The (Late) 2017 Bucket List

At the beginning of college I got my first credit card. Don’t worry, I’ve always been ridiculously responsible about budgeting, this story’s not going down that road. What I recall almost as deeply as the nightmares I had about the possibility of interest payments, is getting my first statement.

It wasn’t that I’d spent a lot of money, it’s that every line item on the statement was a fast food restaurant or something I ordered from the internet. My credit card statement was a story of me as a shut-in. It was not an untrue story.

I wish I could say I saw this sad story and immediately changed; went full Eat, Pray, Love and traveled the world, sky dived and moved to a new city, danced like no one was watching. I did none of those things, because isn’t life lived in the small changes and the tiny moments?

Yes, it is.

So I went to a few more stand up shows and plays, I made my meals out into dates with friends, and I traded a few pretty dresses for road trips and ridiculous midnight adventures. I learned to get back into the world and be a bit more brave and a bit less tied to things.

When I heard about Eventbrite‘s GOMO, or Get Out More Often, I thought “that sounds pretty baller.” And then I thought “damn, son, you need to stop picking up slang from your students.”

In all seriousness though, there’s a huge life lesson here and you know how I love those. So in the spirit of GOMO! (something I will be yelling randomly all over NYC’s subways), here’s a list of 10 adventures I’d like to have this year.

*I’m putting a couple on here I already did, because, well, I want to brag a little too*

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1. Go To the Oscars

I did this. So…

2.  See a Play

I hadn’t totally planned on it, but I did this today too. Casually went to see Hamilton with my students. More on that later.

3. Get Out of Town

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New York is draining, which is surprising since I’ve yet to live in a New York apartment with decent sink and shower drains. In our year plus here, Boyfriend and I have only left the city a hand full of times, mostly to fly home or get out for a weekend camping trip. This year I really want to go somewhere quiet, stay in a B&B and relax for real. I want to be not just New York relaxed, but actually relaxed.

4. Have a Picnic

It doesn’t have to be in Central Park or Prospect Park or any park. I just want to make sandwiches and pack them to green, nature area and eat them in the company of those I love.

5. Go Camping

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This tends to happen a few times during the summer but it’s something that I really like and Boyfriend LOVES. Nature is the great healer and no matter how hot/humid/disgusting this summer is, we have to get out there.

6. Write a Story

I’m keeping expectations low because I won’t even finish grad school until August. So, not a novel, nothing epic, just a story. I have ideas in my head all the time and I used to do a lot more writing them. Time to get back to that.

7. Do a Yoga Retreat

Yoga brings me as much peace as nature does and I’ve been wanting to try one of these for a long time. This year I want to bite the bullet and go all in for a weekend (or maybe a week).

8. Take the Train

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Not the subway. Dear god, never the subway. The actual train. I don’t even really care where I go, I just want to go. On the train.

9. Be Present in the Blogging Community

I have made a few great blogging friends and interacted with other bloggers and I genuinely love this community so much. Grad school and teaching tend to keep me from both blogging (whoops) and making deeper connections with other bloggers (double whoops). This year I want to get back to the blog and jump in to the community.

10. Get a Tattoo with Boyfriend

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I should note: I definitely don’t mean matching tattoos. I truly believe though that it’s an experience worth having with someone you love and Boyfriend has not yet gotten a tattoo. I’m working on designing one for him and as for me, who know, could turn out as anything.

Best of luck.

P.S. Eventbrite also has some crazy cool planning tools, like this one. Check them out!

Celebrate Yourself

Last month I took part in Yoga Revolution, 31 days of yoga challenge from Yoga with Adriene. It was less a New Years Resolution and more an opportunity to get back to daily yoga after a few weeks off. Either way though, I really enjoyed the thirty minute daily videos from this hilarious and kind teacher. 

During the third week I was really struggling. I struggled to get to the mat. I struggled to focus. I struggled to breathe. I got mad at Adriene and at yoga and at my body. I cried in cobra and fumed in down dog. But I finished and then I came back the next day and life went on. 

A few days later Adriene hit a lot of the crap that had been holding me down. She talked about a friend of hers who has chronic back pain and wondered, “can you shift the language? Can you let go of this back pain as part of your identity?”

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She went on to explain that being kind to yourself and loving your body even when it doesn’t do what you want is the goal. Yoga isn’t about making shapes it’s about growth and making space. I had heard this, I knew this, I could quote this, but this time I actually heard it. 

Stop being such a d*ck to yourself and celebrate doing your best.  

I’m hard on myself, about everything, I’m never good enough and my body gets the worst of it. Growing up overweight I always felt that if my body wasn’t cooperating with me it was because it was inherently wrong. My fat body was the wrong body so it did things wrong. 

Can’t do that stretch? Wrong body, bad body. Can’t run as fast or long as you want? Bad body. Stomach ache, headache, joint pain? Bad body. It never occurred to me to accept my body and help it, support it to feel better. If my body is a dear friend instead of an enemy, life can be so much less painful. 

Life and yoga are about stretching, learning, growing. Not pain, not hurt, not hate. 

I learn the best life lessons while upside down.

Best of luck

** and check out Yoga with Adriene ***

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February Favorites

February was a month of stress and adventure. Most importantly though last month I figured out a number of little things that are making me feel better physically and emotionally. So I’m gonna call it a win.

In light of that I want to share some of my favorite things from February.

Neilmed Sinus Rinse

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I’ve been through the gambit with allergies. I had a few sensitivities as a kid which turned into severe allergies in high school which required four different prescriptions and manifested as uncontrollable hives that led me to believe I had bird flu. In college they mostly disappeared and have only shown up here and there as seasonal issues since.

Moving to New York threw my sinuses a new curveball. Like, I woke up most mornings feeling like someone hit me in the face with a curveball.

Desperate, I searched Amazon and found Neilmed Sinus Rinse. I’ve never tried a nasal rinse or a Nettie pot so I wasn’t totally sure but, damn guys, this stuff cleans out my sinuses and gives some serious relief when my sinuses wake up screaming “why did you move here?!”

Yoga Classes

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My block with yoga has always been the cost. Most studios are crazy and even within a gym membership it can be pricey. I know if I’m having trouble budgeting for weekly groceries, either option is out of the question.

Luckily my school offers some free classes (something I would encourage any student to look into) so once a week I’ve found an hour of calm followed by a few days of sore.

Superstore

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Someone told me about this show earlier in the month and upon finding the entire first season free on Hulu, I gave in. America Ferrera is fantastic, the characters have a lovable zaniness only found in shows like The Office, and it’s sometimes so real about retail that it hurts.

Dr Tung’s Tongue Cleaner

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Another thing I’d heard a lot about but never bought in to, I decided for $8 I could try it out. Kinda of gross but I have better breath and generally a cleaner post dental hygiene regimen feel.

Susan Cain Podcast

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Susan Cain is an introvert goddess. I read her book a couple of years ago basically yelling “exactly” all the way. She talks about introverts and society, offering up some logical but rarely popular ideas. The podcast focuses mostly on children and education which is very interesting. Plus, they’re 30 minutes rather than the typical hour or more so it’s a good quick listen.

Returning to Therapy

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So lately I’ve been the preachy queen of self care while simultaneously failing to confront my own demons. Until last week when I finally went back to therapy.

It’s been almost five years so just making the appointment was rough. But damn. Therapist is excellent, empathetic but also willing to push me. I can’t describe the relief that I feel just starting the process. Therapy definitely isn’t for everyone but I’d recommend trying it out once.

Oh and I now look at frustrating situations as “Therpist will love this” so that’s a plus

Sunday Date Day Off

Take a day off.

I’m a busy human and I get that an entire day feels impossible but it’s worth it and doable. I’ve been putting in the extra hours every other day of the week just to fit my Sunday Date Day Off. It’s a day for sleeping in, hanging out with Boyfriend, and just not being a student, teacher or real person.

So far Boyfriend and I have walked around Central Park, gotten rainbow bagels in Williamsburg and gone to dinner and movie. Sometimes there are errands to be run as well and sometimes we lay around most of the day but just not feeling the pressure for a day sets up the next week for greatness.

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Best of Luck!