Monday, May 4, 2020

Dr.Who and the chocolate need


Is it too early in the morning to eat chocolate?

I feel like I am caught in an episode of Dr.Who. (I know for some they will not get that reference while others are saying yes that's what I said.) This mixed reaction is what we all have in common right now. We are all mixed!

It's like when people are suddenly wearing summer outfits while some of us are still wearing winter boots. Some of us feel we did not get the memo while the rest of you are screaming catch up slowpoke.

I got told off for ignoring the arrows in Ocean Job Lot the other day! Then in Stop and Shop, I backed down one aisle to get what I wanted, so as not to go against the arrow. I almost made the reverse sound a truck does but didn't think the anxious woman behind me would appreciate my joke. In fact, she appeared so anxious, I stopped my plan and went the long way round to get my teabags.
Which is probably why they've put arrows in the stores, to make some of us get more exercise!

It's all different and yet it's not. We are having to handle our busy lives along with stress. Haven't we always? Except now, we have an extra layer of fear and unknown circumstances.

I see around me people adapting, creating, and growing. Learning new platforms and new ways of working. It's extraordinary. I am inspired by those that are hungry to do more.

I also see people growing tired and frustrated with the unknown and their own vulnerability. Anger is surfacing. Bitterness. I see people forgetting that we are not all the same. While some write about this being the realization of our values, others get desperate and shout.

We all have a responsibility to do what we can to support one another through this. The changes this has implemented will continue and we have no idea yet of the full effect that this will have on us.
For those that lost people, how do they grieve? For those that lost anything, how do they get back to another starting point?

There are ways to succeed and it will all take time, patience and care for one another. I wonder if we are capable of that. It feels like clinging, some days. Clinging to whatever we have known in the past, knowing it is being taken away like leaves are shaken from branches. Everything is going to take a little more explaining, a little more time. Nobody can bounce at full speed ahead at the moment, so why is there road rage against one another? It is OK to feel brave as much as it is OK to feel frightened.

I guess the only way to begin is with yourself, and for me, I feel like I'm in an episode of Dr.Who, as every morning, I wonder is it too early to eat chocolate?





Monday, April 20, 2020

Thank you Theater

I am proud to announce that two minutes ago I broke my own world record for demolishing Cadbury mini eggs in under 5 minutes. It is a skill that I have worked on for years. Please do not try it at home.

As well as mini eggs, I want to thank "writing" for being my serious quarantine partner. While we both felt we should break up, and have endured periods of one of us not talking to the other, I know we have felt a tremendous comfort by settling into hours of focused time together.

The challenge of writing is also in the vulnerability of sharing it. Any creative heart will agree. I admire all of the companies that have boldly adapted and are embracing our current situation by delivering programming online. That takes guts!

Big shout out to Vintage Soul Productions and Boston Playwrights Theater. Two places that have meant more to me than this blog can explain.

Sharece Sellem of Vintage Soul Productions devised a very clever and demanding 24 hour monologue challenge, which she has presented every week since our lockdown began and which will continue until life resumes.

I was lucky to be accepted and had three monologues performed and filmed this past weekend.

Having such a tight deadline was amazing and pushing procrastination to one side, I embraced my desire to put something out into the world that may mean something.
https://www.vintagesoulproductions.com/

Every day at noon, it has become my tradition of logging into the Boston Playwrights Platform to enjoy a ten-minute play that would have been part of their wonderful on stage marathon, originally scheduled for April 19th.

I have delighted in watching nearly all of the plays, it's been inspiring. I see great energy and commitment from talented people who need to know they make a difference.www.BostonPlaywrights.org

That's what is going on at a deeper level isn't it?  We all need to know that we are making a difference. We want to feel seen, valued and wanted. We all do. We are going through complicated emotions at the moment that we were simply not prepared for. There wasn't a guide (yet) for this. "Corona Virus for Dummies." We don't know what we are doing.

We are all comparing ourselves against the word essential.
We are all comparing ourselves against the facebook posts we read.
We are all trying to do our best while sadness, fear and doubt run through us.
We all have a sense of being let down because we know our safety net has holes in it.
We all feel vulnerable.

Thank you for every person who is aware of that. Thank you for creating opportunities to support the sharing and documentation of this historic time. Thank you theater. You are entertaining, empowering and at times really funny! Thank you to friends who care and do their best to support and help lift one another. It all matters.

There are no mini eggs remaining, so I have treated myself to the download of "Get Fit Broadway Style." If I'm going to work out, I will do it with jazz hands and a five, six, seven, eight.  I will remerge into the world wearing feathers, tap shoes and looking like Ethel Merman.

Starting here, starting now, everything's coming up roses!





Saturday, April 4, 2020

I'm not Alice

It has taken me a long time to complete writing a blog post during our current days.
Should I be funny? Poignant? Thoughtful and inspiring? Who on earth can I be right now?

Some folks are amazing at what they are doing. Sewing masks, buying and delivering groceries. Presenting online. Adapting. Creating. Supporting and teaching. Donating and sharing.

I am baking, eating, writing, crying, laughing. I connect as much as I hide, and I notice how often I compare myself to others.

I am one of the privileged, who feel safe and not alone, my gratitude makes me feel guilty. Everything I planned for this year has changed, but life has tipped us all upside down, and there is a strange comfort in knowing that I'm not by myself in saying: "now what do I do?" There is something in knowing that globally we are all affected. Though, right now, I am not aware of what to do about that.  It's like we all received a failed notice at the living exam and are having to go back to phase one.

Life has given me what we call a new normal a couple of times, and I have often felt worn out by coping with that while life spins regularly around me. Here, everyone is handling a "new normal." Nothing will be the same again, and everything we do now has the unwanted opportunity to develop and plant what we want next - that is if we are lucky.

My heart aches when I think of the things people will lose and have already lost. I feel incredibly sad wondering how people will be able to continue. I cry when I think of those who are lonely and scared, and those that are greedy and taking advantage of others. When I think about the things I have not seen; the hospitals, the fear, the deaths at home as people cannot afford health care. The exhaustion of the ones on the front line, holding the hands or longing to and they can't.

I am truly, truly worried about the future and all I can do is remind myself that my name is not Alice and I must not fall down the rabbit hole of fear.  (Though I am allowing myself to eat and drink everything, and it's certainly making me larger!)

All I can do is hope and love, and look for the sunlight, and along with that, ask that others do the same.



Wednesday, February 19, 2020

It's all about You and Me

August 2017, I received a phone call from my dear friend Sally. "Linda has had an accident and it's really bad."
Life changed.  Following 12 hours in surgery, I went to visit and found her lying helpless, motionless, attached to wires, a large brace around her neck and her eyes with a look I had never seen from Linda before, the look of fear, fierce fear.

A year later, we sat together facing the ocean and Linda began to talk. She carefully told me the thoughts that raced through her brain while listening to doctors explain who she was without knowing her. She discussed the pain, the fear, the doubts, the strength, the freedom, the simple joy, and the letting go in order to embrace.
Her desire was to create a short bedside book that could provide shortcut tips in order for anyone to face whatever they are going through.  "This is not just about me" she would say. "That's dull, we all have our stress and I want this book to speak to everyone."

"It's all about YOU and me" is now available through www.lindapestana.com.

I will be proudly sitting next to Linda for a book signing on Sunday, February 23rd, 2:00pm - 4:00pm at:

The Clubhouse at The Villages on Mount Hope Bay,
120 Schooner Drive, Tiverton, RI 02878

This was a true honor to spend time with Linda, feverishly writing down her words, at times wiping away her tears, encouraging her talk when the memories were tough and some times just sitting together watching the sunset allowing love to bring its patent calm, and bringing strength for another day.

It's a special book because of Linda.  An extraordinary woman who has so much to say and give.

"It isn't my disability that I want you to know about. It's my heart, my soul and my truth."

We would love to meet you and share her book with you, because to Linda, every heart is connected and deserves attention. "You deserve to find the right choice, your path, your time."





Sunday, January 5, 2020

My New Hallmark Movie

Here is my pitch to Hallmark, as I already miss the romantic Christmas movies, we need to continue its glorious theme into January.

Here are the typical scenes and what to replace them with.

1) Replace decorating the tree - with the taking down of the tree, and instead of laughing, they are getting cramp and feeling dizzy bending up and down as well as becoming aggravated and annoyed at their own emotional attachment to placing a stuffed elf into a box.

2) Replace the fun cute visit to the ice rink - with the moment they first go to a gym together and the pain and embarrassment of working out, including the sweat, the wrong clothing and the need to throw up and pass wind during the first spinning, Zumba, ballet acro class.

3) Replace the cute date buying hot chocolate and cookies - with the first juice cleanser experience (no description required.)

4) Replace the fun creative date building a gingerbread house - with buying and chopping a salad together. I'm actually yawning as I type the word salad.

5) Replace the fun shopping excursion - with returning gifts at Kohls and learning how much cheaper the cheese fondue, tea brewing crockpot was if you had bought it at JobLot.

6) Replace the dilemma over the dazzling, job opportunities - with paying off the credit card and as tax time is coming; the debate and delirious wonder of "could I do them myself this year?"

7) Replace the general feeling of optimism and romance - with the daily sluggish mood because of hunger as December encouraged the stomach to take in more without putting on weight, until the first week in January when suddenly the stomach giggles as it expands and bloats to it's fullest potential. Despite all of that and your undone zipper, you still want to eat, especially as you still have chocolate left (you know the last of the truffles that you were not that keen on but now they look like gold!)


I will get writing this tomorrow, after I have run my six miles by a lake, with a puppy and my perfect curly blonde hair. 
Happy New Year everyone (I miss Christmas!!)
And if anyone thinks I need another gift I really want Hallmark Monopoly, the board game, it does exist!

Dr.Who and the chocolate need

Is it too early in the morning to eat chocolate? I feel like I am caught in an episode of Dr.Who. (I know for some they will not get that...