Quality Over Quantity

I’m so excited to be finishing off the first week of 2013 on a positive note. I’m finally feeling healthy again, I’m soaking up tons of vitamin D while I’m with my family, and I’m keeping up with my resolutions!

I finished the first week of the hundred push ups challenge successfully. 152 push ups done so far! Hurrah. However, I’m thinking of bumping back to column two to improve upon my form.

I’m all about quality over quantity! If I’ve got a choice between a large amount of milk chocolate or a small amount of dark chocolate, I’d much rather enjoy the bitter, rich taste of dark chocolate. I think that with push ups, If I’m more focused on great form, they’ll be more effective.

Pushing through push ups simply because of pride doesn’t make sense. I’m doing this for me — so there’s no shame in stepping back and assessing what’s right for me at the moment. If it means scaling back my push ups so I can focus on form, I’m completely okay with that.

Here’s to quality experiences for the rest of 2013!

How to Beat Fear in the Human Race and Get a Shiny Medal

Okay, so maybe, if you beat fear out of your life, you won’t get a shiny gold medal.

But you should.

Living in fear is something so many people do every day.  And for some, fear is a legitimate reaction to preserve the human race.  If you live in Syria, for example.  If I lived in Syria, I am all in favor of my nervous system telling to get the hell outta somewhere dangerous.

But in the modern world, I’m not encountering real danger very often.  When was the last time the threat of death or even physical harm stopped you from doing anything?  Has fear stopped you from getting your eyebrows threaded/giving a speech/joining a circus?

I, being in lovely suburban, middle-class America, decided to go to get my eyebrows threaded one sunny afternoon.

And yet, despite the sun shining (er, rainclouds storming), birds chirping (I mean, the sound of construction workers tearing up the roads), I was wracked with anxiety.  I was literally shaking as I drove to the Place Where They Extract My Eyebrow Hairs.  I wanted to cry.  I was so overwhelmed with fear.

This is something I have done for several years.  (Ah, the power of the threader over my upkeep.)

But why?  I have, on occasion, ended up with manly eyebrows, and the world has not ended.   The process itself is quick and painless, too.

So.

In lieu of an actual medal, I give you a mneumonic to go through.  MEDAL: Meditate, Excavate, Detonate, Allocate, Lactate  (just kidding…the actual last word is Live, but I really wanted an -ate to finish off the list…ah, well, c’est la vie). 

Meditate:  Why are you so afraid?  Some thought, not much, needs to occur.  Be careful not to get too deep into your thoughts, which can lead to melancholy, over-analysis, and some serious Google-searching anxiety cropping up at three am over fears deeply rooted in your childhood.  Meditation is not the most important here.  Find a reason, settle upon it, and move on!  Most anything will do.  Realizing that there is a reason, however trite or important, and acknowledging it, is important.  In my case, I realized that it was because going to the Place Where They Extract My Eyebrow Hairs reminded me of my younger self, when I hated running into my peers there.  It was like going to the Place was openly admitting that I was an ape of hair.   An APE!

I was so convinced. This was the me the world saw.

Excavate:  Take those memories out of your head and put them in your current situation.  I have hair.  So does everyone else.  I take pride in taking care of myself, and if I feel great after the process, shouldn’t I feel great before and during the threading as well?

Detonate:  Imagine those memories, sticking them in a box, and exploding all the negative feelings and insecurities that (possibly) accompany them.  BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.

Allocate:  Yes, that time in your life was bad.  Instead of ruminating on this, allocate those emotions to a better, more charitable use.  Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, donate that pity to a cause like  girls who can’t afford an education or perhaps contributing to the fund for fallen rangers who have died protecting apes.

Live: Finally, go get your eyebrows threaded/finish that speech/join a circus.  You’ve earned your medal.

 

What Writing Is….

The lovely Cat Hellisen over at Inarticulations posted about what writing is. I’ve been thinking lately about why I started blogging. Probably so I could have a reason to take even more delicious photos of food.

(Some great Thai in Chicago. I’ve been on a Chicago photo kick lately. Great city.)

Don’t forget to photograph dessert, too!

(Cheesecake cake pop. Mmmm.)

Or maybe it was because all the cool cats were doing it, and I wanted to get in on the fun!


(Those are my friend’s kittens. That kitten in the back corner is actually blogging. I. Know. He’s so talented.)

Truth is, I love entertaining people. I don’t hesitate to crack jokes and blurt out my life’s story in person…so why not combine it with writing? I like to write novels, but I love the idea of writing for an audience in real time. It connects people in ways I never thought possible. I get to read slices of life from all over–Puerto Rico, Utah, Florida, and even in my own backyard, NYC. I probably would have never encountered these wonderful people without blogging. I’m a fiend for tracking my exercise, and I love to watch progress. And…I like to talk. Writing novels will always be my passion. There’s nothing like finishing a draft and going, “Oh, thank goodness that’s over,” but blogging is an exciting aspect of writing that I wish I had discovered sooner.

As Cat said, the lows of writing novels (and the beast that is publishing) can be very low, and it’s nice to have feedback from non-industry people. Now that I’m not working on the school newspaper, I need to keep my skills fresh. Blogging is a great way to do that. What’s writing to you? So as you all read this, I’m cooped up in the car! Hopefully rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows right now…what’s on your to-read list?