Do Right Woman

Take me to heart
And I’ll always love you
And nobody
Can make me do wrong

Take me for granted
Leaving love unsure
Makes willpower weak
And temptation strong

A woman’s only human
You should understand
She’s not just a plaything
She’s flesh and blood just like her man

If you want to do right all day’s woman
You’ve gotta be a do right all night man

Yeah, yeah, they say that it’s a man’s world
But you can’t prove that by me
And as long as we’re together, baby
Show some respect for me

If you want to do right all day’s woman
You’ve gotta be a do right all night man

A woman’s only human
This you should understand
She’s not just a plaything
She’s flesh and blood just like her man

If you want to do right all day’s woman
You’ve gotta be a do right all night man
You’ve gotta be a do right all night man

 

This song – and this whole movie, for that matter – are EVERYTHING! My agenda for the upcoming long weekend is going to have to include watching “The Commitments”  – It’s been far too long since I’ve seen it…and I love it with all my heart. :-) Maybe I’ll watch “Once” again, too – and make it an Irish music movie kind of weekend! :-) Woohoo!! :-)

What exciting plans have you got, friends? :-)

 

 

xxx

 

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

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For whatever reason, I never watched “Gilmore Girls” when it was on – I’m not sure if I didn’t get the channel in Canada or what, but…the entire thing went right over my head. I know that I didn’t see it on British TV when I lived in the UK, and by the time I moved to the US it was nearly over, so…totally missed the boat. Over the years (and especially as my Muppet has gotten older) many people have commented on how the Wee One and I have a relationship that’s not that different from the one between Lorelai and Rory. I hoped that this was a compliment, but was never entirely sure – until a few weeks ago. During a particularly raucous bout of cryptospiridium poisoning (which is nowhere near as fun as that flashy title sounds), I was stuck at home for days. I wasn’t chained to the pot in my bathroom, but things were pretty damn close. I did nothing but lay in bed, wishing to perish a quick and painless demise – it was vile. I passed the time by finishing all five seasons of “Alias” (another show I had missed out on – what fun! Bradley Cooper was so dreamy!!), the “Wet Hot Summer” series on Netflix (featuring the ageless Paul Rudd, that bugger), and the first few episodes of “Gilmore Girls”. And…I’m hooked. I friggin’ LOVE this show – it’s so awesome. I want to move to the town of Stars Hollow yesterday, and I could become very accustomed to having the lovely Luke make me my coffee every morning. Lorelai and Rory’s relationship is kind of similar to the Muppet antics that go on at our house…while I hope that I am slightly more mature and responsible than Lorelai, I do certainly think that my attitude towards things with the little one is not that far off from hers. I am crazy for this show – so awesome! :-) Even though I’ve never seen it before, there’s something so familiar about it…it reminds me of home. :-) (Plus, I’m mega-nostalgic for the 90s these days for some reason, so….yet another reason to binge-watch!)

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I’ve been feeling really homesick lately, and longing for small town life…words I never thought I would utter. The traffic here in San Antonio has absolutely plummeted down the shitter this summer, and it’s wearing me down. I’ve taken to planning my social life around traffic patterns, which is a practice I absolutely loathe – and something I swore I’d never do again after my years living in traffic purgatory (AKA Washington, DC/Northern Virginia). The start of the school year has not helped our already craptastic traffic patterns, as every fool (and their dog) are on the road at the same time, and nobody is getting anywhere. It’s terribly frustrating, and really cramping my style – I’m over it! I told someone the other day that I want to move to a small town, work at a school there, and have livestock be the only traffic barrier that I contend with….wouldn’t that be nice??! :-)

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The other alternative is move to a metropolis, put the car in storage, and go public transportation all the way. While grocery shopping would take some major adjustments, I think I could SO adapt to this way of life. I love having other people drive me places (probably because it rarely happens), I like looking out the windows and watching the world go by. I love being in cities where you can walk everywhere (which never friggin’ happens here in San Antonio – things are so far apart, and since it’s hotter than the depths of hell here for half of the year, walking isn’t an option), I love sitting on benches and people watching…all of the things that I bet I could do if I moved to a bigger urban center. My beloved New York would be nice!!!! :-)

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However, despite my longings for new beginnings and change, I guess I will have to stay here for now – wandering is tough when you’ve got a Muppet in tow. Time to pretend that San Antonio is just a slightly overgrown Stars Hollow (I wish!).  I wonder if the longing to roam and wander will ever leave my system…highly unlikely, I imagine – but I think I’m pretty okay with that. :-)

xxx

I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing

The start of a new school year is an exciting, chaotic time….I tend to lose myself in all of the excitement of new students and new notebooks, rarely stopping to take time to smell the roses or the aroma of the binding on said new notebooks. However, I took a five minute time out today, sat under my desk (it’s my happy place :-) ), and thought about a few of my favorite things these days. Here you go:

1) The song ‘S.O.B’ by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats:

This song is EVERYTHING. EV-ERY-THING. Love. :-)

If your hiney isn’t up and dancing, then you need to consult a medical expert…there’s clearly something wrong with you.

 

2) These shoes:

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I ordered these babies from Italian shoe campany Tipe e Tacchi….at least I think I did. I fell in love with them when Kat from Rock’n’Roll Bride shared a picture of them on Instagram, and I knew that I HAD to have them. The damn shopping site is only in Italian, and while I can holler ‘gelato’ and ‘manicotti’ with the best of them (think Kevin Kline in “A Fish Called Wanda”), I still remain uncertain if I did indeed order them or not. I check the post hopefully each day…because those are some seriously fab shoes that I think will be perfect on my feeties! :-)

 

3) Speaking of awesome things, behold my new Betsey Johnson bag:

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Yep…it’s a hot pink typerwriter bag. With chain straps. It’s AMAZING!!! I love it with all my heart! Yaaa!!! It really doesn’t take a lot to have me excited, does it? 😉 (NOTE: This is the annual First Day of School picture of the Wee Muppet and I – could she be more gorgeous??! I doubt it!!)

 

4) My Bando Agenda:

This thing is everything for a planner nerd like me – I love it SO MUCH:

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I’ve always delighted in a good planner, but man alive is this one ever a life changer. I don’t know how people survive without a good planner!!

 

5) This:

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I’m a graduate again! Yaaaa me!!! :-)

 

What are you excited about these days?

xxx

Shake It Off

Taylor Swift sure knew what she was doing when she penned the catchy little ditty “Shake It Off”… that’s wise life advice that I seem to have SUCH a hard time learning. When something irks me, which has been known to happen approximately 4,279 times per day (seriously – I need to learn to quit getting so irritated by things…it doesn’t help me in the least), I get massively annoyed – and I can let one idiot and their stupidity put a cloud over an entire day! What a waste! Why I do this, I can’t even begin to explain…I need to learn to embrace the idea of letting go, and just letting the nonsense of the day wash over my shoulders until it is poof! gone. But how?

Heehee!

Heehee!

I have often asked myself the question, ‘Is this the hill that I choose to die on?’…and take it from there. Usually, the answer is no (I have very little interest in perishing on a hill, it seems)…and that helps me to get up and get over it.  The thing I need to realize most is that letting go and moving on doesn’t mean that I don’t care anymore – it just means that the only thing in life that I can control is ME…and that moving on is a necessary (and critical) part of adapting to the inevitable changes that happen around us.

Give this article from CNN a read – it’s full of good advice on not sweating the small stuff:
Blowing up over small things takes a strong physical and emotion toll over the years
Research suggests that we can train ourselves to not sweat the small stuff
When the cable guy is a no-show, reframe the situation in a positive light
If you feel anxious about something, think about ways to solve the problem
There are two types of people in this world: those who swoop up their accidentally dropped keys with no complaints and go along their merry way and those who, more often than not, can’t pick them up without cursing or letting out a big, miserable sigh.

An insignificant occurrence, yes, but it’s often the mundane incidents (a whining child, an on-the-fritz printer) that reveal how vastly different human temperaments can be, says Michael D. Robinson, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University.

Some people take life’s small slights and setbacks with a shrug, while others freak out, blow up, or fly off the proverbial handle in a loud huff or with silent seething. Why such a yawning gap in behavior? This is a question that scientists have only recently recognized as being significant to health.

Just as life’s most challenging experiences can flood the bloodstream with stress hormones, the smallest hassles can take a toll as well, says Nancy Nicolson, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

“The changes are small — a 10 to 15% increase in cortisol levels in response to typical daily annoyances, as opposed to a 100 percent or more increase during very stressful events,” like a college entrance exam. But these small fluctuations “happen more frequently and can have a cumulative effect,” says Nicolson.

Feeling chronically stressed increases the risk of heart disease and weakens the immune system. It can also compromise some types of memory and learning, says Carmen Sandi, Ph.D., the director of the Brain Mind Institute at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. If we could all be more even-keeled (so we didn’t sweat the small stuff), we would enhance our physical and mental health.

Recent research suggests that we can train ourselves to not sweat the small stuff. To be a more even-keeled person, first you need to think like one, says Rosalind S. Dorlen, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist in New Jersey. That means using mental strategies that exercise the region of the brain that’s responsible for reasoning, so that it isn’t overwhelmed by the part of the brain that’s involved in emoting. To do that takes practice. Consider every irritating incident as a chance to work out the reasoning area in your brain and you’ll realize that what constitutes a stressor is subjective and that little set-backs will ruin your day only if you let them.
Real Simple presented a few everyday nuisances to experts in the field of emotional regulation and asked, “What would an even-keeled person do?” Here are their answers.

You feel: Inconvenienced

The situation: You put off your errands. You canceled your lunch date. All so you could be home for the cable guy between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. He never shows up.

How to stay calm: Reframe the circumstances. “Thinking differently calms down your brain’s emotional region,” says James Gross, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Stanford University. For instance, if you spent your morning lingering over coffee and the paper while waiting, try to view this as a rare, unexpected luxury instead of a waste of time.

It’s also helpful to think of the big picture. As Dorlen puts it: “What’s going on and how you end up feeling depend on where you point the lens.” Perhaps the cable guy simply had more assignments than he could humanly keep up with. This is not to say that you should let it go. You absolutely should call the cable company and express your frustration. But by readjusting your perspective, you can voice your displeasure in a less angry way and still get results.

You feel: Defeated

The situation: You’ve prepared for a presentation for weeks, but you end up blanking on key points. Back at your desk, you’re about to break down in tears as you replay the episode in your head over and over again.

How to stay calm: Focus on the present. After all, “it’s never the stress-inducing event that you’re freaking out about,” says Steven Berglas, Ph.D., a life coach in Los Angeles. “It’s what you’re afraid might happen because of it,” whether that’s being reprimanded by your boss or laughed at by your colleagues.

But that’s not real at the moment; what’s real is that you can take control of the situation. Quell the angst with an impromptu meditation session. Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in San Francisco and the author of Hardwiring Happiness, suggests quietly taking a moment to breathe in and two slow moments to breathe out. “Inhaling speeds up the heart rate,” he says, “and exhaling slows it down.”

At the same time, say to yourself what you feel (I am upset), then let that label disappear from view. “Naming your emotions as you’re feeling them reduces the activation of your emotional brain and engages your reasoning brain,” says Hanson. Now you can focus on fixing the problem, which could be as simple as sending out a recap memo on your presentation that includes a summary and the points that you missed.

You feel: Anxious

The situation: Your husband is running late (though he swore he would be on time). Now you’re going to be late for your appointment, and your toddler just wiped his nose on your skirt.

How to stay calm: Problem-solve. If even-keeled people rarely appear stressed, it’s because they’re too busy looking for answers. A tardy spouse and a soiled skirt aren’t catastrophes to be cursed at but circumstances to be fixed. Dorlen suggests asking yourself, immediately after the offending incident happens, How am I going to solve this?

“Once you phrase the question in your mind, you have awakened the reasoning portion of your brain and put yourself in a position to find an answer,” says Dorlen, the clinical psychologist. “You’re no longer the victim of your emotions.” Next, pretend that you’re a coach with a game plan, such as pulling on a clean skirt, taking your child with you, and texting your husband to meet you at your appointment. Now take action.

You feel: Disrespected

The situation: Somehow, your offer to bring back coffee for an office mate has turned into an order for six complicated lattes. As you rattle off the list to the barista, you notice that she is rolling her eyes.

How to stay calm: Speak positively. To understand why this is important, it helps to know a little brain anatomy. The brain is made up of cognitive and emotional parts, and the emotional part is composed of various circuits, says Andrew Newberg, M.D., director of research in integrative medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, in Philadelphia.

These circuits include the reward system, which reinforces positive experiences, and the sympathetic nervous system, which connects the brain to the body and issues a fight-or-flight response when you feel stressed. Positive words (which we grew up associating with something pleasant, such as caring teachers) activate the reward system. Negative words (which we associate with something unpleasant, like playground bullies) spike angry or sad thoughts.

So, if you’re not willing to let it go, say, with a good-natured laugh, “I know this long order is annoying. I wish I had a shorter list, too,” as opposed to “Hey, you’re rude!” The words will calm you, and they will also put the other person in a more generous frame of mind. “Our emotional states reflect those around us,” says Newberg. If you speak pleasant words in a calm tone, chances are, the other person will reply with pleasant words in a calm tone. Starting the exchange in a peaceful way increases the chance that you’ll be sipping on your espresso sooner rather than later.

You feel: Disappointed

The situation: You’ve been planning this cocktail party for weeks. Now that the big day is here, it’s snowing. Heavily.

How to stay calm: Embrace optimism. “Behind every setback, there’s an expectation that things should be different,” says Dorlen.

Even-keeled people are no different, but when things don’t go as planned, they feel hopeful that circumstances will get better. Which in this case may mean thinking, “with fewer people, our gathering will be much more intimate and relaxed. And who doesn’t love that on a cold winter’s night?”

Optimism buffers the effects of stress—not only for everyday hassles but also for life-altering challenges,” says Madelon Peters, Ph.D., a professor of experimental health psychology at Maastricht University. Optimism is also associated with resilience. That’s why optimists are better able to bounce back after difficult times.

While it’s tough for natural-born pessimists to don rose-colored glasses instantly, they can condition their brains so that it gets easier to do so over time. In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, women who participated for two weeks in an imagery and writing exercise in which they imagined an optimal future reported a sustained increase in optimism compared with those who wrote about random topics.

To try this technique, imagine yourself 10 years from now under the best possible, yet still realistic, circumstances. Write down specific details. (Where do you live? What do you love about your life?) Then spend five minutes each day visualizing these details. “Imagery can create vivid and, in this case, positive emotional responses. These images and associated emotions end up living in your memory almost as if they were real,” says Peters. In the short term, compared with the world created in your mind, the once unbelievably aggravating everyday letdowns may become small and surmountable.

The biology of chill

Anyone can become more even-keeled using the mental strategies on these pages, but naturally irascible personalities might need to put in a little extra effort. Temperament, after all, is partly genetic. Think of the brain as a seesaw: On one side are the frontal lobes, the region associated with reasoning; on the opposite side is the amygdala, where emotions, both good and bad, are generated. In between, where the imaginary fulcrum sits, is the anterior cingulate, which mediates the opposing forces.

In each person, one side is inherently more influential than the other, explains neuro-scientist Andrew Newberg, M.D. What results is a person’s temperament (an internal balance or emotional tone), which can shift further to one side or the other depending on external forces. These forces can be traumatic (a divorce), annoying (traffic), or health-related (poor-quality sleep, inadequate nutrition—both of which can trigger chemical changes that compromise brain activity).

For a hotheaded type, whose brain already seesaws toward the emotional side, negative events can exacerbate imbalance. For an even-keeled personality, the brain may tip over to the emotional side only ever so slightly. No matter which group you fall into, just a small push toward the reasoning area of the brain can mean the difference between a run-in with a colleague that ruins your entire weekend and one that you can leave at the office without a second thought.

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Great advice, right? I know – yet, I also know how hard it is to remember these things in the moment. I so need to work on this, and remember that I can only control myself and my own actions…everyone else is not my concern. Words to live by! 😉

 

This article is somewhat related, and I love it! Let’s consider 8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Life:

1. Don’t Put Off Things Until Tomorrow
We all say, “Oh, I’ll do that tomorrow!” What you should really be saying is, “Oh, I’ll do that right now!” Living in the moment and getting things done now are great habits to have regardless of making the most of your life or not.

Living for the now is even better if you want to make the most of your life. It is indeed quite helpful. Give it a try. Leave that procrastination far behind.

2. Get Engaged With Your Community
Whenever you do something, do it with all your heart. Even if you don’t want to do something, give it your heart and soul. You don’t want to regret what you could have done. Get engaged in your community.

Do some activities offering to help in the church, cleaning in the park, or helping the elderly. I’ll tell you, these kinds of things make you feel so special from the inside. The feelings they bring you are so indescribable.

3. Enjoy Yourself At Every Opportunity
Regardless of how you feel, enjoy each moment you are in. It makes life so much easier and valuable when you actually cherish each breath you take on the planet of Earth. You need to be grateful.

When you are grateful for things around you, everything seems so much better. Life seems like a sort of gift from heaven. Do yourself a favor and enjoy yourself at every opportunity. Be grateful for the life you have been given. I am telling you that you will feel a hundred times better than you felt yesterday! Really, it feels great! I can tell you from personal experience.

4. Show Appreciation
Appreciate all you have instead of reaching out for more. You always should, even if things don’t go your way try and appreciate whatever is around you. This can be family, friends, your home, food, or even pets.

Respect these things as they are hard to come by and have no price tag. Appreciate everything you have been given. I guarantee everything will work in your favor. You will start living the life you have always dreamt of. It will make you feel lighter, brighter, and much more happier. I tell you this from personal experience! Give it a try yourself.

5. Be Grateful
Always be grateful. You should be grateful that you have one more day on the face of this Earth. Some would die for just one more single moment on Earth. By appreciating these little things, you can make your experience of life a billion times greater.

There is no greater feeling than being grateful to all that you already have. Some people don’t even have the basic necessities to live life. However, you are lucky and fortunate enough to have the things you already have. So, be happy and glad of the life you have been given. There truly is no greater feeling than gratitude.

6. Help Others In Need
Helping others in need is the primary goal of humanity. In other words, helping people is acting human. Living your life to the greatest has to incorporate and include this goal. Help people whenever you get the chance. Make the most of the life you are living.

If you see that someone you know needs help, offer them your kind help. You know, karma is a major factor in today’s world. What you bring to others you usually get. If you help someone then you too will receive good. Just wait. Your time will surely come. Just have a little patience on your side and things will fall into place.

7. Do Activities You Find Pleasurable
Do activities that truly give you happiness. Go out and do whatever brings you joy, whether it be horseback riding, fishing, partying, or going to a friend’s house just to hangout. Pursue whatever it is that makes you happy every day.

8. Learn New Activities Too
When you learn new activities you push the boundaries to what you already know. You can push the boundaries by learning a new language, traveling the world, or exploring new places. Whatever it is that brightens your horizons is what counts. Just get out there and see what the universe offers you. There is so much out there! Just open your eyes, buddy. You will find the world at your feet. Keep your eyes wide open all the time. But, also… don’t forget to sleep once in a while!

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I love this list! :-) It’s so important to do the things that you love, to learn new stuff, and to – above all – be grateful. Our lives, while we may find it sporting to bitch and complain a whole lot, are really not so bad. Be grateful….express gratitude, and even more good stuff will come your way. :-)

 

xxx

 

In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra

 

 

Austin

I spent some time in Austin recently…there aren’t words to express how much I love that town – it’s so awesome!! :-) Here are some highlights from my trip:

I stayed at the Hotel Ella, a place that was SO BEAUTIFUL I cannot recommend it enough – gorgeous! The staff were outstanding, the place was stunning, there’s incredible artwork all over the property…I could have stayed there forever. Love. :-)

 

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Don’t you want to just sit on that veranda and drink cocktails all day long? I know…me, too! :-) I did some amazing eating (and drinking!) while I was gone – I visited The Salty Sow, which was really great…and The Odd Duck, which I absolutely LOVED!!! I can’t remember having a meal that I enjoyed so much! Delicious!!!! :-) Here are some highlights:

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Bangers – one of my absolute favorites in Austin!

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Isn’t Bangers pretty at night? :-)

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My new favorite summer drink…Crispin Apple Cider with a splash of raspberry! Yum!

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Poutine – my very, very favorite :-)

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Duck and fig sausage – heaven in casing!

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This was antelope and venison sausage…I can’t recommend it enough! So good!!!

 

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This sign makes me happy :-)

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No visit to Austin is complete without visiting the bathroom at Craft Pride! Woohoo!

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Sitting on the patio at Shady Grove

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Tamale Pancakes from Shady Grove – ridiculously delicious!

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Truffle Devilled Eggs from The Salty Sow

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Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese – SOOOO GOOD!!!! :-)

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Pork Belly – should get in my belly more often!

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Smashed new potatoes

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Bananas Foster Beignets…a highlight of the weekend!

A Moroccan dish from the Hill Country Food Truck Festival in Luckenbach

A Moroccan dish from the Hill Country Food Truck Festival in Luckenbach

Parker House Rolls stuffed with pig face - that's what the menu said, so I had to order them. You don't walk past pig face, friends.

Parker House Rolls stuffed with pig face – that’s what the menu said, so I had to order them. You don’t walk past pig face, friends.

Meet the pig face!! It was INCREDIBLE!!!!

Meet the pig face!! It was INCREDIBLE!!!!

Eggplant fritters in house-made ricotta...delicious!

Eggplant fritters in house-made ricotta…delicious!

Grilled okra - I'm not much of an okra fan, sadly.

Grilled okra – I’m not much of an okra fan, sadly.

BBQ shrimp - divine!

BBQ shrimp – divine!

Twice baked potato with cheese fondue and goat - holy crap for yummy!

Twice baked potato with cheese fondue and goat – holy crap for yummy!

This is the business - it's a pizza with jalapeno, red onion, mango, and lamb bacon on top. You read that correctly - lamb bacon. Who even knew that was a thing? It was friggin GORGEOUS - so yummy!!! :-)

This is the business – it’s a pizza with jalapeno, red onion, mango, and lamb bacon on top. You read that correctly – lamb bacon. Who even knew that was a thing? It was friggin GORGEOUS – so yummy!!! :-)

 

If you’re assuming that all I did in Austin was eat, you would be assuming correctly…the food there is magical! I am not a lover of chain restaurants and generally do all that I can to avoid them – and doing that was super-easy in Austin, as there was a wealth of great choices to pick from. I can’t recommend the above dishes enough – yummmmmy!!! :-)

I did a few things other than eat and drink while I was there (not much, though) – I went kayaking, which I absolutely LOVED, acquired a new tattoo (woohoo!), and visited the art gallery at UT Austin. There were a few exhibits there that I was interested in, and I loved the museum a lot! :-)

My foot!

My foot! :-)

Isn't this cool?

Art is cool :-)

LOVE :-)

LOVE :-)

 

I don’t know why I don’t go to Austin more often (probably because I whoop it up a lot when I’m there and that gets costly!)…but I need to visit more often. I love that place – and, I can’t be certain, but I think that Austin loves me, too. :-)  What’s not to love, eh?

xxx

 

Amazing

Do you know Lindy West? She’s a super-amazing and fantastic writer – and she’s kind of my imaginary friend. I mean she’s real, like a real person….but she is sadly not my friend. Yet. I firmly believe, that if we knew each other, we would totally be friends. For realz. :-) Anyway….Lindy got married recently, and looking at the pictures she tweeted filled me with so much joy, I could hardly stand it. First, she looked RADIANT – like not just typical bride glow-y happy, but other-worldly happy…which was awesome. Second, her dress was the stuff that princess fantasies (at least in my mind) are made of.  Finally? Her new hubby looked at her like he wanted to devour her – who doesn’t want a love like that?!!

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When Lindy got engaged, she wrote a piece entitled ‘Why I Can’t Wait to be a Fat Bride‘ , which brings up a lot of interesting things.  She wrote about the idea that society usually expects couples to ‘match’ – I will let her explain:

I wasn’t surprised that this woman took so many wilful leaps past “couple” and landed on “roommates” in her split-second sussing-out of our relationship – it happens literally all the time. But it was a disheartening reminder of an assumption that has circumscribed my life: couples ought to “match”. My partner and I do not. He is thin and I am fat. He is conventionally desirable and I am a “before” picture in an ad for weight-loss tapeworm eggs. It is considered highly unlikely – borderline inconceivable – that he would choose to be with me in a culture where men are urged to perpetually “upgrade” to the “hottest” woman within reach, not only for their own supposed gratification but also to impress and compete with other men. It is women’s job to be decorative (within a very narrow set of parameters) and it is men’s job to collect them. My relationship throws off both sides of that equation, and a startling number of people find it bewildering at best, enraging at worst.

 

Isn’t she right?? Mind blowing – why is it that men are generally taught (by their friends, society, some secret boy-coven that meets outside of NASCAR and WWE events) to always seek out the most conventionally attractive woman that they can possibly get and lock her down – when sometimes, said woman may in fact be a raging idiot??! Thank goodness that there are loads of men out there who don’t ascribe to that, or I would have never had a date in my life! I have never been, nor ever will be, the hottest girl at any party…and I am so cool with that. However, having said that, I have never wanted for the company of men, either – it’s interesting to me how I have always managed to attract men (some of them – a lot of them – I wish I hadn’t, but…c’est la vie). I was hit on recently while grabbing take out from the bar counter at a local Chili’s, and I giggled as I was walking out of the place at the ludicrousness (is that a word? Should be) of the situation – I’m 41 years old, not skinny, showing the wrinkles, etc…yet somehow, there’s still something alluring enough to bring a complete stranger over to throw some lines at me. How funny. 40 is the new 20…and my milkshake is still bringing the boys to the yard. Bonus! 😉

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Anyway – back to Lindy and her magical wedding. When discussing her impending nuptials, she wrote:

So, I grew up assuming that I would never get married (unless I found my own John Goodman – swoon), because marriage was for thin women, the kind of women who deserved to be collected. How could I be a bride when I was already what men most feared their wives would become? I was the mise en place for a midlife crisis. I was the Ghost of Adultery Future. At least, that’s what I’d been taught. And that’s why I can’t goddamn wait to be a fat bride.

As soon as you start making wedding plans, you’re bombarded with (among a million other beckoning money pits) a barrage of pre-wedding weight-loss programmes. Because you’re supposed to be as thin as possible on your special day. After all, there will be pictures! And what if someone remembers your butt as looking like what your butt looks like!? “I’m only eating grapefruit and steam until my wedding.” “I enrolled my whole wedding party in bridal boot camp.” “I bought my dress in a size four even though I’m a size six.” And that’s totally fine, of course, if that’s your priority.

But when I think back on my teenage self, what I really needed to hear wasn’t that someone might love me one day if I lost enough weight to qualify as human – it was that I was worthy of love now, just as I was. So I’ll be fat on my wedding day. Because being fat and happy and in love in public is still a radical act. Attention, every fat teenager on earth: you’re invited.

 

Isn’t that gorgeous??! I love her – and she is so right: being fat and happy and in love in public is a radical act. And it bloody well shouldn’t be. Everyone one of us deserves to be in love and happy for the whole world to see – regardless of the width of our arses.

 

Lindy wrote a follow up article after her wedding, and it’s so beautiful that it made my heart sing – you can read it here. Here’s my favorite part:

And to my 16-year-old self, if you’re reading this, listen to Alithea; she is wise: “When I enter into a relationship, I am not filling a hole that society has dug out of my soul, telling me that I am fat, and because I am fat I am ugly, and because I am ugly I am unlovable. I am there, in their bed and in their life, for the purest of reasons, not because I am insecure and need the external validation that a patriarchal society has taught us to seek. I am not seeking validation from a partner, I am seeking partnership in that partner.”

I have never in my life been fatter than I was on my wedding day, I have never shown my body in such an uncompromising way, and I have never felt more at home in that body. I was fully myself, and I was happy. We are happy. This life is yours, fat girls. Eat it up.

 

And I’m leaking from my eyes. Again. Bloody hell… what’s better than that? Not much. There is so much crap thrown around in the media these days about how we need to look, and what we need to do to look that way, and it’s such pure bullshit. We look how we look. It’s pretty straightforward. And you know what we need to do to look that way? Nothing. Just do us. We are more than enough. Satis sum – I am enough. Words to live by, friends.

xxx

 

Barbie Girl

Aqua’s classic song “Barbie Girl” came on the radio today, and I damn near had to pull the car over to get my groove on appropriately – there’s something about that bloody song that makes me physically unable to stop wiggling. It’s ridiculous – both the song and my reaction to it. The same thing happens with “Ice Ice Baby”, but…that’s a lot more understandable. If you don’t bust a move when that one comes on there’s something terribly wrong with you. Seek medical attention immediately.

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I’ve never really listened much to the lyrics of “Barbie Girl” for my IQ exceeds 90 points, but I’ve always understood the point of the song. When I hear it now, though, at the ripe ol’ age of 41, it sounds different to me than it did when I was in my 20s…probably because I’m such a different person. I think that getting older has been so good for me – I’ve really come so far in terms of accepting who I am and being good with it…the me of my 20s was an insecure mess, I had no idea who I was and I changed my personality and interests with the wind. I was like the Barbie girl – plastic, but there was absolutely nothing fantastic about it. I’m still constantly changing and evolving (thank god), but I’m doing it so differently now – every change and adaptation that I make is thoughtful, and all about bettering myself. I change now because I damn well want to – not because I think somebody else would like me to do so. It’s liberating!

I read this article online today – 5 Signs You Need a Life Makeover…it’s a good, quick read:

For a long time, I was settling in every aspect of my life. My career wasn’t ideal, my friendships were toxic, and my relationships were abusive.

The moment I realized this, I committed to a journey to self-love. Through my increased sense of worth, I acknowledged and released the things in my life that were not aligned with my new direction. It became easier to say no, and to be confident that better things would come. Once I knew what I wanted and needed, the fear dissolved. Recognizing the problem is the first step to fixing it.

So, here are five signs you might be settling for less than you deserve.

1. You’re bored or unchallenged.

When we’re doing things that don’t align with what we want or who we are, boredom is inevitable. I had an absolutely fabulous career in marketing, but I eventually stopped feeling challenged, and began to resent my job. That’s when I decided to go after my dream of becoming a life coach. I’m now working in a career that truly motivates me.

If you’re bored or unchallenged, examine the area (or areas) of your life that aren’t aligning with your desires. Then, take a risk that will move you closer to the life you truly want to live. It might be the scariest thing you’ve ever done, but the payoff will be worth it. And, besides, if you’re unhappy where you are, what do you have to lose?

2. You feel stuck.

We’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives. We feel helpless to effect change, and that makes what everyone else is doing seem so appealing. I used to feel stuck in my destructive party lifestyle. I was surrounded by toxic people and in an abusive relationship. I felt as though I had no choice other than the life I was living. But here’s the secret: We’re not helpless. We have the power to move. We have the power to change our lives.

I finally came to that realization and began taking baby steps in the direction of the life I wanted to live. Rather than expecting myself to change everything immediately, I committed to creating small, regular shifts in my life. I took up healthier habits, started cutting out toxic people, and eventually, all the small shifts added up to a totally new life. The key is to remain dedicated to your journey.

3. You’re anxious.

Anxiety can be a result of us acting in ways or participating in things that don’t align with our true desires. Before my career change, I began to experience extreme anxiety. There were days where I found it difficult even to type on my keyboard because I was so anxious. My body would lose control and I’d shut down. I blamed my anxiety on stress, thinking it was a normal result of my workload.

In reality, I was just in the wrong career, and my body was reacting to that. When you experience high levels of anxiety, the best thing you can do is listen to your body. Find out what your body needs in that moment, whether it’s rest, movement, or meditation. Do what you need to do to calm your nerves. Once the anxiety has passed, start creating a plan to help you shift out of the toxic situation.

4. You’re feeling insecure.

We aren’t always willing to admit we have needs, or acknowledge that they aren’t being met. If you’re in a relationship where your partner isn’t providing you with the level of support that you truly need, it’s a definite sign that you have settled. It’s OK to need things in your relationships.

Ignoring your own needs and desires is telling yourself that they don’t matter. This is a surefire way to damage your self-esteem, and it means you need to course correct fast. Acknowledge that your needs exist, then step up to the plate and communicate them. You’ve got to learn to get comfortable with admitting your needs, and the only way to do that is through practice.

5. Your gut knows something’s wrong.

If the situation you’re in doesn’t feel right, don’t push those feelings aside. Listen to your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t. If you’re experiencing one or many of these things, take the time to explore areas here you might be settling. Reflect on your goals and aspirations — is your current path bringing you closer to accomplishing those things?

Write a list of the things that aren’t working and acknowledge the areas of your life in which you’re settling. From there, begin creating an action plan to step into a life you truly love. Don’t overwhelm yourself with huge shifts. Instead, create small, actionable baby steps that will lead you to where you want to be.

Connect to your true self-worth and start to listen to your inner voice by taking time to sit with your own thoughts, without any outside influences. You deserve to love your life.

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Good stuff, eh? I know!! If you are a regular reader, you will know that I was really struggling a couple of years ago, and felt like I had totally lost my way. I was bored, anxious, a miserable and insecure wreck….it was painful just putting my feet on the floor each morning and making my way through the world. I kind of gave myself an intervention of sorts – I made lists, put together some plans, and figured out what I was going to have to do to get myself out of the funk that I was in. As you will undoubtedly know, I still fall into the funk from time to time, but happily things are moving in the right direction. I am certain that the biggest part of this process working was giving myself a break, and becoming better at taking myself for who I am. I’m also learning to forgive myself for the mistakes that I’ve made – I am learning to really embrace the philosophy of ‘when you know better, you do better’ …and now I know better. I am not finished with the things that I want/need to sort out, but every day I’m moving closer (…every day I’m shufflin’….), I know that I am not far from getting rid of all of the barriers to happiness that are still lurking about, and I’m going to get my Barbie dream happy ending. I just know it. :-)

xxx

Thinkin’ About You

I subscribe to the Lifehack newsletter, and get all sorts of gems from them each day – this is one of my recent favorites. If you’ve been reading ’round these parts for awhile, you will know that I care very little what other people think of me – I figure that it’s none of my business. Instead, I try every day to be a brave little toaster, to forge my own path, and to just go on with my bad self. Here’s some words of wisdom I wanted to share with you about that:

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  1. “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.” ― Virginia Woolf

  2. “A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.” ― Mae West
  3. “You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.” ― Richard P. Feynman
  4. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”—Lao Tzu
  5. “Never dull your shine for somebody else.” ― Tyra Banks (Preach that one, Ms Tyra!!!!)

  6. “If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that… I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” ― John Lennon
  7. “I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.” ― Michel de Montaigne
  8. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”— Dr. Seuss
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  10. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. “― Suzy Kassem
  11. “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”— Oscar Wilde
  12. “Some people say, “Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.” ― Tina Fey
  13. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”— Albert Einstein
  14. “Some people say you are going the wrong way, when it’s simply a way of your own.”— Angelina Jolie
  15. “I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.”— Coco Chanel (Love this!!!)
  16. “Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.” ― Erma Bombeck
  17. “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” ― Marianne Williamson
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  19. “Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.” ― Cynthia Kersey

  20. “No name-calling truly bites deep unless, in some dark part of us, we believe it. If we are confident enough then it is just noise.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton
  21. “When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I’m already better than them.” ― Marilyn Monroe
  22. “Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” ― Tina Fey
  23. I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” ― Charlotte Brontë

  24. “I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” ― Amy Poehler (YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  25. “You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.” ― Olin Miller
  26. “There is nothing more attractive than confidence, once she sees her own beauty, everyone else will.” ― Habeeb Akande
  27. “Few and mean as my gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
  28. “People who repeatedly attack your confidence and self-esteem are quite aware of your potential, even if you are not.” ― Wayne Gerard Trotman
  29. “So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But it all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach.”― Michael Phelps
  30. “Well, laddie, if you’ve let an old buzzard like me hurt your confidence, you couldn’t have had much in the first place.” ― Tamora Pierce

  31. “Most people just want to see you fall, that’s more reason to stand tall.” ― Emma Michelle
  32. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” ― Aristotle
  33. “He thinks himself rather an exceptional young man, thoroughly sophisticated, well adjusted to his environment, and somewhat more significant than any one else he knows.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald
  34. “When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.” ― Lily Tomlin
  35. “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” ― Sigmund Freud
  36. “My dear, I don’t give a damn.” ― Margaret Mitchell

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Aren’t these fabulous?? I think so, too! Give ’em a read, go over the list a second and third time, and let those words soak into that beautiful brain of yours. Good stuff! :)

xxx

School’s Out

Something pretty exciting happened today – I earned some new letters to put behind my name. I have been pursuing a Doctorate for a number of years now – sadly, the degree I did earn was not that….but it’s pretty damn close. I have completed all of the course work necessary for an Education Specialist degree (EdS) – I received my grade for my final massive research project this morning: I got a perfect score. :-)

As I said, I’ve been toiling away on the Doctorate degree for awhile now – I flew through the course work and found it to be very interesting, educational, and fulfilling….but the dissertation process has been the death of me. No joke. I went through three different dissertion chairs, and I could not seem to get myself and my way of working to the point that they wanted me to be – and they couldn’t provide feedback or advice in a way that made sense to me, so….there was no meeting of the minds whatsoever. It was painful, and awful, and I decided a few months ago that I was done. I couldn’t take it a moment longer, no degree was worth my sanity. I contacted my university to see if there was something that I could do that would allow me to get some acknowledgement for all of the work that I had done – and they told me about the EdS program. It’s designed for those who are already working in a specific field, and it’s kind of like a stop along the way between the Master’s degree level and the Doctorate programs. They took most of my course work that I’d already completed, and asked that the only class I take was the final Capstone research project. I agreed, and began the class in April.

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I had one of the most positive learning experiences that I have ever had. My instructor was amazing, he understood me, and he valued my work and contributions. He didn’t make me feel like I was depriving a village of its idiot, and he didn’t tell me that I was useless on the daily. I was able to research a topic that relates to my current job (which was a source of constant struggle under the old program – they wanted me to research something that was considered a ‘hole’ in the existing literature…which I didn’t give a shit about. I wanted to research things that were happening around me every day, so that I could be better equipped to deal with them. Different philosophies and approaches, I guess).  My instructor gave me feedback that I could actually use and apply to my work, and he didn’t rip me apart for my writing style. The entire experience was so positive that I feel tremendously proud right at this moment. Am I disappointed that I didn’t complete the Doctorate? Absolutely. Do I think that someday I may take another run at it? Probably. However, it won’t be any damn time soon. Right now, I want to focus on improving in my job, improving on the time that I spend with my Wee One and those that I care for, and I want to spend some time on me. I want to write write write for pleasure, not academic purposes….and I want to read for fun, not research.

 

I’m SO excited…I can hardly wait! :-)

xxx

Shake Your Tailfeathers

It became apparent a long time ago that I must not be a very easy person to love. I’m not high maintenance, my heart is most decidedly not black, I am not mean, I’m not cranky….none of that kind of thing – I’m just a different kind of kitten. Part of the problem is that I am a very creative person – my mind never stops going, I’m not known for my finely-tuned logic skills, and I’m also quite averse to seriousness (which is a polite way of saying that I am a raging jackass most of the time). I came across this article recently, and I absolutely LOVED it! Entitled “20 Things to Remember if You Love A Highly Creative Person”, it’s a great read. While I’d never be so pretentious to think of myself as being highly creative, I do think there’s some very decent advice for all of us on how to deal gently with each other – and, for those who may be interested, how to deal with me. :-) Happy reading! :-)

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1. They have a mind that never slows down.

The creative mind is a non-stop machine fueled by intense curiosity. There is no pause button and no way to power it down. This can be exhausting at times but it is also the source of some crazy fun activities and conversations. This is absolutely, 110% me – my bloody mind never stops (which is probably why I suffer from insomnia), I’m always thinking…I exhaust myself. The rest of the world must find me frustating!

2. They challenge the status quo.
Two questions drive every creative person more than any others: What if? and Why not? They question what everyone else takes at face value. While uncomfortable for those around them, it’s this ability that enables creatives to redefine what’s possible. I don’t do this so much, actually….I tend to go along with things outwardly, rarely pausing to rock the boat – but you should hear the revolutions I’m starting in my head!

3. They embrace their genius even if others don’t.
Creative individuals would rather be authentic than popular. Staying true to who they are, without compromise, is how they define success even if means being misunderstood or marginalized. This is ME!!! I don’t give a whooping funt about being popular or well-liked – I care far more about being me, and being true to me. I think I’m a pretty decent person – if others don’t get me, then that is their loss. Whatevah.

4. They have difficulty staying on task.
Highly creative people are energized by taking big mental leaps and starting new things. Existing projects can turn into boring slogs when the promise of something new and exciting grabs their attention. I am natually inclined to be this way, but years of conditioning has forced me to learn to stay on task, hyper-focus and finish the job at hand. If I didn’t have to worry about keeping my job, I’d probably be loopier than a shithouse rat!!

5. They create in cycles.

Creativity has a rhythm that flows between periods of high, sometimes manic, activity and slow times that can feel like slumps. Each period is necessary and can’t be skipped just like the natural seasons are interdependent and necessary. I can definitely relate to this – sometimes, my creative juices resemble the rushing waters of Niagara Falls, and I can’t get all of the ideas whirling in my head out quickly enough. Othertimes, it’s like the friggin’ Sahara around here…dryer than hell. Ebbs and flows, friends…ebbs and flows.

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6. They need time to feed their souls.
No one can drive cross-country on a single take of gas. In the same way, creative people need to frequently renew their source of inspiration and drive. Often, this requires solitude for periods of time. I am a girl who definitely requires ‘me’ time – I need to be left alone to read my favorite websites, slide through my Twitter feed, catch up on my favorite shows on my DVR…all of these things feed my creativity, they inspire me, they get me thinking, and they make me feel good. Does anything life-shattering ever happen after I watch the week’s worth of Jimmy Fallon on Saturday mornings? No. Does it make me feel as if I’m ready to take on the world and I am going to be okay after an exhausting week? Absolutely. Bring it on. :-)

7. They need space to create.
Having the right environment is essential to peak creativity. It may be a studio, a coffee shop, or a quiet corner of the house. Wherever it is, allow them to set the boundaries and respect them. I wish that I had a quiet space to work and think and just be, but I don’t. Instead, I set up shop on my bed most of the time (I got a new Casper mattress in December which is the friggin’ bomb of all time – seriously, it has been SUCH a game changer for me. Love it! :-) ), or I park it in the living room on the love seat, and get down to business. I used to love writing outside on my deck, but the yard is a shithole of a mess and I don’t have time nor arm power to clean it up, so…I’ve taken my show inside. :-( In other news, I’m currently holding auditions for intern yard boys/pool boys ( even though I don’t have a pool) – all interested applicants are encouraged to apply through the Comments section. 😉 PS: Shirts will be optional! 😉

8. They focus intensely.
Highly creative people tune the entire world out when they’re focused on work. They cannot multi-task effectively and it can take twenty minutes to re-focus after being interrupted, even if the interruption was only twenty seconds. This is partly me – I am a focusing fool….but I can multitask with the best of them. I think it must be the years of conditioning in the work place -plus the fact that I’m a girl. 😉

9. They feel deeply.
Creativity is about human expression and communicating deeply. It’s impossible to give what you don’t have, and you can only take someone as far as you have gone yourself. A writer once told me that an artist must scream at the page if they want a whisper to be heard. In the same way, a creative person must feel deep if they are to communicate deeply.  I can definitely relate to this one…I feel all the feels, all the time. When I get my feelings hurt, it cuts me to the core. When I care for someone, I love them with all of my heart and want to build a shrine in their honor on the regular. I spout love declarations, I sing their praises, I compose them bad love poems – the whole nine yards. When it comes to feelings, I am a believer in the ‘go big or go home’ philosophy. This probably explains why I’ve been hurt/shattered so damn many times. Oh well….nothing ventured, nothing gained.

10. They live on the edge of joy and depression.
Because they feel deeply, highly creative people often can quickly shift from joy to sadness or even depression. Their sensitive heart, while the source of their brilliance, is also the source of their suffering. I don’t suffer from depression – I get sad and bummed, of course, but I generally try to keep that in and hide it from the world. However, thankfully, my moments of melancholy are mostly few and far between. I said to someone recently, as I was pissed off and ranting and raving like a lunatic, that I work so hard all of the time at keeping my feelings between the lines, keeping everything on a real even keel…never allowing myself to swing to extremes. Why? Why do I feel that I have to do that? I suppose it’s the years of my mother telling me to tone it down, to stop every time that I showed any extreme of any sort – she still does it, in fact. I’m 41 years old…perhaps it’s time for her to realize that the ship has sailed???!  There are days when I would like to just let’er rip, show all of my feelings and emotions to everyone around me, whether they asked for it or not. I can’t imagine the carnage that I’d leave behind! 😉

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11. They think and speak in stories.
Facts will never move the human heart like storytelling can. Highly creative people, especially artists, know this and weave stories into everything they do. It takes longer for them to explain something, explaining isn’t the point. The experience is.  I don’t know if I am a good storyteller, or if people think I am boring as shit and wish I’d shut the hell up when I talk….I hope that I am interesting. :-)

12. They battle Resistance every day.
Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, writes:

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”

Highly creative people wake up every morning, fully aware of the need to grow and push themselves. But there is always the fear, Resistance as Pressfield calls it, that they don’t have what it takes. No matter how successful the person, that fear never goes away. They simply learn to deal with it, or not.  This is so me. Every day, I know where I want to be, the things that I want to do….but I seem to lack the knowledge of how to bridge the distance between the two. I certainly don’t lack the motivation, though…so perhaps some day I will figure it all out. :-)

13. They take their work personally.
Creative work is a raw expression of the person who created it. Often, they aren’t able to separate themselves from it, so every critique is seen either as a validation or condemnation of their self-worth. This is something that I struggle with…I take criticism very personally, which I really ought to get over. With the amount of shit and abuse I take from the world, you’d think I’d be better at it!

14. They have a hard time believing in themselves.
Even the seemingly self-confident creative person often wonders, Am I good enough? They constantly compare their work with others and fail to see their own brilliance, which may be obvious to everyone else. Amen. That’s all I’ve got to say about this one!!!

15. They are deeply intuitive.
Science still fails to explain the How and Why of creativity. Yet, creative individuals know instinctively how to flow in it time and again. They will tell you that it can’t be understood, only experienced firsthand. This is a weird thing that I go through all of the time…I get these wonky feelings about stuff, and I am usually right. I feel it in my gut, and there is little that I can do once that feeling settles in…I don’t understand. However, I am also the dimmest person in town about some things, and you damn near have to hit me over a head to catch on to them. Grr! I am maddening!!! :-(

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16. They often use procrastination as a tool.
Creatives are notorious procrastinators because many do their best work under pressure. They will subconsciously, and sometimes purposefully, delay their work until the last minute simply to experience the rush of the challenge. I’m funny about procrastination. I am SUCH a doer, 99.9% of the time – but there are a few things that I happily put off, hoping that perhaps a fairy will appear and take care of it (or the shirtless pool boy). Cleaning out my fridge is one of these things, cleaning the old toys and junk out of the upstairs of my house is another. I don’t know what the hell I’m waiting for with these two tasks, but I am clearly waiting for something!!

17. They are addicted to creative flow.
Recent discoveries in neuroscience reveal that “the flow state” might be the most addictive experience on earth. The mental and emotional payoff is why highly creative people will suffer through the highs and lows of creativity. It’s the staying power. In a real sense, they are addicted to the thrill of creating. I get this. I find painting to be the most thrilling activity around…and I’m NOT a good painter. However, the act of putting colorful blobs on a canvas and making something pretty makes my heart pound with excitement, and each time I do a painting class, I’m like an addict looking for another fix, checking the calendar to see when I can go back. Nutty!

18. They have difficulty finishing projects.
The initial stage of the creative process is fast moving and charged with excitement. Often, they will abandon projects that are too familiar in order to experience the initial flow that comes at the beginning. This is linked to my procrastination – I do finish things that I think are important, but…unpacking the last two boxes from when I moved in 7 years ago? Not important. Oops.

19. They connect dots better than others.
True creativity, Steve Jobs once said, is little more than connecting the dots. It’s seeing patterns before they become obvious to everyone else. This is me, I am this – I see patterns everywhere I look in the world around me. I see patterns in people’s behavior, I see connections between our actions, I see links all the time – whether they exist or not. I am a person who makes meaning from connecting to those around me…which is probably why I’m always trying to establish relationships with others.

20. They will never grow up.
Creatives long to see through the eyes of a child and never lose a sense of wonder. For them, life is about mystery, adventure, and growing young. Everything else is simply existing, and not true living. This is the essence of me…I live most days full of a childlike sense of awe and wonder, and I frequently have to stop what I’m doing to marvel at the world around me. I love to laugh, I love to have fun, and I love sharing those things with other people. I think the Wee One and I get along so well because we are very similar in our sense of glee…and I hope that never changes. Some people that I know have been OLD since they were 10 years old. I am not one of those people. I want to always feel the tingles of a new experience, and I actively combat cynicism and being jaded with all of my might. This doesn’t make me immature (much)…I think it makes me a lover of life. :-)

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Are you a creative bunny? Whether you are in love with a creative person or you are one yourself, embrace the qualities that make this kind of person so magical to be around….and try to love them in spite of these things. :-) Maybe, just maybe, you will learn to love them BECAUSE of these things – and that would be the very best of all. :-)

 

xxx