Monthly Archives: November 2010

No Hands: My Ode to Golf

I was inspired to write this post as I stared at my ceiling wide awake in bed at 7 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. Normally, I would be sleeping in on this day off work and sleeping off the calories I dismissed in the name of celebration the previous night.

But I was wide-eyed and alert because the boyfriend, JB, had somewhere to be. It may only be 33 degrees outside, but the golf course awaits. When JB entered my life more than 7 months ago, so did his obsession passion. His commitment to early morning tee times, less-than-ideal playing conditions (I won’t spend more than 10 minutes outside once it goes below 60 degrees), and the overall frustration one endures when trying to conquer an unconquerable game astounds me. It also reflects the dedicated, focused and goal-oriented side of JB that is just one reason he rocks so much.

But this isn’t an ode to JB. It’s to golf. And golf is, like, really hard. I had never played before meeting JB, but have since gone to the course with him a few times. I’ve stayed mainly on the driving range and as I practice my swing under JB’s guidance, players nearby can often hear him reminding me in an ever-so-gently manner to STOP USING YOUR HANDS!

See, apparently in golf, you use your shoulders to swing. Or your core muscles. Or telekinesis and prayer. I’m honestly not sure, and regardless, none of them have worked thus far. I always seem to use my hands and wrists which results in an out-of-control swing. Did I make it to my target? (No.) Did I hit it straight? (No.) Do I get overly upset about any of this? (Not really.)

Golf is JB’s passion, not mine. I love getting to share in something that is so important to him and it’s fun wearing collared shirts and saying things like “I’m going to the club.” But at the end of the day, this will always be his love. I respect this (I’m not perfect, I pout sometimes to try to get him to not go) and he respects that I respect it and does not abuse that respect. Now that’s a lot of mutual respect, which is hard to find.

In every relationship, finding a balance between time together and time apart, as well as how much your partner’s interests become your own, is essential for a healthy partnership. Golf has provided a built-in balance in our relationship. I look at it as not something that’s taking away time he could be spending with me, but rather time I always have to focus on my own interests (like blogging) and nurturing other relationships in my life. Before I sound like I am setting the feminist movement back, of course I could and do make time for these things aside from just when JB is occupied, but we all know how easy it is to let a relationship – especially a relatively new one – creep into that top spot while other areas take a backseat. I’m finding out in this one, that when two people have their own passions and can share them with each other, but also maintain them as individual priorities, it all starts to come together.

It’s also entirely possible that my positive outlook could just be a result of the days becoming shorter and colder and JB can’t play golf as much! Please kindly remind me of this blog come spring 🙂

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Could 33 Be The New 18?

A friend recently posted this article on Facebook. It quotes a Daily Mail survey that found women age 33 are experiencing the busiest times of their lives as the convergence of professional, social and familial responsibilities eclipses any hopes of substantial “me” time.

When I read this, my thoughts went in two directions. First, is that a picture of Shakira alongside the article and if so, does that mean she is 33? After a quick search, it was confirmed that this beautiful, sexy Colombian and I are indeed the same age. See, I thought to myself, I can be beautiful and sexy at 33 just like Shakira!

After some celebratory hip-shaking (quickly disproving my thought), I went back to the article to think about this time in my life and is it actually the “busiest” I have ever been? Perhaps. And then, when was I not?

College. I have extremely fond memories of these four years, and what I don’t remember is ever feeling super stressed. Sure, I had all-nighters in the journalism lab trying to build a website (we called it “new media” back then) or pressure to find a suitable date for a sorority formal, but I don’t recall ever yearning for balance.

For someone who works at a university, I think I need more college in my life. Or at least my college attitude. And I think this is how I can make it happen:

Stay clueless.

One reason I wasn’t so stressed — I had no idea what I should be stressed about. In high school, I worried about grades, getting into my 1st pick college, etc. In college, I kind of felt like I achieved all of that and in my blissfully ignorant way, just assumed I finished school and a job was guaranteed (and when I graduated during the last year of the tech boom in 2000, it was — take that 32-year-olds!).

I’m not advocating for being an unaware adult – real life with real challenges has crept in and that’s how it goes. But rather, understanding we do not need to know everything and we won’t always have it all figured out. For many things, we will know what we need to know when we need to know it. I’m working on truly believing this and I feel like when I do, it will naturally create a sense of balance for me, especially as it pertains to relationships.

I secured my first internship as a freshman by just calling up the company, saying I needed a summer internship and asking how this would be possible. I had no idea about the proper protocol of job searching and I would be frightened to see what I passed off as a resume. But I got the internship. I think I’ve lost a little of this chutzpah.  I rarely ever say to myself, “What do I have to lose?” We should say this more.

My senior year in college, I participated in a fundraiser where my friends and I danced for 30 hours straight. When it was over, I took a shower and then slept for 15 hours with no interruptions. I was completely clueless to the world around me but woke up refreshed. I think it’s time for another 15-hour nap. Being 33 is exhausting.

Were you clueless and carefree in college and if so, how have you maintained this among “real life?” What has been your busiest age? And finally, if you knew me in college, am I delusional or was I really this, dare I say, laid back?!

Time to Start

If you are reading this, it means I actually posted a blog. It also means you’re probably my mom because I can’t believe I would have the nerve to tell anyone else.

I have talked about blogging for a while, but it was not until I received a postcard in the mail of a note I had written to myself about what I wanted to be doing in six months that I felt spurred to action. I can’t remember where I wrote it and I had no recollection of writing it at all when I curiously opened the envelope the day I received it (I’m assuming about six months after writing it). My colleague received one too, so as much as I would like to think it was a mysterious paranormal happening of my subconscious finding a way to reach me by way of lined index card, it was probably just a “live your dream” exercise at a conference.

And it worked. I started to seriously think about this blog, what I wanted to write about and why.

I always knew I wanted to write about balance, but it’s not a blog about simplifying. Simplicity is not really for me. I’ve tried different simplifying strategies (and if you’re looking for a blog that shares some, Zen Habits

The mysterious postcard reminder - transferred to refrigerator immediately.

is probably the best there is), but they don’t work for me because as it turns out, I like things a little complicated and over-scheduled… and frenetic… and neurotic. My moments of zen are nothing more than Daily Show segments and I’m okay with that.

So I strive to find balance without stripping things away. Is it possible? Sometimes. Is it sustainable? I hope so. I’ll be using this blog to talk about the ways I am learning to create this equilibrium in four main areas of my life related to four goals I set for myself last year. I hope I can share some helpful tips along the way, attempt to make you laugh, or at least provide a place for commiseration. The four areas I’ll be focusing on are:

·         Developing and maintaining a healthy romantic relationship
·         Getting serious about being healthy in terms of diet and exercise
·         Strengthening relationships with friends and family by being better at keeping in touch
·         Keeping a work/life balance (I probably won’t write too much on this. It’s covered. And when I write about it, I feel like I’m working.)

The first blog post is titled Time to Start. It’s a song from a Blue Man Group’s performance. I have never seen said performance mind you, but a friend of mine played it for me as I was recovering from a tough break-up. For the blue performers, it is just about starting the concert, but I was a different type of blue and for me, it was a reminder that my time living in (as well as weeping in, obsessing in, being angry in) the past was over and it was time to start moving on. It’s now a little bit of an anthem for me and for anytime I am embarking on a new adventure. I would call this an adventure.

I hope you will come along on the adventure. And don’t worry, I promise not all posts will be this long. If you are actually still reading this, thanks Mom.