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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Rule 32

If you’ve ever seen Zombieland, you may remember the running list of rules the main character has developed to help him survive the zombie apocalypse (side note: if you haven’t seen this movie, do).  I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest most of the rules are also applicable to surviving everyday life. (Although, to be fair, haven’t we all kind of evolved into iPhone-addicted drudges over the last decade, staring into our tiny screens all the live-long day? We’ve created our own form of Zombieland, but I digress). I’d like to call your attention, for a moment, to Rule 32: Enjoy the Little Things. We should all strive to remember this one. 

One of the little things, for me, is stationery - paper products, journals and the likes. I don’t really know why, I’m just drawn to them. If I’m trying to let my heart be happy, I know a surefire way is to march my butt into the paper aisle of any local establishment peddling such wares. Oddly, though, when I do buy a journal or notebook, I often find myself reluctant to actually use it. It’s so beautiful and pristine without my crap in it - why ruin perfectly crisp paper? Strange, I know. In the end, I usually buy the notebooks, scribble down a few thoughts in them, and then throw them away a few years later when I come across them again and discover they're tainted with a few pages worth of my useless old thoughts. 

In an effort to enjoy the little things and celebrate small victories, though, I am pleased to report that I recently filled an entire journal, beginning to end, for the first time in my life! By and large, it was a gratitude journal, with a few other thoughts interspersed here and there. I don’t know if I’ll ever crack it open again, but if I do, I will find it is filled with over 1,000 things I was grateful for in late 2018/early 2019 - over 1,000 little things I enjoyed. If you’ve ever contemplated keeping a gratitude journal but haven’t gotten around to it (like me, for the past decade). I do highly recommend it. I started writing down 10 things per day that I am grateful for. Coming up with 10 is sometimes a challenge, but it has definitely gotten me into the habit of routinely scanning the world for the little things. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Fix all the things!

Sometimes inspiration strikes and I find myself striving to improve in all areas of my life. I want to be a better wife, mom, daughter, friend, employee, neighbor and citizen. I am going to get thinner, smarter, less indebted, more well-rounded, happier and taller. And at the same time as I’m improving in every way, I am going to learn to love myself as-is. I’ll be the same old me, but with a cleaner house, shinier hair, a discernible muscle (or two!) and a greater sense of clarity and purpose. This really does not seem like too much to ask. 

Now, I do say some of that in jest but as I begin to reflect upon nearly four decades of life, I do actually find myself inspired to improve. But it’s a different kind of inspiration this time, I think.  As it turns out, I might be kind of a cool human being. At least, I think so.  So, now comes the part where I stop treating myself like a big old piece of crap and start shedding layers of bullshit like self-loathing, shame, guilt, self-pity, doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I have always thought I was a pretty decent version of humans, on the balance. But I also always thought that you weren’t allowed to think something good about yourself without thinking at least one bad thing about yourself to balance it out. What the what? How on earth is this a helpful thing we’re taught to believe by our families, our culture, our religions? 

Instead, I’m going to be trying out a new belief. I’ve decided to believe it’s pretty useless to sit around collecting reasons why I suck. So, if you don’t mind, I’ll just be over here, not sucking anymore. And, because I’ll be busy not sucking anymore, I think I’m going to have to dispense with all the ways punish myself for sucking. It’s going to take practice to keep believing this new belief and it might take the next 40 years to unload the bad habits but that’s ok, I don’t think there’s a deadline. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

[tap][tap] Is this thing on?

Ahem.

Kristentatious here, reporting live from 2019!  Hello world; I’m still alive and I’ve made it this far! I occasionally think about how I miss writing and then I promptly do nothing about it. “Maybe I should blow the dust off the old Wit Spot,” I think to myself. So, here I am with a leaf blower. You know me - always busting out the leaf blower when a pair of bellows would work just fine. Have a Monday, you guys. Let’s see where the day takes us!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

If you've ever been a lady to begin with

Let me preface this by saying the following complaint belongs squarely in the "things I really shouldn't give a damn about but instead I find myself immensely annoyed by" category. Probably if you were to write a book about this particular irritation of mine, you would title the book "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff."  And yet, it annoys me nonetheless. 

As a person who was had the pleasure of being involved with two separate productions of Guys and Dolls, I find myself really, ridiculously irritated when people misuse the phrase, "luck be a lady tonight."  No, seriously. And it happens more often than you'd think, too!

Over the years, on numerous occasions I've heard men use that phrase in a context that implies they hope to meet a woman and hook up. But really, if people would just listen to the damn song lyrics they would understand that it has nothing to do with taking some chick home at the end of the night. What "luck be a lady" really means is that luck has been on your side lately and you want it to be ladylike and stick with you, loyally and faithfully.  Maybe the song should have been called, "luck be a golden retriever" or, "luck don't run out on me now," except those phrases don't have quite the same ring to them. 

In conclusion, based on what I know about the meaning of the phrase, I can only assume these people prefer their luck cold, creamy and delicious:

Monday, May 05, 2014

But shoe shopping is supposed to be fun!

One of the most frustrating things about getting older is that fashion keeps changing and I don't. I feel like I am increasingly asked to embrace hideous, tacky and ridiculous clothing as acceptable wardrobe choices. Skinny jeans. High waisted, pleated short shorts. Leggings as pants. Short, wide shirts. Gladiator sandals. Pastel anything. No. I used to have more patience when I was younger but now shopping is just an exercise in pure frustration. Everything's ugly, nothing fits and I can't afford any of it anyway. 

But shoe shopping....that's another story. Shoes don't care if you gained 5 pounds. I can reliably pick out two shoe sizes and one of them will fit. But guys, what is going on with shoes?!?  I just spent over an hour in DSW, and my experience went roughly like this: "Too ugly. Too flat. Ick. Who would wear that?  Way too tall. So cheaply made. Looks like something an old lady would wear. Looks like something I had as a kid. OH MY GOD SO CUTE. Oh, Michael Kors...can't afford them." And so on, up and down every damn aisle of that store. 

Two common themes I noticed: 1) huarache sandals. I had a bunch of those in the 80s. Is it wrong that I don't want to dress like a seven-year-old version of me anymore?  2) Sandals that look like mini personal jail cells for your feet. I just want a cute pair of sandals, dammit!  

I did find these, though I didn't buy them because they didn't fit my parameters (they were neither multipurpose nor sandals). But, come on, black and white pretty much goes with anything, right?

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Song Burst

Does anybody remember that game SongBurst from back in the 1900's?  Where you got some lyrics and had to finish singing the song? I think I owned it in junior high or high school and of course it was right up my alley because I have so many song lyrics stored in my brain that I'm pretty sure they're taking up space that could be used for legitimate memories or knowledge. Bursting into song spontaneously is a regular occurrence for me. Sometimes without realizing I'm doing it. Oftentimes in response to a statement or question that reminds me of a song. I'm sure it's not annoying at all and that it has never caused my husband to want to wring my neck. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was sitting at Starbucks this afternoon, sipping my iced coffee, when the baristas spontaneously burst into a round of Montell Jordan's This Is How We Do It. After a few moments of that, one barista chimed in, "No guys, this is how we BREW it."  It was super cute, of course (well, to me, at least).  But, more than that, it made me miss having fun at work. 

Now, don't get me wrong--enjoying the occasional laugh with my current set of coworkers is basically all that keeps me sane. But are there people who manage to make their work consistently fun?  Even if the nature of their work is inherently unfun?  I'm sure, in part, it's just a mindset, like happiness. How do I reintroduce fun into my work, and into my life generally?  And where the hell did it go for so long?  I swear I used to be a fun person!  I have song lyric knowledge to prove it!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Challenge

In the spirit of self-improvement, I'm trying out something new. I always say I enjoy writing but I've just become too busy to write. And while that's mostly true, I do find time to do other things that are monumental wastes of my time (I'm looking at you, The Internet). Certainly I could find a few minutes to jot down a few words here and there if I made even half an ounce of effort.

So...I'm challenging myself to write just a little bit. That's all. Just start writing with no pressure for a long or funny story. This is really hard for me because I'm kind of a perfectionist. Even just shooting off a three sentence email to a good friend involves several rounds of edits and careful consideration (obsession) of whether the tone could be misconstrued, etc. Anyway, see?  I did it.