Monthly Archives: December 2009

Resolutions are for people who can’t figure out that Cindarella is ruining your life.

I don’t make resolutions.

If you do, I don’t judge (I can assure that I’m far too occupied judging other things like religions, mass exodus to the suburbs, my extended family and people with more money than me. So don’t worry, I’m not judging you.)

What I make are lists of things to accomplish, not resolve to stop, become or change. If you’ve peeked into my blog before perhaps you’ve bumped into my “About SandyB” page and learned about my List, which is fine, because I like that page and it’s there for you to read, comment on or make fun of- you choose. Again, I won’t judge. Word on the street is that I’m well liked by most, except by people who take themselves too seriously. You don’t like me. You know who you are. In fact, you’re so self-absorbed and serious right now you think I’m talking about you at this very moment… don’t you?

So anyway, I really don’t have the energy to make resolutions. Far, far too much work.

In my experience I’ve determined that resolutions are a set up. If you gain anything from this post, I hope it’s a little insight into why you should not make a resolution that begins on January 1, 2010, at approximately 12:01 a.m. Instead, reserve this time for recuperating from a champagne-induced coma that started somewhere between Auld Lang Syne, your second vomit and swearing out loud to your friends that you’re “never going to drink this much again.” Yes, save those precious early moments of the New Year for that, and not for making ridiculous resolutions.

You know you’re not going to follow through on them anyway. That’s why we keep making the same fucking ones every year:

-Lose those 10 pounds that won’t budge

-Spanx your curvy silhouette

-Stifle your stutter

-Learn to love his mother

-Ignore mom’s idiosyncrasies

-Make better use of time at the office and stop reading blogs all day

-Quit smoking

-Find a job worth loving

-Start writing a book

Why are we really in such a hurry to change our selves? (This, no less, coming from the girl on a quest to reinvent- I see the irony here, slightly). But hear me out: Rather than trying to change, I propose we put that energy into creating the experiences in which to grow.

(Are you gagging yet?)

Seriously, this isn’t my attempt at any sort of self-help. Just the opposite, in fact. I propose that for 2010 you remain the same; just keep plugging away at the person you are, rather than putting all of your energy into the person you want to be, which can be pretty useless if you’re trying to miraculously change yourself at the stroke of midnight.

Stop trying to be Cindafuckingrella.

You want to write a book? Create the experience by sitting down each day and hammering out a page a day for 10 days.

You want to lose weight? Create the experience by not pulling up to the drive-thru at lunch. And drink more water for Heaven’s sake.

You want a job you love? Create an experience for your prospective boss by not having spelling mistakes in your cover letter and actually engaging in intelligent conversation during your 20-minute interview. Avoid using words like, “um” “absolutely” and “most definitely”. Nobody likes a keener.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

I’m not trying to change myself- it’s happening whether I want it to or not; it’s probably happening to you, too- but I am trying to be more conscious of the experiences I have that are inevitably making me a different person. This blog holds a List and account of those experiences.

For the upcoming year, I plan to be more myself simply by resolving to not resolve. For once, I plan to just get caught up in the experience.

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Filed under Reinvention Inspiration

The real me.

Don’t you hate it when company’s coming and you have nothing decent to serve? Totally happening right now.

(wait, this was supposed to be a Twitter msg, I think)

Ok, try this. Sorry, it’s all I got:

no no no drama

(I like to make an impression.)

How’d I do?


(DE-CODER: Click here. It’ll make more sense. Trust me okay.)

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Filed under no category for this

Is she really writing another list?

I know this isn't a pointsetta, ivy or mistletoe, but it's a little photo Rob took for me while we were honeymooning in Greece last year. I look and it and remember that, with time, anything is possible. And I'm grateful for that.

Merry Christmas you wonderful people!

This time last year my life was very different. And today being such a milestone holiday – I mean, most of us can’t remember what we were doing last July, but we know where we were last Christmas –  I’d like to take a few moments to list (oh, how I love lists!) the following things that make me feel warm, tingly and loved (’tis the season!):

1. Wicked oatmeal, every day, stirred, mixed and made by Rob.

2. A sister whom I adore more each day I know her.

3. A mate who loves me, truly.

4. A space to call my own, right here.

5. Wonderful strangers who stop by my little ‘ole blog to chat. Thank you.

6. A job where I write, edit and read.

7. Yoga. You’re like riding a bike. Once you learn, you never forget.

8. Penelope the cat.

9. A dress that makes me feel pretty and reminds me, above all, that being myself is a wonderful thing.

10. Blogs and coffee. xoxo.

Chat soon lovelies.
-sandyb

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Filed under Reinvention Inspiration, Stuff I know for sure

A Christmas story about work, politics and teenage romance.

The holidays can get quite political, especially if you work in an office.

Where I work there are editors and designers. I’m one of the editors. For the most part the designers hang with the designers and the editors hang with the editors, whether it’s chit chat around the water cooler (which, by the way, we actually don’t have, but it’s proverbial in this case, so let’s go with that) or apres-work drinks, there is rarely any blending of the two tribes.

And then there’s me.

I dabble in both groups because I’m social and find the people I work with each offer something unique and valuable, whether it’s insight into my work as an editor, shooting the shit about our industry or just sharing a mutual addiction to Starbucks. I make it a point to get to know everyone. I believe that, if you try, you can find something in common with anyone, so sticking to any one group is, well, ridiculous and immature. Much like high school, but with paychecks.

But apparently, as I learned yesterday, I can’t expect everyone to feel this way. At least not all the time.

I was left out of one of these groups this week (the group I’m more social outside of work with, ironically) and couldn’t seem to figure out why. I was pissed!

On the whole, this really is a non-issue because work is work and in no way, I feel, does this reflect the way my coworkers feel about me. That would be silly. I know they like and respect me. However this small (yet stinging) incident reminds me that work is a breeding ground for politics, especially over the holidays. Like it or not. Politics, after all, is simply the way we relate to each other in any given environment.

When there is an outing with the designers I’m always invited and have even been to their homes for parties, which I love. They’re a fun and creative bunch, always willing to let loose- I’m so right there with them. (Read: performed the yoga “Crow” pose last week while nursing a wine buzz at one of the designer’s apartments last. No regrets). So it surprised me yesterday when I learned that they, the designers, and one editor (who also dabbles between groups) pitched in to purchase a Christmas gift for our boss- the very boss we all mutually feel intimidated by, at the best of times.

“Gotta say, I’m a little hurt, feeling left out,” I confess to one of the designers, after I find out the purchase has gone down. “I really don’t know what to get him and would have loved to pitch in on the gift.” (I should tell you that he, our boss, got us all gifts, so I’ve been contemplating the return-gift for two days now. Ugh.)

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she replies.

“Ya, well, put yourself in my shoes” I say, firm. “Why didn’t you guys tell me?”

She squints at me a bit and is thoroughly apologetic. I believe that. But I’m still left feeling awkward and, well, a bit like the kid left out at lunchtime with nowhere to sit. Oh, and I’m holding a plate of meatloaf.

To add a little insult to injury, just before the gift purchase happened, I asked the designers and the one editor who accompanied them where they were going (It was lunchtime, and I do love a lunch outing). They said, “to buy gifts for our staff” and said nothing of their collaborative plan. My point here? They made a decision to not include me in the plan and, in the end, I have to accept that. For them, it made more sense to stick as a group (with the exception of the one editor whose professional role in our office is to bridge the gap between editorial and design anyway.)

In the end, no hard feelings. I was simply edited out of their plan.

I learned something important though, and there it is (finally the point!): Don’t take office politics to heart; don’t try to understand them; and don’t analyze them. Just be aware that they, politics, do exist. Even at Christmastime.

I’ve filed this experience under “What I Know for Sure” because it’s the best way, I think, to keep track of what I’m learning this year, as I approach 30. I want to remember this lesson. Also, I want to pass it on to anyone who stops by and so kindly reads my blog.

In fact, I liken these lessons I’m gathering to the time I dated an asshole. I was in high school. It was awful, he was a jerk. But I remember thinking to myself, ‘Well, I’ll now know a frog when I see one and I’ll also know how to spot a prince, too.’ Good lesson to have learned so young and early on in my dating life. I did spot the prince and married a wonderful man.

So… along with politics + holidays + work = teenagers with salaries and bylines (and, really, it’s not personal) I also realized that everything I ever needed to know about the workplace and romance I learned in high school.

Win.

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Filed under Reinvention Inspiration, Stuff I know for sure

Oatmeal to die for.

Ok, my bad. Totally meant to show you a picture of these oats, but I ate 'em. All. Yep, they're that good.

OK, my man started the following recipe and I’m like, in love with it. In fact, I plan to stay with him an extra 50 yrs just for these oats. Feel this:

-4 apples (your choice) peeled, sliced thin
-cinnamon, good vanilla, agave nectar to taste
-plump raisins

Combine all this crap in a baking dish for like, 40 minutes at 375F (not rocket science, I know) and let it cool. But then you store this batch in the fridge and ADD IT TO YOUR OATMEAL AS THEY COOK in the morning.

Oh. My. God.

*the key here is THIN slices of apple. Drool.

PS, imagine a cook book that had instructions like, “Throw all the crap together in a baking dish…” or “Slice the hell out of those onions” or “Pound that pork like nobody’s business, because dammit, you earned it after a hard day at the office”.

I’d read it.

Just sayin’ is all.

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Filed under Making food fabulous, Nosh

What started as a little birthday tradition- a List- is no longer just for my diary anymore.

When this happens, it’s the best.

Every now and again I get a track back, email or heads up that another person, usually a blogger, has created a List of his/her own.

This sends me sailing, just over the moon! More than anything my heart’s desire is to connect with other people.

I’ve been one of the lucky ones to have had the opportunity to connect with others through my many (many!) jobs over the years- the yoga community I’ve taught in since university, the articles I’ve published, the events I’ve helped plan and yes, even the crappy telemarketing stints during the summer of ’01 (those formative years is where I picked up my caffeine habit, which I hold close to my heart now.. true story.) But connecting with other people about the Birthday List (newly dubbed, by the way) has been a totally new experience to share.

And with that, here are a few fabulous others who have their own “Before I Turn… List” going on. Go click and get inspired (I dare you.)

xo
sandyb

skinnydip.ca

symphonicdiscord.blogspot.com

alittleawesome.wordpress.com

supreemthoughts.blogspot.com

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Hey, pay attention to me!

A picture of: Today, when I thought of you all and this post, this is what I was doing. Just because.

Stuff I Know for Sure #1

What I know: Nobody cares, so get over it
Let’s break it down real quick: This isn’t as negative as it sounds. Although I’ve blown-off my share of idiot people and comments in my short life, the truth is I DO care about what people think, sometimes to a fault. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that I’m not alone on that truth either. Right? We’re only human, after all, and come pre-packaged with flaws (Yes, even me. Crazy, I know). But I’m learning, more so since embarking on the journey that is my List, that whether it’s wearing what I want, saying what’s really on my mind, taking risks like jumping out of planes or nude beaching it or, in earnest, standing by my decision that pickles and mayo do, in fact, go together, in the end what I think is my own opinion… and really, nobody cares. You know why? Because most people have their own opinions to sort through and are probably paying less attention to my blunders than I realize. In the end, thinking that others are thinking (or judging ) my every move is just ego talking, while insecurity eggs it on- like two Frat Brothers, one who farts over a butane lighter and the other who encourages it. See, nonsense.
Here’s how I figure it: Most people care about what they’re wearing today, their own career, misadventures, problems, troubles and bad examples of “haute cuisine”. So ya, people have their own lives to pontificate. Trust me when I say that when you’re doing your thing, no one is watching, so go for it, balls to the wall. But, and I must insert this caveat: Do “your thing” with confidence, authenticity and kindness and people will notice you, which can be a very great thing, especially when the person noticing you is someone you’re noticing right back. That’s just called being inspired.
The bumper sticker worthy take home message: live, like nobody’s watching.


I have an question AND since everyone has been comments shy lately, I’m hoping you’ll come out to share your answer to this:
If you thought no one was watching, what would YOU do?

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Filed under Reinvention Inspiration, Stuff I know for sure

The Universe hates me (or at least thinks it’s funnier than me.)

So we had an anniversary this weekend. Actually, like, three of them.

11 years ago Rob got brave and asked me out on a date.
Good thing, too. Turned out to be the best last first date, ever.

3 years ago Rob got down on one knee and made an honest woman out of me.
He gave me diamonds. Really, really shiny ones.

Then 2 years ago, we dragged 40 of our nearest and dearest to sunny Mexico for a wedding in the sand (truth? they all just wanted a vacation and totally used us, sheesh)
I walked down the aisle to a song Rob wrote for me on the guitar I bought for him as an engagement gift. (I kinda felt like I owed him for the diamonds.)

So, what threads these lovely events together? December 12.
(Or as Rob and I affectionately refer to it, simply, 12.12)

And that’s why we were at the spa yesterday (finally, the point to this post.)

***

Rob had called the spa on Wednesday in a last-ditch (but well efforted) attempt to get us a weekend’s stay at Le Scandanave, a swanky spa near the skiing village of Blue Mountain. Needless to say, they were fully booked and our anniversary plans [that we should have made ages ago] fizzled. Gawd, like, doesn’t everyone make anniversary plans mere hours in advance? Apparently not.

The next day at work I called the spa.
*(actual conversation)

sandyb: “Hi, I’m calling to confirm our reservation?”

la scandinave girl: “OK, what’s your last name…”

*blah blah blah*

sandyb: “What do you mean you don’t have my reservation?! I booked, like three months ago…”

LSG: “We don’t see a reservation here ma’am, I’m sorry.”

(sidenote: You can learn how I feel about being “ma’am’d” here)

sandyb: “Well, I don’t know what to say then. Is there something we can do? I’m very upset about this” [hold breath, 2, 3, 4..]

LSG: “Let me call you right back ma’am.”

*several minutes pass. I actually get around to doing some real work for the day job, grab another cup of coffee and wait for the phone to ring.. because it will.*

sandyb: “Hello? Yes, this is she.”

LSG: “We have a room for you this weekend, so sorry for the confusion.”

sandyb: “Wonderful. You had me panicked.”

perfect.
***

At the spa, after a frantic mad dash to the boonies for a, he-hem, relaxing massage that I totally lied my way into, I realize two things:

1. I left my bikini at home. (We were supposed to bring swimsuits for the outdoor spas, baths, saunas, etc.) I must now pay upwards of $50 for an ugly rendition of a bathing suit last seen on Baywatch. Dammit.

2. I forgot to ask for “female massage therapists, please”- a cardinal rule of mine (and Rob’s) for like, ever. Oddly, both of us feel more comfortable being oiled and rubbed down by chicks. And, no, it’s not a sex thing.

As two dudes round the corner, barefoot and wearing JOGGING PANTS ready to rub us down, I realize the following almost instantly: Although I may be a great liar I am also a big believer in karma, which means a narrowly missed spa appointment, being out fifty bucks for a lopsided bathing suit that I don’t want, like or will ever wear again, and being rubbed down by someone who resembles the Close Talker from Seinfeld is the Universe’s way of giving me the finger.

Point taken, Universe. You win.

This time.

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Filed under confessional, Note to Self

12.12

this morning i woke up next to you.
“how did i get so lucky?” i asked.
and then you kissed me and said, “it was me who got lucky first.”

all my heart. all my love. all my life.
happy anniversary.

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Filed under On my mind

This is what relearning what you’re made of looks like..

Whoever said that the little things add up to be big things was right.

Amidst the beautiful and fluffy pillows, surrounded by the Happiest Place on Earth, I started to cry. And my husband just looked at me and then he hugged me, hard.

“What can I do?” he asked.

To which I replied, “I don’t think there’s an easy answer. But I need to fix this on my own.”

I cried hard that afternoon, released. I cried to so hard I sobbed, and strange noises came out of my throat, from deep, deep inside.  Ya, it was one of those cries.

So what had me so up in arms? Near devastation?

Frustration.. with myself. With friendship. With dreams. With time. With indecision. Frustration with frustration. You know the feeling I’m talking about? It’s the worst, and so exhausting, and in that moment I finally collapsed. So many little things had just added up to one big thing – one very big cry. But why then? All I can think is that when you finally just give yourself a moment of pause, a second to simmer down, some things will just inevitably boil to the surface- like the way a cold hits you while you’re vacationing in the tropics or you crash early on a Friday night after a week that’s worn you out – when you least expect it, when you’re the most vulnerable, the little things will add up and you will react. Just part of being a silly human, I guess.

But this post isn’t about my sadness though, it’s about my hope for better things to come, because they always do.

I’ve learned, in the last few months especially, there is no amount of money, there is no neighborhood, no trip, no fancy job, no designer handbag and no amount of yoga that can fill the gaps you’ve allowed to separate you from your life.

I’ve learned that as charmed as life can be, as mine is, there is so much more I want to feel, to be, to understand. There really is no limit to happiness, but for some reason I thought there should be- I thought, long ago, I had reached my quota and run out of happy. “This is it! This is as good as gets and you really should stop striving for more, you silly, spoiled girl. You’ve done it all for a gal your age, so just be content already!” That little thought added up to one very big cry.

You see, for some time I’ve lived by those limits, even though I knew there was so much more I could do, could be, and that meant not always living as authentically as I am programmed to- not being fair to the things that make me tick.

During this reinvention of mine I’ve also learned that living against the grain is one thing – a good thing – but living against your own grain is not. Inevitably you will turn into someone else, someone you don’t quite recognize anymore. Someone who cries at the Happiest Place on Earth.

And so there, amidst tears, pillows and my husband’s arms, I’m gave myself permission to enjoy the things I deserve when they finally come to me, because I know, deep down, they will.

Since that cry, I’ve decided to make some changes. I’m ready to be myself again. That day I relearned what I thought I knew, but had so obviously forgotten:

I have a say in what goes on here.

I hope this post inspires you, even a little bit, to ask yourself today, “Am I being real with myself?” And “If judgment, criticism or fear were not hindrances, but fuel for my dreams, what would I do with the next year of my life? Really.”

But I must tell you, when you ask yourself this, bring tissues. And some fluffy pillows.

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Filed under Reinvention Inspiration, Stuff I know for sure