Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'll probably eat the WHOLE cake... It's my birthday!

Well, it’s my birthday!!  I wasn’t going to blog today because I really got nothing going on, but I’ll take this opportunity to blog about stuff.  Nothing really noteworthy comes after this paragraph… No insight, no inspiration… Just me.. talking… Haha
So my day started off as well as could be expected…I woke up to the incessant buzzing of my alarm clock.  I booted up my computer, flung through some junk mail, ate my Honey Nut Cheerios, took the dog for a walk, and got on my way to work.  (Pretty typical, right?  Nothing “birthdayish” here…)
So I had to change that.  Given that today is my special day, I figured that I would change my daily mantra of “Strength, Patience, Courage”.  For today only, I gave myself permission to repeat the following: “Screw budgeting.  It’s my birthday.  Splurge”.  Turns out that that is really a great motivator to pick up all those key pieces that you’ve wanted for a while, but guilted yourself into not getting.
I’m telling ya… Guys, if you don’t go shopping on a regular basis, you don’t know what you’re missing.  Girls, I know you totally get it.  Such a great high.  I drove home in disgusting 401 traffic, and it didn’t have a thing on me!!  I just sang along to the radio, and mentally starting packing my bags for this weekend.

So I know you’re all wondering what I’m going to do now that I’m single on my birthday!! (ok, maybe a little presumptuous J)  Well, sorry to disappoint, but today is kind of like any other day… the only difference is what I do the night of my birthday!! Oh yaa.. (don’t get too excited here).. If I was writing this blog on my 21st birthday it would probably have something to do with dressing scandalously, going out, doing shots, and picking up boys… On my 26th however, I will be going to the Pickle Barrel with my Grandma.  And I’m really excited to do this; I love the Pickle Barrel!
If I’m being honest, the real reason I’m excited to do this is the fact that it just seems like so much work to get ready and go out on a worknight.  And then there’s the inevitable hangover the next day that follows you around like an annoying little sibling that won’t stop poking you.
So, that being said, I’ll likely go out this weekend and have a drink too many... The next day, I’ll just dose the kid with Advil till he shuts up and goes to sleep.

Thank you all for reading my blog and making me feel so good on my birthday!! J  xoxo

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Path to Self Discovery...

So with all these “challenges” so far under my belt, I thought it would be a good time to do some self reflection.  Knowing that I’ve got through some embarrassing/awkward/feel-good experiences has given me an increased sense of determination to get to where I want to go; figuring out who I am and what I want. 

Now, before I go and follow the Dr.Phil plan or anything like that, I thought I would first do things my way and try to figure out whatever I could on my own before starting any sort of workbook.

I thought I’d start off with something that may seem pretty simple to a lot of people.  I started with a “Like/Dislike” list.  I literally wrote down everything that I could think of that I liked (from food, to looks, to feelings, and seasons).   I then wrote down all the things that I don’t like, using the same random format. I was actually surprised to see how my list came out.  A lot of people tell me that I play the devil’s advocate which is true, but I thought that made a little more of a negative person…  Turns out my “like’s” outweigh by “dislikes” times 3! After putting these things down on paper, I literally thought to myself, why do you stress over the small stuff so much??  There are so many more things that you like and enjoy in this world, than things that you don’t.  I have to say, that actually putting into words, and seeing before me what is in this world that makes me happy and makes me sad, gives me a feel-good feeling.

My second attempt at an exercise to try to get to know myself came about by accident.  I was out at lunch with a friend and we got to talking about relationships and the good, bad, and ugly.  We started talking about what we each other thought were “deal breakers” and “deal makers”.  A lot of people can tell you what they don’t want in a person… smoker, drug user, short person, a drinker, etc. etc.  But do you know what you do want in a person?  It’s not as easy to just take the opposite of what you don’t want…  It’s the little things that you want, right? The things that aren’t as easy to put into words?  I challenge you to put them into words.  It was more difficult for me than I thought it would be… is it for you?

This conversation inevitably led to the question… Well, since you made a list of things that you want and don’t want in a partner, what are the things, both good and bad, that you bring to the table?  Well, well, well…. At that point in the conversation, I could rhyme off a number of negative things that I bring to the table, but the first thoughts that came to my mind when asked about the good things I brought, consisted of things that two people create together (ie: love, companionship, family, etc.).  What exactly was it that I brought to the table, on my own, that would lend itself to a happy, healthy, relationship?  Unfortunately, at that moment, I couldn’t think of a thing! (** Which only proves why I should be on a path to self discoveryJ)  Fortunately, the food came, and that particular topic of conversation fell to the wayside. 
It did not however, fall out of my thoughts.  I will admit, that I am still working on that list, and it’s not being completed in one day. But my hope is that the more I learn about who I am, through being in new situations, experiences different things, and focusing on myself, I’ll be able to put together a list, not of who I’m expected to be, or who I think I am, but a list of who I truly am and what qualities I possess.

Then I'll bring them to the table.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Table for One

The Challenge: Dine solo at a fine dining restaurant.  The rules: No book, no phone.

Now, before I go into how this challenge turned out, I feel I should first tell you what the point of it was.  When I told people this is what I was doing, I got a couple of mixed reactions.. Some people thought that this was a great idea and totally be something that I would never do, had I had a boyfriend.  Others didn’t really understand it – ‘shouldn’t this be a time where you hang out and go for dinner with your friends? Not alone?’
The point of this challenge was to put myself in an uncomfortable and awkward situation, without any sort of crutch (ie: novel or phone), get through it on my own, and hopefully feel good about it afterwards.

So. The restaurant that I picked was called Dimmi’s in Yorkville.  I had never been there before but a friend recommended it, and it was definitely a good choice.  Before I go into what happened when I got there, I’ll just say that getting ready to go on a date with yourself is so weird… As I’m in full concentration mode, looking in the mirror and doing my mascara, I just break out laughing! What am I doing?? Hahaha
Once I arrive, it’s pretty much just as you’d expect; the host is looking at me and then kind of behind me, realizes that nobody’s following me, and says “Hi..”  That’s my cue.  Table for one, please.
This next part is seriously not a joke.  He says to me “Where would you like to sit?  I can sit you here with my nephew if you’d like, or you can sit a little further back in the dining room”  Are you kidding me?! This nephew is about 8 years old, has a million little trinket toys in front of him and is absorbed in his Nintendo DS.. You think I want to sit with him??  I kindly point to the inside of the restaurant, for fear of little Johnny may get his feelings hurt.
Turns out it wasn’t the nephew’s feelings I’d be hurting.. Apparently is was the host, because he sat me right in the corner!  Agh, my plan is squashed!  Do you know how hard it is to eavesdrop from a corner?? (This was going to be how I entertained myself and passed the time)

Somehow throughout the night, I ended up having 3 waiters.. Not too sure how this happened.. but I think they were overcompensating a little.. Maybe they thought I was a critic?  I did have my notepad beside me to jot down some emotions/feelings/things that I experienced so that I wouldn’t forget for my blog..  And I also asked them to take a picture of me (not embarrassing at all)  Hmm.. don’t know.

Fortunately, I didn’t get a lot of awkward stares.. Like, people wondering if I was waiting for a date or something – so surprising! 

Best Parts of taking yourself out on a date:
·         I can eat all the bread I want
·         There’s never a silence that needs to be filled
·         Instead of them just bringing your main course to you, they ask you if you’re “ready” for it (Common? Not sure.. Don’t do the fine dining thing too often)
·         The meal – OMG, if you like Italian food, you’re going to want to check this place out (**I have to admit, I often crave KD, so heed my advice at your own discretion!)
Worst Parts of taking yourself out on a date:
·         There’s nobody to tell you if you have food in your teeth
·         You don’t have the option of going Dutch
·         You end up eating more than normal (There’s not really much to do, so to keep busy, you just keep eating)

Overall, this was a really good experience.  As the bill came, I almost couldn’t keep from smiling (at the risk of looking like a crazy person smiling at nothing).  I’ve just done something that I would never have done (on purpose) had I had a boyfriend.
It was a weird, awkward, new experience and it was pretty cool.  I don’t know how often I’ll do it, but I suggest you try it; just once.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is the Grass Greener?

This blog post is a little different than the ones that I’ve posted prior.  It’s not so much recounting a new experience, as it is a new observation.
I’ve given a lot of thought lately to the subject of “happiness” and have wondered what makes all those single, fabulous women so happy?   You know that girl that you see out and about, and she’s laughing, glowing, having an absolute amazing time, and she’s single?!  I started to think about what “her” thought process would be about being single, and try to emulate some of those thoughts.. I think “she” has just realized that on her side of the fence, although the grass may not always be green, there will always be fertilizer…

Green Grass of being single:
  • You become an expert on almost every new series on TV
  • When you go for coffee in the morning, you only need to get one, so it’s much easier to open your car door
  • Wayy less dishes (although, maybe not after point #2 below..)
  • You become tidier… There’s nobody there to do it but you!
  • When you fart and nobody’s around, it’s actually pretty funny
  • You can read your book all day long if you want
  • You end up walking the dog a lot more
  • You can get rid of that sports package on your TV and swap for it for Slice
  • You get to know how truly AMAZING your friends really are
  • You end up doing things more – brunching with friends, going for a drive, window shopping, etc.
  • You’re able to shamelessly turn your head and stare at firefighters
  • You end up making that hair appointment ASAP
  • You finally have something to blog about

The yellow grass of being single:
  • There’s no warm body beside you at night (Fertilizer: buy a body pillow.. or a dog)
  • There’s not enough people to eat a full meal, so you end up eating the same thing for dinner at least two nights in row (Fertilizer: let it inspire to you cook more complex/interesting foods that you’ll be excited to eat two days in a row)
  • You don’t own a drill (Fertilizer: call your Dad)
  • You miss the company (Fertilizer: perfect time to catch up with old friends)
  • You get frustrated with yourself for not being able to do something that you think you should be able to do; i.e. hang a mirror (Fertilizer: call your Mom)
  • Your lawn is starting to get so out of control, the grass is actually swaying  (Fertilizer: offer the neighbour’s kid $10 to mow it)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The To-Do List

You know how we all have that To-Do list that keeps getting bigger and bigger and it's all the annoying things that could be done later that are on it?  I'm starting to knock things off my To-Do list.. Seriously.

Tonight was supposed to be a different challenge (A really exciting one that I'll do next week), but since I woke up feeling like a swallowed a thousand thumb nails, I decided this would be a good time to start doing things that need to be done and don't require a lot of talking.

To-Do #1 - Re-sole shoes, dry clean winter jackets.  I know this doesn't sound like a big to-do, and really, it's not... It's just that I've wanted to get my dog-chewed leather winter boots repaired since the middle of last winter, but just didn't... Although it would be more expensive, it would definitely more fun to buy a new pair and if I bought a new pair I didn't need to go to the repair place, drop them off, pick them up, blah blah blah... AND, I would get to shoe shop... who doesn't love to shoe shopping?!
Well, since my rent has now doubled, I thought it better to pay the $20 and get them repaired.  So I did!
(**Note - this does not mean that I will not go winter shoe shopping this year... Just not yet).

To-Do #2 - After repairing my shoes, I felt like I could totally check something else off my list.  You know that junk drawer that everyone has in their kitchen?  Have you ever LOOKED in there?? Oh my gosh.. unreal... Among the things I found in there include: 47 pens and pencils, 3 pairs of scissors, 2 pairs of pliers, a pair of sunglasses, a ruler (like, what you used in 3rd grade), and a padlock.  WHY do I need all these things?  So I cleared it out, and my junk drawer is now just a drawer... for now  :)

To-Do #3 - Ok, here's the biggy.  My dining room has always kind of been an eye sore considering the dog cage is in there, his extra love seat (used to be under the window), and the dining room table (which was more of a space filler, then a plate holder).  When he left, he took the love seat with him, as well as this painting that his uncle painted.  This is what my dining room looked like... Could it be any more depressing?!

Well, after a call to a couple friends, I was feeling inspired... Off to Ikea I go!  With a little window treatments, lighting, and a new print, my dining room now looks inviting; and all done in an afternoon! 

Not that I didn't have my challenges....  For instance, after going to 2 different stores, and buying two 2 different hooks to hold the drape rod, I still couldn't get the damn screw in the small plastic thing, and get it in the wall - who the heck invented those things?? Ugh.. So I ended up going to 2 more stores, and finally found some hooks that just stick on the wall - genius! And the picture? Ya, you think I could get attach the string on the back to hang it from?  Not a chance.  But it's up... nobody go near that wall...

Yes, I kept the ruler.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saddle Up!

One thing I've always wanted to do is go horseback riding.. This weekend, I decided to saddle up and go for it!
Horses are just such beautiful animals and so regal and elegant looking.  And if I'm being honest, the main reason I wanted to ride comes down to pure vanity.  What girl riding a horse isn't sexy, right? I have never been on a horse before (besides a the pony's at the fair), so I was really surprised to see just how big they were!

Luckily, the weather couldn't have been more perfect!  It was a beautiful day with just a hint of a breeze in the air so that you didn't get too hot.  Being out on a farm on a sunny day surrounded by acres of trees and greenery, silos, ands horses, is inexplicable.  It's almost like a calm immediately envelopes you and you realize that taking life slow is sometimes worth it.  There's no tractor trailers braking, horns honking, music blaring....It's just you, animals, and nature. I've found that being in the country or on a farm is, on its own, such a relaxing experience

But back to the horses.... The ride was so much fun!  We were able to go through trails, and farmland, and it lasted about an hour.  People had told me that my butt would really hurt.  They significantly understated that. Whoa.  When I got off Frasier (my horse's name), I felt by butt hurt a bit and my knees as well, but it was nothing compared to how I felt that night.

Imagine going to sit on the couch and you plop down and land on two cylindrical pieces of rock that jut directly into your butt bones.  Now, you jump up off the couch, but only to sit back down in the same spot.  That's what it felt like every time I sat down that night.

Was it worth it?  Totally. Will I do it again? Absolutely.     

....Only next time I'm bringing a inflatable donut... 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tackling the dreaded garbage can

Those that know me well, know that I do not like bugs.  Last week was garbage week and the can was gross.  Since the rules in our were that HE takes out the garbage, we both thought it was fair that HE cleans it out... Then he goes and breaks up with me 3 days before garbage day... Grrreat.

So I had a moment of thought about asking him to still do it anyways... BUT then I figured if he can do it, I can totally do it.

If your garbage has never had bugs, maggots, and gross slimy stuff on the bottom, then kudos to you for keeping it clean. 

I started my challenge by first going to purchase those elbow length yellow rubber gloves, scouring pads, and a cleaning agent.  I tried leaving the top of the can open for a bit to air out the stench (which doesn't really work by the way), then went at it.
This is a really gross job.  I don't reccomend that anyone does this. It's stinky, dirty, and the garbage can comes up to my chest.  Get the visual here... My body is literally  doubled over into the can scrubbing; my face inches away from slime and filth.

But I did it!  And now, my garbage can looks just lovely!

**Disclaimer - when you look at the picture of this disgusting garbage bin, please reserve judgement... There are a couple people who live in the basement who also use this bin and are apt to tossing food in there.. without a bag.  Just sayin..