Well Christmas came and went, and so did my blog. I took the last week (plus) off from my writing, mostly because of time constraints, and partially because I needed time to reflect on the past year and everything that occurred. Now would normally be the time I’d start spewing out a list of resolutions for the coming year, but I’m not going to do that. New Year’s resolutions always seem so forced to me, something we all *think* we have to do. Guess what? We don’t. I don’t need to make a list of stuff I want to do in 2018 just so I can feel warm and fuzzy about ending the current year because I now have a game plan for the year ahead. Be honest… resolutions very often make us feel like crap in January, when a week or two into the new year we discover we’re not even following them! And yes, that includes all of you who joined a gym during some December sales blitz, and will diligently work out for a week or two into January and overcrowd my work-out space, only to disappear a few weeks later. It’s okay. I get it. That’s why I don’t make any resolutions. I started my work-out routine last year in FEBRUARY. Screw January! January is a limbo time as far as I’m concerned… a waiting period for all of those resolution-setting people to do their thing. That is, until many of them figure out that WANTING to do something is much easier than ACTUALLY doing it. I think it’s much more important on this last day of 2017 (which also happens to be the day of my birth) to express gratitude for the current year, so we can move forward into the year ahead with a whole lot of love and a positive attitude. So here is a list of things I am grateful for in 2017 (in no particular order):
1) Tessa Faye – It’s difficult to put into words how grateful I am to this woman. She is my career coach, audition coach, part agent/part manager and all around super hero. Besides all that, she is a wonderful friend and confidante to boot, and she is not afraid to use a boot to give me a kick in the you-know-where when I need it! She’s the kind of person you can contact last minute and beg her to record audition sides with you over Skype and she will move mountains to try to do it. Tessa has rejuvenated my acting career, but more importantly, she has rejuvenated me. Together in 2017, we discovered things about me that neither of us knew and delved into new areas of my acting and writing. We are partners in crime when it comes to my art, and I truly couldn’t ask for a better sidekick. Simply put, I adore her.
2) Matthew Corozine Studios aka MCS – Oh, MCS! The history I have with this wonderful studio, and its wonderful founder, Matthew Corozine. Matt has made me a more courageous actor and taught me how to make choices in my work. He pushes you to explore your heart and express what’s inside… even when it’s scary. And we MCSers do it because Matt sets up a safe space, full of wonderful, loving people who all WANT you to succeed. It truly is the only judgment free zone I’ve ever been in. It’s the one place where I feel seen as my best self (even on days when I'm not). MCS brings out the best in you, as an actor and as a human. And if it doesn’t, you can use the exit door to let yourself out! Bad energy isn’t a part of MCS’s vibe. I often wonder how Matt is able to sustain such a loving and enlightening environment for so many years, especially considering I’ve been with him since his early days as a teacher. I’d say it’s “Disney magic” but there are no hidden tricks here. Matt has a gift. Period. And I’m truly grateful to be a part of his world and all of the people in it. And it should be noted that Tessa wouldn’t be in my world without Matt, so if that doesn’t speak to how much MCS has touched my life, I don’t know what does!
3) Friends and family — Okay who isn’t grateful for their friends and family, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a shout out! Heartfelt thanks to all of you, for your support, love and belief in me. You are my rocks, who keep me sturdy!
4) Slowing down — Yes, I said slowing down! I truly feel progress was made in 2017 in the area of taking things one day at a time. And I want to give props to myself for it. It does come with a price however… certain things don’t get done, and they could be things you really wanted to do. But I’ve come to realize the only timetable that matters is mine. If something is meant to be done, then I will do it. Everything does not need to be done TODAY or even tomorrow. I just have to do my best to balance the things I want to do, and make sure I come up for air along the way! Standing still is every bit as important as moving forward, after all!
5) European vacation with my mom — nothing says slowing down like a vacation! And I’m super proud of myself for taking the time to slow down and enjoy the world around me. And boy did we go to places no man (or at least my mom) has ever gone before! In fact, my mom had never left the country other than Canada until this year. To see the joy on my mom’s face at each destination is something I will always treasure. She was like a kid in a candy store. Every tour we took, I would always find her glued to the tour guide’s side, taking in everything he or she said. I guess being a former educator herself makes my mom extra interested in learning. My mom calls it “The trip of a lifetime” and I agree. There is nothing so special as sharing 1-1 time with your mom, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a rock star mom like mine!
6) Health/Fitness — I’ve talked about my relationship with health and fitness ad nauseam in past blogs, so I don’t want to beat it to death here. That said, I am so grateful that I have come to a much more peaceful place with my eating and exercise habits this year. I still have progress to make, but when I look back to where I was a year ago, I feel proud. I don’t have the toxic relationship with food I once had, and I actually LIKE exercising. Who ever thought I’d say that again? I definitely didn’t.
7) My blog — I actually have Tessa to thank for making me revive this blog, as well as all of you who read it and share your words of support and kindness. I hadn’t written my blog since 2013, and I was reluctant to start it again. I loved it, but I didn’t LOVE how much time it took me to do it. I agonized over each entry, sometimes spending entire days trying to get each word “right”. Tessa helped me realize that the overall idea I’m trying to convey is more important than each individual word. So this year, I set a time limit on my entries and only allowed myself two hours to write them. And perhaps some were more “right” than others, but the point is, I DID THEM. Except for a few missed weeks, I wrote a blog EVERY SINGLE week and I am so grateful to be doing it again!
I don’t want to poo poo anyone who may be finalizing their New Year’s resolutions as I am writing my gratitude list. I’m all for setting goals. I am the Queen of “To Do” lists, and ironically, my “To Do” lists often have “To Do” lists! Anyone that is goal oriented is setting goals throughout the year, so why stress yourself over New Year’s resolutions? Maybe it’s just me, but I think some perspective today is more important than worrying about January. It’ll be here tomorrow, anyway, whether we like it or not. I personally think some reflection on what has already happened will help us determine what we want to happen in the future. And whether you start your New Year’s resolutions tomorrow or the week after, doesn’t really matter in the long run. So if nothing else, please take a moment today to look back on 2017 and count your blessings. I’d love to hear them if you feel like sharing. Happy (almost) New Year, everyone!