World’s Collide

I got yelled at yesterday. In my yoga class. So it wasn’t really yelling, but a whispered reprimand.

This is what happens when type A tries to slow down…

Here’s the story:

I have a 50 minute yoga class that begins at 10:30- which math wise means in ends at 11:20. I told my husband to meet me outside of class at 11:30 because we were going to grab lunch and go to a movie.

We all know that I don’t like to be late, and if I am going to be late, I tell the person. Seriously- if I am five minutes late I will text the person that I’m meeting.

As you know, movie times at theaters are fixed: they don’t just start showing them when we enter the theater. The viewer has to tow the line and get to the theater at the appointed time.

So here’s the situation: class ends at 11:20, I grab my things, meet husband at 11:30. walk twenty minutes to restaurant, eat leisurely lunch, walk to theater, get seats, enjoy movie (well- in this particular case, it was more wonder how this movie was nominated for not one but two Oscar’s)

Fine. Leisurely. Relaxing (for me)

But what if class runs a little bit long?

I don’t check the time during my classes: I operate on the principal that the teacher will run the class for the appointed time. But what happens if I do something which causes my fitbit to light up and display the time, and I realize that it is 11:36?

I freak out. I jump up and scramble to the back of the room to grab my bag so I can grab my phone before it…

rings…

cause my husband knows I’m never late without calling or texting…

but I just miss shutting off phone.

Ring.

And you know when you are trying to shut down ringing you simply can’t get it done quickly…

but I don’t get yelled at for ringing phone…

I get yelled at for putting my mat away…because the class was still in Savasana…

First off: I do not like getting yelled at…ever.

Secondly: if the teacher is running the class long, should she tell the class that it is past the appointed hour?

I know that part of yoga, a big part, is relaxing the body and the mind, going with the natural flow. But sometimes life interferes. Sometimes we are supposed to be at a certain place at a certain time. And by the class running long, I was not at peace with myself. I left the class agitated, which is the exact opposite of how you are supposed to feel.

I felt bad that I was leaving class “early”. I felt bad that I disturbed people. I felt bad that I was late to meet my husband. I felt bad that we might need to rush through lunch.

Bad, bad, bad, when I was supposed to feel good, good, good.

Tense and stressed when I was supposed to feel relaxed.

So how does someone with my personality learn to let go? How do I make the two worlds meet?

Maybe I shouldn’t schedule things after class. But that’s not realistic. There are always things to do, and only so many hours in a day. Being mindful shouldn’t collide with being late, or not getting things done. I get the “does it really matter” kind of mantra, but in the reality that is me, I like to be on time. To me, part of karma is respecting others, which means being on time…I don’t want to waste anyone else’s time…

The greatest challenge in my journey to mindfulness is that it often collides with how I operate. We’ve learned that the road to happiness starts with owning who you are and respecting your own internal boundaries. I need to live my life on my terms- which is high energy pragmatism, orderly and planned. But isn’t there a way I can be mindful too? Operating on a loosey goosey schedule stresses me out. I need to have a semblance of a plan in order for my mind to be at peace….all the meditation and yoga and journals in the world aren’t going to help if I don’t have a schedule: it’s just who I am.

Is it possible to have planned mindfulness?

So here is my struggle: attempting to live in the moment, but having those moments sort of exist in my planner.

Is it possible for these two things to coexist? Or are they just going to keep colliding?

 

We Don’t all Get to do It

My parents are avid theater goers. Though they live in the suburbs, they maintain two theater subscriptions for theaters in Manhattan. My parents are 82 and 79, and my Father recently asked my Mother to start getting matinee tickets instead of evening. The 8pm showtimes and the ensuing hour trip back home was beginning to get to him.  My Mother’s response: No- that’s what old people do.

Last week I attended a show with my Mom- my Dad had no interest in a one woman show about her issues with her family. Showtime: 8pm. Curtain up about 8:03. Mother asleep about 8:10…

She pretty much slept through the show.

I understand that falling asleep can happen to anyone at anytime. We’ve all nodded off. But this is not the first time I’ve attended something with my Mom and heard her snoring before intermission.

My friend J comes over to watch Netflix with me. When we sat down to watch “The Irishman” I had the TV on volume 10- what we normally use. She asked me to turn it up. And turn it up…By the end of the movie, the volume was at 35. Remember- there’s maybe eight feet between my TV and the couch.

After the movie J, who’s 70, looked at me and said- “Maybe I should check into hearing aids…I guess I really didn’t realize how bad my hearing has become. The thought just makes me feel….” and she just shook her head.

We can buy creams and lotions, have plastic surgery. We can deny that things have changed- we can fight it…But how ever you look at it, things change as you get older.

The current mantra is to fight aging. Buy this, do this, try this. There are a thousand things that we can do to fight aging. But is that the best use of our time?

The bottles that line my medicine chest all bare names that have to do with aging. I get it…but think about my Mom- she’s missing the shows. Her vanity of needing to see shows at night because that’s what young people do ends up being a very expensive nap…Look at what’s she’s missing by not accepting that she is tired at night?

My friend J: not accepting that her hearing is not what it used to be is probably stopping her from fully enjoying the things she likes most: movies and television. How can you enjoy a show if you can’t hear everything?

I was formulating this post in my head last night when I turned on Grace and Frankie- without giving anything away- let’s just say that early in the second episode you see that Grace is not accepting aging well either…

Aging is not all about trying to maintain what we had when we were younger. Take care of yourself- that’s a given. But deal with the changes that nature has brought you. The goal is to live our fullest life no matter what stage we are in.

Remember: aging is a privilege, not a right. Not everyone gets the opportunity to age. Do what you can to maintain what you have, but realize that things do change, no matter how much we don’t want them to…

Highlights of the Week That Was 1/19/20

Gratitude Saturday 1/18/20

At some point this month, I surpassed 3,000 followers. I am very grateful for all the people who have stumbled onto my blog. Thank you.

In the past three weeks, not one, not two but three online vitamin retailers began following me. I knew that all those vitamin related posts that I write would one day garner the respect of the vitamin sellers, so for that, I am most grateful…

side note: lots of internet connectivity issues here at my piece of Manhattan (I threw out my garbage yesterday(down the hall) in my bathrobe and the repair guy was in the stairwell, so that was fun) so I am trying to read and reply as best as possible…

I’ll Have Another

My Mother always told me that you can tell the true nature of a person by seeing how they act after they’ve had a few. Now, as my Mother, and the vast majority of her friends, are teetotalers, I can’t help but wonder about the veracity of this statement. Do you see the “real” person, or do you see just someone who should have had a seltzer with lime instead?

Recently my friend was at a work holiday party. Drinks all around. One of the departments recently had to make a new hire. After a careful review of resumes, and extensive interviews, a young woman was hired. Very qualified for the position at hand.

Fine.

There was another young woman at the party who had interviewed for said job.

She did not get it. (obviously)

The young woman who was not hired went over to the hiring manager, and very loudly stated:

“I know why you didn’t hire me. I’m too attractive. I know your wife and she told you not to hire me because she’s jealous.”

The manager, normally quick to respond and good with people, was shocked. He simply stated:

“No. I would never do something like that.”

The young woman just walked away.

So here’s the thing: why would you ever go to a company party, with company people, and call out a highly esteemed manager? Well, you would if you had been thinking this in the back of your mind, and then had a little (a lot) of liquid courage…

How authentic are you if you’re impaired by alcohol or drugs?

Thinking something is one thing- acting on those thoughts is another. Without alcohol to fuel her, would she have ever made these thoughts a reality?

Have you ever apologized to someone for something you did while you were less than sober?

Drunk fights?

Inebriated hook ups?

I am fond of a glass of Prosecco. I love a good fruity cocktail. I’m totally fine with people drinking alcohol…

But we always must remember that the thing about alcohol is that is loosens us up, makes us do things that we would not do when sober. Inhibitions often go right out the window along with bras and panties…

Do you like the person you become after a few cocktails better than who you normally are?

Do you think the young woman in the story regretted what she had said the night before?

Did the hiring manager dodge a bullet by not hiring this woman?

Does alcohol take away more than it adds?

Discuss…

About…

When I began blogging my initial worry wasn’t about what to write about (we all know I have a treasure chest full of ideas. I didn’t worry about followers- I sort of had the ‘if you write, readers will come’ philosophy. But I almost decided not to blog when faced with the About page.

About?

What am I about? What is my blog about?

Isn’t that the ultimate question? What are we all about?

So I quickly scribbled some stuff down. And then I shut the page without a second glance and began a post. I don’t ever think about this page unless I get a ‘like’ on it….

So today- I’m going to dissect my About page- after all, it is really an online blog dating profile.

Do you want to date my blog?

1) aspiring curmudgeon
2) culture vixen
3) adores cats and dogs equally
4) very amateur photographer
5) enthusiast of the written word,
6) Mom to high achieving teenager,
7) wife to foodie who won’t eat cheese
8) cooks with reckless abandon
9) optimistic Met fan
10) lover of lists

A work in progress….

What does the above say about me? Is this accurate? Do I come across on the page the  same manner that my About is written?

Should anything be deleted? Modified? Added?

What do you know about me?

and yes- some computer issues this morning…..ahhhhhhh

 

The Authentic Dating Profile

If you were to write a dating profile today…how authentic would you be?

Would you admit your age?

Your height?

How would you describe your body?

I could almost end the post here, let you ruminate on how your dating profile would look…but this is only 45 words, so let’s continue….

Recently blog friend Janie talked about going on internet dates, and by this I mean in real life dates with someone she met on a dating website. She wondered aloud how similar the profile would be to the actual person who would sit across from her at Starbucks later that week… I told her that everyone lies on those things: I have no internet dating experience but enough friends to have an inkling of what you see and what you get. (I also watched Dirty John, but that’s a whole other thing…)

So would you lie? Stretch the truth? Embellish?

What’s the socially acceptable limit you can push a dating profile so that it’s mainly true?

How authentic would you be on a dating app?

If I were to write one (and every time my husband doesn’t put something back where it belongs I get a step closer…) would I write:

Short, formerly attractive chunky woman seeks someone who is perfectly acceptable of a menopausal 55 year old and all she has to offer. Lives off lists and schedules. Must watch movies, and must know who Dorian Grey is if asked. Likes to cook but hates cleaning up after. Very chatty and probably won’t let you get a word in.

or

Curvy yet petite woman of a certain age seeks man who enjoys culture, fine food, and simple walks through nature. The conversation would flow as we would never lack for things to discuss.  Hoping for someone to plan a future with, one step at a time.

or

Mrs. Robinson has nothing on me. I walk the walk and talk the talk. You will always know exactly what is going to happen when I’m around. Lush and sensual and waiting to be pleased…are you game?

So which profile is the most accurate? We won’t ask which one is the best because clearly I have NO IDEA how to write a dating profile, but you get the gist. When you are trying to impress someone, how authentic are you? Which type of ad would I be most likely to use? Which type of ad would secure me a date?

What is the line between showing who you are authentically versus highlighting your strengths and downplaying your weaknesses?

I am chatty. Do I include that in my profile? If I omit it, is it lying? You would think that I would search out someone who values loquaciousness, sees it as an asset not a liability. But how many guys want a woman who TALKS ALL THE TIME? Who has an OPINION ON EVERYTHING? If I’m authentic, I include these factoids. If I want a date however, do I?

Here’s your homework. Write a dating (friendship) profile. How authentic is your blurb?

and the larger question:

Does it matter if you are authentic on a profile?

 

 

Too Authentic?

On Sunday I went to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) to see an old film that was recently restored. MOMA had done a project bringing old films new life…

As you know, I’m trying to live more intentionally, which for me means slowing down and savoring the gifts that I have before me. Putting into practical action, I’m doing a photo challenge that is making me stop and really look at my surroundings. I am also highlighting my week by posting photos on Sundays of things I do, or see, or just remind me of something…

Fine

So while I was at MOMA, I snapped a pic of the TV screen outside the theater that showed the title shot of the movie I was about to see. (which you will see on Sunday)

Some pompous ass guy walks out and mutters under his breath “Jesus” because this dude is so cool and urbane he just can’t believe that MOMA would let in a rube such as me…

I didn’t say anything because this guy was all sorts of things I hate about New Yorkers who go to art museums on Sunday afternoons and carry a copy of the New Yorker in their hand and use big words so people think they’re smart but deep down we just know that they are pompous asses… He was the classic smug stereotype, elbow patches and all. I’m pretty sure there was a pipe and pince nez buried in his inner pocket…

Authentic me took a picture

Authentic him made a snide comment

Part of me really wanted to tell the guy off.

Part of me thought I should let it go.

It was a 50/50 toss up to how I should react- angel/devil both in play…

Was I being authentic? 

I’m still a little pissed that I didn’t say something snide (because a snide comment is always in my arsenal), but I chose to stay quiet…

So what was I?

Which brings us to the next part of our essay: should we always be authentic? Are there situations where authenticity is a liability?

A few commented yesterday that maybe you shouldn’t always be yourself. If you tend to be combative, should you always engage in a verbal joust?

If you’re passive aggressive, should you always slide in the backhanded statement?

If we know our natural inclination is to be less than kind or respectful, should we act upon that?

Or do we try to hide the less nice, the less respectful parts of us?

I can write that we should always be true to ourselves, let our freak flag fly. But are there times we have to tow the line, be quiet, go against our nature?

Is too authentic a bad thing?

Discuss…

today was a good day for me and my computer- hoping it was just Monday blues for my trusty Dell…

Authentic

I spent much time and many words last week talking about being authentic. But what does it mean to be authentic?

What does authenticity actually mean?

Of course, the first definition I got was “the quality of being authentic” Thanks Google…But then I saw words like genuine, original, legitimate…so we get the idea. Authentic is real, as opposed to fake.

So- why should we strive for authenticity?

Simply because authentic people have a better chance at achieving happiness.

Why?

Because authentic people spend their time and energy perusing the things that make them happy, instead of spending time and energy on being someone other than who they are supposed to be.

When you present to the world who you are, you are allowing yourself to come to peace with who you are. Being authentic means you accept yourself, the good and the bad. Once you accept who you are, contentedness will happen.

Think of it like this: say you want to write a blog. Do you actually want to get up and write every day, (or whatever schedule) or do you want to be famous? Or do you want to make money? Or whatever. Be honest with yourself about your goals, and then you can achieve some sort of Zen state…..I like to get up and blog. I legit don’t look at my numbers, until I get a notification marker from WordPress, or its the end of the year. I’m not blogging for anything other than exploring ideas and connecting with others. So blogging makes me happy. But if I were striving to dominate the blogging world, I’d probably be walking around with a sour face most of the time…if I was constantly checking my stats, the anxiety would overrule any of the happiness of writing.

My IRL friends say that when they read my blog, they can imagine me saying the things that I write. This is the greatest complement I can ever receive, because my goal is to show who I am. I will let you share in my successes and my failures. I will rant about things, but I will also impart good tidings when I see them. Or, at least that’s what I hope I do.

So try to be the best “you” that you can. As we know, everyone else is taken…

On a side note, I am having major computer issues (should have asked for a new computer instead of a Fitbit) so I wrote on my iPad, which I hate. So this might not be my most eloquent post. Cheers to those who post on their phones, because I’m ready to throw all tech out the window….

 

 

Highlights of the Week that Was 1/12/20

Because sometimes you’re at the library looking at as exhibit and see a photo shoot My sweet girl… True dat…. The entrance to the Salinger exhibit cause you couldn’t take pictures The room where we had to leave coats, bags and cell phones before we saw the exhibit (very Salingeresque I thought) NYPL hallway Salinger Exhibit…highlights….Galleys (with notes) Catcher in the Rye, a picture of his cat on his desk, letter from Hemingway (as in Ernest), and a letter to his son in prep school signed Live, Daddy NYPL and either Patience or Fortitude Book Club….I don’t like psychological thrillers normally, but this was good! I normally love Irishman, but not this one Cheers to any business who thinks of others. Live long and prosper Murder mystery subscription box my daughter gifted me for Christmas…we had so much fun! Namaste Dirty dish, empty dishwasher…daughter home…. Parasite was my favorite film this year…so I needed to go to the festival! Subway Art…1 train at Lincoln Center Matthew Wong at Karma, Karma As seen on the street Because what’s a nail salon without some kitties in the window