The Wrath of the Honking Dragons by Susanna Spies


“Go! What are you waiting for? I don’t have all day – GO! The light is GREEN – GOOO!!”

Shaking while trying to place my coffee back into my cupholder, I grabbed the wheel, felt around for the cupholder to the lower right of my periphery, and simultaneously hit the gas pedal. Number one rule while driving in Los Angeles: have foot in position to press within 1.2 seconds of the light turning green, or be prepared for the wrath of the honking dragons.

In a city like LA, people drive to their mailbox. Depending on how long the driveway, I get it – makes sense. But I’m talking about mailboxes attached to the building. You see, walking is not the norm in LA. In fairness, it’s not easy because of the distances between things. And the pace in So-cal alone? A calling card for a rain check. With no rain.

When I first moved here 20 years ago, four of my strides caused others a slow jog.
“Um, can you maybe slow down?”

“I can’t walk as fast!”

“Sus, what is the rush?”

It was the nature to my east coast upbringing, and auto pilot getting from A to B early vs. late, or even on time and although being punctual was a middle name for generations in my family, it became a name less familiar on my journey west. A name even difficult to pronounce. There was an ease to things, which became stepping stones with many life lessons. When we want something, the automatic impulse is to GO. GO FOR IT. Put our energy full steam ahead, reach, get, achieve. But what one doesn’t ever really emphasize is the importance in riding the wait, tempering the calm, and taking time when passing go.

Are you someone that has a hard time making decisions? Does it usually take a few back and forth exchanges with the waiter before you know you made the right choice? The choice you wanted vs. the choice you should get vs. the choice you want or can afford?

Did you ever think you wanted that outfit while shopping with friends then realize maybe you have something similar and not sure if you really need it? Or for those adults reading this, how about the decision to move? Have you ever thought how exciting change could be, yet the indecision feels more comfortable because it feels safer?

Have you ever made an impromptu decision, thinking in that moment it made sense, all to find out in hindsight that it may have been a little impulsive or spontaneous without considering the longer term affects? I have. To all of the above.

As we embark further into 2018, here are 5 tips to help you slow down and trust the wait.

1). Pause. 
Take a moment to really hone in on what feels right inside so you can know how to create, achieve and balance the outside.

2) Notice all of your senses. 
As in one of my earlier articles, The Five Senses of Humor, there are ways we can learn how to achieve outcomes through our daily surroundings and finding the funny along the way is a recipe for clarity and direction.

3) Sit in the unknown. 
Every minute is never the same. Even if you think you’re in the movie, Groundhog Day, there are no two moments that repeat. Your life is not a shampoo of rinse and repeat.

4) Indecision is a decision itself. 
Instead of feeling that pressure to “know” and make an answer happen, be aware of the pause, and trust that the pause is a gateway to reflect and listen to your own tempo rather than the pressure of making decisions before they are ready.

5) Take your Time. 
Despite the honking dragons, take responsibility of your own pace, respect the pace of those around you, and know that there’s no rush to get to the finish line.

After all, the finish line could just be the beginning!

As the saying in showbiz goes, hurry up and wait. And having been on many sets in my career, the waiting (on set or in real life), is the magic to get ready, set, and go!

© 2014 Daniel Scherl

About the Author: Susanna SPIES is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a seasoned educator and Founder and President of Comedy Playground, LLC, showcasing at The Hollywood Improv located in California. With a performance background, Spies has worked within mediums of television and film, and has performed stand up comedy on stages throughout the nation. Known for her many “faces”, in 2013 she debuted over 30 characters in her one-woman show “The Dryer” and was featured on Nuvo TV’s Stand & Deliver, E-One Entertainment’s Uncontrolled Comedy, and the Youtube sensation “Carol” of “Carol & Claire in The Angela Hoover web series, as well as dozens of national commercials, and Independent Feature Films. Read More… 

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