It is now November (duh) and that means it's the month of my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for me, has always been about reflection. It's about time spent with loved ones, be they relatives, or friends, about eating far too much food, and finding yourself generally happy and merry in the company of others. I have said for years that Thanksgiving is about the 5 F's and a B. Family, Friends, Food, Fun, Football, and Beer. But at the heart of all those things is love, camaraderie, community, and relaxation. I saw a post on Facebook earlier today from a friend who was trying a new project, and I've decided to try it too.
So every day this month, I am going to post one thing that I am Thankful for, but rather than have it just be about my life, I'm going to have it tailored to each day. Because I know the things that I am thankful for overall, but I'm hoping this project will help me remind myself of what I'm thankful for on a day-to-day basis. I think it will be a lot of fun, it will be a great way of lifting my spirits each and every day, and if you guys decide to read it, then yay! I'll be posting each one to Twitter/Facebook with the Hashtag #30DaysofThanks and if you all are inspired to do so, I think it could be a great way for people to remind others that life is wonderful on each and every day in some capacity, and we need to see those individual things just as much as we need to look at life on a grand scale!
So, without further ado. Here we go:
November 1: I am thankful for having been part of an educational community that cares enough to keep me, as a graduate, updated on school happenings, and will bring the new head of school to my city for a meet and greet with alumni. The tight-knit Waynflete community is something that has helped me personally and professionally, and I hope to stay connected to it for my life to come.
November 2: I am thankful for the discovery of CrossFit into my life. I went for a 3.5 mile run today, a run that usually finishes with me winded and exhausted, and today I finished it and felt like I could run 3.5 more. That is entirely thank to the 10 weeks I trained at CrossFit Fort Atkinson, and to the people who trained with me and pushed me along the way. They pushed me to be a better version of myself, and it worked!
November 3: I am thankful that I grew up knowing how to be alone. I spent all day with myself, organizing my thoughts, and relaxing. Too many times I hear my friends say that they don't know how to spend time by themselves, and that is unbelievably sad to me. The ability to be happy with my thoughts is something that I treasure greatly, and often find all the drive and focus I need to succeed in those moments alone. After today, I'm ready to take on the world again.
November 4: I am thankful for the invention of vehicles that allow us to span great distances in short amounts of time. Today I packed a bag, walked to a bus station, and within 2 hours was in my dad's car just under 90 miles away. 100 years ago, that concept is significantly more complicated, and can not be planned on the day of. In today's day, if someone is sick, if there is an event, if you just are feeling homesick, you can go and see your loved ones, and that is something that I am so grateful for. I am a homebody, and the ability to go home when I want to or need to makes me feel a little less vulnerable in this big bad scary New York City World.
November 5: I am thankful for a family that continuously makes me proud. Today my father lost a mayoral race to incumbent Ed Pawlowski. Projected to receive less than 15% of the vote, raising less than 10% of the incumbent's budget, and practically ignored by his opponent, my father was able to persevere and win nearly 40% of the vote in Allentown. 40%. No matter the nay-sayers, my father fought, and fought hard, and he proved that the little guy can make a statement and be heard, and I am so very thankful to be his son.
November 6: I am thankful for this wonderful, crazy, upsetting, glorifying, profession that I find myself a part of. Tonight reaffirmed why I do what I do, reaffirmed what I feel that I'm good at, and made me once again fall in love with acting, even without ever falling out of it. That's the power of this world, the power of New York City, and the power of a community so welcoming that they'll always give you a chance. Today I'm so thankful for this profession and for the amazing community of people that I find myself a part of by being an actor. If you're a member of the theatre community in some capacity, I am so thankful for you.
November 7: Today was one of those days. I didn't sleep well last night, I woke up feeling groggy and irritable, and then I had my morning coffee. Mmm. So today, I am so thankful for Coffee and the lovely things it brings into my life. It picks me up, it allows me to keep going longer in the day when I need to, it warms me up when I'm cold, and all around, it's just an AWESOME INVENTION. Kudos to whoever discovered that if you ran hot water over the grounds of the coffee bean, that person did humanity a great service. Though I still feel like a super hipster having a Starbucks Gold Card with my name on it...
November 8th: I am thankful for the inherited or trained ability to type obscenely fast. As I finished 97 minutes of Transcription today, I realized that I would be incapable of doing this job if I couldn't type fast, because in New York City, you never know what's going to get in the way of budgeting your time over a couple of days. Like yesterday I was unable to complete the 30 minutes I set aside for myself due to unforeseen obstacles. However thanks to I'm guessing something I got from my parents, I made up for it in typing.
November 9th: I am thankful for video games and the entire video game industry. Call me a nerd, but I have said it for years, the reason I was able to make it through my Musical Theatre program and the source of much of my relaxing and unwinding over the course of my entire life is my Xbox. Video Games have been one way for me to lose myself in a story. I find myself more in touch with my creative side when I play a great game, in the same way as when I read a great book. So today, I am thankful for a day of losing myself in Video Games.
November 10th: I am thankful for the gift of MoviePass in my life. In New York City it gets increasingly hard to get out of my apartment for fear of spending money, an easy thing to do here. But for $35/month, I get up to a movie a day in the movie theaters. It allows me to get out, take a walk, enjoy being in the city, and get to see a movie every now and again (or frequently). If anyone's interested in checking it out, let me know, I have some invites and then I'll have more movie date partners! Also, Thor 2 is really cool, go see it.
November 11: On Veteran's Day, I am thankful for the men and women who have fought to allow me to live the life I lead. I live a unique life, one that doesn't exist in many countries, but exists here, and I know that the freedoms I am allowed are only possible thanks to the men and women who have served in the armed forces and protected this great country and all of its citizens. So thank you, Veterans, from the bottom of my heart.
November 12: I am thankful for this woman right here. Yep, that's you, Kathi Kacinski. When I was starting out doing theatre, this woman was one of my theatre mamas back in Maine, and she has always been with me for a laugh, a hug, and a great time. Whenever I call her it brightens my day, and when I see her everything is awesome. She was in New York today, and I got to see her, and for that, I am eternally thankful!
November 13: I am grateful for the gift of Rational Thought. I grew up in an environment where the ability to use logic was encouraged, and taking the time to explain every step in a problem was the only way to answer questions fully and thoroughly. Today I heard too many people making irrational claims, jumping to irrational conclusions without examining the steps that lead them there, or simply denying logic because it didn't suit them. In a word increasingly run by emotional and "good enough" thought processes, the ability to rationalize, and logically trace steps is something I am very, very thankful for.
November 14: I am thankful for literature and books. There was a period in my life (we'll call it high school and college) where I really lost my reading bug. It wasn't that I didn't love books and stories anymore, but that I never had time. I re-read a few of the same books every year (The Phantom Tollbooth, Ender's Game, The Dark is Rising Series), but I didn't read new books, or invest myself in new stories. After graduating college I've made it a requirement to fix that. Today I took a break from work to read a Jack Higgins Novel about Sean Dillon, my favorite literary character. Tomorrow I intend to continue that trend, and for the rest of my life. I never want to lose the time to read again.
November 15: I am thankful for my friends. I have had a terrible day, I have been lied to, screwed over, and generally used. What kept me on the edge of my sanity, were my friends who bonded together to be good to me and bring me joy. They are my rocks, and they are the reason my world goes round. Friendship is not as rare as people pretend it is, what's important is cultivating it and being a good friend to people. I don't know how I measure up, but I can say that my friends are beyond incredible to me.
November 16: I am thankful for the non-acting sides of theatre. I was hired today to do electricians work at Ars Nova, and had an amazing time with a new group of people, loving the work I was doing, and feeling great pride at helping a side of theatre I don't often get to indulge in. I'm also super thankful for Mark Bedell and everyone who ever helped teach me the tech side of theatre, so while I made at least somewhat of an ass of myself, I wasn't a complete ass as a whole. It's important to be mindful of all sides of your profession, and I'm so glad I have such good friends in the sides I'm less familiar with.
November 17: I am thankful for Lazy Days. Today was a Lazy Day, no question about it. I spent most of my day in my pajamas, watching football, and enjoying life. Towards the end I got to see many great friends, but all in all it was not a productive day. Sometimes those are necessary and good, and I'm so glad that I could have one today. In fact, I'm so glad that I am eternally grateful.
November 18: I am thankful for the love and compassion of pets. I had a really terrible day, just a terrible, terrible day, and Lucy, who generally isn't a cuddler, came to me and slept only my lap, laid on my shoulders, and generally demanded and gave love. Nothing brightens my day like a purring cat on my lap and in the face of an awful 24 hours, it made me feel a whole lot better. Sometimes I think we forget the power that pets can have on their owners, today, Lucy was the reason I had a smile on my face, all day.
November 19: Call me a nerd, but today I am thankful for Crossword Puzzles. There's something very calming to me about the structure of them, the brainpower needed, but also the logic and reasoning required to answer questions you don't know. It calms me to use that part of my brain sometimes. Often I find myself stuck in the artistic, creative side of my brain, and that is a trap (cue Admiral Ackbar) that can send me spinning. When I reach those places, stepping back, and doing something with order, structure, reason, and logic, calms me, helps me pass the time, and gives me a chance to think without the noise of the day filtering in.
November 20: Today I am thankful for my Audition Binder. Built over the course of my junior and senior years, my Audition Binder has been carefully constructed to have anything I could need in the audition room. I know each song in it and each cut in it like the back of my hand, and today, walked in and performed a 16 Bar Cut that I haven't used in 8 months, and got myself a callback (See what I did there? That was an Explanibrag). It's a good feeling to be able to feel secure in my audition abilities. In this crazy industry, sometimes I can get lost in the chaos of it all, but by remembering the things that I can control, I can put myself in the best position for success later.
November 21: Today I'm thankful for Magic The Gathering. Yep, it may be nerdy but try and tell me that if you're around my age, that doesn't take you back to the nineties! It sure does for me! My love for Magic has been rekindled by Sarah Peed and Myles Allen, Sarah for playing with me, and Myles for having a ton of cards from which I can build some decks. Tonight Sarah and I played Magic for quite a while and it fulfilled all my nerd needs for the week, so thanks Magic!
November 22: I said it only a week ago, but I am again thankful for my friends. Today was dedicated to see those that I haven't in a while, and boy did I ever. It started with bringing Lunch to Mary-Elizabeth at NOLA while she worked the Fireside auditions (ok I saw her a few weeks ago, but just hang on a second!) Next I headed over to 43rd and 9th and got coffee with Priya. Then I walked East and met up with Jessica, Chance, Jason, and Matt for coffee at 28th and 6th. Last I walked back west and met up with the one and only Jason Barrera. We got drinks, dinner, and then went and saw Matilda on Broadway! I would say today was an amazing day and it was all thanks to my friends.
November 23: Today I am thankful for Beer & Board Games. Might seem like a cheat to thank two things, but we held Beer & Board Games Day/Night in our apartment and it was awesome! It started with some rousing games of Settlers of Catan. We moved to a new game called Pandemic (highly recommended). We played some CatchPhrase as more people arrived and made home-made pizza. We played cards as we split into groups of multiple games. Beer, Board Games, and fun.
November 24: Was there doubt in anyones mind that today I would be thankful for the patriots? Did you see that game? I mean did you? But back to the serious. Ever since I stopped playing sports (Saturday, 4/24/08) I have had to find other ways of nurturing that side of my spirit. That saturday when my knee blew out was when I knew my time as an competitive athlete was over, and that was destructive to me. What saved me in the years later, was my love for Boston sports. It gave me something to root for, something to fight for, and most importantly, it gives me great joy to watch them win (which has been in abundance the last few years, which I'm also thankful for)
November 25: Today, like so many days, I'm thankful for JetBlue Airways. I've been a fan of JetBlue since they first founded, when they started flying out of Portland, Maine. Although lore says that the owner picked Portland just because his son was attending Bowdoin College and he wanted to get there for free on his own airline, but whatever, a win's a win. Over the years I've flown JetBlue exclusively when I book my own flights, only flying other airlines when someone picks it for me. They are always reliable, friendly, they are insanely comfortable, they check my first bag for free, even when I don't need to check bags, and they do that to alleviate time in security lines, and stress at the gate/getting on the plane. Plus they have the greatest Social Media team known to man. Seriously, check them out on Twitter, you won't be sorry.
November 26: Today all my thanks go to the connections between people. I have been in a jam looking for a sub letter, and voila, along comes Facebook to save the day. A friend of mine from college recommended a friend of hers from high school who she felt would get along well with me, and therefore by extension my roommates. Over he came, and she was right, he was super cool, super chill, and exactly the kind of person I've been looking for to take my sublet for January through July. It took all of 36 hours to learn about him, have contact with him, talk to him about the space, have him come see the apartment, meet him and get to know him, and declare him my subletter. Now that kind of stuff just doesn't happen without a great friendship and connection network, and I am so thankful to be a part of mine.
November 27: Today I'm thankful for blessings in disguise. Awful things can happen, and yet often they could be much worse. Stepping back and looking at them, I have to ask myself, is it awful that it happened? Yes. Is it a blessing that it wasn't worse? In every way. Blessings come in all shapes and sizes, and today I'm thankful for the ones that sometimes stop bad situations from becoming horrible ones.
November 28: I am thankful for my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. This year I have so much to be thankful for, especially in light of recent events in my life that could have severely ruined this Thanksgiving, or really, every Thanksgiving to come. So today I'm celebrating the 4 Fs and a B of this holiday, that would be Family, Friends, Food, Football, and Beer. Thanks to everyone is a part of my life, and to whoever decided that this definitely needed to be a National Holiday. Because it did, and now I will go stuff my face.
November 29: Wow, two shoutouts to JetBlue in my November thanks! Today, however, I had to jump a last minute plane to Maine to take care of a family emergency, and JetBlue helped me the whole way. From helping me on the phone, to reducing my rates to the lowest possible, to giving me a $50 travel voucher out of the kindness of their heart to help with the "hardship of last minute emergencies", I can't thank JetBlue enough. Fly them always, people. Also you should get their American Express Card, because you earn points super fast, and it's a really cool shade of blue...Is that a good reason? Probably not, but the card is awesome. As is TrueBlue.
November 30: To close my 30 Days of Thanks, I thank the Maine Medical Center for taking such good care of my family over the years. When my mom was in the hospital last, they gave me a chair to sleep in the room with her, they have always been gracious, welcoming, and wonderful. They treat me, my mom, and even my puppy (let's be real, especially the puppy) with the utmost respect and for that I am so thankful for and to them. The fact my mom lives 100 yards from the entrance is a blessing.
So that's it! My 30 Days of Thanks are over, and it feels good. Day to day thanks is something that our culture is increasingly bad at, and I've loved sitting and thinking about what I'm thankful for on a day to day basis. Sometimes, it's harder than it might seem, and in those moments, I recognize more the need to acknowledge daily blessings. So thanks for bearing with me guys!
The Irrelevant Musings of an Actor
I find myself hilarious, and I use this blog to stroke my own ego. Thanks for indulging me.