Helen on 86th St. Meltdown #1

If you recall my glowing post about Saturday’s workshop, when I was walking on air, you probably had a sneaking suspicion that there was only one direction a person could go after such a high…and that’s down…as in “meltdown.”  Yesterday, I officially had my first Helen on 86th St. Meltdown.  What set me over the edge was the fact that after 6 hours of struggling, I still couldn’t post a single video clip from Saturday on the website successfully.  So, I started to melt.  (Yesterdays humidity didn’t help.)  I’m sure that the five thousand other things I’ve had going on in the past three weeks didn’t help, but the bottom line is, I hit a low.

But the great thing about completely falling apart (at least for me) is that you get to bounce back and learn from the choices you’ve made that made you melt down the first place.  Here’s what I’m going to take away from yesterday:

1.  Simplify and pace yourself.  Once I calmed down, Robby and I opened our calendars and set some long term goals and dates, and then prioritized what we needed to do in the next month.  Somehow, just scaling things back to the month of July, allowed me to breathe again. 

2.  Don’t let the “What if’s…” get in your way.  Any big endeavor is scary.  You are putting yourself on the line and taking a risk.  But, if you get so caught up in the “What if we don’t find the perfect cast,” “What if our first reading bombs,” “What if the world comes to a crashing end tomorrow,” you’ll never get anywhere.  Fear can paralyze you; and as Robby reminded me, this process has flowed so painlessly and joyfully, because we have focused on creating the art and trusting ourselves and the work.  And the irony of all this is, one of the songs I wrote for the show, “What if…” says precisely that.  (Check out Joe Ricci singing a teensy bit of it here.)

3.  Don’t do too much.  This is the hardest one of all for me.  I should have that book, “Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much,” tattooed to my body.  There’s only so much a person can do and still function.  And what happens when you are doing so much multi-tasking, is that each individual part of your life starts to suffer.  Trust me, I’ve had more bouts of pneumonia, bronchitis, strange skin rashes and stomach viruses from letting myself get run down.  It’s just not worth it.

4.  Try to have a life.  Thank god a friend called me yesterday and invited me to come over and grill on her deck.  I happened to mention my web dilemma and having struggled with the same problem herself, she knew just the trick.  An hour later, and with Quicktime Pro software purchased for a mere $29.99, the videos were on the web and I was relaxing outside with friends and eating really good steak.  It’s not easy to have a life and get everything done, but it is essential.

This morning I packed my yoga pants and mat, and I plan to head to a yoga class after work.  Then I’ll go home and grill up some dinner in my backyard, watch the first two episodes of “True Blood” that I have recorded on my DVR and get to bed early.  Because I know Helen will be waiting for me in the morning.