Finding a little “me” time

I’m me-timenot going to lie – the last few weeks have been exhausting because I’m in the midst of a big work project.  I’ve been working 16-hour days, 6 days a week.  I’m tired.  I pretty much work during my waking hours.

Today I hit a wall and realized that although my day off isn’t until Monday, I need some time for myself.  I scheduled a manicure and told my colleagues that I won’t be at work until 5pm (our project runs generally from 6-11pm nightly).  After my manicure, I’m going to visit my condo’s pool.  I can work and swim, right?

Amongst this stress, I’m seeking out a little “me” time.  I believe this is important!

 

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You!

You-Rule-You-RockLoyal readers and friends, tonight I am grateful for YOU!  I accidentally posted something to this blog that was meant for my other blog…and I had to quickly trash it because my other blog is anonymous…

Anyhow….two of you reached out to me concerned that the post was deleted.  “Are you ok?” one friend asked.  Another said that she keeps up with my life by reading my blog.  As a blog writer, sometimes we write for catharsis and forget that there are other people reading what we write. I was humbled and flattered by my friends!

Despite a hectic work schedule, I’m doing well.  Thank YOU for asking, dear friends!  You rock!

Food Glorious Food

8256b56a968008a5aa7dc1bb54f480b6I did something really dumb today.  I didn’t eat anything all day.  Yep.  First meal of the day was after 8pm.  This means that I worked an entire day plus went to a doctor’s appointment with nothing in my stomach but two cups of coffee.

By the time I got home tonight – around 8pm before eating – I was a grumpy crybaby who was clearly hungry and very bitchy.  It’s not a good idea to not eat all day.  After I ate, I felt better.  Full.  Happy.  Not as bitchy.

Most of you know that I used to have an eating disorder, so going a full day without food is not a good thing for anyone, but especially someone like me.

What is my takeaway?  Eating food = less grumpy, less bitchy.

I have a 10:15am appointment tomorrow and I plan to eat BEFORE it!  What a novel idea?

Debt-Free Roma

i-can-t-keep-calm-because-i-love-romeAs I just said to my friend in email, “This is really happening!”  Because of some consulting work I’ve been doing that put a few extra bucks in my pocket, I had some vacation money to spend on a fall trip to Europe.  I’ve paid for my Mediterannean cruise, and now my plane tickets to Barcelona are booked!  All paid in cash – no credit!  No turning back now.

Yes, yes, I’ve been to Europe many times yet it’s still so incredibly special when a trip is booked.  I like to do them in advance so I can pay for the flight, hotels, etc off over time and have plenty of time to savor the “before a vacation” joy and excitement!  I’m especially proud to be paying off the trip in full via cash, which wasn’t always the case with past vacations.  Debt-free vacations from now on!

The best part of this trip is that I will be spending several days in Italy.  Florence, Rome, and Naples are all part of the itinerary.  Italy is my happy place.  I feel at home there – I lived in Rome in 1996 & it’s never left my heart.

Here, here to relishing the longing for the trip!

No Baggage

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 7.31.29 PMI had an epiphany tonight.  I rarely take my work home with me anymore.  Ok, I technically do since my personal and professional laptop are currently one, but I’m talking more metaphorically.  I don’t leave the office anymore, carrying home suitcases of bad feelings, job dissatisfaction, anger, and hurt.  Instead, I leave with my briefcase – full of promise – which I leave at the door when I get home from work.  It doesn’t come upstairs with me unless I need to clean it out, but that’s only sporadic.  It lives at the foot of my stairs, hanging on a hook, and waiting for a new day.

It feel good to have little to no baggage.  I feel lighter – physically and spiritually – and it leaves more room in my mind for the good things in life, like family, friendships, and recreation.

Event-Free Evenings

happy-quotes-673On an average week, I have something after work about 3 nights out of 5 – meetings, dinner plans, work event, you name it.  I love my event-free evenings.  I got giddy earlier in the day today when I looked at my calendar and saw nothing scheduled after 5pm.  I left the office before 5:30pm and headed to Trader Joes.  I didn’t have to rush.  I leisurely strolled the aisles and loaded up on my favorite items – roasted seaweed, raspberries, and challah rolls.  I got home and caught up on the latest episode of Quantico. And now I’m writing & listening to my buddy Howard Stern.

Unscheduled life is good.

Moving On 

Had lunch with a dear friend today who has been in my life for years, but most recently, she was connected to my old job.  You know what I realized tonight?  The pain I felt from that experience has faded.  It’s not so raw anymore.  I’m in a good place – good, healthy job environment – with a supportive culture. I feel myself moving on & it is an incredible feeling of true healing.  Thank you, friend, for helping me feel good today.

 

Amtrak

6904444852_209dd55d64It’s Thursday, and Passover begins tomorrow evening.  It’s our family tradition.  My brother and I travel to my parent’s place in NJ, and we gather about 25 friends & family for our abbreviated seder.

I’m taking the train.  I was planning on driving, but I was getting very drowsy on the road this week after working many hours, many days in preparation for our big gala at work (broke records, by the way!).  So happy to have this option.  I’m listening to music/podcasts, responding to work emails, and – most importantly – not worrying if I doze off.

Worth every penny.

 

Taking My Face Off

IMG_4926I’ve been working long days planning a big event for work.  It’s a bit after 9pm and I just dove into my PJs as fast a possible.  Putting on my PJs is arguably my favorite part of the day.

But tonight I felt grimy.  My face felt icky.  Oh!  I had forgotten to take off my make-up.  I have this unbelievable foundation that literally stays on for 13 hours.  Yep, I put it on at 8am this morning and there was a large amount that came off on my makeup remover pad.

I don’t remember where I’ve heard the expression “taking my face off” but I love it.  I googled it in the hopes of teaching you fine people something but all I could find were youtube clips for the movie “Face/Off.”

Anyhow, these are what I use to take my face off.  They even smell good!

 

A Yellow-ish Brown IPhone Screen

Thank you Apple for adding a screen filter in the latest iOS update.  I firmly believe  that looking at the bluish tint of my phone screen or iPad late at night  affected my sleep. I spent the last several weeks, prior to the update, looking for an app that could change the screen to a “yellow-ish” tint, unbeknownst to me that this upgrade was coming.  

Listen, this new blog is all about mindfulness and enjoying the small things that make our life better. The screen that doesn’t keep me up at night is something to be praised. Hallelujah!

People Who Lift Me Up

Happy-Friendship-day-20132I bumped into someone from my past tonight and it shook me a bit.  Knocked me out of this happy life I’ve been living and brought me back to the negative for a few hours.  After some retail therapy (don’t worry – I only spent $10 at the Dollar Tree), I spoke with my brother and good friend about it.  Basically they told me that she doesn’t matter and that I need to live in the now, not in the past. I’m grateful for the people in my life who lift me up, and I include myself in that category.

 

Knowing Your Limits

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How’d your Monday go?  Mine went something like this:

  • Drive to Boston in bumper to bumper traffic, resulting in getting to your 10am appointment almost 30 minutes late.
  • Walk around Boston doing various activities like conference calls, dropping off packages at Trustees homes, you know the drill.
  • Drive to the suburbs and sit in Starbucks for several hours getting your regular 8-hours of work done in about 2 hours.  Mmmm expresso.
  • Drive back to Boston for another meeting.
  • Drive back to the suburbs – head to the library this time – and spend another 2 hours trying to get regular work done.
  • Finish workday around 6:30pm because your laptop battery is about to die.
  • Then, go do errands.  Return clothes that were too small. Grrr.Hitting the Wall
  • Eat some dinner at the creepy mall food court (though it was tasty).
  • Wander through Old Navy wondering why all shirts are either super cropped or super long.  Leave.
  • Get in car and realize that you have another 1.5 hours to go before you are supposed to be at your friend’s house to watch The Bachelor season finale.  I mean, we must know if he picks Lauren B or JoJo for peet’s sake!
  • Hit a wall.  Email your friend that you’ve hit said wall and head home.

Guess what I wanted to do most of all today?  Yep, watch the Bachelor at my friend’s house.  However, it’s the first day of daylight savings, a Monday, and I’m pooped.

Sometimes you just need to know your limits.

P.S.  Rooting for Lauren.

 

 

Voting 

Today is “Super Tuesday” here in Massachusetts. Basically, a bunch of states run elections for the primaries to see who ultimately will get to run for a election, including the upcoming presidential election.

Every Thanksgiving, I celebrate with my sister-in-law, and her parents, who immigrated to United States from Russia in the 1990s. Whenever we give thanks at the dinner table, they always talk about how happy and privileged they are to live in the United States, where they can be free to be who they are and vote. Since I met them in 2003, I always think of them every time I go to vote. I also think about all the countries where women do not have the same freedoms as men, and about my own country and how I could’ve lived in a time where I didn’t have the right to vote.

Proud to be an American.

 

Love

It’s a few days before Valentine’s Day and love is in the air.  For some reason, I am not dreading VD the way I used to.  In fact, I’m excited that there is so much love and ooey-gooey stuff in the stores.  Perhaps it is because I’m feeling good these days.

Tomorrow night I’m giving a big speech at a gala and while I’m excited, I’m also nervous. I had all the finishing touches love braceleton my outfit, but couldn’t decide what bracelet to wear.  So I stopped at the fabulous T.J. Maxx on my way home from work to check out their merchandise.

I wandered to the jewelry case and THE bracelet spoke to me.  It said “love me, buy me, take me home.”  And I did.  It looks a lot shinier and fun in person than in the photo, but you get the gist.

The woman behind the jewelry counter took the bracelet to the register so I could pay for it when I was done shopping.  I headed to the register and said, “There is a bracelet waiting for me.”

The cashier opened the box and said, “Are you buying this for yourself?  It’s so fun!”

I responded, “Yes.  If you don’t first love yourself, then no one else will love you.  Or something cliche like that.”

She laughed and told me to enjoy my purchase.

I can’t wait to wear it!

 

Salad

Have you guys ever been to Sweetgreen?  It’s one of those fancy salad places where you can get a delish salad made with seasonal, local ingredients.  I stopped there on my way home from work and got their seasonal fall/winter salad, made with goat cheese, apples, chicken, almonds, rice, lettuce, and sweet potatoes.  Can we say YUMMY?  It was so good that I’m sad it is over.

See that picture? That’s the salad – it’s called the harvest bowl.  Run, don’t walk, to this salad.  I want to kiss this salad it was so good.

harvest-bowl

Howard Stern

howardHey now. I first started listening to Howard Stern as a kid when my mom would drive my brother and I to school.  I listened to him off and on growing up, and became an everyday listened when I moved to Boston in 2003.  In 2006 he moved to SiriusXM satellite radio and something changed.  It became more candid as he wasn’t restricted anymore by the FCC.

There is just something about listening to the show that relaxes me.  I get home from a long day at work and have little interest in watching something on TV. Instead, I listen to Howard while I play a game, write a blog post, or just close my eyes.

Thank you, Howard, for many years of entertainment.  And a Bababooey to you all.

Pillow

images.jpegEver splurged on something that ended up changing your life?  Me too.

A while back I was wandering around the mall and ended up being suckered into purchasing a ridiculously expensive pillow from the Tempur-Pedic store.  This full-priced luxurious specimen of a pillow was so fancy that it came in a zippered plastic case with a handle.   I didn’t walk out of the mall that day.  Rather, I glided, giddy at the potential of my solid night’s sleep.

You see, before I bought this fancy pillow, I was buying pillows on clearance at Target and Marshalls, disappointed with them a few weeks after purchasing them.  My night’s sleep was not transformed like the advertisements promised.

Those inferior pillows had nothing on the Tempur-Pedic.

It was worth every penny. Seriously.  Now I admit that you’re supposed to change your pillow more often, but I basically held onto that Tempur-Pedic until every last bit of puffy joy was slept out of it.

Now it’s practically a pancake pillow and my neck is starting to get sore from using it.

What was I going to do?  I couldn’t go back to Target.  I just couldn’t.

I walked by the mall recently and peaked my head into the Tempur-Pedic store, but I didn’t dare let myself go in.

“No!” I told myself.  “Too expensive!”

And then I got home and began to google.  And low-and-behold, my pillow was discontinued and now available as a closeout on Groupon Goods.

5 minutes ago, I pressed click and purchased a brand new, 50% cheaper Tempur-Pedic.

Already counting down the days until it arrives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laughter

cartoon6315Just got home from dinner with friends, followed by a comedy show at Laugh Boston.  We saw comedian Josh Wolf, who used to be on Chelsea Lately.  He was really funny!  The 5 of us laughed so hard it hurt.  I know it is cliche, but laughter really is medicine.  It can make a cold night in Boston feel not so cold.  It makes you forget the bad stuff for a while. One of my friends and I have already decided to book another show there in March.  I love it!

Starbucks

20-starbucks-logo.w1200.h630No matter where I am, I can always count on Starbucks to be just around the corner as a comfortable place for coffee and free wifi.

Dress Shopping

Just got home from Nordstrom.  I’m speaking at a gala next week, and running one for work in a few months, so I needed something ideally to wear to both.  I spent a lot of time in advance doing some browsing online for ideas.  I looked at Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Lane Bryant to name a few.  I’m what the fashion industry calls “plus sized” so finding cute dresses to try on that don’t look too frumpy or boxy can be challenging.  At the same time, I don’t want something that’s designed for a teenager to wear to prom.

I stopped at Lord & Taylor and tried on about 5 dresses.  They all looked dreadful on me and I felt like a blob.  Instead of getting discouraged, I walked over to Nordstrom where I knew I’d get help from the sales associate.

I grabbed a stack of dresses and headed for the nicest dressing room I’ve ever seen. Seriously – it had a purple velvet couch.  Anyhow, I digress.  The first 6 or so dresses were pretty but not flattering.  Then I tried on this one:

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.52.36 PM

It was very flattering.  The eye is drawn right to the waist, which is a nice focal point.

It’s made by Adrianna Papell, one of my favorite dress designers.  And the tag said $91, but it rang up $56 on sale!  Can’t beat that.

I walked out of the store feeling very satisfied.  I found a great flattering dress at a great price.  I am sure I have some cute shoes in my closet, and can’t wait to raid my own jewelry box.

I’m grateful that I didn’t give up.