It’s healthy to say yes to life, at least that’s what my guru William Shatner says. I say yes to lots of things – “Would you like more whipped cream on that?”, “Would you please sing the entirety of Don Mclean’s American Pie or Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody?”
These are things that both William Shatner and I enjoy. I tend to say yes to things I don’t enjoy so I have decided to go a little easier on myself. I started blocking all political posts on facebook. I’m saying no to all sides of the political spectrum on social media. Why? Because I can and I will be more happy. There’s something about people telling me how to vote which makes me feel bullied. I read sources myself. I don’t look to facebook to educate me on anything. Call me snooty but really I’m just trying to reduce negativity. Can you reduce negativity by saying no to something negative? A double negative makes a positive!!
I also tried to talk myself into taking swim lessons at 7 am two days a week. C’mon, I’ll get a good start on the day, learn something, feel better. This is not just unrealistic optimism on my part, it’s self- bullying! I already do lots of activities. I haven’t slept well for about a year now. I push myself often when trying something new might mean backing off.
My biggest problem in the pool is that I’m so anxious. Swim lessons probably aren’t going to put much of a dent in that as I’ve been working on it for about 40 years. I took cross country ski lessons here in Anchorage. The teacher kept telling me not to be so tense. Like that helps? One improvisation class a teacher stopped the scene when I was on stage and said, “No one likes to watch someone who’s nervous.” I knew she was wrong. If I spend all my time trying to correct my weaknesses then I’m trying to become someone I’m not. Many actors change their bodies, their names, their accents to fit in. That’s why I got into stand up comedy. Comedy is about being more yourself, embracing flaws and laughing at them. I am really funny when I “do” anxious and people pleasing. You might say it’s my specialty. I was at a rehearsal tonight playing the part of a stressed out person and I couldn’t help clowning it up. I was a bit over the top but hey, it was only a rehearsal and I had fun. People laughed. What a great way to embrace being stressed out!
So I’m not going to try to be less stressed out. I’m going to enjoy the stress and play with it. Oh woe is me, I have so much stress at my job where I can set my own hours and get free lunch three times a week! I will enjoy facebook by deleting everything that isn’t social. I will have my whipped cream and eat it too!
The film version of “Shatner’s World is playing in Anchorage this Thursday. I’ll probably go there instead of swimming. Better to clown than to drown.