Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All Growed Up

I’ve had a very busy month. This generally happens to most people in December, as it is filled with shopping, travel, wrapping up at work, packing and holiday partying it up. In my frenzied-ness, I’ve put off many of the normal day-to-day duties like grocery shopping, car washes and laundry – my clothes, sheets, blankets and towels have been dying for bath for a good three weeks now. Yikes.

And since I am leaving tomorrow for Christmas with mom, I had no choice but to spend my last night in town hunkered down at the neighborhood Laundromat to get it done. I’m personally laundering 12 loads while watching the Idol holiday special on the 19” TV and chatting with the attendant – yes, this is the glamorous life.

The smart thing to do would have been to take my clothes to the dry cleaner to have them fluffed and folded. I considered this, but decided that I didn’t want my dry cleaner checking out my underwear – not all of them are as cute as I would like to imagine. So in vanity, I sacrificed an entire evening to retain the safety of someone not knowing that I occasionally wear stretched-out pink cotton briefs.

So here is what I’ve taken away from this experience: if you own underwear that you don’t want others to see, get rid of them. It feels like a very grown-up thing to do. And as I’ve been thinking more about my list of New Year’s resolutions, some other mature to do’s have been on my mind as well. They include:

Wooden Hangers
A friend of mine swears that one should only have a closet full of wooden hangers. They are the best accessory to properly maintain your clothes – and their presence is a daily reminder that you are taking care of the things you own. Since my closet is half-filled with dry-cleaner wire hangers, it will probably cost me a fortune to check this one off the list – but probably well worth the investment.

Earthquake Kit
I live in Los Angeles and an earthquake at some point is inevitable. The responsible thing for us Angelenos to do is be prepared with “kit” that includes an emergency action plan, cash, water and canned goods. My ex always included a motorcycle in this plan (for driving through the desert to safety, of course), but I think I will be okay with a pair of old tennis shoes in the trunk of my car. And for those of you not in Los Angeles, this plan seems necessary for any of other run-of-the-mill natural disasters or emergencies.

How/When to Say No
I am a people pleaser by nature and I love being helpful. So I often say “Yes!” when someone asks me if I can help with something. But I am starting to get the sense that saying no is not only okay to do, but it is often quite necessary. And my gut seems to confirm this idea: almost every time I do something that I really don’t want to be doing, I get an overwhelming feeling of being unsettled – probably recognizing that I am prioritizing my life around someone else’s needs. So when someone asks me, “Can you ____________?” I am going to play a game called: Is this something that is important to me to help out with? And if the answer is no, I am going to try really hard to vocalize that.

Cash Savings
For years, I have been listening to Suze Orman advise women that they should have eight months of living expenses squirreled away in a liquid savings account. I am not a huge saver, so every time I read it I thought, “How in the world would I be able to save that much money?” Well, I’ve determined that it is eventually possible and in this economic environment, it’s probably a good idea. Knowing me, I will probably end up spending it on a trip to Italy, but at least I will have proven to myself that I am able to save.

So on my short list of resolutions, I’ve decided I’m saying no to obligation, multiple loads of laundry, wire hangers and being unprepared for an emergency. And yes to a very grown up New Year. I hope you will too!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dream a little dream...

I recently had a dream about a life that wasn’t mine.

It was quite nice and featured a wonderfully loving relationship with a really great man – the kind of man that women really do dream about: handsome, successful, loving, funny, smart, completely connected. There was giddy fun, meals accentuated with great wine and long chats. I felt safe, loved and challenged.

And then I woke up. And I spent the day mourning the life I had a quick glimpse of.

And now that dream has really got me thinking. For years I’ve enjoyed my independence and my almost selfish regard for crafting a life that allows me to do what I want when I want. I’ve always been slightly skeptical of marriage and not 100% sure that I would have children, and I've never truly understood women who have singular intentions to achieve these things -certainly there are more important life goals like crafting a fulfilling career, exciting travel, sleeping in on the weekends, nights out, and fun men in the wings.

Don’t get me wrong: I really do like my life. It’s full and flexible and self-reliant. It includes close friends and a cat and a successful business. But now something has shifted slightly - and makes me think I’m ready to take a chance that will add something new. My Dream Dictionary says that “to dream of love/loving/being loved suggests … that you have a need to bring more of what characterized that relationship into your waking life.”

I think Jungian theory may be right on this one.

Surely one dream wont completely change my mentality; but that experience, coupled with the realization that I’m turning 30 this year, that it’s been almost three years since my last serious relationship and that the majority of my friends are coupled and procreating, has got me thinking about the future – and speculating that I might be ready to find that person to share it with.

It’s an exciting proposition. And with any luck he will also love sleeping late on Sundays, good food and wine, Oregon football, neurotic cats – and me.

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