Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sometimes, I get stuck on traditions for the sake of them being, well, traditions.This is odd because I tend to do life in nontraditional ways. Not radically nontraditional, just different enough to annoy my mother.

The holidays also tend to stress me out. Mostly because of the pressure to fulfill the traditions. That certain dish. Nana's china. The crusty 20 year old macaroni ornament that must go on the tree each year (yup, the one I made when I had no front teeth). December rolls around and I am bombarded with peppermint lattes and a work schedule that certainly has not slowed down a bit.

We traditionally spend Thanksgiving in Los Angeles, visiting friends, going to the beach, and frequenting our favorite LA haunts. I moved from the east coast to LA right after college and fell in love with southern california. It was heart breaking to leave, albeit for great reasons. Our Thanksgivings in LA weekends have allowed my husband and me the opportunity to re-connect with the city that we both love, where we fell in love. A blissful tradition of the nontraditional type.

This year, we decided not to go. Lots of (adult) reasons - we just re-did our bathroom, we're going on a big vacation in December, we have a dog we love and don't want to leave. Decision made 11 am on Thanksgiving day. Now what? My one rule was 'no work' - none for him and none for me. So, we planned out our day - an afternoon movie, a cocktail at our favorite bar (The Artifice) and then out to a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Lovely, but secretly I thought a little lonely. What about our friends who make us watch "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" every Thanksgiving night or the cussing at the TV because someone's team is losing? Or seeing all of my friend's kids who are growing up?

We show up at the bar at 5:30 pm - the first to arrive. We get our drinks and starting yucking it up with the bartenders. They're pretty funny. It's our fourth year in Vegas.  As I tell them this, I can feel the longing for my little beach town and my friends. But, before I can start feeling too sorry for myself, I recognize the next girl who walks in - she's a friend of a friend. She's training for an ultramarathon and I immediately want to hear all about it. More people show up - hey! we know them, too! 5 hours later we are slightly tipsy and participated in a strongest calf muscle contest (yes, a calf muscle contest). A blast it was.

We left at 10:45 pm, realizing we haven't had our Thanksgiving dinner (or any food since stale popcorn 7 hours ago). McDonalds value meal never tasted so delish. A new tradition?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Let me introduce you to my long-lost friend, Discipline!

I used to be disciplined. Rigid schedules - work calendars, training calendars, social calendars, food calendars. I used to be able to carefully select the most healthy items to eat at the appropriate meal times with little effort. I used to spring out of bed at 5:30 am to turn on my coffee pot and head out to my favorite 6 am spin class. All of these things seem so incredibly hard now. Why is that?

I now sleep in until 7:30 or 8:00 am, loving the sweetness of my half an hour snooze, the sun shining in my bedroom, and my warm covers. I still turn on my coffee pot and start replying to emails. The gym - usually later in the day. I wear the same black North Face jacket every day with jeans or (yikes) pajama pants. I mean, hell, I work from home, who cares right?!

I find that I am hungry at 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm and 6 pm. Oh and then dinner at 8 pm with my husband. Yes, my waistline is expanding. In the past, I was so busy that I would be able to ignore my minor hunger pains and plow through to the next important meeting. Now, these minor hunger pains threaten my life and cry out for me to please just grab a handful of tortilla chips.

Is this a new identity forming? I am not sure I like her. So, I have decided to BFF my old friend, Discipline, so she can help me re-discover the goals-driven, crazy lady that I once was. Step one: put down the chip. Step two: Go for a run. Step three: Take a damn shower and put on some mascara!

I will let you all know how my date with discipline goes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Against the grain

"You can't have it all,"

"No one is perfect,"

"Just try your best,"

As a woman in her mid-thirties, I have been consistently told to relax, not be so driven. In high school, instead of pressing me to maintain As, my parents questioned whether or not to send me to therapy because I studied late into the night and set goals for my GPA each semester. College was the same - why aren't you having fun? Spending long nights out drinking with friends?* Instead, I loved getting enough sleep so that I could start my day fresh and early. "Clearly, there is something wrong with her," my parents mused.

I, obviously, moved far away. As far as I could while remaining in the Continental US, which would be California. Now, don't get me wrong. I adore my parents. They love me unconditionally and want me to be happy, more than anything else. More than success, money, degrees. And I am grateful for that, kind of. You see, I was just kind of born with this itch to outdo myself - constantly.

I started my career and realized - wow - this is where I can fit in, right? People with CAREERS are hard-working, self defecating perfectionists! To my relief, I found the 'others'. We ran marathons. We answered our emails before 6 am. We bought black suits and wore black pumps at just the right height (not too conservative, but not too slutty). We drank 1.5 glasses of Merlot at happy hour, just enough to be professionally tipsy while remaining in the appropriate caloric intake.

I met a wonderful man and married him. As my friends also got married and started having kids (the same professionals I felt at 'home' with), a new era with an emerging new identity has started to form. Now, I do not have kids and love my work. But, I think I am getting a little soft (literally and figuratively). This blog is my public attempt to "have it all". Yes, I want a family. But, I also want to be successful in my career, run 10 miles a day, always have my nails painted light pink or dark red, and never, ever conform to (gulp) flats. For all you ladies out there who truly believe you can do it all, let's rejoice together over 6 ounces of Merlot as we completely kid ourselves. Hopefully, my little tid bits will help you laugh along the way.