With my husband’s line of duty injury, the past couple of months have been a flurry of activity interspersed with stretches of sheer, crushing boredom. Evidently, I have several different coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, and each of them has their purpose.

1.  Doodle.  I got a kindle fire a few months ago and found several sketchpad apps, so I ventured into electronic doodling. As a lifelong pencil-and-inker, it has been interesting to work in a new medium. Sometimes I draw what is in front of me. Sometimes it’s more abstract. Usually it’s nothing worth sharing, though there are a few notable exceptions. TIP: Doodling is best for situations where electronic devices are socially acceptable but there is no internet access.

This is my dog in OFF mode. (He has two settings, OFF and HIGH.)

This was the mental picture in my head when the nurse in Germany told me that my husband was “resting comfortably.”

This is what my husband’s eyes looked like when I first saw him in the hospital. Between that and the shaggy hair and beard, he looked kind of like a werewolf. With a glandular problem. Like if the werewolf was George Clooney when he let himself go.

I drew this while I was sitting through a 2-hour mandatory briefing on PTSD. You probably shouldn’t read too much into it.

An artistic representation of my character in Annie Get Your Gun.

2.  Knit.  I learned to knit last fall thinking it would be a good skill to have for those times when I was sick and couldn’t exercise, or had downtime backstage. I didn’t anticipate how quickly I’d pick it up, or what a good portable distraction it would be. I worked on this sweater while I was in Texas, and finished it while in rehearsals for Annie Get Your Gun. TIP: Knitting is best for situations where one needs to be able to watch and listen but will likely be sitting for long periods of time.

Yep, I made this. On size 1 and size 2 needles (tiny).

And so flattering!

3. Act (or more specifically, get cast in an awesome role in a funny show with good people). I can’t overstate how much this helped maintain my sanity this summer.  I got to play a shrill, angry, annoying harpy and go yell at people on days when the army bureaucracy had me at my wits end.  Plus, as luck would have it, I like my castmates and have made a lot of new friends. And as an unexpected bonus, I even get to wear gorgeous costumes. TIP: Acting in a show is best for situations where one’s husband is safe but stuck in a distant city, and there’s nothing one can do but wait and try not to claw someone’s eyes out.

Mean girls everywhere wish that bitchy was this pretty in real life.

P.S. Annie Get Your Gun runs for two more weekends, and it is a rip-roaring good time, so you should totally go buy tickets.  Do it.  Do it now.

Because you know you want to.

 

 

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