Category Archives: Women

40. If you want something, visualize it, although you may find you don’t want it after all.

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I was having lunch with a very mature 23-year old the other day and as humbling as it was, she seemed to knowdreamstime_s_26320973 more than me about many things. I think it was Aristotle who said, “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” I was fascinated how, at such a young age, she knew how old she wanted to be when she got married, that she wanted to have children and that she will easily be able to balance her career with family. She also wants to live on the beach in a beautiful home. She described how she could see herself on the balcony and could feel the ocean breeze at night. She said she saw all of this for herself and is confident it will happen. And strangely enough, I believed her. I’ve heard over the years about visualization, that you have to picture something you want in your mind and that you will get it.I always thought of this as mumbo jumbo – I am a bit of a cynic. But the more she spoke, the less sure I became of my stance on this subject. She said that if I couldn’t visualize something, it meant I wasn’t ready for it. Damn, that girl was smart. She got me to really start thinking about what I want. Some of us have the extreme fortune, like my 23-year old friend, of knowing early on how to pave the path to their dreams and desires. But even if you don’t, there’s no harm in trying. So if there’s something you think you want, try to see it. And if you can, then maybe you’re ready for it. 

Word to the wise: It doesn’t hurt to visualize. All that’s required is you and your mind, which turns out, truly is a powerful thing. Here’s a little something to help you get started: http://www.qualified-lifecoach.com/Visualization.html

What do you think about visualization? Has it ever worked for you? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

39. Starting a good yoga practice now will result in a killer mind and body for life.

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I really wish I had begun my yoga practice much earlier than I did. I think it would have helped to keep me moredreamstime_s_15683581 focused and grounded through my terrible 20s. Because as hard as my life was back then, I would have realized that yoga is way harder. For one thing, it requires commitment and concentration. It also requires practice. And it can be frustrating as hell – especially if you’re not naturally flexible and can’t do the splits while standing on the palms of your hand. But the benefits, and there are many, outweigh the challenges. One of the main things I like about yoga is that there’s no loud music. In fact, as much as I love it, I find that no music is even better. There’s also something to be said for silence and the sound of your own breathing. I think one of the most important elements, and one that will get you into it for life, is finding a good instructor and the type of class you like. For me, that’s a Vinyasa (Ashtanga) flow class, which is a modern-day form of classical Indian yoga. The class I take is 90 minutes of constant movement. Yet it focuses on finding peace in the poses. As one of my instructors says, “The pose should feel like a happy puppy.” Many of us laugh when we hear this because we feel more like tortured puppies, depending on what we’re doing. But maybe one day, after many more years of practice, I’ll have that experience. Perhaps if I had started in my 20s…

Word to the wise: “Warning: Yoga has been known to cause health and happiness.” For a few more words of wisdom about yoga, check out https://www.pinterest.com/pedrovalmeida/yoga-quotes/. Oh and, Namaste.

Have you ever tried yoga? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

38. When you let your guard down, be prepared that someone is going to stomp through your gates.

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In my teens and 20s, I was a notorious guard let-downer. At work, in love, and with every new person I met. I was dreamstime_s_28505506often told that I wore my heart on my sleeve. While being open to all experiences was at many times enriching and joyful, it was also hurtful and disappointing when someone stomped on my heart or betrayed my trust. When you’re young, it could be argued that this is a right of passage. And eventually, you’ll learn to keep your guard up more. Or maybe always, depending on how many times you’ve been through the ringer by the time you hit 30. Some people have developed strategies Sun Tzu would commend to protect themselves. Although even he might argue that the walls we make to keep other people out often wind up keeping us locked inside. But the thing is, as I much as try not to, try so hard not to be that girl who lets her guard down, I still do. Because when it gets right down to it, would I rather be the person with the fortress around my heart or the one who lets her guard down from time to time to discover new friendships, deeper intimacy, the possibility of true of love and, of course, a world of hurt. Yin and yang, as it were. I will say that if you’ve just been stomped on, it does help to keep plenty of Haagen-Dazs in the house. But going for a walk or reading a book can work just as well. So can a conversation with a good friend – even though you know they’ll tell you that that’s what you get for wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Word to the wise: It’s good to stand watch, but sometimes you have to listen to your heart. While it may not always be right, at least you know you have one.

What do you think about letting your guard down? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

 

37. It’s true money can’t buy you love, but $100 or less can buy you happiness.

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This thought came to me as I recently left Urban Outfitters with an item that I knew would give me immeasurabledreamstime_s_2512924 pleasure – a portable record player. When I saw it in the window, it called to me with its bright orange case and light tan handle. Plus, it played albums and 45s. But, I didn’t know how much it cost. All I could think was, please, don’t let it be more than $100. I nervously waited in line, hoping this precious possession would soon be mine. When I got to the register I knew one way or another, it was now or never. I asked the clerk, “How much?” She gave me the answer I was looking for: “$99.” I practically skipped out of the store. When I got home, I grabbed some 45s and was delighted to hear a sound I hadn’t heard in years – the needle scratching against the vinyl. And that’s when I started to think about happiness and how little money it takes to truly make one’s self or others happy. Another recent example is New Year’s Eve. I remember in my 20s we’d go out and blow way more than $100 for what usually turned out be an evening that was worth way less. New Year’s Day was even better because there was the requisite hangover, worn like a badge of honor. This year, I stayed home, broke out a bottle of champagne and had a new neighbor over for some frozen appetizers. Cost: about $30. And we had a great time, sipping and nibbling while watching the ball go down in NYC at 9 p.m. And then there’s one thing I’ve been wanting for years and finally went to amazon.com to buy – a chess set. Cost: $29. Happiness quotient when I receive it: Priceless. Wait, that’s the MasterCard commercial. So take a moment and think about how you can make yourself or someone you love happy. Big expensive stuff is great, if you can afford it, but what do you really need?

Word to the wise: Bling isn’t always the thing. Achieving happiness is. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but $30 in your pocket could be everyone’s. Spend wisely and you’ll never have to worry about buyer’s remorse.

Can you think of anything you bought or did for $100 that made you happy? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

36. Be a good host.

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While knowing how to be a good guest is important, learning how to be a good host is essential. And it’s not as hard as you might think. Whether it’s the holidays or any day, it’s fairly easy to make your guests feel special. I tend to find that mostdreamstime_s_16853082 people are just glad to be invited. If you keep that in mind, you can minimize your stress and entertain with ease. Also, you don’t need to bust your budget. Here are some things I always keep on hand, which gives me the pleasure of inviting anyone over at any time:

Salami, cheese, crackers, frozen hot appetizers (cocktail hot dogs, artichoke dip, taquitos, quiches, etc., you get the idea), apples, a bottle of red and white wine

Of course, you’ll also want to make sure you have:

Toilet paper in your bathroom(s), tissue in your bathroom(s), hand soap, guest towels – just large napkins (hand towels can make people squeamish – ok, well maybe that’s just me)

I think the most important aspect of being a good host is being a generous one. Giving freely what you have (even if it’s just cheese and crackers) and opening your home and heart. Here’s to being a good host in 2014 and beyond!

For some really cool tips on all kinds of parties, nobody does it better than http://www.bhg.com/party. And if you’re paranoid about red wine and other food stains, like me, check this out: http://www.bhg.com/wedding/recipes/tips-for-cleaning-emergency-party-spills.

Word to the wise: It’s fun having people over and you really don’t have to do too much to make them feel at home. Your family and friends will always appreciate the effort and the more you do it, the better your hosting skills will become.

What was the best party you ever gave? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

Special note: It’s been a crazy year and I look forward to being back up online regularly in 2014. Thanks to everyone for your support and comments.

35. Be a good guest.

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Surprisingly, from my own personal experience, this is harder than it sounds. Probably because it means different things to????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? different people. And some people just don’t think about it at all. C’mon. You know whom I’m talking about. Like the guests that come to your barbecue where you provide everything: food, drinks, appetizers, etc. and just ask them if they can bring dessert. When they come, they’re late and say they need to leave early because they have another party to attend. When said guests leave, they ask you if they can take what’s left of the dessert they brought (which consists of one box of ice cream sandwiches). And you know they’re taking it to the other party. This is what I call class. Another example on a smaller scale is when a friend is kind enough to invite you over for dinner. I wouldn’t dream of showing up empty handed (unless I was mauled by a bear). And fortunately, most people I know don’t. A bottle of wine goes a long way toward being a good guest. And so does a bottle of anything you know your host drinks. Of course, being a good houseguest has its own set of rules and there’s a reason I don’t have too many of them. Here’s a nice list of what you can do to make your stay more pleasurable for your host and for you: http://www.cozi.com/live-simply/10-rules-being-good-house-guest.

Word to the wise: Getting invited is nice. Being invited again is even nicer. Make sure you’re the person someone wants to have back. It’s not that hard to do and your social life will soar.

Ever had a bad guest? Ever been one? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

34. If you’re lonely, read.

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Whether you’re married or single, or somewhere in between, we all have moments when we’re not okay with being alone. I do my best to avoid this feeling, which is the lament of writers, musicians and the human race – loneliness. What I find is that when I read, the feeling seems to go away. Because I’m with someone. The person writing the book and I have formed this connection. They’re speaking to me. Although I do hate that feeling at the end of a good book. I always think I’ll never find another one that’s as good. But you know what? I always do. And once again, I’m on another trip, whether it’s to suburbia in the 1950s with “Revolutionary Road” – http://www.amazon.com/Revolutionary-Road-Richard-Yates/dp/0375708448) or Kansas City, Missouri in “Dark Places” – http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Places-Novel-Gillian-Flynn/dp/0307341577), I’m in my bed or on my couch but I’m really somewhere else. I wish I could take complete credit for this discovery, but I really owe a great debt to Barbara Feldon, Agent 99 on the TV show, “Get Smart.” She wrote this fantastic book, “Living Alone and Loving It – A Guide to Relishing the Solo Life” http://www.amazon.com/Living-Alone-Loving-Barbara-Feldon/dp/0743235177/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378577415&sr=1-1&keywords=living+alone+and+loving+it. In it, she talks about her love of reading and how it’s one of the joys of being single. She stays up all night reading a book she can’t put down. Which reminds me, I have some reading to catch up on.

Word to the wise: Instead of sending a text you may regret, pick up a good book. It’s amazing how much comfort it can bring you. Getting lost in someone else’s journey can make your own that much better.

Do you like reading? What are some of your favorite page-turners? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”