My Old Frenemy: Stress

My teeth are clenched.

I feel anxious.

My left eye is twitching.

I can't fall back to sleep.

But I don't want to get up either.

I remember this feeling. This is my old frenemy: Stress.

We have been on-again/off-again roommates since I was very young. I keep thinking that I've outgrown Stress, but he just keeps coming back.

I do not like this old friend and Stress brought a new friend with him this time: Doubt.

I've met Doubt before, but we were never close. Doubt is only an occasional visitor, but has never stayed at my house for any length of time.

Doubt showed up this morning because I am headed on another business trip to LA.

Doubt remembers that my last business trip was so unfruitful. On my last trip, I received an email just as I was touching down on the tarmac at LAX. The network I was scheduled to meet with had finally read the script I sent them and decided it was too much like something else they already had.

Had they told me this even a day earlier, it could have saved me a trip and an $800 flight.

Then, my animation project also took a setback. The network we pitched it to said that the project needed to be much more adult. That is code for "raunchier." I don't want to do a raunchy low-brow show. I wanted it to feel like family entertainment that plays on two levels (kids and adults), but that is currently not in fashion.

I don't know why I am surprised by any of this. I know that the statistics of selling something are very low. Even lower for getting something made and even lower for it being successful. As I told my classes at UCLA: "Getting a show on the air is like winning the lottery... twice."

But in spite of that, I am heading back to LA. I have a four-and-a-half hour flight, so I need to be productive. Air travel is actually one of my favorite times to write. Quiet time. No texts, no emails, no phones, no dogs, no kids, no husband, no meetings, no laundry, no chores, no grocery shopping, no errands and no cooking. So I am completely free to write uninterrupted!


I could watch the first season of Parenthood that I downloaded on my iPad.

My brain is telling my body that we are at war. The message to my nervous system and adrenal glands is that I am in imminent danger... which is simply not true. So there is only one logical conclusion:

I am insane.

I have known this for a while, but I am usually good at keeping it under control. I am a highly functioning insane person. The problem is that when my physical body starts to hurt too much, I can't fake it as well. My clenched teeth and the tightness in my shoulders are constant reminders that the insanity is coursing through my veins.

Maybe I just need to exercise.

I was supposed to have 52 Mondays where I counted down to the end of my career and then I was going to feel closer to freedom and happiness. Instead I HAVE freedom and SHOULD be happy, but I remain with almost all of the same issues that I have always had. I think I have faulty wiring. I keep wrapping my neurons in some kind of metaphorical electrical tape, but the current that flows through me is too strong and I am in danger of short circuiting.