Most people are enjoying personal time at home during the December holidays or prepping for the new year, but not me. I actually like being at work during this time of year. It's low volume screaming, no disgusting smells coming from the communal microwave and best of all most toilets are pristine looking and clean (versus having unidentifiable "stuff" on, in and around them!). Year end is a breeze and, dare I say, enjoyable? The lack of demanding emails and phone-calls allow me to come to work with a specific agenda that can actually be executed! No multi-tasking, no dropping what I was doing to take care of an emergency. It's work on my terms without succumbing to the cries of the needy. And yep, it's awesome.
It's the 24th. I overslept. Ok, to be honest I woke up early and chose to lay in bed for another 45 minutes. I went to the gym and still did a full work out (priorities man!). I was late to work but figured there'd be no one in the office to notice (and I was right - until they read this of course) I spilled hot sauce all over my shirt and pants - can't take me anywhere. I smell like hot sauce. Damn it.
1. You will get laugh lines on your face but you don’t care because all that means is that you laugh a lot which is the sign of a great life.
2. After years of picking your body apart and feeling like you are not good enough because you are too fat/skinny/short/tall/weird-looking, you turn a corner and start feeling comfortable in your own skin. Now you try to break dance at weddings and you don’t care how crazy you look. You sing “Our Lips are Sealed” at karaoke night in front of a bunch of strangers. You don’t care if you sound terrible because life is short dammit, and this is how memories are made.
3. You go to bed when you are tired. You truly enjoy a good night’s sleep, the comfort of a cozy blanket, and a roof over your head. You know that not everyone gets to have these things so you feel appreciative.
4. You become resilient. You have been through some shit and you have come out on the other side. You know what constitutes a true crisis and you have experienced real trauma. You know how to handle all kinds of gnarly situations and you have been there for others when they have gone through tough times.
5. You remember to tell people that you love them. By the time you are 40, chances are you have lost some people that are important to you. You know the importance of telling people how you feel about them while you still can. You start giving more hugs.
6. You have a close knit circle of amazing friends. It may have taken a while but you have weeded out the manipulators, the Debbie Downers, and the drama magnets. What you have left is a group of amazing people who really know you and love you for who you are. They are the real deal. They cheer you on when you have successes and don’t turn their backs on you when you are in pain.
7. You don’t care about being cool anymore and therefore you become the coolest you have ever been in your life. This may mean dressing in fashions from the 90’s (or earlier) or openly listening to music that you used to be embarrassed about liking. You just don’t give a big shit what anyone thinks about you anymore and it rules.
8. You get a backbone. You don’t compromise your values. You fight for what is important. You let people know when they hurt you. You apologize when you hurt others. You move on.
9. You pull your head out of your ass. You take better care of yourself but you become less selfish. You appreciate the beauty in your surroundings. You stop taking selfies and start taking in sunsets. You accept compliments without countering them with a self-depreciating comment. You realize that, most of the time, you have more choices than you think you do. You stop wasting your time being a victim of circumstances that you have the power to change.
10. You don’t have to buy into the cultural messages that you get bombarded with about getting older. It is all crap. Being 40 is awesome.
My thoughts on new years resolutions have wavered over the years from absolutes, to vague vows of change to make the goal more easily attainable. But why must we wait and pin all of our hopes for change onto the first day of the year? The fact is, every day is a fresh start. We all wake up, God willing, with 365 days of fresh starts per year - screw January 1st! I'm not waiting because getting active now, whether it's physical, emotional or spiritual just seems far easier while the thoughts are fresh in my head. Time really is an illusion after all. We never have enough of it, so why not make your own reality now, and quit procrastinating? There's so much pressure to share your resolutions on the first, only to realize that 5 days later you've fallen off the vow-wagon and the feelings of embarrassment start to creep in. Who needs that kind of pressure? Wouldn't it be awesome if on the first of the year when your friends ask what your New Year's resolutions are, that you could respond, "It's to get healthier, and I've already done X, Y, and Z to help get me there."? Or, "I want to save X amount of dollars this year, and here are the steps I've already taken and...". Get the picture I'm drawin' for ya here? I guess my point is (yes, I have one) that the old adage states, if you can dream it you can do it and nowhere in that quote is there a specific start date. Just do it (no I'm not endorsed by Nike for that comment). But come on - make today your January 1st already, what are you waiting on? Wondering what some of my resolutions are for the new year? Ask me on the first and I'll tell you how far I've come!
I finally took a glass blowing class this weekend! I've been wanting to experience this class for quite some time, so I'm happy that Groupon helped make it possible. (Although, Groupon tends to be more of a hindrance to my wallet than helpful most days - but I digress.) The class at Talisman Glass was fast paced and seemingly all too short, but it was an awesome experience. Owner and instructor Sharon Gilbert is amazing in her knowledge, support and patience. Her instructions allowed for plenty of hands on work and learning, but I have to admit that the actual, getting down on your knees and blowing into the end of a moving pipe (in order to blow the ornament into shape) was a bit intimidating. Quite frankly, it reminded me of something all together different (and I really can't believe that I wast the only one to think and feel like that!). Despite the down on your knees blowing awkwardness, I would totally do it again! Below are pics of the ornament I created. The reds in the "before" photo appear black as the globe is hovering around 900 - 1000 degrees. The true color starts to "come up" as the ball cools. On the right is the finished, speckled product and I'm happy to say that it's already proudly hanging on the Christmas tree.
Epilogue: In life, when times are hot and troublesome we don't always see the best and brightest colors in things or people. Perhaps, like the ornament, we should remember to take the time to cool down and see things as they really are. Time makes all the difference.
Ok, having now seen operas in Italian, German and English I will tell you that Italian is the only way to go! Despite the German (The Magic Flute) and English (Porgy and Bess) operas having great story lines, they have proven painful to listen to! While I hardly consider myself an opera snob (ok, maybe I am?) the non-Italian singing just does not flow! It's harsh. It's choppy. It's just not pretty and not what one would envision hearing when the word opera comes to mind. Thank goodness I'll be seeing Tosca in January in hopes of redeeming my Italian love. It's not over yet fat lady...
Well, it took me the better part of the year to get the nerve to meet with a financial adviser, but I finally did it! The best thing is, that I'm on track to a successful retirement (barring catastrophe) and have made some smart choices along the way. Whoa - did I just talk about retirement? That makes me feel OLD and I still have a long way to go before I'm even OLD enough to retire! And to make reality even harder to swallow, I just calculated that I have way too many days left until I can go on permanent vacation!