Tag Archives: living alone

42. Spending time with your parents now is a gift you may not have later.

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I understand when you’re in your 20s this may be easier said then done. For many of us, our natural instincts arethumbnail to pull away from our parents and push toward independence. But there needs to be a balance. Some people never resolve parental issues and their parents die and that’s that. Only they’re left with all the things they didn’t say. And then there are those who lose their parents when they’re all too young. I had a friend who was only 24 when she lost her mother to cancer. She grieves this loss every day. Fortunately, both of my parents are still alive, and we are close. But it wasn’t easy to get here. Living nearby helps – although some would argue it’s better to be far away. Whatever your situation or age, it’s important to get to know your parents and help them get to know you. While they can be your biggest judges and critics, they can also be your hugest supporters. Because they’ve been around longer, they also typically know more than you do about most things (even though they may make you want to scream sometimes). But don’t just take my word for it, here’s an excerpt from The Learning Network (http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/how-close-are-you-to-your-parents/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0) in the New York Times: “Our research shows that the closer bonds between young adults and their parents should be celebrated, and do not necessarily compromise the independence of the next generation. Twenty-five years ago, young people sought advice and help from naïve peers. Today’s young adults may be savvier than their predecessors; they receive advice and help from middle-aged adults with greater life experience and material resources to offer.” And now I’m going to contradict everything I just said. On the other hand, every one has a time in their lives where they bond strongly with their parents and also a time when they don’t. For better or worse, this has been my experience. But it doesn’t have to be yours. Can you think of ways you can spend more time with your parents today?

Word to the wise: If you think your parents are going to be around forever, think again. Make the most of the relationship you have or improve the one you don’t. You’ll be amazed at how much better life gets when you do.

What’s your relationship with your parents like? How can you improve it? 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.”

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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.”

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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

29. Take a cooking class.

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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.”