Cowan Palace: Knocked Up, Knocked Around, And The Tech Week Known As January

Ashley Cowan’s first blog of the year!

I’ll be honest with you all because starting the year as a liar would just be sad. This is the first week in my Theater Pub career that I actually forgot that I had a blog to complete and started writing it without a plan.

See, as much as I enjoy the occasional spontaneous adventure, I thrive off of color coded schedules and detailed notes. But here we are! Each day since the official new year has started, I wake up from another stress dream and greet the morning with a groggy, “FUCK! How is it already 2015?!”

I know what you’re thinking; did homegirl just drop an F bomb? Sure did, pals. That’s what happens when I’m feeling a strong emotion. Like fear. Or anger or hunger or some kind of combination from being cold. And so far, this January has inspired a lot of those feelings on repeat.

Not only is this my first year in the Bay Area without any auditions or theatrical performances planned, but it’s also the first year I didn’t create a list of personal goals or a theme to strive for (in the past I set out to focus on yearly ideas like: doing things to scare myself, being grateful, saying yes to challenges, etc.); this time around, I settled with just surviving it. 2014 was all about change and action. It was exhausting. Exciting but endlessly exhausting.

Last month when the Theater Pub team met, we decided to make January’s focus be about downtime and balance. But personally, I arrived into 2015 already feeling like it’s tech week. Like I’m scrambling to get a production magically ready in time for opening night in a crazed state. The costumes aren’t done, some of the actors aren’t off book, and we’re still waiting on crucial props to make an appearance. Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling too balanced with downtime on my hands.

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Perhaps it’s this looming state of parenthood that has been haunting Will and me. Over the weekend, we made a to-do list of all the things that we had to get done but procrastinated and were way more productive talking through how we could turn our apartment into a giant fort of pillows and blankets (yeah, we’re ready to be parents!). Or maybe it’s my insurance that ripped the ground from underneath us when they terminated their relationship with our chosen medical practice 11 weeks before this baby is due leaving us to try and find a new provider with very limited time. Or maybe it was simply being asked if we planned to take a maternity/paternity leave from the blog to adjust to the baby’s arrival and presence; something that honestly hadn’t managed to even cross our minds until we were asked about it because it’s something we’re not sure how to best answer yet.

Or maybe it’s just January! It’s not the easiest transition from the jolly holidays to the pressures of making this new year somehow better than the last. Heading back into the office or the realities of work in real pants after a few days of over indulging in festive foods and decadent desserts in sweatpants (that wasn’t just me, right?).

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So perhaps my theme of the year really will be simply to survive. To get to opening night and let this production run its course. And maybe that’s okay! Perhaps surviving the everyday will give me a better appreciation for the simple stuff without needing to constantly check things off in another dream journal. Until then, let’s just be nice to each other as we adjust back into our non-sweatpant attire again.

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