I Climbed because I Can: Top of the Rock is 66 Flights of Stairs

11022569_10152780748619422_3157911463553821426_nThe Monday after the Climb to the Top of the Rock brings awareness to mind, body and spirit. Yes. This will be a mushy post as I really stepped out of my comfort zone doing this climb.
How so when my life is an open book?
Well, I can talk about theatre and New York City for days on end. I do talk about struggles and how I manage to overcome my fears around them. However, I don’t always talk about my MS. The most you may have heard about it is over the last few months as I raised funds for my Climb with my team, Malini’s MS Busters.
Why do the climb for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society?
1. I don’t see myself as suffering so by speaking about it, I’ve taken control of the disease in my mind. I’m not MS.
2. When I got laid off last year and lost my health insurance, I made three calls: my husband, my best friend and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I had to make sure I was able to get my meds. They took care of me so the disease wouldn’t progress and ravage my body.
3. I’m intrinsically lazy (I know that sounds strange) so doing anything strenuous sounds like a bad idea. However, climbing 66 flights of the beautiful Rockafeller Center just seemed really cool and the challenge I needed to keep my spirit strong.
My results:
  • Built a team of 6 climbers;
  • Raised $8,024.00; and
  • I climbed 66 flights of Rock in 27:37
My kudos:
  • Olivia, Mike, Heather, Daniel and Dena/Amanda for being on my team;
  • to my wonderful and loving family;
  • to my team of specialists who made sure I was ready for this climb;
  • to LT 120 and the Momentum Family;
  • Michael Providence and Derek Straat; and
  • to all our supporters.
Final thoughts:
  • Space then thinning of air then breeze then  bright light.
  • Having a full conversation while climbing with your best galpal, Mandy, passes the time.
  • Experiencing this beautiful skyline after climbing 66 flights is hella awesome.
  • Mr. G and I had a moment. Though he didn’t so love that I grew up watching him on TV. He gave me a hug and there’s a pic floating around of us somewhere.
Thank you and onward!
Keeping It Real,
11034255_10152780282519422_5631190867258689265_n 11026251_10152780765024422_1357803173199676475_n 1513776_10153197573292400_6106016950338709349_n 10998361_10153197573882400_7164323488423492110_n B_BTUS2UwAAwNEB 10403217_10100264317093586_7948347306363094934_n

Specificity (or What I Have Learned from My Infusions)

I learned this term about 5 months ago when I was sitting with my consultant, Michael Roderick. Simply, he is a problem solver who also produces and loves theater as much as I do.  We were discussing about a certain frustration I was feeling. I felt pretty lost and not sure what to do. In this instance, it was regarding theater. Writers have writers block. Producers and directors go through the same thing. And then we are upset that we are stuck or burnt out because we have created in our heads that we are lucky to create. It’s a vicious cycle. Anyway, what I realized is that I have been really lacking some specificity. For example, I want to do everything in addition to my very specific goals. I soon found out weren’t very specific. 

I began my steroid infusions this week to maintain the flair ups of my Multiple Sclerosis. I got really lucky as all my appointments are at 8:00am. That means I have about an hour or so to sit, infuse and reflect. I realized that I should really start being more speficific in all aspects of my life. I have moments when I am all over the place wanting to accomplish everything but at times still feeling unfulfilled. This diagnosis has helped me step back and look at all I have done and what I want to do. For example, deciding which area of theater best serves me and what will be the next big goal; how can I continue to be of service  others to the best of my abililties; what seemed impossible or a dream is slowly becoming a gift which I am truly enjoying.

Being unspecific doesn’t mean one can’t find one’s self but rather narrowing down what speaks to you the most. What do you find yourself always going back to that causes you to light up? What makes you smile? What tugs at your heart and soul?

I am in an enlightened mindset this week. I have so been enjoying the early morning me time while I begin to feel better. I guess this diagnosis is a gift.  I need to look it that way right now…then cry about it later…and contiinue on.

Grace with a Splash of Sass

“Grace is not a do-it-yourself project.” What a great quote from an email I received first thing this morning.  I have been thinking a lot about grace as of late.  I have also been thinking about support. I really love both definitions. Grace is  ease and suppleness of movement or bearing  and support is to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage.

Isn’t that just so good?! I have to say that I have a support system, near and far, that keep me from losing courage. Or rather WON’T let me. This past week I was rediagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Being diagnosed a second time came with a flood of emotions. Yet, I chose to accept the news with grace and a plan. I know that this wouldn’t have been possible if I did not have an amazing circle of supporters. Whether it was my mother-in-law on the phone while I was at the doctor’s office, my family and friends rooting for me or my doctors explaining how this is not a death sentence, the support was in the tools that they all were offering me.

It is difficult to be graceful all the time especially since I am broad with tons of sass. It’s part of my charm. However, I have found a lot of humility in choosing to be zen and in the present moment. It is also easy to confuse support with reliance. I thought for a long time that I had to have a reliable group of people to catch me. I need to catch myself. It’s the only way I can keep my eye on the ball. 

So, really, this blog is a thank you to all my readers who send tons of love, support and remind me to be graceful.

My Name is Malini and I am a Workaholic

How Do I Know if I’m a Workaholic?

  1. Do you get more excited about your work than about family or anything else? Sometimes, yes.
  2. Are there times when you can charge through your work and other times when you can’t? Absolutely.
  3. Do you take work with you to bed? On weekends? On vacation? I have on many occasions.
  4. Is work the activity you like to do best and talk about most? Yes. And I know it sometimes annoys people.
  5. Do you work more than 40 hours a week? Yes.
  6. Do you turn your hobbies into money-making ventures? *sigh* Yes.
  7. Do you take complete responsibility for the outcome of your work efforts? Always.
  8. Have your family or friends given up expecting you on time? I tend to be a prompt person.
  9. Do you take on extra work because you are concerned that it won’t otherwise get done? Yup.
  10. Do you underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it? At times.
  11. Do you believe that it is okay to work long hours if you love what you are doing? Of course, why wouldn’t you.
  12. Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work? Grrr. YES! 😦
  13. Are you afraid that if you don’t work hard you will lose your job or be a failure? I have finally moved forward from that fear.
  14. Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well? Worry was a best friend. We’re now acquaintances.
  15. Do you do things energetically and competitively including play? I am getting better about that.
  16. Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in order to do something else? All the effing time.
  17. Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships? It did.
  18. Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking? Sometimes.
  19. Do you work or read during meals? No but only because I love to eat.
  20. Do you believe that more money will solve the other problems in your life? Not any more.

If you answer “yes” to three or more of these questions you may be a workaholic. Relax. You are not alone.

Well, thank goodness I’m not alone. I thought this was a normal way of life. As I wait for the next phase of my diagnosis, I have been doing some writing. And you know what I learned about myself? That I have a busy schedule. I knew that I did but I didn’t really KNOW or want to ACCEPT. The first step is knowing. I did a google search of workaholics and the Workaholics Anonymous link came up. I truthfully answered the questions and read some of their literature. Interesting stuff. I was told I have to slow down and reevaluate my schedule.  I also did a comparison of this year and 2006 (the year of my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis). There were a ton of similarities and a difference. The difference being that I don’t party like I did but the crazy schedule remains the same. I have lots to think about and some changes to make without compromising my dreams and passions. As I have blogged, I know what I want but I know that I don’t want to hurt myself in the process. What fun would that be? To finally achieve everything I dreamed but not be able to enjoy any of it. One day at a time, folks.

So keep me in your thoughts tomorrow morning 🙂 Everything will be the way it is supposed to be. And if you think you may be a workaholic, visit www.workaholic-anonymous.org. Great site. I highly recommend it.