Thursday, July 24, 2008

Real Life 101 for the Over-Achiever

TheBoy said to me the other day “You talk big but you have no follow through.” Ouch. But you know what? He’s right. I always have big dreams and big plans but rarely do I have the follow through to see them to the desired end results. For example, when we first became engaged I had roughly 9 months to get into shape. I researched bridal boot camps and workouts, checked into ways to better my diet and we joined a gym in our new hometown. Did I get into shape in the following 9 months? Nope. I even managed to GAIN about 15 pounds in those months. Awesome.

So right before the wedding, when I realized that I was indeed going to be a huge fat ass on my wedding day, I came up with a new plan. The “best shape of my life before 30” plan. I figure I have about 9 months before my 30th birthday and TheBoy has about 6 months before the same milestone. I was determined we were going to eat well, exercise and generally give up all things bad for us. The start date of the BSOMLB30 plan was July 8th. I have officially been to the gym twice since then. I am back to eating like a responsible adult and I did quit smoking (woot!) but… I’m not as far along as I thought I would be so I am discouraged.

In a moment of “ah ha!” clarity this morning I realized that this is the key to why I don’t have good follow through. Being discouraged. Because I have all these grand plans and I think I’m just going to snap my fingers and presto I’m healthy and fit and skinny and sexy. But in the real world things don’t work like that. In the real world TheBoy breaks a rib and isn’t super motivated about going to the gym with me (and I hate going to new places alone). In the real world you don’t just magically lose 10 pounds in a week. In the real world progress is slow. This is going to be a valuable lesson learned for me I think.

For example, I have started writing again with the thought of someday finishing a novel. When I first decided to buckle down as the case were and get serious about writing I made a grand plan. I joined a few online writing groups, I bought books on character building and how to get past writer’s block and creative expressions. When I dream I dream BIG. But realistically how many words have I written since I decided to “get serious?” Maybe 10. And because of this I feel discouraged and I am not motivated to continue writing.

Anyone noticing a pattern here?

I also think sometimes that in addition to being unrealistic about my progress/goals that I attempt to take on too many things at once. Planning your dream wedding is stressful. Planning someone else’s dream for your wedding? Double the stress. At least. And on top of that stressful event we bought a house. Buying a house is admittedly one of the most stressful things you do as an adult. But because we are over-achievers when it comes to stress, not only did we buy a house, we bought a house about as far away from our jobs and friends and past life as humanly possible and still be living “in the area”. Go us. And on top of the wedding and the house we had my diet and exercise plan PLUS the writing plan. Looking back I can see that I might have one or two things too many on my plate.

So today I am making a new plan. That plan is to not make any plans. I want to go to the gym and work out because I love the feeling I get from it, because it makes me feel healthy and strong, not because I’m afraid people think I am a fat ass. I want to eat right because I know it’s the right thing to do, to be environmentally conscious, to be aware of what I am putting in my body, because it feels good not because I am desperately trying to lose 25 pounds in a month. I want to write the way I used to, fast and free flowing, from the heart, not because I think I NEED to have written a novel to be considered a serious writer.

I am entering a place that is totally Zen y’all. Hopefully this time the results will be better. Without any expectations to live up to I shouldn't get so discouraged. Not being discouraged should stop me from feeling like saying “to hell with it all” and giving up. Not giving up means that I might actually have some long-term results. This would be a good thing. My inner OCD freak is rebelling against this new theory with all its might because it feels like I’m saying it is okay to be an under-achiever, that it is okay to not push your self or strive to be the best. I’m trying to convince myself that this is not the case. I still want big and great things for myself, I just want to realize that I don’t need to have them all RIGHT NOW.

Except for the job change. That I want RIGHT NOW. Though between you, me and the internets at large, something big is in the works. Something exciting and wonderful and perfect but also so terrifying that it sometimes makes me want to rock myself back and forth in a corner and chew on my hair. Cross your fingers for me!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

First Kiss

I know I have already written about my first kiss. But to be 100% honest it wasn’t exactly my FIRST kiss. It was my first grown up kiss, my first “French” kiss but it wasn’t my actual true life first kiss with a boy. I was recently reminded of this fact by the man who actually DID give me my first kiss. As we reminisced about that fateful event the memories came flooding back and I thought I would chronicle them in case I become fuzzy on the details again in another 17 years.

He was literally the boy next door. Or rather, if you want to nitpick, he was the boy three doors down. After moving back to California the summer before the 7th grade I suddenly found myself friendless and bored. Lucky for me there was a man three doors down who was divorced but had two children who came to spend the summer with him, a boy and a girl who flanked me in age, one year older and one year younger respectively.

Instantly we were inseparable. The girl (we’ll call her T) became like a little sister and, having no siblings of my own, I enjoyed hanging out with her and gossiping about boys and clothes and music. It did not escape my attention that her brother (we’ll call him J) was in fact a boy, and also older, and also he was apparently as interested in me as I was in him. Even blondes can tell those types of things. I’m just saying is all.

I’m not sure how or when it happened… But at some point we became less of a threesome and more of a twosome with a little sister tagging along. They had a mattress in one of their bedrooms which we used to lean against a wall and use as a sort of make-shift slide and general play thing. T would be happily playing and J and I would be much more interested in hiding between the wall and the mattress talking and generally enjoying the new feelings that hormones and youth provided.

One day T called me on it. I can’t remember the exact details of the conversation but it was along the lines of her asking me if I was interested in her brother, me adamantly denying it (I was playing it cool), and her making me promise to never, EVER, date J because that would be “gross”. I remember her use of the word “gross” as clear as day. I think that was the first time I noticed that I had reached the age of boy crazy in earnest (that boy is cute) while she was boy crazy in the abstract (Val Kilmer is cute). But I did promise her I wouldn’t “go out” with her brother and a promise is a promise after all.

The summer progressed as these things do and the three of us made a merry band of thieves. And then one summer night as I went to leave their home for my own, J offered to walk me. A mighty three houses down. The adult me would have seen through that offer in a moment. The teenager in me thrilled at the excitement of being alone with a boy. I remember walking down our street holding hands when he suddenly yanked on my arm to make me stop walking. A move that while not subtle, certainly had the desired effect.

As we stood there in the road, and I grew increasingly embarrassed, he asked me for a kiss. A casual and yet fully loaded question given our 12 and 13 year old ages. I’m pretty sure I muttered something like “ok” or something equally cool and nonchalant. I’m fuzzy on who kissed who after that. I believe he kissed me, hastily, and on the cheek. I don’t recall if I kissed him back. I do remember all of a sudden being supremely nervous and that I practically sprinted home. I'm also fairly certain I was an attractive shade of redish-purple.

My first kiss. That boy J is now a man of 30. We lost touch for many, many years when things like high school and distance and a family tragedy (his) got in the way. I found him though, a few years ago, after years and years of searching, thanks to MySpace. I actually found them both. T is a mother of two adorable boys and lives mere moments from my house though we haven’t been able to get together yet for a much needed reunion. I am a bad friend it seems.

And J. I could list all the minute details I know of his life now but really all that matters is I feel like I’ve found an old friend. After that summer we stayed in touch for years, always getting together when they were in town. One summer they came on a church run youth summer retreat with me. And once we both got to high school we kept in touch via phone, sharing dating trials and tribulations. I always felt a little twinge when he told me about the latest girl and always felt a smidge guilty when discussing my latest boy. It was like we were sullying the memory of that innocent kiss somehow by moving on with life. And then somehow we just stopped calling, stopped talking, and then we were adults and out on our own with lives and jobs and school.

But now that we are both adults we can laugh at the kids we were, at the awkwardness we caused, and now we both (I think) can look back on that summer with something like nostalgia.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

To tide you over

I know this isn't as good as a wedding picture but one of the girls at work FINALLY got around to sending out the pictures from our holiday party that was back on December 6th. I WAS going to give her a hard time about taking so long but thought better of it. Pot, Kettle, Black and all that.

Anyway, I thought this was a cute pic. AND I'm at least 10 or 15 pounds lighter in the this pic than I was on my wedding day so... Yay me! Diet starts on Monday, BTW, as soon as I get back from my long holiday weekend!

Thank God that’s over!

I have officially been married for FIVE WHOLE DAYS and so far so good! :D

TheBoy and I went up to Tahoe a little early and hung out for a day so we could relax before all the craziness began. Since practically the entire state of California is on fire it was pretty smoky up there! At the rehearsal dinner we were literally like 10 feet from the lake and could barely see the water at some points! But luckily for us the wind shifted or something and it was clear and beautiful on the lake for our wedding Friday. Maybe that whole saying about weather always cooperating with brides is true. At TheBoy’s brother’s wedding a few years ago it was cold and foggy all morning and then about an hour before the wedding the sun came out and shined on them through the entire ceremony!

Yes, Shawn, there will be pictures (also... ahem... blog!). Once I get the DVD thingy from the photographer I’ll post one or two. Sadly I pretty much hate all the pictures but as a wise friend pointed out, both TheBoy and I hate having our pictures taken in the first place so we were sort of doomed from the start. That, combined with the fact that I hated my dress, and it didn’t fit right and I’ve gained about 20 pounds in the last year due to stress alone… Really the whole picture thing was destined for disaster. And seriously? If one person comments on here anything along the lines of “all brides are beautiful” I might vomit. That’s like saying all babies are cute. People say it but we all know deep down that some kids are just plain funny looking.

The rehearsal dinner was awesome. A majority of our guests were already in Tahoe so we got to party with everyone two nights in a row! I do love a good party. TheBoy and I did discover one downside to being the bride and groom however. Everyone wants to drink with you! I think I literally had about 20 drinks. At some point in the evening TheBoy’s brother started following me around, taking drinks from my hand, and in one notable incident, talking me down from the ledge that would have been my umpteenth tequila shot. He made a valid point that I wouldn’t want to be hung over for the wedding the next day… Sadly I think he was already two or three drinks too late at that point! But it was a noble effort none the less.

Despite being more hung over than I’ve been in YEARS the actual day of the wedding was awesome. Very relaxing and low key. After having our hairs done, the girls and my mom and I returned to the hotel where an also hung over TheBoy went and got me some greasy Chinese food and we sat down at the pool for a couple hours with some people before we had to all go start getting ready. No one got boat sick that I know of and I only tripped twice (once I had a little help from TheBoy who stepped on the back of my dress!) so I would say the wedding went off without a hitch. And even though I was SURE I wouldn’t need water-proof mascara because I was SURE I wouldn’t cry, I’m glad I bought some anyway because I could barely get my vows out! Also? Whose idea is it for brides to carry flowers? My hands were trembling so badly I had to push the whole bouquet into my stomach to stop it from shaking! Always a good look.

Anyway, I’m glad to be back and I’m happy that things can now start getting back to normal and I can focus on other areas of my life now that the whole wedding planning thing is behind me. It’s amazing how many things fall through the cracks when you have to focus on a wedding. As calm and relaxed as I was there were still a lot of things I had to focus on. I can’t imagine how those bridezillas keep their sanity! It was a fun party and we had a good group of guests. Aside from a few small dramas everything went as well as I could have hopped for!

And I am SO EXCITED to finally be married!