There's a little stress around here now at Net Cotton Content.

I'm happy and productive, but I'm feeling the stress.

We're getting real close to the (now) annual Thang, where I perform on stage in a play. The Odd Couple opens in less than three weeks. (I call it a "Thang," because I don't really know how else to describe it.)

And I have got to learn my lines. No foolin'. We are required to be "off book" — no more carrying the script in rehearsal —  by next Sunday.

Everything else about grabbing the role of Felix Ungar was great. Memorizing the lines is not great. I'm apprehensive.

That's the stress.

What to do about stress?
I'm a big believer in First Things First.

That is: if I really want to get something done, I should start the day doing it. Before breakfast. That way, if I get nothing else done all day, at least I've made headway on Ambition #1.

My creativity students at Ohio State start every day writing morning pages. There are other — more significant — aspects to writing Morning Pages in the, er, mornings, but one of them surely is: if you start every morning working on your creativity, you will know all day long that you have worked on your creativity today.

So, for the next couple weeks, I must start every day with my nose in the script, rather than adding Net Cotton Content.

But What About Net Cotton Content?
Usually, writing to you, here, is the start of most days. Because this — whatever this is — is Ambition #1.

Now, however, as a juggler with only so much developed skill, I need to be careful how many balls are in the air.

Speaking of Balls In The Air
My friend Mark finds himself in the basketball technology business. He sent me to the following video.

I don't know much about basketball. (I know it when I see it. And I admire the skills. That's about it.)

Mark said, "The ball handling skills of the NBA-level players is extraordinary, super-human, technically unbelievable." And he suggested this video.

I've added the second video, because Michael Moeschen is my idea of the NBA. I once saw him juggle — at the re-opening of our beloved Southern Theatre.

Your View Of My Life
You might wonder why I'm doing all the crazy things I'm doing. You might wonder how I do them. (Then again, you might not care. You might have your own problems.)

I think that Moeschen's definition of juggling, from the audience's perspective, perfectly describes one person's perspective of another person's complex life — because a full life appears to be a juggling performance:

It looks like a mess.
It looks like a mess with a guy there who's got his hands around that mess.
Well, that's what juggling is about.
Being able to do something that others can't do or can't understand.

(You can get a full screen view by clicking on the little box — to the right of "…spreading.")

This is all my way of saying that my writing will be less frequent for a while. But I'm still juggling, best I can.