The great John O’Connell once said, “You know you’re getting old when you wake up feeling like you would after a big night but there was no big night.”
I guess I’m getting old. Or it’s tech week.
It’s been a really tough week for me: during the day I’m working to meet deadlines at work while trying to balance all-night rehearsals and it isn’t even tech yet- that starts today. For those that know theatre next week will be absolute hell.
It goes without saying I’m feeling a little burnt out.
So I woke up this morning feeling a little on the brink, and when that happens there’s so many ways one could handle it: let hopelessness set in, get angry and complain, or suffer an emotional breakdown while brushing your teeth.
I did something different today.
I rolled over feeling stressed out, unappreciated, and just wanting to get to the weekend (full of 12 hour rehearsals.) Like any uber-connected blogger the first thing I did was reach for my iPod touch and check out the Twitter feeds. There I learned two things: there was an Earthquake I slept through & my co-worker Laura needed a coffee.
My first thought was, “who cares about this Earthquake.”
My thought after that was I should buy Laura a coffee.
Before heading upstairs to the office I stopped by the local coffee shop and picked up a coffee for Laura and I- with two splenda and skim, just the way she asked for it.
I really don’t know why I did it but it just felt right. Out of all the possible ways to cope with the stresses of my life I decided on an act of generosity for someone else.
I know the cup of coffee was sure to make her day but I didn’t realize how much it made my day as well. My friend Melanie told me when she worked at Banana Republic there were two options when customer treated her badly at work: get mad or use that experience and be super nice to the next customer. The latter made her feel better sooner.
We all want to feel appreciated and loved, especially when we are having a bad day, week, or even month. It’s very empowering to use that negative energy to help someone else rather than spreading it to others.
So that’s my big lesson for today, I hope next time you feel like the way I’ve felt this week you change your natural inclination, and perhaps you’ll feel a little bit better too.