Category Archives: Young Women

41. Have a monthly game night with the girls.

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This idea comes from my stepmom, another very wise woman. She has a friend who started this tradition in her2026939_HiRes 20s and decades later, these ladies still get together to play cards. If you’re not into cards, it can be bunko, a book club, wine-tasting night or anything that you and your friends enjoy. It’s also nice to take turns hosting. That way each of you spends time at the other’s places. The main thing is, that you stay connected. I wish I had a group like this when I was in my 20s because I miss a lot of the friends I had back then. And maybe if we had done this, we’d be like my stepmom’s friend, still in touch and building on years of memories and friendship. Fortunately, I have a great group of women in my life now and we have been getting together for happy hour from time to time. Since some of us recently moved, we thought it would be fun to have happy hours at our houses, where the host provides the munchies and the guests bring the beverages. While not a traditional game night, it will get us all together in a more relaxed and intimate setting. As time goes on, we may even play some games. Here are a few fun ideas: http://www.brit.co/game-night-ideas/. I just might have to get “Anomia:” ‘Take advantage of all the random information floating around in your head with this game that requires you to face off with other players and race to give a correct answer to the question on your opponent’s card’.” After a few glasses of wine, all of us may have a lot less random information in our heads and hopefully a few good laughs. Make it a point to get together with the girls in your life. It’s good to know they’re there for you and you for them.

Word to the wise: Keep your friends close. Establishing a routine with your friends now can give you comfort and stability for years to come.

Got some ideas for game nights or how to get them going? 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.”

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.”

32. Go to expensive, beautiful places and do beautiful, inexpensive things.

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had champagne taste on a beer budget. This has presented me with many ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????dilemmas in my life, not the least of which was my credit card debt situation when I was in my 20s. Most of that $13,000 debt could have been attributed to me going out to nice restaurants and paying for all my friends who couldn’t afford them. Um, neither could I. But here’s a fabulous trick I’ve learned over the years – go to a really expensive, beautiful place and have a glass of champagne (or an old fashioned or a rum and coke, whatever). You might be out $20 but the experience will stay with you for a long time. Some of my favorite places to practice this principle:

The Montage (where a room is $795 a night), Laguna Beach

$10 for a glass of champagne and an ocean view to die for.

Walk their gorgeous grounds and sit on a bench overlooking the ocean. (Free.)

http://www.montagelagunabeach.com/?gclid=CI-Bjqnu47YCFUOe4AodpCQAcw

Mastro’s Steak House, throughout the U.S. (where a steak dinner a la carte will cost you about $40)

Sit in the bar and order their house chardonnay for $9 and split the enormous portion of their gorgonzola mac ‘n’ cheese for $11 and munch on their insanely fabulous FREE bread.

http://www.mastrosrestaurants.com

Take a walk along the beautiful cliffs and beaches of Corona Del Mar, California. (Free)

Then have breakfast at Café Panini where you can have a Mediterranean omelet that comes with Greek salad and bread for about $11. And don’t forget the champagne! Or better yet, pack a picnic and sit on the bluffs after your walk.

http://www.mypaninicafe.com

I know these are all in my backyard (and a beautiful one it is!) but can you think of places where you live that you don’t go to because you think you can’t afford them? You should actively seek these special places. Because even if you don’t have a lot to spend, for an hour or two, you’ll feel positively rich.

Word to the wise: The appetizers can be just as satisfying as the meal. Even more so if you’re at a five-star hotel with an ocean view. Or whatever it is that makes your backyard special. Life’s too short not to enjoy it.

What are some of your favorite places and do you know how to maximize your experience without doing major damage to your wallet? Please share. 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.”

31. Life is long.

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Even though we’re always being told the exact opposite. Not to mention, I’ve had a few very close friends die young. So you ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????could also argue against me on that score if you’ve lost someone way before they were supposed to go. But let me explain why life, generally is long. And just so I don’t hog all the credit, it was my always late, cheap ex-boyfriend who laid that philosophy on me and it really resonated then and continues to do so now. We were having one of our many “discussions” about how the fact that he was always two hours late annoyed me, was disrespectful, etc. (he was probably out on another date before he came over, but I digress). I remember he paused, looked at me and said, “Eva, life is long.” Basically he was saying it was too long to deal with my s—t. At that moment, I realized it was also too long to deal with his. I knew that unless a truck hit either of us the next day, if I didn’t end it, we could have gone on like that for years. Because he was getting exactly what he wanted: me at his convenience; and I was nowhere near to getting what I wanted: commitment. This is just one of many examples where if you look at the road ahead as short, you may be short-sighting yourself. You have to think long-term. And I know that’s really hard to do when you’re in your 20s. Hell, it’s hard to do at any age.

Word to the wise: Life is only short when it’s good. My grandfather lived to the ripe old age of 94, may God bless him. You might get to be that old, too. Imagine your life one year from now. Five years from now. Ten years from now. How about 50? Make sure you’re living the life you want to.

Can you think of any situations that are making your life longer? Please share. 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.”