My old habits of sitting at the computer for 12 hours a day, like an OCD video game freak sucking back coffee and chocolate all day long had caught up to me. I was stressed and went to see my Doctor.
"Just say no to stress. Stress is an option." My doctor reminded me. She also told me that she has alot of film employees visit her with bladder infections, telling her that they feel that they can't go pee for lengthy periods. She told me how important it is to take time out to care for your health, even if it meand just walking away from your desk once an hour and stretching. Thats hard to do! We are all just human, and sometimes we find ourselves in a position where our health can become compromised due to our workplace.
For whatever reason, some folks find it hard to make a stand, and they get sick. Marriage is like film. Sometimes you feel you need to leave the one you love. But then it gets better. A new project. A better time. Ups and downs. But the downs shouldn't be too bad, or compromise your health.
The big picture arrives at some point. Are you the person who goes pee when you need to, regardless of whether or not you have been told to stay put? Or are you the person who waits and waits, because you want the next gig so bad? Is the biz causing you so much stress that you have other health problems? Unfortunately, the facts are that long term film employees generally have a shorter life span.
At what point do you make a change? We are lucky today. Today, walking away from the production line film industry does not necessarily mean the end of a film career. In fact, it can herald the beginning of endless new opportunities.
I remember the day I decided to make a change. I was in the craft service room. An "In Memoriam" poster was on the wall. It was my associate from 2 films ago. How sad. He was 47. He left 6 kids. I thought about what my Doctor said. I haddn't unlearned my bad habits. I was still revving high. I was not walking away from my desk every hour. I kept forgetting, procrastinating, "Just one more line..." 17 years of my life had just flown by, and all I did was work. I had to stop and take stock. It was the scariest and most rewarding thing I ever did. I said no to the next gig. I had never done that! Was I crazy? The phone kept ringing. Every time I said no, I felt more confident that it was the right choice.
Some people sail through film, they take care of themselves, regardless of their schedules. They start the day at the gym. They are fit. They make fitness and health their priority, not the next gig. They not only last in the production line industry; they usually thrive.
Health is everything.