11 August, 2016

Adult-ing: Part 3

11. Emotions are not a choice. Behavior is.
     People ask me really smart questions all the time.
Questions like:
    “How do you deal with being afraid of failure?
    “How do you not worry about being rejected?
    “What if you get really really really out of control sad and you lose your mind not on stage where you might win a Tony, but, say, at the bank where you might get escorted away by security?
    “How do you not lose your mind screaming at really ignorant/ meany-pants/ stupid/ entitled people that all want a piece of you?

I’m aware that this is a fairly irritating answer but: I deal with fear, worry, sadness and anger by actually dealing with fear, worry, sadness and anger. Most of us (those that aren’t very psychologically ill) feel the same feelings everyone else does; thus we must try our darnedest not to identify as the emotions, but to accept, incorporate, learn what we can, and move forward in the face of those Big Feels.

In short: we can’t always chose what we feel, we can chose our actions in the face of those feelings.

12.  “Comparison is the thief of joy” — Theodore Roosevelt
     Our 26th President was more than a great orator, explorer, soldier, and environmentalist… he was also so correct about comparison. And being brave.
He also had a very fetching moustache.

13. DONE is better than PERFECT.
     Just do the thing.
Finish it.
Press send.
It will never be perfect.

14. Prioritize your health. Take it seriously.

     There are two things in life we do not respect and appreciate until they are no longer with us— money and health. When you have money, you don’t think about its absence. But when you don’t: Whoa Nellie. There is no teacher white like an empty pocket.

Same holds true for our health. One day you are in your teens and twenties, hot and a little clueless, frolicking around the world like you own the place, filing your liver with vodka tonics and ice cream like there’s no tomorrow because let's face it: There isn't! You are young! You are sooo healthy! I mean, you will be once you karate-chop the crap out of this hangover but come on: you can still see your abs so who needs that stupid BS called “Health Insurance?!” That shit is for old people and SUCKAAAAS...

Then one day? You’re a mess. (Truuuuussst meeee...) You’re wake up one day and you are on the phone with some totally unsympathetic healthcare “provider” named Linda who doesn’t give a f*** that you missed the Obamacare deadline and just got kicked off your parent’s plan and— What? how much is that medication I suddenly need to take for the rest of my life? Uhhhh right. Whoops. Maybe I should have taken better care of myself. Run a few more laps and lived a few less days fueled by coffee and enthusiasm

You hear me?

Reader, we get one ride and one vehicle, so taking care of your ONLY SWEET-ASS RIDE ON PLANET EARTH EVER is not only a freakin’ miracle, but your highest responsibility.

     Feed your body good and real food.
     Give it long and decent sleep.
     Hot, safe, (hopefully at least vaguely) meaningful sex.
     Give it fun and life-affirming exercise.
     Say nice things to it.
     Dress it the heck up.

Take charge of your health and happiness, and you'll lower your stress, become more productive, and have more energy.

Other people will doubtless benefit from your "me time," too. Prioritize spiritual resilience and do things that truly nourish you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and you'll bring greater patience and a more positive attitude to every aspect of your life including your relationships. You cannot help but become a better parent, spouse, team player and general citizen of the world.

and, to conclude, one of my favorites:

15. Courtesy costs nothing.
Thank you Anthony Andrews for one of the first lessons of my career. I will never forget Anthony's final performance as Count Fosco in The Woman in White in London. Anthony filled our Palace Theatre lobby with delicacies, beverages, music and decorations, and invited every single person who worked in the theatre from our leading lady to the people that worked the box office and cleaned the bathrooms. When I asked him how on earth he could even consider being so incredibly generous, his reply was a calm and heartfelt "My darling, courtesy costs nothing..."

...And wow is he right. The best things in life are free. Even if you don't have pockets full of money, a smile, a thank you, and pleasantry, is a gift you can give every day.

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