I don’t know what it is about this week, but I’ve been having “senior moments" left and right. Just yesterday, I kind of spread this rumor about next Wednesday being a work holiday — not realizing I was reading an article from 2013.
And you know how these things go, right? You tell one person about a holiday, and within 5 minutes, that shiz is everywhere.
So yeah, some friends of mine who’d panicked and rescheduled meetings and so forth may have been a little miffed. Umm. Sorry.
I wish that was all I had to confess/report, but no.
You know how older folks always seem to start off their Facebook careers by posting messages meant for other people as their status updates?
YUP. Did that too. (On Twitter though)
I’ve since erased the embarrassing tweet but here’s the rest of the convo as proof.
WTH, right??!? There’s more, but maybe it’s time to stop embarrassing myself now and move along…
I have no idea what’s causing these brain farts. Mercury Retrograde? Not enough carbs? AM I STARTING TO GET ALZHEIMERS??? (I recently read an article that said that dementia-type diseases like Alzheimer’s can start in your brain as early as 25 YEARS before any symptoms start to show. YIKES!!!)
Okay, enough panicking. Whatever the case, I figure it can’t hurt to start boosting my brain a little more so it doesn’t stagnate any further. If you’re interested in doing the same, here are 5 ways I found to keep the brain young and stave off those senior moments.
1. Exercise. Yes, yes, as resistant as I usually am to this…
… exercise is actually one of the best things you can do for your brain. Even just walking is good, but Mark McDaniel, PhD, a professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, recommends a combined program of aerobics and weight training.
Perhaps the most striking brain research today is the strong evidence we now have that “exercise may forestall some kinds of mental decline,” notes McDaniel.
It may even restore memory. Myriad animal studies have shown that, among other brain benefits, aerobic exercise increases capillary development in the brain, meaning more blood supply, more nutrients and — a big requirement for brain health — more oxygen.- RD
Want to step it up a notch? Exercise with a friend. According to Professor Peter Schofield, CEO of Neuroscience Research Australia, “combining physical activity while sustaining a conversation is a gold standard grey matter workout.”
2. Eat right. Just like the rest of the body, the brain can’t run properly when it’s starved of the nutrients it needs.
5. Doodle. I know, I know, you think I’m cheating with this one, since I already do this every day. Hehe. But doodling is actually one of the most under-appreciated creative activities EVER.
Sunni Brown, author of The Doodle Revolution, says that there is no such thing as mindless doodle. It’s “deep thinking in disguise” - with “the power to enhance recall and activate unique neurological pathways, leading to new insights and cognitive breakthroughs.” (Source)
If doodling isn’t your thing, then try something else. Whatevs. Just challenge your mind constantly and be creative every day! This article on how to be more creative in the next 10 minutes might help. I particularly liked the 30 Circles activity… (Try it!)
I recently joined LinkedIn - even though I need another social network like I need a hole in the head - because my friend Hans told me to when I coerced him into helping with my new career quest.
So okay, FINE. Done. All signed up. With a really outdated (aka thin) photo again, of course - the exact same one I sent to Chuvaness last year - haha! - because we all know how (and why) all my recent pics are carefully orchestrated partials.
So yeah, I’ve been on LinkedIn for a few days now and thus far all I’ve learned is that (1) I really need to take some new solo pictures; and (2) I really have no clue as to what most of my friends do for a living.
So yeah okay — all of you who never knew I had a day job… I guess we’re even.
But you know what? I actually think that’s a good thing.
Other people (most of them male, I’m guessing) might disagree, but I really do think that it’s a sad state of affairs when people ask “Who are you?” and your answer is a job position.
You are not your job. You are so much more than just what you do for a living. And if you aren’t, then you should be.
As I mentioned in my previous post, there are just so many possibilities, I don’t know which to choose!
So I actually have this project in mind that I’m calling "A Day in the Life" — where I plan to tag along with different friends on work days and see if I dig their jobs enough to add them to my shortlist.
HEY. I never claimed it was a GOOD plan. But I think it might be doable in some cases. Maybe not so much in others.
I’m always up for learning something new, though. And this is certainly a much more entertaining method of career path selection than say, browsing through classified ads… Especially since the majority of classified ads have this really annoying tendency to make jobs sound 10x harder than they actually are.
I’ve written a quite a few employment ads in my time, so I know this type of thing helps with the weeding-out process. Coming at it from the other side of the fence though, it just makes the less courageous among us feel horribly inadequate. Unnecessarily so, I might add.
The truth is, no matter how qualified you might be at any number of things, there will always be a learning curve whenever you start something new. Job, relationship, whatever. Everyone starts out as an idiot. You can see that as a downer, and make yourself feel all dumb and too old to learn new tricks… Or you can see it as an exciting new opportunity to expand your boundaries and become an increasingly more awesome version of yourself. The choice, as always, is yours.
When you find yourself veering down the road to Downer-Town, it helps to remember that no matter how old we are, we’re ALL groping in the dark, trying to navigate this maze of learning curves called adulthood.
Some just hide it better than others. :) So RELAX, and just enjoy the journey. Cheers!
It's Never Too Late to Change the Story of Your Life
I don’t talk about work very much, so a lot of people don’t know that I actually even have a day job.
So I guess a whole blog post about how I’ll be retiring from it soon (after 13 years!) would be completely unnecessary — not to mention confusing.
But yeah, I will be leaving my day job to start a new chapter of my life as… as a… hmmm… You know what? I have no idea.
I mean, I have an assortment of mad marketing skillz and I’m an ace copywriter, so after a bit of vacay I guess I could go on to do something else along that vein… But it occurred to me that now would also be the perfect time to reinvent myself. Because really? It’s never too late to do that.
There are some things I’m a little too old (and uh, exceedingly unqualified) for, of course…
But there’s also a whole untapped universe of possibilities that I never considered before. And OMG, discovering all that is already proving to be so exciting…
…and I haven’t even seriously started yet!
I think we tend to limit ourselves and our thinking, often harshly and unnecessarily. We focus so much on what we CAN’T (or don’t want to) do, that we completely fail to see that there is so much that we can. (This applies not just to jobs and careers, btw, but everything else in life.)
Think you’re too old to find a significant other? I know at least two people getting married this year (for the first time, mind you) — and they’re in their fifties!
Too old to learn new tricks? NOT! My mom has a friend who switched careers and went to law school at the age of 40. (Or was it 50? can’t remember. I just remember that back when she told me about it, I thought her friend was ancient.)
Knowing all this, you have to ask yourself — how are these people different from me? If they can do it, why can’t I?
Something to think about, for sure.
Our universe of options is wider than we think. I have no doubt that’s it’s possible to find success late in life, if we really want it and are willing work hard enough to make it happen. But in order for that to happen, we need to stop looking longingly down roads that are blocked, and try wandering instead down the open ones we never thought to explore before.
It would also help to stop comparing ourselves to others and measuring our own success by their standards.
Remember… success is relative. Focus on your own garden, and just keep blooming, my friends. Just keep blooming. :) Cheers!
I Tried It So You Don't Have To: Bulletproof Coffee
I’ve been dying to try bulletproof coffee ever since my friend Basti mentioned it earlier this year. You see, Basti’s a cool and funny dude, and actually very sweet, but he is NOT what one would call a perky person. Check out the cover of his latest album to see for yourself…
So his upbeat tweets about feelin’ all cheerful and energetic despite having had nothing but his “Battle Brew” all day were nothing short of miraculous, as far as I was concerned.
I figured I should give this miracle coffee a shot. Being the procrastinator that I am, though, I never actually got around to trying it until I joined that Biggest Loser contest last month. Because I was determined to emerge victorious, by hook or by crook…
So okay… first step? Bulletproof coffee for breakfast. You can actually make bulletproof coffee with any kind of single origin coffee, butter (as long as it’s unsalted and grass-fed) and MCT oil, but I decided to just order all the ingredients from Battle Brew to keep things simple.
And whee! I was so excited when my Battle Brew Kit arrived!! Yes, despite dire warnings and a distinct lack of support from my friends…
Bah. Worst part? Tirso wasn’t wrong… but I’ll get to that later.
So anyway, according to the Battle Brew website, this is how you’re supposed to make the coffee:
This is pretty much the same recipe for bulletproof coffee that you’ll find anywhere on the web. But let me just tell you now… DO NOT BLINDLY FOLLOW THIS RECIPE. You need to tweak it and test what works for you when you’re starting out, or BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN.
I didn’t know this at first, because I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I use a Nespresso machine, so I didn’t have a coffee maker yet to make the required badass-strong brew.
So on the first morning, I just sleepily made some Nespresso, dumped it in a blender with a spoonful each of the butter and MCT oil… and immediately created what looked like a lake of oily liquid poo on my kitchen counter.
Stupid half-screwed-on blender…
Sigh. Okay, so now fully awake and highly irritated, I tried again. Nespresso, butter, oil, some Stevia, blend… and OMG YUM! The result was a warm, frothy, buttery/creamy coffee concoction, that I luuurved.
… until my stomach started feeling like the launch site of a hydrogen rocket/bomb.
Oh good lord. GASSINESS GALORE! I was like the poster child for gastric distress. Seriously, it’s a good thing I don’t smoke anymore, because I swear, if I’d lit a match anywhere near my gas-erupting mouth I’m pretty sure I’d have just exploded into a ball of flame.
On the bright side, I was super alert and energetic! I loved it! I was like a MACHINE at work (probably fueled by all that gas). But hmmm… the energy and mental focus kind of lost their charm later in the day, when this happened.
Dammit. Let’s not go into detail, okay? Let’s just say Tirso was right and leave it at that.
So okay, I figured I was probably doing something wrong, so I read up and found out MCT oil is super strong, so you need to build up a tolerance for it. DO NOT USE A WHOLE TABLESPOON RIGHT AWAY.
Fine. Lesson learned. Armed with that knowledge, I was all set to start again, with LESS MCT and the Battle Brew coffee. (I bought a French press to brew it). So the next morning, I brewed the coffee, added a tablespoon of butter and only half a tablespoon of MCT, and blended with 2 packets of Stevia. OMG DELICIOUS! Especially with the super-strong coffee!!
It was SO delicious that I pretty much DOWNED my buttery brew… and another not too long after that… only to PANIC an hour later because I thought I might be dying.
Motherfrakkityfrak!!! Okay, so the coffee was way too strong. And mixed with what was apparently still too much MCT oil (which is like high-octane fuel for humans) it was not a good combination for me.
At this point I considered giving up the experiment .. and possibly going to Basti’s house to tear him a new one… but I HAD to find out what it could be like if I just found the right mix. Because that taste I had - of the yummy brew, as well as the extra energy and alertness it gave me - had proven addictive.
And you know what? After a little more experimentation, I finally got it right! No more crazy side effects, just lovely coffee and lots of energy to spare. Again, it’s best to experiment to see what works for you, but here’s my current recipe, which should be a good starter for anyone who wants to try it out.
Brew coffee using 1.5-2 scoops coffee (not 2.5!) per cup water
Dump in a blender and add 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
Add 1/2 teaspoon MCT oil
Add 1 or 2 packets Stevia (optional)
Blend for 20 seconds or so until frothy, and enjoy!
I love the stuff, I swear. I’ve always been a coffee fan to begin with…
…but this upgraded bulletproof version makes it even better. (Please note though that you do NOT want to be drinking this stuff if you are BFFs with carbs.)
Aaaand… I’m happy to report that I’ve already lost 7 pounds having it as part of the high-healthy-fat/low-carb diet I’ve been on the past couple of weeks. Still quite a ways to go, but YAY!
So have you ever tried Bulletproof coffee? Fan? Not a fan? Have a better recipe? Share in the comments! Cheers!
…so there’s a new challenge making the rounds on Facebook. You might have seen it on your feed already… but if you haven’t, it goes like this:
I’ve been challenged to list 10 books that have stayed with me in some way, and tag people to do the same. Rules (there are always rules): Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just the ones that have affected you in some ways. [Then tag 10 friends, including me, so I can see your list.]
Anyhoo, it’s all over my feed, but for once I really don’t mind because I’m always up for a good book recommendation. In fact, I was ecstatic when my goddaughter/gal pal Sabine tagged and challenged me to list my 10 books. (Incidentally it also reminded me that she was actually named after a character in one of them.)
Yes, Sabine, your mother is a name thief. But since I never ended up having any kids of my own, I forgive her.
So okay, here’s my list. And please note, this is an HONEST list, unlike some super-bullshitty, “Oooh, me so smartypants” ones I’ve been seeing online recently…
Intriguing and interactive, Griffin and Sabine is a love story/mystery told through illustrated letters and postcards - all bound up in a hauntingly beautiful book of gorgeous art. To this day it remains one of the most unique and creative books I have ever come across in my life. Definitely a keeper. (Pic c/o Portly Adolescence)
This is a story about these kids who found a coin that could grant wishes, but only half of what you asked for. (It took a while for them to figure it out.) I don’t really know why the story stayed with me all this time, but to this day - because of this book - I always make sure that my “wishes” and requests from God and the universe are well-worded. :)
A classic that needs no introduction or explanation. The best thing about this book is that you can read it often, at different ages, and get something new from it every time. (Art above by Charles van Valkenburg, c/o thelittleprince.com)
I guess this answers the question of whether I’m a Harry Potter girl or a Narnia one. This and the fact that I can still quote the first LWW movie (the animated one) almost verbatim — with feelings… because my sibs and I used to watch and act it out all the time.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Harry Potter — but for some reason it’s the Narnia books that stayed with me… so much so that I can read every book except The Last Battle over and over again. (The Last Battle made me sad. I read it more than 20 years ago and I still feel sad remembering.)
Okay to be honest, I wanted to say ALL THE BOOKS by Enid Blyton, but that’s cheating. So let’s go with the Famous Five. Or Malory Towers. Or no… The Magic Faraway Tree, because how awesome was that?? Ah crap, I’m so conflicted. Just read them all.
Another one that needs no explanation. Who can even contest this? Tintin ROCKS, man. I also adore Asterix.
So there you go. I have more, but I think I’ve cheated shamelessly enough already with all the series — haha this is so not a list of ten books! :D Maybe the rest can be a post for another day.
A few thoughts before I go though…
I found it really striking that now, in my forties, after having voraciously read thousands (literally - THOUSANDS!) of other books that I don’t remember at all .. the ones burned into my memory are the ones I read and loved as a kid. They’re also the ones I discussed and shared with other kids.
I don’t have any research to back it, but I’m pretty sure that means something significant.
So parents, PLEASE.Get your kids to read. It will count for so much later on in life, believe me. Of all the passionate love affairs of my life, my relationship with reading is undoubtedly one of the most constant…
… and the most comforting.
Plus there’s this…
So GO! Spread the reading love around. I challenge you all. :)
I’m joining my office’s Biggest Loser Contest because I really need some major diet and exercise action. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m seriously packing on the pounds, man! It’s pretty wild.
So yeah, seeing that I’m an obvious candidate for any form of weight loss challenge, I figured it would be pretty off to pass when the office set one up.
LOL. The nerve.
So yeah, I’m definitely in, and I am in to WIN, man! By fair means or foul, it seems. Because it’s barely begun and I’m already being all nefarious and sneaky and trying to make myself as heavy as possible for the first weigh-in.
I may or may not have also dropped around a few hints that I would not be averse to sharing the prize money with people who regularly tempted my strongest competitors with food and/or fattening drinks.
I do realize it’ll take much more than just this to make me win the challenge, of course, so if you have any good tips, please send them my way! And be warned… since I’ll be all food-deprived and stuff over the next 3 months, I might be a little cranky and/or extra annoying.
I was sorting through stuff to throw/give away/sell this weekend, and I came across a shizload of yarn I bought when I lasted visited my BFF Mia in San Francisco.
Yup. A little exagg. You see, I was pretty sure I’d need a ton of yarn for all the knitting I was planning to do when I got home. Mia was not quite as convinced.
Hobby Hitler. Anyway 3 years later, it seems she was right. I knit like half a scarf for her husband when I first got my supplies, and that was pretty much the extent of my knitting career.
Now that I’ve found all the yarn again, though, I’m considering giving it another go. And not just to prove Mia wrong (though that’s always a fun incentive :)) but because I really do think everyone needs some sort of creative side project. I’ve always believed this, but I recently read an article on the Psychology of Side Projects which cited studies that actually proved it.
Go check the article out, because it’s really very interesting. If you’re too lazy though, here’s the gist: It turns out that embarking on a fun, purely-for-passion side project can actually make you happier, more creative and more productive at your day job… so much so that companies like Google actually incorporate “side project time” into their regular work hours.
When Google began its famous 20 percent rule (employees could spend 20 percent of their time exploring fun, passionate side projects), the result was a more productive, more creative 80 percent. Side projects boosted work performance.
Cool, huh? It should probably be noted though that although employees could work on whatever they wanted during the 20%, the side projects would need to advance Google in some way.
Creative side projects and hobbies can make you happier and feel more fulfilled outside of work as well. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from the little victories that short-term side projects (and creating things, in general) can provide. If you’ve ever had a cool side project or hobby, you’ll know this to be true.
In our society leisure is used as an “escape” from work. “Escapism” in this respect means that people do not seek meaningful leisure activities for their own growth and development, but instead resort to passive activities to escape from everyday strains and problems. Such behavior is frequently associated with a passive lifestyle and boredom, which in turn might feed into apathy and depression.
Side projects and creative hobbies help stop this cycle and nurture a more creative and fulfilling version of down time.
In other words, there’s R&R, and there’s being a total sloth.
The latter isn’t so great for you in the long run. Rest/recovery that’s also productive (but in a fun way) is much better. So if you don’t already have a fun and creative side project going on, go start one! The more different it is from your day job or regular activities, the better!
There are tons of things you can do, and even more that you can learn, so go for it. Sky’s the limit, baby. Enjoy!
You know how people tell you “See? You were worrying for nothing!” when your fears DON’T materialize? Yeah well, this was the exact opposite situation. :D
Yup, kind of a bummer, that. I remember joking around then and saying ‘Heh. Maybe I should’ve worried…” but did I really regret not worrying or preparing for that possibility? Not even a little bit.
I said this then, and I still stand by it today… Worrying is useless. All it does is rob you of the joy you could be experiencing today.
Anyhoo, after a successful surgery a month later, this particular cancer story actually had a happy ending… so phew.
It’s an ongoing story though, with possibly scary new chapters every time I go for a checkup. But I try not to think about it unless I absolutely have to. Because really… what’s the point?
The truth is that in life, there will ALWAYS be things to worry about. And let’s not fool ourselves. There’s a very real possibility that the things we worry about actually could come to pass. But you know what? That doesn’t mean we can’t choose joy anyway.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past 365 days, it’s that:
In some cases, even the worst expected outcomes don’t turn out to be as bad as we originally thought; and
There are moments of happiness and things to be grateful for in every situation, no matter how dire or depressing. Don’t waste them by allowing the negative stuff to take their place.
Go off in search of the joyful and the good today, my friends. Cheers!
I was on hermit mode pretty much all weekend because dammit, I did it again. I went and got myself addicted to another game.
Sigh. Karma’s a bitch, man. This is what I get for laughing so hard at an article I read about how the Kim Kardashian game was poised to make $200 million in profits this year.
And a little bit later…
WTF?? It’s like CRACK!
Okay fine, how would I know. I’ve never actually been addicted to drugs. But I imagine the resulting amount of self-loathing is the same.
I mean, let’s not even get into how it teaches some pretty messed up life values. I’m hardly an impressionable teen, after all. Plus it’s a game, so everyone just relax. But even without a list of things to condemn, there’s a lot to just… ridicule.
Like, I don’t know … the fact that some of the clothes COST MORE THAN A BEACH HOUSE IN MIAMI?? Ridonkulous.
Or how pretty early on in the game, Kim sets you up with someone who looks (or at least dresses) exactly like Kanye. Hmm. Actually, I have an issue with almost all the dudes in this game. Because geez. Check em out.
My KK character’s pretty slutty, tbh, but I have yet to come across one guy that I would actually date in real life. Plus why does it seem like I’m always the one paying on these dates? WTH?
And then there’s my main complaint, which is how limited - and MIND-NUMBINGLY DULL - the job options in the game seem to be.
I could actually go on and on with the comments but what’s the point? In spite of my issues, I still can’t for the life of me seem to quit!!
Damn you, Kim Kardashian.
So there you go. If you haven’t fallen into the Kim Kardashian app trap yet… BE WARNED. Stay away or you might just suffer the same fate. But hey, if you want to try it out, be my guest. Because misery loves company and all that. :D
If you want to try it, the Kim Kardashian game is available on both Apple and Android. Bear in mind though that to play, you’ll need a network connection at all times. Apparently it doesn’t work without one.
I’m at the pathetic addiction stage where I have check in and tap away every half hour or so - even when I’m in the car - so my data plan (Globe’s GoSurf) has come in pretty handy.
Anyway I’m hoping I’ll snap out of it soon, because I really do have a bunch of other (far more productive) things to do with my spare time. Like SLEEP.
Maybe I should try that now. Yup. After one last photo shoot… :)
I haven’t done any reader requests in a while, and since I need to take a work break — because seriously, I’m starting to look like this…
And because I got a really interesting RR yesterday, I figured now would be a good time to start up again. So here goes. This came to me as a comment on a previous blog post.
My first reaction, as I imagine most people’s would be, was this.
This is not something friends say to each other, my dear.
Like you, I tend to make a lot of allowances for growly/grumpy people who are going through a rough patch, because I’ve been there myself once or twice. And when we’re having a rough time, we tend to take it out on the people closest to us.
Okay, don’t even feel sorry for my husband because he does exactly the same to me. And much more often, btw.
So yes, I do have quite a bit of experience with this. Unhappy people are like wounded bears. Come too close, and you’re likely to get your head torn off. They’re in pain, and they don’t know how to handle it, and this makes them angry at the world, and nasty and sometimes completely irrational.
Are they horrible people? Not necessarily. But they can do some horrible things. And while we can understand this and make some excuses for their behavior, there’s only so much slack we can and should cut them. At some point you need to walk away and let them sort it out on their own or find some other scratching post to swipe at.
Be kind, be supportive, let your friend know you’re there for him if he ever wants to talk… but don’t take any of his shit. Remember, people are only ever as abusive and nasty as we allow them to be.
Hope this helps! Cheers!
p.s. I would love to credit whoever made that awesome “OMG all the fingers!” gif up there, that I swiped off Goodreads, but I cannot seem to find the artist. If you know, please let me know! Thanks!
So the Philippine President’s State of the Nation Address was yesterday, and though I missed it, I got a good overview of people’s takeaways from the event just by browsing my social media feeds. This was pretty much my main takeaway… which, by the way, stayed with me well into the night.
And it didn’t even have anything to do with SONA itself. It was actually in response to what seemed like a million people’s fixation on one lady senator’s unfortunate outfit choice.
I mean fine, there was a rather striking resemblance to an upside-down hot air balloon there, sure, but geez. After the first cackle/comparison, you’d think people would move the frak on. But no. Enter Photoshop and the Internet mob, and let’s just say things got kind of nasty.
Now I’m far from the kindest person on earth, and I am certainly guilty of the occasional snarky remark - whether in my head or in the company of my friends…
So I don’t honestly know why I was so bothered by yesterday’s Binay-bashing. I don’t know… I may be wrong, but I think there’s a difference between (1) making a snarky side comment to a friend, and (2) gleefully posting something mean online with the intent to get a reaction and a share. The former is normal, the latter just sucks.
Life is often unkind and unfair enough on its own without you and I contributing to the mix with needless negative shiz. And there’s so much to comment on that’s awesome. Why not focus on that instead?
So a huge storm passed through the Philippines Wednesday, blowing in like a drunken rock star and pretty much trashing the place. You’d think we’d be used to it, considering how many typhoons we have every year, but I have to say, this one was CRAYZAY.
Like, “fall asleep and you might wake up in Oz” levels of crazy.
The storm itself lasted only a few hours, but it left a hell of a mess behind. Plus there hasn’t been any power (at my house, at least) since then, which has been a bit of a bummer.
… because I don’t know, I think when you dress up when there’s no light in your house, your brain just assumes people won’t be able to see what you look like… even if you actually step out into BRIGHT-AS-HELL SUNLIGHT…
I’m really hoping power’s restored by tonight or I swear to God I can’t be held responsible for what I’ll look like tomorrow.
Anyway, there’s always a lot to learn from stormy situations (both literal and figurative) but the most glaringly obvious to me is always this…
There’s no better test of the true nature of people than the aftermath of a storm (or any disaster, for that matter).
I’ve seen a lot of good and a lot of just plain terrible in the past couple of days. (Let’s just file my progressive fashion deterioration under “neutral”, okay?) How about you?
It’s something worth thinking about … that the way you’ve been the past couple of days — or what you’re like in the aftermath of any “storm” in your life — tells the true story of YOU.
Is it a story that makes you proud? I hope so. :)
Here’s to brighter days ahead for everyone. Cheers!
Basically Plum Perfect lets you take a selfie or upload a picture to your phone or iPad (only Apple gadgets for now, sadly), and then BAM! It analyzes your unique color signature and recommends face, eye and lip products with specific shades suited to your skintone, eye, lip and hair color, etc.
Very cool! And super helpful, if, like me, you’re completely clueless when it comes to choosing makeup for yourself.
Go try it outand let me know what you think! I’m pretty sure you’ll like it too. Well, unless you are my friend Manny, of course…
… or any other typical male, for that matter. Haha! Cheers! :)
I spent the bulk of the weekend looking at old pictures when I really should’ve been organizing files to keep or throw away. I’m sure this happens to everyone, right?
Anyway, I learned a few things while I was at it, so it wasn’t a total waste of time — even if I ended up making an unholy mess and driving my OC husband insane.
1. Paper pictures are such a trip. I never really print pictures out anymore, so physically handling paper photos is such a strange experience now.
I mean sure, digital is more convenient, but there’s something about actually touching paper, and not having a ton of other things competing for your attention on a screen that makes you focus more, and appreciate the pictures better.
2. Youth really is wasted on the young. My mom says this all the time, and she’s totally right. You have no idea, when you’re young, of just how good you have it. This applies to lots of things, but in this particular instance, I refer to looks.
Young women, you may not believe me, but this is true. No matter how you look, or how you think you look, you are an enviable type of beautiful. Just by virtue of being young. So stop putting yourself down, stop wishing you looked different, and stop slathering on makeup and whatnot to try and make yourself look older/better/hotter. Believe me, you don’t need any of that.
There’s a certain quality to youth, a wonderfully lovely sort of freshness, that even the most well-preserved older women can never compete with, and that no amount of expensive creams or plastic surgery can recreate. Enjoy it while you can.
3. Old pictures are THE BEST. I’m sure we all think we know this from our weekly #ThrowbackThursday experiences, but if you’re a youngun who thinks party pics from 2 years ago count for #TBT, then please… Just stop. You know nothing.
When I say old pictures, I mean OLD. And the older, the better. Like this pic of my dad and uncle playing by the sea around 1940 or so (?) which is ALL SORTS OF AWESOME.
How cool is this? It blows my mind.
I’m actually planning to have a series of “Look at Old Pictures” parties with my friends sometime soon, because (1) How fun is that??? and (2) the next lesson on my list…
4. Old pictures may be the best, but after a certain age, YOUR MEMORY IS NOT.
Seriously. After 20 years or so, you don’t remember SHIT. And you can’t even depend on your friends to help you out, because I swear to God their memories are even worse than yours.
I found some photos I took of a scrapbook my sister Bambi, my friend Troy and I made as a going away present for our friend Ofer…
…and here’s how the convo went when I attempted to remind Bambi and Troy about it.
OMG. THEY’RE THE WORST.
And because you and everyone you know will be pretty useless when it comes to piecing memories together… we come to the 5th and most important thing I learned.
5. You really need to DOCUMENT things. And by this I mean write shiz down.
I really loved looking through my old scrapbooks because they had written commentary in them which showed what I was thinking at the time. Like I actually found this note beside a picture of me and a boy I used to like.
Of course I have NO idea what I meant by that, so umm… whatever. Thanks for being cryptic, yester-me. But hey, whether I meant it in a good way or a bad way, we’re great friends now so I guess I did change my mind eventually. Good to know.
Write your thoughts down! Write down your plans, your dreams and perhaps your nefarious plots too, because those are always fun to review after a decade or two. Here’s a funny note I found in that scrapbook for Ofer:
LOL! I didn’t even remember that I was trying to get them together. Oh, and incidentally, neither did they. They barely even remembered Ofer.
What did I say about my friends and their memories?
So yeah, DOCUMENT. And if you want to do it well, do it offline — in a secret diary or scrapbook.
Posting stuff online is okay - and much easier, I’ll admit - but the problem with documenting stuff on Facebook or Instagram or your blog or whatever is that you tend to do it with an audience in mind.. so it’s never 100% honest. Admit it.
Things always seem more fun, more successful, more hilarious than they actually were. Some pictures - no matter how great - never even make the cut because one or two people look less than perfect in them and will hate you for posting. Your captions and comments are edited to protect your pride or someone else’s. And some (if not most) of the genuine feelings and sentiments that accompany the pictures you took somehow get lost in all the editing and censorship.
When you document in private, just for future you and whomever future you might choose to share it with — you don’t have to worry about that stuff. A secret scrapbook lets you just be you. And it should make for such a fascinating reintroduction to yourself, later on down the line.
So go do it! Start your secret scrapbooks now! Don’t wait. I promise you won’t regret it. :)
Because of it, I’ve really been making an effort to quit being such a hermit and get out and connect more. So despite the fact that this meant less blogging and online time, I think you should all be proud of me. Because we all know what I’d be doing otherwise, right?
So yeah, lots of fun reunions recently. On the one hand, it’s been wonderful to catch up with different groups of old friends. As an extrovert. I really do get an energy buzz from being around people (especially people I genuinely like/love), so social gatherings are always great for me.
But on the other hand, I have to say… it’s always a little distressing to see people from your past when you’ve gained a ton of weight since you saw them last.
Even when they’re tactful enough not to say anything (or awesome enough not to even care that you’re a big ol’ balloon now), there’s always that brief eye-widening that happens when they set eyes on you for the first time.
That’s the problem with late onset fatness, I think. Not only do I actually think I’m still Skinny Chinie in my head — until I am rudely reminded otherwise by my motherfrakking mirror…
I think ‘Skinny Chinie’ is the picture of me that other people carry in their heads as well. Hence their initial shock upon being presented with the suddenly chubby version…
It’s a bit of a bummer, sure, but what I realized in the past couple of weeks is that those first few seconds of shock that I dread so much pass pretty quickly.
After the initial wide-eyed, “Whoa! Wh…what happened?” expression — and me usually squealing “I know! I know ok? I’m fat!!” — people’s pupils eventually normalize and we’re like “Oookay, show’s over. Let’s move on and talk about other things.”
And that’s it. No biggie.
Now that I think about it, I’m a little pissed off about all the time I wasted, waiting for a day that ummm.. might never come, to be honest. As the Oatmeal pointed out in a recent comic, I could very easily be this chubby version of myself forever.
I think we’re all a little guilty of waiting for some future (real or imagined) day to go and do something we want to do. If it’s not “when I’ve lost some weight” it’s something else. When I’m older… When I get married… When I’ve saved enough money… When I have more experience… When I have more free time.
What we don’t realize is that in most cases, we really don’t need to wait at all. And we shouldn’t. Because what if that future day never comes?
What if NOW is all we have?
Stop waiting. That thing you want to do? Whatever it is, do it now. The time to be happy, the time to be fulfilled, the time to find what you’re looking for… that time is NOW.
It’s easy to let a bad start (or any random sucky moment, for that matter) mess up your entire day… but you know what? It’s actually just as easy to turn a rotten day around.
You just have to want to.
The truth is that when a day turns craptastic, your initial irritation (or anger or dejection or despair or whatever) wears off after a while. In order for a rotten mood to remain intact, in all its growly glory, at some point you need to feed it.
If you’re going to expend all that energy anyway, might as well use it to climb OUT of the pit of despair rather than burrow deeper into it, right?
There are lots of things you can do to turn a rotten day around, but here are 7 that are backed by science (and some of my older blog posts :)).
So when you’re having a rotten day, surround your senses with happy stimuli! Look at heartwarming or funny pictures. Listen to songs that bring back good memories. Brew some coffee, bake some bread, fill your home with happy scents. Let your senses help your mind remember that life isn’t all that bad.
Several studies have shown that grateful people are happy people, so learn to say thanks and try to turn the day’s negatives into positives.
As I mentioned in an old Rappler post, there’s something to be gained and/or learned from every negative experience. Find it, and be thankful. Sometimes the only difference between a curse and a blessing is your attitude.
4. Scribble (or type)
Never underestimate the power of the pen. Writing is a great stress-reliever. For a quick fix, you can try the write-and-toss bad-mood-busting technique…
Or just vent on paper, or write about something that makes you happy.
While you write about a happy or positive experience, your brain actually relives it.
Okay, this might be a bit difficult depending on where you are or who you’re with…
So maybe just give or get a hug from someone suitable.
Hugging heals all sorts of ills, boosting happiness levels by giving us an always-welcome fix of oxytocin (aka “the love drug”). Find out more about the healing power of hugs here.
6. Sweat it out
This might sound a little funny coming from me, considering my pathetic track record when it comes to exercise…
I mean seriously, I tried to plank yesterday and almost passed out. But it doesn’t change the facts: Exercise = endorphins = euphoria.
So go get sweaty, work out that depression / aggression and let the endorphins chase your blues away.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing that a good night’s sleep (or at the very least a Dali-esque micronap) can’t fix. Done right, a midday nap can calm you down, lift your spirits, improve productivity and completely reset your rotten day. So get snoozing.
Aaaand that’s it.
Oh wait, almost forgot, one more… Suck it up and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Whining and wallowing will get you nowhere. And there are worse tragedies than today’s tedious inconveniences.
Remember that on any given day, we are as happy as we decide to be. No matter what happens, we always have the power to turn a bad day into a better one.
So have yourself a happy day, my friends! If it isn’t happy on its own, then go and make it so. Cheers! :)