i hold these truths to be semi-evident – do with them what you will. i won’t say my last year has been ‘easy’, but certainly easier accepting a few things i can change, and a few things i can’t.
wear looser pants
this is sort of revolutionary. if your pants are loose, you feel less fat. and if you feel less fat, you worry less about your fat, and you get to pay attention to the other things you were missing while you were focusing on your fat. i’ve fully embraced a boyfriend jean, and this whole high-waisted thing has been a real moment for me. you can still do a little tight, but it’s all corseted in, with nothing spilling over or pinching out, and you can stop hiking your jeans up by the belt-loops, looking like a dumbass cowboy without a horse.
get an expandable suitcase
i’ve done a good deal of traveling in the last couple of years, and i can say – my tumi expandable suitcase is so perfectly versatile for when you want to be your best self and not check bags, and you want to be your best self and do all the shopping to bring back all the things. it’s a big size for a carry-on, and when it expands, you check it and get even more room. you never know when you’re gonna get all the things, so: be ready.
on international trips, keep up with your immigration form
don’t forget to bring that damn form back to the airport when you’re going home, otherwise you’ll pay $30 and feel dumb. i’m always so stoked to get off the plane at the front end of the trip to start the exploring – and that customs form gets tucked away somewhere and damned if i can find it 7 days later. jut put it in your passport case. be an adult.
don’t exaggerate and just tell the truth
perhaps a given to some people, but this hasn’t come easy for me. for a very long time, i over-promised and under-delivered (are these hyphenated words?) and it served as probably the biggest source of stress in my life, in hindsight. a huge ego camouflaging some core insecurities, mixed with a little authority, a little access, and lot of luck created the perfect storm for some gross and obnoxious behavior.. i wanted to be the leader of the circus, and that took a big ole show propped up with all sorts of exaggerations and untruths, wrapped in humor and absurdity. it took so much freaking energy to keep it all spinning. i learned that people start discrediting you when they realize what you’re up to – obviously, and that feels shitty. so, try to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. keep exaggeration to a minimum, even when it’s funnier not to, and sleep a little easier at night.
i watched a friend’s 9 year old daughter a couple of weeks ago in an interesting interaction.
another mom asked her if she’d like to go snowboarding with their family the following day.
ella said, ‘no, i don’t think i do’ – very casually and non passive-aggressively.
the mom offered again and said, ‘well if you change your mind, call us’.
ella said, not rudely, but matter-of-factly, ‘ok, but i doubt i will change my mind. i don’t want to go’.
then right back to doing a jigsaw puzzle.
no guilt, no anxiety, no adult bullshit, no over-promising and then backing out at the last minute.
how often do you do that? — you know you really don’t want to do something, and you either go do it out of some weird obligation, or you cancel and end up disappointing others and messing up their schedule last minute. what if you just say what you want and don’t want. this kinda blows my mind.
now that you’re not worrying about all the absurd things you said the night before, you’re all freed up to worry about other things – and that’s where examining the facts comes in. i’ve had some real practice with that the last year. when i get all in a tizzy about something, often creating stories in my head about things that have no real basis in reality, i’m trying to slow it down, and think through what i know to be the facts. by doing this, i have helped to diffuse the craziest of soap operas from playing out in my imagination, and i’ve been able to soothe myself through some anxious, lonely, guilt-ridden, panicky times. and knowing you can take care of yourself – that you have the capacity to talk yourself down, and out of crazytown, is new to me. and it’s really nice, to know you don’t have to put that responsibility on someone else. you can come to new relationships not needing someone, but choosing someone, because you’ve got you covered.
exercise close to home
before a workout that i’ve booked (some kind of class usually), i start about 5 hours out coming up with reasons to not go — but, because my classes are within a mile of my house, i can literally talk myself out of it up until the very last minute, still decide to go and get there on time b/c it’s 2 minutes away. i have time to go though the whole cycle of laziness until i get bored of myself and just go. then i’m glad. proximity.
when i’m switching time zones i take a melatonin the first two nights if i’m staying put a while, to get my kardashian rhythms straight. always works and i have the most entertaining dreams.
take the window seat
i’ve really been back and forth on this. i pee an average of 293 times on a flight, so aisle speaks to me, but time and time again i’ve been glad i smushed into the window seat. especially flying into beautiful places recently like aspen and mexico. it gives you just that one little moment of awe – you get to marvel from above, and that’s not easy to come by, but always worth it.
don’t go in the sun
it’s too damn expensive to keep fixing spots that were cute as freckles but now are just ‘spots’, undesirable spots. so, just don’t get sun. wear a hat. sit in the shade. get a long sleeve black rashguard thing and look mysterious. this is my reality — my parents both had some skin cancers, my grandma died of skin cancer, and i’m as pasty as they come so i gotta take this seriously. 99 problems, sun ain’t one.
i mean, i do. and i don’t have a ton of wrinkles. that frees me up to worry my neck, hands and knees. move to next item.
put lotion on your neck, hands and knees
i am unsure why my mother and i never covered things like this – like how to put on eyeliner and not look trashy, or to tend to your decolletage. nonetheless, i’m trying extra hard now because time’s been plenty awasted. my goal is to look less like the fran, the mom from dinosaurs, and really just more … not like her.
have dinner parties
my rental house has been perfect for hosting dinner parties – there’s a backyard, and a big front porch that can seat about 20. i love having friends over, and it’s fairly simple if you dole out the responsibilities. most everyone is content if the food is warm, they can take an instagram pic of the table, and we dance for a hot minute at the end. i mean, where else do we get to dance as adults?
let go of expectations
again, the last year allowed me to try this one out, and every single time i was surprised by the outcome. forget how things are supposed to be, how they’re meant to be, how they should be – let go. stop pushing, and manipulating and herding people into their roles. let it ride, be patient, take a breath and do what you can. when you let go of an expectation, you’re opening yourself up to be thoroughly surprised, even delighted sometimes. if you think you know how everything should go, then nothing is ever really new, and you’re cutting off opportunities for change (scary right!) but worse yet, opportunities for growth. and we gotta keep growing (through change!) (scary!).