Erin's Journals

Friday, May 15, 2020

Just a thought… Life has its ups and downs, and time has to be your partner. Really time is your soul mate. [Bob Dylan]

Well hello, Friday. This has been a week. If the tone of my journals has been a little less than cheery, I thank for you putting up with me. Like so many of us, I’m feeling the daily ups and downs – sometimes in the same day, several times over – as we wait, watch, wonder and worry.

Of course, the days of Sunday and Monday were especially cruel, and I had put my hopes in a big sign from Lauren. You see, I heard from a NYC agency on Friday that I’d been chosen (just by sending an audition for another product – I didn’t even get the option to read their script) for a big national job.

The product was milk, a word that Lauren would say in a funny voice to Colin. The agent was Brooke. This had to be, right? They even asked what days I was available for a directed session over the phone. So yes, all signs pointed to good things. A real morale booster and something to look forward to.

Until…Monday. That’s when I wrote to the person who’d first contacted me and I asked if I should still be reserving some time for the next day and they gave me the phrase every performer dreads: “The client has decided to go in another direction.” I won’t lie – I cried, which isn’t typical of me.

I cried tears of disappointment, but mostly anger at myself for believing and for setting my sights on something. It’s hard to get your hopes up for anything these days as cancellation upon cancellation clears your calendar, but I had gone ahead and crossed my fingers. I even excitedly told a friend about it. She understands this business better than anyone, and she knew how disappointing it was. She’s been there.

Instead of wallowing (a word I hate), I guess for a little bit I was channeling those feelings into something akin to anger. Frustration. Fed up-edness.

None of this is important in the big picture when so many people are battling for their lives or helping to fight to keep others alive. I try not to let images of a full bar of unmasked partiers in Wisconsin on a Wednesday night get me down, as people just throw any caution to the wind so they can get together; I remember the Serenity Prayer and the wisdom in knowing what I can affect, what I can change, what I can’t.

But I can change my attitude. I can find the joy in a daily dog walk among lilac blossoms that I check for bees, then bury my face in to inhale their sweetness. I can seek the company of a wonderful group of women via Zoom, whose book club meeting I invited myself to (since they were discussing my Mourning Has Broken) and rejoice in the laughter, the frank and open discussion and the connection that we have all been missing so very much lo these past two months. Thanks, Sue, and everyone who made me feel so welcome!

(And I am totally up to doing these for your group, too – just email me. I’ll check my, er, schedule…yep. Wide open.)

I can be grateful for a full fridge, friends in my inbox and texts, an elective but necessary girl-stuff surgery that’s been rescheduled for June 11, just three weeks after it was initially slated, and for the knowledge that my family here in BC and in Ottawa are safe.

And I can also let my heart leap with happiness at being able to watch via FaceTime as our sweet Colin said good-bye to his first baby tooth.

Brooke let us be a part of that and Colin was brave – no tears – and wonderful. He is such a good kid. He’s understandably rambunctious these days, itching to get out and play and burn off some of that energy. But he’s also knee-deep in Toy Story and we’re loving watching that from afar, from donning his Woody cowboy hat to flying his Buzz Lightyear that Grama and Grandad Banana (us) sent him this week.

There’s so much to focus on when we can see through the clouds. As Oprah said in a clip I shared on Twitter this week to a graduating student, she loves flying because as the plane takes off through the clouds, in just moments, you see the blue skies above them – the sky that was always there.

Don’t forget that tomorrow at 8 pm ET all major US networks are airing President Barack Obama’s new graduation address to those whose ceremonies have been cancelled or postponed by COVID-19. I know I’ll be watching. And feeling terribly wistful. And yet…optimistic. There are actually three speeches being delivered (and with special guests). Details are below. Check your local listings for tomorrow’s broadcast, if that interests you.

Sometimes we forget that above the gloom there is sunshine. It’s always there in our days, even if we can’t see it. And that life is good.

We can do this.

I’ll be back with you Victoria Day Monday. I’m going to keep posting on Facebook on Saturdays and Sundays, but I’m cutting back from 7-days-a-week journals if that’s okay with you, as life returns, just the slightest bit, to normal. I hope you’ll understand.

Rob WhiteheadFriday, May 15, 2020