Most peeps would say it’s meditation. These are the grown-ups. The same people that retired before 40, do yoga every morning and drink 16 gallons of water a day🐍. Naturally, being a free spirit, it would not be my immediate answer to the question: What is the single fastest way to live more in the present?
My answer: Get a living thing and take good care of it. Now by living thing, I don’t mean a plant that you can casually murder and use as click bait on your dating profile to endear yourself to your future ex. No, I mean a breathing, living thing that can bite and scratch like a dog or a cat. Or a bird or any other small animal depending on the amount of space available.
In June, me and my husband got a dog. An extremely demanding little dog named Rhubarbe. Our lives have changed so much since then. For one thing, we’re more relaxed and we laugh more. We also play a lot more. Mostly due to those sharp teeth which she uses freely whenever she wants to play and we’re not displaying enough enthusiasm 😩. With her around, no matter how hard I try I can’t stay mad or sad for long.
A loving animal however small can pull you out of your head and Bring you back to the present moment. I think this is the best thing that could have ever happened to us this year considering how tough the whole year has been.
What about you guys? If you had to pick a single fastest way to live more in the present, what would it be? Please share below!
Look at us. We look very happy, don’t we? Little did I know 6 years in I was gonna be replaced. At first, he could not get enough of me. I mean I was everywhere. Pics of me eating, pics of me sleeping, pics of me (again, I know) laughing and just being my beautiful silly self.
Of course, being the reasonable person that I am, I did not expect this to last forever. Just till we both turn 150. Is that too much to ask for a woman as beautiful as me? Most people would agree, it’s not. And if you disagree I don’t know who you are and what to tell you😎
Fast forward June 6, 2020, we left home a family of two and came back a family of three. I was replaced by Rhubarbe. A four-legged creature who farts and snores (If that sounds like someone you know, I am sorry😂).
Since Rhubarbe came into our lives, my husband’s phone has nothing but pics of her. Pics of Rhubarbe sleeping, pics of Rhubarbe chewing expensive footwears, pics of Rhubarbe shamelessly biting the hand that feeds her (told you she was cute and cold). I could keep going but decency is forcing me to leave it at that.
Between us guys, his phone has officially become a daddy’s phone. When I dared to mention this to him, his answer was: “Well, she’s beautiful and cute and deserves pics of herself everywhere.”
Shameful, I know… Which reminds me this used to be me…
Meanwhile, I have to practically beg for a pic. But you want to know the funny thing? I am not mad at all. Except when I am due for an Instagram post. In fact, I welcome my new threesome status. Things being what they are, I might as well show off my new threesome status. 😋😎
“When I was little, one of my dreams when I grow up was to shop until I faint. I do. I shop and dear husband faints (Once he realizes the amount of stuff, still with the tag on, I’ve got hiding in the back of my closet)“
I don’t know for you but I find shopping incredibly relaxing. Online shopping, that is. It allows me to clear my head, sort of like a mental flossing. Considering I am in a broke period of my life right now, I mostly browse online. There’s actually very little buying involved. Shameful, I know….Of course it would be nice if a black AmEx card could magically appear while I am doing so but, what can you do, eh? It’s clear I was born to suffer😞🤕.
With quarantine helping, my only solace now lies in filling and emptying my cart online either at H&M or Zara. I don’t actually empty the cart myself…someone (a sadist, no doubt) usually ends up buying the item. The way it’s done is just heartbreaking. The bought item appears crossed out but you can still see it.
Which usually sends me into a pity fest of ”why me😞” with pink violins playing in the back. The last time I woke up to find one my fav item crossed out, dear husband walked in on me, probably thinking I’ve just gotten news somebody died:
Dear husband: “What’s going on”?
Me: “Somebody just bought that olive leather skirt I just put away”
Dear husband: “Still buying stuff you don’t need?”
Me: “No, it’s not that. I mean I don’t actually buy them. I just fill my cart…it’s kind of my happy place right now…”
Dear husband looked sincerely relieved. His training is working. I am adulting big time and it’s all thanks to him. He smiles with the satisfaction of one who specializes in training hard-headed fools….😋😎
Dear husband: ” Thought I was your happy place?
Me: ” Not funny, you know. My closet and by extension my life may never feel whole without this skirt.😔”
Dear husband: “Don’t worry. It’ll come back.”
Me: “How do you know?”
Dear husband:” I do it too.”
Shocker! The man actually has a soul. He feels things much deeper than I ever thought he could. Maybe all is not lost after all….
Now if you’re one of those warrior minimalist type, you’re probably thinking to yourself: “Great! Another sick person trying to pass off their addiction as useful!” You’re absolutely right.
What about you, dear friend? (I always feel like I should be wearing a matching set while saying dear), what’s your happy place? If it’s online shopping browsing, Dm me. We could create a Facebook group. We could call it, say, “Broke online browsers anonymous”. What do you say?
“Major sacrifices will be required and we’re not talking blood of lambs here…”
Last week was my birthday and I am conscious I was all over this space singing the praise of gratefulness and the value of counting one’s blessings and I meant it….except…🤦🏾♀️. Today I am coming to you with a rant. If you’re beginning to think human beings default mode could be unwavering ungratefulness, you are not alone dear friend.
“Follow your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life”
This is such a load of bull (excuse my bitterness😩). If you look at the real root meaning of the word “passion”, it means : “Suffering, enduring,” from past participle stem of Latin pati “to endure, undergo, experience,”…The notion is “that which must be endured.” – Etymonline
“The sad truth is your passion is not going to save you from hard, back-breaking, numbing work. Passion or not you will not escape sacrifices. On the contrary you will have to make even more sacrifices than people who do not insist on skipping to work every day.”
If you think this is depressing wait, there’s even more heartbreaking news coming your way. Hard work is hiding everywhere, even behind this lovely passion of yours so choose carefully; because you won’t be able to work hard on everything all at one.
Most likely while you’re working hard on your passion, your relationships are disintegrating due to neglect. Hard work is most definitely hiding behind this soul mate you think you may have just found; hard work is also hiding behind this new exciting friendship you’re just developing; it’s even hiding behind these beautiful Pinterest inspiration boards (God damn it!). It’s been hiding for decades behind this lovely “boss lady” dripping in brand names and standing in a power pose that could put the incredible hulk to shame(ATTENTION: Stressful, dishevelled nights alone not pictured🙄).
Which is why it’s important to try and prioritize those things that are really important to you and refrain from wanting to win at everything cause the minute you win at something, you lose at something else. You can’t keep all the boats afloat.
So take solace in hard, backbreaking work if you want that passion as much as you say you want it; if you want that relationship as much as you say you want it; if you want those red soles as much as you say you want it; if you want that architectural digest home as much as you say you want it.
A few days ago (October 10th) I turned 33, I mean 43😋. Oh my, how time flies! Usually at this time of year, when my birthday comes around I’d be depressed, wondering why am I allowed to continue such unaccomplished, failed-to-meet-every-expectation-set-by-my-parents’ life. But this time, something different happened: I got tired of bashing my own damn self; it finally dawn upon me that well, 43 years has passed and another 10 may very well passed and find me still bashing myself for reasons that sometimes don’t even make sense.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault
What I am about to say may sound cliché to the point of possibly making you puke but clichés do hold a lot of truths. So I realized (I mean I always knew but somehow it never fully clicked until now…) a few things:
I am never going to be as young (and foolish😋) as I am now. Now, later on I might be better, look better but one thing for sure: I’ll never be 43 again.
Of course when you think about it this way I do wonder why in the hell have I not been celebrating all year long instead of waiting to the very end and get all mushy and grateful. But such is the human condition (mom, is that you speaking?🙄); sometimes I think our sole mission on earth as humans is to turn this simple thing called life into something so complex we can barely make it through.
in Dale Carnegie’s book How to make friends and influence people, there’s a chapter titled: Would you take a million for what you have? Whenever I feel a bout of ungratefulness coming up I make it a point to do this little exercise; I ask myself: If somebody were to give me a million for, say my beautiful eyes, would I take it? Would I exchange what I currently have for what I think I may not have or might have missed? Of course not! This simple exercise helps me put things into perspective and realize I have more than enough.
Now I am not sure if I’ll feel the same way once I hit 80! I can only hope to be lucky enough to hit that milestones with a full head of hair, great health and the people I love besides me!
Growing old can be a blessing if don’t insist on being a martyr☺😋
Today, I am coming to you with a piece of writing by a writer I really admire not only because she’s a very talented writer but because she’s my little niece, one of the very few people I can actually call early morning and give advice on things I, clearly, am not even practising myself🙄😎
The many ways I procrastinate…
I’m a master of the art of procrastination. People like me typically do well under pressure. Why? We have spent our entire lives perfecting homework, exams, and projects at that last moment. I have no shame, so here are some of my Achilles heels for you to judge and maybe relate to.
First, I create a list of all the things I have to do, and sometimes if I’m really feeling productive (in other words, delusional), my to-do list has subsections. For example, chores:
Clean the Floor
My apartment is all hardwood, not a carpet in sight. But I feel I must add vacuuming to the list. I’ve owned my vacuum for almost six months, and I think I’ve used it twice.
Then I scroll through YouTube because I must have the proper music to induce productivity. Usually, about 3 hours later, I’m done with you Tube, and no, I did not create a playlist but I have expanded my knowledge on dance moves I can never emulate and watched enough cute cat and dog videos to make me want to get another pet. At least until my two dogs, Yuki and Tigress do something to remind me my life was more peaceful before pets. Not happier but quieter, but life is short, so who wants peace and quiet anyway?
Productivity is still the name of the game, and I haven’t given up. So I visit my best frenemy Netflix. Now I know what you’re wondering, ” How deep is her delusion that she thinks Netflix, of all things, will help her be productive?” There is a method to the madness. The goal here is to choose something I’ve seen several times before. So much so that it can become background noise while I do things. This sometimes works. The pitfall is the currently watching shows you have to scroll through before you get to that oldie but goodie. I usually don’t make it, and the next thing I know, I get up to pee, and it’s 10 PM.
I have accomplished nothing from my list, but there’s always tomorrow. I just have to find the right playlist….
“Look at it as self-care, something ongoing like brushing your teeth every morning. You don’t brush your teeth for summer and then forget all about them for winter. At least I hope you don’t for your own sake”😉
A few years ago I started having problems I’ve never had before like digestive problems, overloaded liver, big up and downs in energy, anemia and my fibroids coming back with a vengeance. As usual, I ignored them and continue my lifelong quest of being skinny. But when the body is tired, there’s no ignoring so the hints became stronger and stronger until they could no longer be ignored. This is what forced me into viewing the health of my body in a different way because the old way simply wasn’t working anymore. I still struggle with my old “get skinny at any cost mentality” but I do believe I am getting better. so how do you get into the best shape of your life? My humble take on it below and I am still learning:
Examine the reasoning behind it: The reasons why we do things strongly influence the way we do things.
Back in the days I would lose weight for summer, gain it all back during winter and lose it all again for the upcoming summer except most times I would not necessarily be as successful as the last time and there would always be some kind of residual pounds left. But then again it makes sense when you look at it: If I am only losing weight for summer, it’s only logical that I gain it all back once summer is over, right? But if I am simply caring for my body and giving it what it needs when it needs it, then it becomes not a specific goal for a specific time but simply a way of life.
Change the way you see your body: Instead, see your body as your number one ally in this thing called life
When I was young and careless, I used to think my body was my slave, my bitch literally but as I became more matured, I realized my body is more than this separate entity that needs to fit into specific sizes. Instead, I am starting to see my body more and more as my most prized possession, my number one ally in this thing called life. Consequently, I understand I need to care for it in the gentlest possible way so it can last as long as possible and that made all of the difference. I want to buy clothes that fit my body and not force my body to fit into clothes that does not fit it. I want to be healthy first and foremost even if it means a curvier version of me. I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be fit (Can’t believe I am saying that🙄). I acknowledge that my body is changing and I need to accommodate it by giving it what it needs. Which means: Proper nutrition, good sleep, rest and relaxation. Believe me, it’s not easy for someone accustomed to the next crazy diet and next crazy exercise (Proof: Workout that delivers: 30 min hit) but I am getting there. Me thinks it finally clicked.
The minute you start viewing your body, your health in this way, you soon realize you don’t have to hop on the next crazy diet. You have time. In fact, you have your entire life to get in the best shape of your life. No stress, no abusing your body.
What about you guys? Would you like to add something to the conversation? Has this quarantine forced you to see caring for your body in any different way? How has your view on health and wellness changed as you’re evolving into a better, more matured version of yourself?
“We all have that one person who insists on telling us the truth when it’s clear a good lie would do just fine. For me this person is my husband…”
Picture this. It’s Sunday, I am planning some content for Instagram and I trying to decide on the hash tags to apply to my posts in terms of age bracket.
Me: “Well, let’s see…I can put a #Over35Style# on that pic…”
Husband: “But you’re closer to 45….”
Me: “Thank you for reminding me and your point is?😒”
Husband: “Don’t you think it’s a bit misleading?”
Me: “How is it misleading🙄? It’s not like I am a snake and my profile pic shows a sheep or something?!”
He took one look at me and surely must have perceived the danger of starting a quarrel with an aging woman this early in the morning. Unless of course, he simply does not care about ruining his entire day.
Husband: “Well, I just think you should be proud of your age…”
Me: “Well, I think I am. I am soon to be 42 and I am not in therapy for it, aren’t I?”
Dear husband: “Soon to be 43…”
Me: “Ok, 43! If you want to be this petty🙄….”
But let’s get serious for a moment…🤔🤔
What is it with women and aging? Why is it such a turmoil? Is there something in the way society at large view aging women? Is it because we feel invisible past a certain age? Is it because, us women are vain little creatures who insist on being the centre of attention even when way past our prime?
What about you guys? How do you feel on the subject? Comment below!
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What if I make it? What if I actually pull this off?
“Most times success is not all Forbes features and taking power poses in expensive suits. It’s not always late nights and heart burns either. There’s joy… somewhere in there…😉”
Back in the days I was sincerely convinced I suffered from fear of failure but as time goes by I came to realize that maybe I suffer more from fear of success instead.
I was full of the sort of knowledge greedily accumulated by people who specializes in fighting from the sideline. People who lives in books and magazines and spend their time perfecting their vision boards wondering why they still haven’t received anything 🙋🙆
Which brings us the real questions: What if I make it. What if I actually succeed at this? What if I actually pull this off? How would my life change? Would it change for better or worse?
Would lazy Sunday mornings be a thing of the past constantly interrupted by work?
Will I still be able to express myself freely without fear of not being “on brand”?
Will I have to constantly keep up? Where does it stop? Will I have to constantly hop on the next opportunity, the next productivity app? The next big thing? The next market trend?
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.“ Dalai Lama
In my life I’ve been fortunate enough to work first hand with people that are quite successful in their chosen field which means I’ve been lucky enough to have had access to the “behind the scenes” of the supposedly glamorous “boss life”. People seem to forget that at the beginning, the”boss” life is in fact “boss-overworked only-employee”. It does come at a cost. Sometimes at the cost of personal life, family, health or wellness.
Hence this convo with dear husband: We were talking about taking risks, moving up the ladder and making use of every opportunity regardless if ready or not. Here’s a snippet:
Me: “We always idealize the next move up the ladder”
Dear husband: “Yeah you know when you’ve been waiting for that break and it finally comes true; you’re so overwhelmed by doubt you start asking yourself if you can really handle it. In fact, you may even start getting attached to your old life and the way things were 🥴🙄
I think we may have just witnessed a moment of extreme enlightenment brought to us by dear husband. I always thought he was an “Act first and think later kind of guy 🙄”. Well, I suppose I was wrong.
In the end, I suppose nobody starts by telling themselves they’re gonna have to give up a lot and make a lot of sacrifices to live that “boss life”? There’s clearly backbreaking work and a lot of tears and stress involved. I suppose you just have to want it bad enough.
Do you sometimes feel this way?
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“I’ve always envied people who meditate… It’s like the most grown-up thing to do; like saying no to that second glass of wine cause you’ve got to get up early for work the next day.”
Like I said grown-up stuff. Consequently, it was only a matter of time before I tried it myself. So one day, I woke up and told myself: I am ready. I was already enrolled at the YMCA so I just showed up to one of their early morning meditation class. I made sure to come in early to get a good spot. Just a tad bit far enough from the stage to exit quickly in case I happen to get bored out of my mind.😉
While everybody was getting ready to enter nirvana and make love to their center I was thinking to myself: “The teacher lost a ton of weight. Would she tell me if I asked her nicely? I don’t think she lost all that weight just by doing yoga…maybe if I tell her how much I love her class class, she’ll tell me exactly how she lost all that weight…”
In the middle of my pondering, enters a young woman, early 30’s. We’ll call her miss Yogalate. She had what I called to soft tofu look: Long, lean and all in soft curves. This kind of look is often paired with what I called the marinated Tempeh face (kind of like someone low key sucking on a lemon). She was wearing a loose top with matching yoga pants and carrying a highly pedigreed water bottle.🙄
Our eyes met. She approached my corner of the room and started spreading her mat all over as if I was renting a corner of her bedroom. I moved my mat a tiny bit further out to counter her effort at pushing my mat too far out. She looked at me and asked with raised manicured eyebrows:
Miss Yogalate: “Is this your first class?”😏
Me: “Yeah..does it show that much?”
Miss Yogalate: “Oh no, it’s just that we’ve been welcoming all sort of people here lately…so…”
In her presence, I felt like one of those flies that live exclusively on dead animals.
Miss Yogalate: “I was wondering….can you move your mat just a little?”
Me: “Sorry if I move it any further I won’t be able to hear the teacher.”
She thought about it for a while and then a genius idea hit her: “Tell you what, she said, there’s a spot right by the teacher in front. Why don’t you move over there? You’ll be much closer plus she’ll be able to keep an eye on you…”
Me; “No thank you. I have the perfect spot. right here…that’s why I try and come in early…”🐍
To cut the whole t hing short, I turned around and started busying myself, getting ready for the class. I could still feel her eyes on my back. Finally, the teacher announced the class was starting. Saved by the bell.
Unbelievable. Coming in all late and wrong and still expecting priority seating.
Turns out the meditating wasn’t bad at all. Since it’s the first class I wasn’t necessary able to even scratch the surface of my center but I am open to give it another go if the opportunity rises. All in all I would do it again😊