“We get to do this.”

by david

At the risk of coming off shmaltzy, I want to share something that just occurred to me as I was cleaning up a horrendous mess I made in the kitchen, something I already knew, but which, caught up in the moment, I almost never know that I know: I am incredibly blessed.

At this moment, I can say the following things are causing me huge amounts of stress:

* I am about to become a father for the second time.

* I have a two-year-old daughter who I find a new way every single day to make happy, furious, sad, scared, and comforted. It is an immensely scary process at times.

* In less than a month, I open a show at the New York International Fringe Festival, a show that’s been in the works for what seems like forever and has been occupying my brain constantly for months. Tickets go on sale Friday. I just today finally recruited the staff I need to pull this off, and that search has been ulcer-inducing.

* At work, we are nearing a moment we’ve been building to for nearly two years, the release of a project that I am deeply invested in and which represents both an enormous opportunity and a gigantic risk. We have A TON of reason to be optimistic, but we also have reasons to be terrified. We launch days before FringeNYC, and I will be heavily involved in that launch throughout the festival.

* Immediately after FringeNYC, I am opening the show in Boston, in a new format, with guests who I am recruiting, directing, and hosting. It’s a big, big deal.

* On Friday, I am going to France, for a vacation. Right in the middle of this craziness.

My instinct is to focus on the stress. I’m almost relentlessly focused on how things can go wrong, but it needs to be said: I love all of this.

Yesterday, driving home from teaching (oh, yes, bullet item: I’m teaching a class, and I love it), I heard a radio interview with Andy Cohen of Bravo. I’ve always liked Andy Cohen. At one point, he said that early in his career, he occasionally worked with TV producers who sighed and whined about being assigned a certain story. And his response was something like, “We WORK IN TV. How could you be upset about this? WE GET TO DO THIS!”

That’s an enormously valuable frame to put things in. I get to do this. Even with work, which we do because we have to, I lucked out: I get to do this. I get to work in an environment where I’m trusted to take risks, where I work with smart people on projects that really matter to a lot of people. I get to launch a show at FringeNYC. I get to host a show of my own on its own night at a great theater in Boston. I get to have an awesome child and an amazing, smart, beautiful pregnant wife. I get to go on a vacation. I even get to clean the kitchen floor after I make a mess making the food I wanted to make. I have all these choices. I get to do this. It’s stressful, yes, often. But I get to do it. And I have no business complaining about any of it.

The next few months are going to be insane. And I’m so very happy I get to do it.