Monday, April 11, 2016

By 30. From a real person.

Who hasn't seen all of those lists from Glamour or Huffington Post, dictating what it is you should have, where you should be by the time you reach 30. When I read those lists, naturally I'm mentally checking off what I've achieved and either patting myself on the back for having accomplished it or squirming uncomfortably because I'm nowhere near it.

So here's my "By 30" list. It's not a "30x30" because I don't think I the age you are turning should dictate the number of things you should know or have (that only works with birthday candles.)

And I'm not going to blanket say anyone SHOULD have or be able to do these things. This is MY list. A lot of these have to do with drinking. Maybe you don't drink so a couple of these are N/A for you.

1. A notion of how to get your taxes done. If you can't do them yourself, the extra cash to have someone do them for you, or the wherewithal to sit down with turbo tax and figure it out.

2. A filing system in your home. Everyone has paperwork, social security cards, birth certificates. Create a safe place for these things. You will need them and thank yourself later when you know where these things are.

3. Confidence to open a wine and champagne bottle. With a cork, we're not counting screw caps.

4. How to drive a stick. If your dad/mom didn't force this task on you like mine did, find a friend with a manual and an empty parking lot and learn. Don't do this with your boyfriend/girlfriend/sig fig unless you are dating a bona fide,  certified, saint.

5. A diet complete with vegetables.

6. A respectable go-to drink. You're not married to it, it's not a forever thing, but I find it nice to have a drink I know I will enjoy easily accessible in my head when I'm jockeying for space at a bar.

7. The foresight to drink some water while drinking those drinks. And maybe popping and Advil before bed, lest you be very sorry in the AM.

8. Dinners you can make without a recipe. I was something of a slave to recipes when I first started cooking. I was too scared to branch out and didn't have a good idea of how to prepare the ingredients I was working with. Now I'm not afraid to throw down without guidance, mix, match and experiment.

9. The good sense to go to the doctor when something is wrong. Too many times I've tried to wait out an ailment because I assumed it would get better on its own. Well my ACL never repaired itself and after 3 months of denial, and I could have spared myself a good deal of pain had I just gone to the doctor after hearing my knee go POP.

10. Appreciation for quality over quantity regarding clothes, shoes, and if you live in a cold climate, socks especially.

11. A notion of what's your style and what's not. I've always been the queen of neutrals. Black, navy, tan, all day long.

12. How to patch a nail hole. 

13. Your own tools. doesn't have to be fancy. Just a simple tool set. Glamour limits it to screwdrivers and cordless drill, but I mean come on, hammers, levels, wrench, these are things I've had to use.

14. Follow through. The ability to get shit done. To know what you want and go after it. Whatever you want to call it. You're very much an adult now. No one is going to hold your hand. If you want to go on a road trip, plan it. If you want to buy a house, save for it.

15. The wherewithal not to take failures too personally, and not to let it stop you from try, trying again.

In less than 18 hours I'll be 30, and while most of these I can confidently say I've achieved, some could still use some work. If I truly want to follow my own advice, after work today I should buy 20 bottles of Andre and practice uncorking till I'm and old pro. And then drink mimosas until I forget I'm turning 30.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ain't nobody got time for that

"Nobody" being me. "That" being the things on this list.

Tough Mudders, Color Runs, Warrior Dashes. Been there done that. No more.
Running in general. Hate it. Hurts. I'd rather do just about any other form of exercise.
Procrastinating, forgetting.
Light switches placed in non-intuitive locations.
Facebook posts about Beachbody/shakeology,

Monday, March 14, 2016

I have to believe eventually all the icebergs will melt.

This is not a post about the environment. This is a post about getting shit done. I've talked about my GSD list once before here. It's a glorified to-do list  I keep on Google Docs. I create a new one each week and update daily.  It's my planner I can't lose; its what keeps me from, night after night, walking in the front door after work, completely blanking on everything I intended to do and watching Big Bang Theory re-runs instead.

I had a tiny break from my GSD in February because I was on vacation and then traveling for work. GSD on travel? Eh. I'm not that advanced in the art of achievement. My task was to vacation and then pass a class for work. Check and check.

So now I'm back in the swing of regular life and last Monday I created my first GSD for March. One of the tasks was to find my old printer and check to see if it still works. If not, dispose of it. Well finding it was easy enough but the cords? Well that's another story. Past Shelly, who was very close to being called the c-word, did not package the cords in the same box as the printer. Why, past Shelly, WHY??

To accomplish this one task I set for myself  I'd have to go to my BIG BOX OF MYSTERIOUS CORDS and dig until I can  MAYBE find my printer's long lost companions. Did I do this? No. Because the dread of
1. getting the box down from its precarious position in what could best be described as a crawl space (it's a two person job, I was home alone)
2. What sounds worse than digging through a BIG BOX OF MYSTERIOUS CORDS? Maybe the dentist.

Sometimes, in the course of getting stuff done, instead of being able to handily cross tasks off our little list, we have to add 2, 3 and 4 more line items just to accomplish the original task.  They are icebergs: On the surface appearing relatively small and conquerable while underneath lurks a behemoth requiring more effort than we ever imagined.

It's a fact of life we won't always be able to predict how much effort a task will ultimately require. We can make a best guess. But what I want to put an end to is being responsible for making the iceberg. See, often times I have to add line items to a task because I was too lazy or inconsiderate in the past to really think about how, say, not packing my printer cords with the printer would affect me in the future. I create more work for myself.

It goes back to being kind to your future self. Something I am still struggling with but am recommitting to here and now in a blog post commitment ceremony cause I don't have time to buy a nice dress, invite friends and family, travel to Key West and do it on the beach.  Plus I only committed to being kind to my future self a year ago. A big vow renewal ceremony this early in the game would be tacky, right?