of work on the film score) and then heading to Barbes to watch Stephan Wrembel.  All around a great afternoon and evening.  And now, after this Thursday which I have off, I'm probably going to be working about 50 days straight on top of scoring a film and trying to get more VO work.  Don't worry, though. I'm not going to burnout.  Tim Daoust doesn't burn out. 





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