An acting teacher of mine used to get very frustrated with our class from time to time. Since he'd studied under legendary sonofabitch Lee Strasberg, he was very comfortable expressing this frustration, especially in the form of yelling and screaming.
One day, having hit his limit with some slacker inanity or another, actors showing up without the props they needed for their scenes, actors not showing up at all, he launched into us about hard work and commitment. About how we didn't have any, and about how we were kidding ourselves if we thought we were going to slack our way to any kind of real acting talent or real acting career without Doing The Work. And then, lighting on my trembling face, he said: "Of course, those of you who need to hear this won't...and those of you who are already doing all this are beating yourselves up for not doing enough."
My shrink had to give me a refresher course in this yesterday. For some reason, my response to being unable to perform at my usual level of energy and competence (i.e., being sick) is to beat myself up for being unable to perform at my usual level of energy and competence. I was gently reminded that when I am not feeling my pretty best, calling myself "loser" is probably not the thing for getting me back on track. For some other, completely coincidental reason, I wound up with a stack of really depressing (but good!) books recently, and was told in no uncertain terms to put them aside for now, along with other buzzkills such as extensive surfing on peak oil, and take up cheering, coddling things.
The gang war taking place in my intestine pretty much precludes tasty treats, but happy books and magazines and video entertainment are A-OK. The boys and I spent an hour of quality time together today, and, after a soak in the tub with something medium-trashy, I've been capping off my evenings with an inspiring book called The Art of Possibility.
xxx c Photo of DELICIOUS cupcake from Clementine by Caroscuro, via Flickr, used with Creative Commons license.