time to recharge

part of me has always hated self-help stuff. part of me knows that it’s the best dealio out there. i’ve taken a long break from this blog but now i’m ready to do it again. this time with slightly new eyes.

the main reason i think blogging is important is not because every sentence one utters is mind blowingly amazing, but it’s a reminder that the act of writing is important. and when you see someone else blogging and taking their thoughts seriously, i think it’s a good thing. it helps you do the same.

in some ways, i am so tired. soooooooo tired of my life being the way it is. predictable. same job. same house. same situation. it’s winter. it’s dark. i don’t like it. at the same time, i know that it doesn’t matter where you are and how much money you have and how fancy your stuff is, if you don’t enjoy you and yourself then the surroundings don’t matter. you have to enjoy yourself.

so it starts with you. can you enjoy you? are you proud of you? do you like you? and sometimes you have to learn or relearn how to toot your own horn because as you get older you don’t necessarily have a parent or coach or partner or bff always there to root you on. you have to learn how to do it for yourself. it sounds cheesy and dumb and annoying but you really have to do it. you have to learn how to be your own cheerleader.

so excuse my vanity now but i’m going to try to toot my own horn, as weird and awkward as this may sound.

  1. i’m good at making an instant latte: instant espresso powder and heated up milk on the stove. it makes less noise in the morning and it’s fast.
  2. if i get enough sleep and time to myself, i am a very patient person. if i don’t, i turn into a sourpuss. but when i do, i am really good at spouting self-help affirmations and advice whether people want to hear it or not. i believe self help affirmations are better than me yelling at people and i think they would agree.
  3. i like and i’m pretty good at talking to pretty much anyone. except maybe that homeless person wielding a sharp object but other than that i can talk to pretty much all folks. except maybe my old boss who had a beehive and a shrill voice and who wore outfits that i’d never be caught dead in and who made me feel very small and who i had absolutely zero in common with in terms of a sense of humor. but everyone else, yes.
  4. i’m pretty good at complimenting myself.
  5. i like writing and i do it quite a bit. occasionally i say something funny or deep stuff. much of the other time it’s just dribble drabble but somehow or another people put up with it or at least my friends are nice enough to just let me ramble on and do my own thing because i’m not generally hurting anyone with it. and for those whose eyes or ears i do hurt with it, well… no one is forcing them to read it. so if you’re one of those people, stop reading this. thanks.
  6. i like dmitri martin. a lot. and i just realized that i am now starting to sound like dmitri martin. but, you can’t help imitating your mentors, you know? your idols? i didn’t do this on purpose. i just loved pretty much every chapter he wrote in his book this is a book so somehow, like the actor that i am, i internalized it. so sue me. but please actually don’t sue me. i’m really writing this on my own and i promise to combine my style with his eventually to forge it into something new. i promise. please.
  7. i really am good at doing nothing. some people aren’t. some people need a plan. a direction. a purpose. a goal. an itemized ‘to do’ list for every day of their life. if i didn’t have to worry about money or anyone besides myself, i would have NO TROUBLE keeping myself entertained 24/7 and it would definitely involve zero plan making. plan making is for the birds. and, to be honest, i don’t even think they like it very much.
  8. i’m ready to start living the rest of my life.
  9. i really love lists. they separate your thoughts better than periods or paragraph breaks.
  10. but this is not an itemized list. no way jose! i don’t like ‘to do’ lists. not at all. nada.
  11. i am a really good procrastinator (i don’t even know what the theme of this list is anymore… maybe that’s a good thing). but i did learn something powerful recently. when asking a friend how she deals with her pile of things to do every day, she said, ‘you just have to do it.’ sound familiar? i didn’t realize she was using a variation of the Nike motto at the time so it had more of an impact on me than the Nike motto ever has had. just do it. it really makes a lot of sense. like right now. i don’t want to do it. i want to do what i’m doing. but in a few minutes, if i do want i want to do right now for a while, then i will DO IT. i really will. i know what i have to do and i don’t want to do it but knowing that i had some of my own real fun for awhile, then i’ll do the annoying stuff and just through it. that’s the best trick i know for combating annoying stuff you have to do.
  12. i’m running out of things to add to this list, but i’m not ready TO DO IT yet.
  13. i’m going to go check the heading of this list again to refresh my memory, get new ideas, etc.
  14. oh yeah, tooting my own horn. that’s what i’m supposed to be doing. hmmmm. let’s see. what else? i’m good at rambling. i’m good at meandering. i’m good at diversions. i’m good at deluding myself. i’m good at ignoring stuff that’s annoying. i’m good at going inside myself and burrowing there to hide from annoying stuff. i’m running out of things… i’m….. going……. to…….. do…………..IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oldies* can be goodies, too.

39022638-Retro-styled-image-of-an-old-car-radio-inside-a-green-classic-car-Stock-PhotoSo I was telling my friend the other day about how I’ve gone through this long period of time – maybe 5 or 6 years – where all I’ve done is try to keep up with new music. I’m not totally sure why but I think it has something to do with the fact that when I would listen to older songs, I felt as old as the song. If I played a song like ‘Friday I’m in love’ that I listened to like crazy back in 1993, then I felt like I was one of those people who only listened to oldies stations whilst driving in their car and I never wanted to become one of THOSE people. So I figured I better stop listening to old songs and I did.

But now something has changed. When I listen to older songs, I feel my power surge back inside me. I feel like the parts of myself I discarded along the way to keep up with ‘the new’ are coming back and I finally know why those ole fogies listened to their old songs on their car radios. I don’t want to be an old fogie….EVER…. but that doesn’t mean I can’t love the old and the new.

*Disclaimer: I have nothing against people of the older variety. You could be 20 and be old in spirit (i.e. clinging to the past and refusing the present or future).

The epic story of the washing machine

redlgSo I realized that the washing machine breaking again–

was a metaphor for my life.

Not because I’m narcissistic–

But because I like to philosophize.

So here is its story……….

The washing machine broke down a few months ago. I decided to fix it and be eco-friendly and frugal at the same time. Why dump another washing machine down a cliff if it just takes a spare part to fix it. So the mechanic took forever to come to our house. Day after day we waited. I went to the laundromat. I phoned. I waited. Finally he showed. He fixed it and it worked for one day. And then, it broke again. So, I called and called and waited and waited and sure… I could have found another fix-it man, just like I could have found another washing machine, right? But I didn’t. I thought… “I’ll give him a chance. I’ll be

 

 

 

machine repairman-friendly and frugal with my time by giving the guy a chance to prove that he can show up and fix it. He came. He fixed it. At this point, I had sunk so much money into it that I probably could have had two washing machines and thus I was really determined to make it work. It did. For about two months. And then it broke again.

Before you judge me and think… “She’s a fool. She should have seen the signs on the wall (not to mention the pool of water on the floor).” I’m a single mom (get out your handkerchiefs) and I don’t have time or energy to go running around finding washing machines. I’d rather fix something that’s already here than go to even more trouble and money replacing it. That’s number one. Number two: I had SEVERAL well-respected people I know advise me that it’s better to fix an older washing machine because the newer ones are super expensive and often fail because they’re made with a lot of plastic parts and nothing is designed to last these days so older, simpler models are more reliable than newer glitzier ones. I had reasons to keep clinging to this hope. Believe me.

But in the end, I gave up.

And this is a metaphor for my life.

Why, might you ask? What does it all mean? It means… I’m good at trying. I try and I try and I try and I try and I try and eventually I hit a wall. And sometimes even then I try. But eventually I learn to walk around the wall.

Play with yourself

In order to be there for other people, you have to be there for yourself. You can do this in lots of ways. Here are some of my favorite ways.

  • Take a shower. There’s nothing like removing all distractions by taking a shower. It feels too good to think about anything else. Kind of like sex.
  • Writing to no one. Writing to yourself. Writing to a good friend who doesn’t pass judgment. Who loves you for who you are, regardless of your ups and downs and who doesn’t dole out advice unless you ask for it. And who surprises you and helps you see your own shit in new ways.
  • Go for a walk. Kind of like taking a shower and sex but this time you are stimulated by all kinds of ever changing sights and sounds and lucky for you if you live in a boring ass neighborhood because then you learn how to slow down and appreciate the little things which is the secret to happiness anyway.
  • Again: Slllllllloooooooowwwwww down. The happiest people I know take life very slowly. They wake up late. They’re not in a hurry to get anywhere. They cut more out of their schedule in order to free up time to just create and play with themselves. Yes, play with themselves. Yes, I mean ‘that.’
  • Don’t jump to the punchline. Kind of like ‘slow down’ but this time it’s the idea that you don’t need to put on a song and dance for everyone. Softer voices and less talk often lets other people crawl out of their shells. Sometimes I feel like I have to fill every hole or gap or empty frame of life with fireworks and razzamatazz. Just let the void produce something.
  • And at other times, it’s ok to fill the void. I know people who are not afraid to jump in and splash around and make a mess of themselves. They step on what other people are saying, but they do it not because they’re callous but because they are excited about life, and they’re not afraid of being clumsy. So say something stupid. It’s ok. Somebody has to do it, might as well be you. Just don’t let it be you all the time or else people will start thinking you really are stupid. 😉