It’s New Year’s Eve and no doubt, many of us are thinking about our resolutions for 2015. It’s no surprise that losing weight tops all of the lists and surveys. As I got to thinking of resolutions of my own (although I stopped calling them “resolutions” years ago) I felt like I had to dig deeper. This year needed to be different. In years past, I’d write a list of goals and generally accomplish them. Last year, I flew by the seat of my pants and just had a few thoughts. One of which, was getting back into and committing to my yoga practice. Without writing it down, I was able to do that and I’m so glad I did. During the last class of this year, one of my favorite instructors imparted her wisdom regarding intentions for the New Year. She said we could make affirmations about what we want in our lives and that even if we made only one – that would be enough. I wondered if there was only one thing that I wanted in my life in 2015 and I had to affirm it, what would it be? I had an immediate idea but wanted to make sure I chose just the right words (yes, I am a writer and probably a bit of a nut). So I went online and found some nifty affirmations. I really enjoyed quite a few of these: https://www.pinterest.com/christieinge/positive-affirmations-for-women/ I actually found one that said what I wanted to affirm in a way that I wanted to say it:
I deserve relationships that thrive.
Here are a few others I thought were worthwhile:
I am willing to have my own back.
I am patient with myself and worthy of all the waiting.
I choose to let go of the OLD so that I can finally start making progress with the NEW path I want to take in my life.
In my 20s, I always celebrated the New Year in a big way and wrote down resolutions that I actually sometimes kept. I think if you’re a young woman today, it helps to think positively and visualize what you see for yourself in the New Year and years ahead. Of course, a great party to celebrate your affirmations doesn’t hurt either! Wishing you all a happy, healthy and successful New Year. Cheers!
Word to the wise: One positive affirmation is worth 10 resolutions. As we say in the ad biz, keep it simple. And if it starts to work for you, why not try a few more?
What is your affirmation for 2015? 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.”
I was having lunch with a very mature 23-year old the other day and as humbling as it was, she seemed to know 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.”
I really wish I had begun my yoga practice much earlier than I did. I think it would have helped to keep me more 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.”
Well, maybe not quite like the one I’m in now. No disrespect intended, but all the students look like they came from the island of misfit toys. Maybe that’s because the class isn’t offered by Williams Sonoma or Sir Le Table. It’s at our local community center, being taught by Maria, a dead ringer for the Long Island Medium. So far, we’ve learned how to make tomato sauce and garlic bread, which consisted of garlic powder, Italian herbs and olive oil. Emeril Lagasse would be rolling over in his grave if he were dead. But here’s the thing – it was actually surprisingly good. And easy. In spite of the fact that one of the misfit toys, this guy who should be in an independent film, kept staring, and I mean staring at me. At the end of class, my friend bolted out the door and started laughing hysterically, “Did you see that guy staring at you?” And then we both just couldn’t stop laughing about the class in general. But we had fun. So we’re going back next week to see what Maria will do with meatballs. What I also discovered is that no matter what your skill level, or who’s teaching, you will learn something new. Even if you’re like me and have watched hundreds of hours of Food Network and think you know almost everything. And if you’re surrounded by misfits, all the better.
Maria’s garlic bread recipe:
1 loaf Italian bread
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
Cut bread lengthwise and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic powder and Italian seasonings. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (or you can broil it).
Serve hot with meals or cut into cubes and use as croutons on a salad.
Word to the wise: If you like food, learn how to cook it. And you don’t have to go to some fancy schmancy school and pay big bucks. That said, I think next time, I’ll give Williams Sonoma a try.
Have you ever taken a cooking class? Would you do it again? 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.”
Contrary to Romeo Void’s lament, a girl in trouble is not a temporary thing. No matter what the outcome, if you’re that girl, it’s with you for life. While I have may have done many unwise things in my teens and 20s, getting pregnant wasn’t one of them. And even though I haven’t experienced an abortion firsthand, I speak from the experience of my friends. A few of who have had more than one abortion by the time they were 25. Case in point: A dear friend of mine got pregnant in her late 30s and wasn’t sure she wanted to keep the baby. Because she’d already had three abortions, she knew if she had another one, she might never be able to have children at all. So she kept it. All I knew was I couldn’t face myself if I had to have an abortion. So I did whatever I could to avoid a situation that would be unbearable for me. And bottom line, there was absolutely no way I was ready to have a baby. But in the heat of the moment, all of this is quickly forgotten. That’s why I’m on the pill and have been for years. Of course, if you’re really smart, you won’t tell guys that. Because unless he’s your boyfriend and you know for a fact he’s not cheating on you, it pays to be safe. As in make him wear a condom anyway. It protects you from other things, too. And when you’re on the pill, you’ll never have to worry if it has hole.
Word to the wise: There are plenty of ways to protect yourself and you’re the one who has to do it. Unless, of course, you don’t mind having an abortion or two. Or giving your baby up for adoption (see “Juno”). Or keeping it even though you’re not ready. None of these are attractive options and much harder than choosing a method of birth control and using it. And if you’re still not convinced, just watch an episode of MTV’s “16 and Pregnant.”
What are your thoughts on this touchy topic? Any personal experiences or experiences of friends you’d like to share? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”
Boy, I sure wish I’d learned this one before I turned 25. Not that I could be compared to Gene Simmons, but I certainly was no angel. And while some of it may have been fun, most of the time, I felt empty and unfulfilled. Inside, I always wished that each one would be the one. And as the years passed, all of these encounters didn’t bring me any closer to what I really wanted – a loving relationship with my soul mate. I recently watched an indie film called “Tiny Furniture,” which was the precursor to the HBO series, “Girls.” Honestly, it made me melancholy and quite sad. I thought young women had come so far and weren’t doing the stupid stuff that I did. Or at least not as much of it. All this talk of “Girl Power” allowed me to believe that we were above degrading ourselves for some loser guy. That said, if you still want to have “fun” and think you can handle it – all I can say is be safe. But also, be honest with yourself about what it is you really want.
Here are a few good questions to ask yourself about your friends with benefits relationship or other casual encounters: http://www.yourtango.com/experts/donna-davidge/casual-sex-good-idea-you
Word to the wise: A good lay is just a good lay. It won’t keep you warm at night, especially after the door closes and someone says they’ll call and they never do.
What do you think about casual sex? Do you think these experiences hurt or help young women? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”
I’m heading out to the dentist today, for some awesome dental work, which I thoroughly enjoy. Wish I could go more often. Anyway, thought this would be a good time to talk about flossing. When I was in college, one of my jobs was working at a hospital as an admitting clerk. I met a lot of interesting people there, one of them, a fellow admitting clerk who was twice my age. Boy did I think she was old. I remember her asking me if I wanted to live a long time. She was a little strange and I was curious to see where she was going with this. I said, “Yes, I would.” And she said, “Floss.” To which I responded, “Huh?” She told me that people who floss regularly live longer and that gum health determines your overall health when you get older. I thought that could be a really good point and I did want to live a long time, so I started to floss. Of course, recent studies have shown that the state of your gums directly affects the state of your heart. And if your gums aren’t healthy, there’s a pretty good chance your heart and arteries aren’t either. That woman from the hospital was kind of strange, but she was right.
Word to the wise: Pick a time every day, morning or night and floss. I floss in the morning, because I don’t like to do anything more than I have to before I go to bed at night. Here’s to both of us living longer.
What do you think? Have any insights about flossing? Do you or don’t you?Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 101 Things Young Women Should Know.”
My mother, a wise woman when it comes to looking amazing for her age, always used to say, “Take care of your skin and it will take care of you.” Well, I didn’t do a great job of that in my 20s. After a night of three Long Island Iced Teas, two (three?) Kamikazes, a Jell-O shot and dancing until 4 a.m., passing out on my bed was priority number one. Taking off my makeup when I barely could say my name, not really a priority. And of course, if I had someone of the opposite sex stay over, I certainly didn’t want him to see me without my makeup – even if I looked like a raccoon when I woke up. Luckily, by the time I turned 30, I wised up. Probably because that’s when I noticed those first few lines on my face in the mirror. After that, I made it a point to wash my face every night before I went to bed – no matter how tired I was or who stayed over. I think not skipping my skin care routine in my younger years has helped me skip the Botox in my later ones.
Word to the wise: Wash your face and put on a little moisturizer before you go to bed. If you can do it most nights, you could look pretty fabulous in the decades to come. And maybe instead of spending your money on Botox, you could spend it on a vacation.
What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things All Young Women Need to Know.”