This blog is inspired by an article i read in last weeks People magazine, Meredith Viera’s 5 Choices That Changed My Life. After reading that article, I started to look back on my life and reflect on the many choices i made. Opportunity is everywhere and in everything. Any decision you make large or small has consequences in your life. The course of your life may be changed drastically or gradually. I listed about 20 decisions that I made that really made my life better each time. In some cases, I didn’t realize it at the time. Today I am going to list three of them.
1- Saying Yes to Doing Background on TV Show House. I was a dinner party for a friend at the Magic Castle where I met a great person who was an assistant director in the hit TV show House. She told me she could get me on there doing background if I wanted. I said sure then lost touch with her for a year. Another friend who is a background actor in LA, gets on House and meets her and they start talking and my name comes up and she re-invites me to come on. So I did. It was a great experience and I got some air time. But the most important thing it taught me was that nothing is out of reach. I always thought that getting on TV was this unattainable thing. I found out about the whole world of background acting. I joined an agency. I got other jobs. I was in a commercial, a couple of other TV shows and a TV movie. It was more normal and regular (in LA) than I realized. Suddenly I was exposed to a whole other world AND It taught me that I should not limit what fields of work or fun I wanted to explore. Which has led me to look at my life with a lot more possibilities.
2- Picking Up A Paint Brush. I’ve ALWAYS admired people who could draw and paint. I looked at it as a talent that was out of my league. I am a creative person but I confined it to my writing. But I started to feel like I needed to express myself in other artistic ways. I had a stepmom who was a very talented painter. I looked to her work and got the courage to go out and buy some paints, paintbrushes, and stretched canvases. I was super nervous and put all of these expectations on myself. Then one of my best friends who is also a great painter told me to stop that! Just put on the canvas what is inside of me and there is no right or wrong way to create. I did just that and had the best time of my life. My pieces are simple but mean a lot to me and the kind of expression I wanted..has happened. AND I learned several things that I carry in my life today: fear of the unknown is normal but the unknown could be a great thing; to get over a fear is to just do it!
3-Going to the Caribbean For My 38th Birthday. I never took vacations! Never gone anywhere longer than a couple of days. I had this misguided notion that if I take a vacation, then I don’t value my job fully. Many of my jobs who pay me out at the end of the year. I liked getting that “extra” money. In 2007, I was working for a company that encouraged me to take vacations. As my boss told me, “You pay into the vacation pay and you work hard, you deserve the vacation.” Everyone else in the company took their time off! So for my 38th birthday, my step mom and I decided to go to Puerto Rico and then go on a 8 day cruise in the Caribbean. That trip changed my outlook on work and time off! Time off is important!! Taking a vacation does not mean you aren’t serious about your work. I enjoy seeing other places in the world. It’s good to get out of your surroundings. I feel regenerated when I return. THAT trip got me focused on taking at least ONE vacation a year. A true vacation. That means no work at all! And I book it enough in advance to prepare the company to be “okay” when I’m gone. Taking that vacation has also permeated my weekly routine too. Being a business owner, there is a tendency to work 24/7. I do my best to take at least ONE day off a week of ZERO work! That day may change, but the day will come each week! I makes me a better worker/manager/ owner. I won’t burn out from my passion (which is my work). And I get time with friends, family and my hobbies like…painting!