In Praise of Doing

Surprised Woman by Luigi Diamanti

Every show brings excitement, glitz and fun.  The aftermath is always a challenge.  This time is no exception.  I may have successfully warded off the initial post-show blues, but slowly the realisation dawned that I now have nothing to do.

This is of course a minor exaggeration.  I do not have nothing to do.  I have to go to work.  I have a pile of washing higher than Mount Everest.  I have the messiest house in living history (Tracy Emin’s bed – watch out).  I have practically no food in the fridge with the exception of an open jar of green olives, beetroot and some goats cheese (actually that’s not as bad as I feared).  My thirsty plants are all desperate for liquid refreshment and, as I would quite like some lettuce to go with the odd contents of my fridge, I am reasonably happy to oblige. 

On the more exciting front the dog begs to be walked every day.  I have dinners planned with my lovely, patient friends who wait for me to spend time with them for around 8 months of the year while I’m rehearsing (that is absurd – I really must do something about that).  I spent a whole day at the theatre on Saturday watching a play and a musical.  I teach on Sunday mornings.  I have parties to go to.  You get the idea.  There is a lot going on.  And yet.

There it is…the “and yet”.  Somehow it isn’t enough.  I have lots to do but it still feels like nothing.  Nice as these things are they don’t challenge me.  I don’t feel part of that proverbial bigger picture.  I’m not experiencing all manner of nerves and the buzz of excitement that comes from performing.  The dinners will be lovely and I will have a great time, sharing with some of my oldest and newest friends, but (no offense to you lovely people) I doubt it will have quite the same effect nor am I likely to come away singing ecstatically about the joys of life itself.  And, in any event, when I get home it will all be over and I will suffer from another case of “hello boredom”.

I was so bored on Monday’s bank holiday (perhaps also a result of the lack of sleep from the party the night before…) that I nearly posted the word “Bored” on Facebook.  It was only the recollection of having thrown such complaints at my Mum, back in the days when I still had school holidays, that stopped me.  I decided that perhaps I was too old now to expect someone else to fix my  boredom.  I really should start taking responsibility for it myself. 

Then it became clear.  What I need is a project.

The show was a project.  A fixed period of time to achieve something measurable, to some extent at least.  But until the next one starts I need another project.  Perhaps I should pick up the book or the musical I started to write.  Or learn something new.  Become a photographer.  Or make pottery.  Or design beautiful interiors.  But then again….

The trouble is that I just love everything about putting on shows.  So, if anyone fancies putting on a little show over the summer…

(Image by Luigi Diamanti –

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2 Responses to In Praise of Doing

  1. pattisj says:

    Have you thought of “performing” or reading poetry in a retirement home? (If you have such places for the elderly there). Are you trying to fill that God-shaped hole in your heart with things that don’t quite fit? I sense an emptiness of purpose in your writing. Could this be the root of your struggles?

  2. Kristin Brænne says:

    Stay excellent! ★

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