Thursday, July 25, 2013

Having the Good Life -

As Tired Girls it may be easier to not pursue the good life. I could have called this blog just the Tired Girl, and given ideas for how to get out of things in life. Despite my tired-girlness though, I want to have it all. To feel, act, sleep, eat, look, love and live well. Eating cereal every night, not having flower planters by my front door of my house, not picking up the bits of messiness that accumulate around my place certainly would make me less tired, but - I want the good life.

For me, a huge part of my good life was my sweet baby-dog Ralphie the bloodhound. He died this past weekend. Our dear friend Dr. "Uncle" Wade performed emergency surgery to remove cancerous tumors on Ralph's spleen. The surgery was a success, but the cancer had taken too large a toll on our boy and he slipped away peacefully afterward. He was - as my husband so eloquently put it "our collective love and focus" for nine years and we are quite simply heartbroken.

The point of this post is not for me to immobilize my keyboard with tears or to slump into the unbearable pain, or to try and make you snort away tears at your desk thinking of your beloved pet or the last time you saw our Ralph.

The point of this post is to stress the idea that to pursue the good life means we are often choosing to ignore the easy life, the safe life. If my husband and I had chosen not to have a dog we certainly would have less slobber on our walls, more money, more time and a bunch of other stuff I guess, but by choosing to have a pet we truly enjoyed the good life. The joy our Ralph brought us far outweighed any of the perceived trouble. I happily hand-made Ralphies's food the last couple years of his life - certainly not a tired girl activity, but I skimped in other areas to acquire the time for what mattered to me, which was him.

I taught a student once whose mother worked from 4am-10am every day at Subway to make extra money so her daughter could train as a gymnast -- and... that mom smiled every stinking time I was with her. I bet she was a serious Tired Girl, but she was working for the good life for herself and her daughter. I would bet she thought less about Subway during her day and more about the joy she felt watching her daughter practice.

This morning I worked to compile every photo I have of Ralph onto one thumb drive. Even the photo file labeled "new refrigerator" on my computer has photos of him (of course one of him looking at the new fridge!). One short video I came across was of Ralph and my husband, Joe, lying on our bed. Ralph was barking-talking to us. In the video I can hear myself laughing. Not a giggle, but like a deep down laugh. That was how I felt about being with him - a deep, sincere sense of pleasure. That is the good life to me.

I could write a novel about what I learned from our Ralphie, what he meant to us, how he saved me, how smart and quirky and human-like he was, what we will miss the most, and to ask the questions about how I will heal.

Instead I hope you will consider what you have, or do, or work for to have the good life for yourself.

A large loving, slobbery, tail wagging, humor-inducing piece of my good life now will serve as an intangible joy in my heart, and I will continue to work for the good life in other ways as well. I will do things like refill a pretty soap dispenser by my kitchen sink instead of having a big soap bottle because I think that looks nicer. In little and big ways I am Tired Girl who wants the Good Life.

My sweet boy made my life more than good - even if he isn't here anymore to slobber on the other parts of my good life.

I have approximately 27 hundred, 2 million, 33 thousand photos of Ralph. None of them feel good enough to represent his charm.

Next time I will share more light-hearted ideas, like the great eyeliner I have discovered and crap like that. But today I am enjoying thinking about how Ralph made this Tired Girl's life good.

What does living the good life mean to you?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Just "Do everything!" -

Tired or not, sometimes there is a lot to get done.

Tired Girl Jamie and I worked very closely for a time period, we were an official "Team" at the company we work at.  During that time we would email everyday about what we had done and what our goals were the next day etc.  One of us - I think it was her - said one evening that tomorrow she was going to "do everything" the next day.  Ha! 

So that became our joke - we traded emails back and forth - This week, tomorrow, on Tuesday, etc.  "I am going to do everything."  Because that is how the list feels.

Today I am going to  -
clean the whole house, get totally caught up at work, get groceries, cook dinner, run on the treadmill, pay bills, mail my thank you notes and neaten up the garage, master my new camera, iron my husband's shirts, start the book by my bed and find a good eyeliner that works.  Today I will  "do everything!" 

As a Tired Girl, sometimes I can barely change from pj's to jeans to go out in the world, and yet the list in my head is often simply "do everything today."

I don't have a solution to this.  It sucks.

So instead I do some things and other things the next day and some things never I guess, or not yet.  I literally thought to myself the other day - "I am going to send that book to that person" - a book we discussed LITERALLY two and half years ago!  Not cool.

But when things suck it feels good to laugh about them - I think.  That's my coping mechanism any way.  So when the list gets longer and longer in my head I just think: Today I will do everything!  And I realize the ridiculousness of the list (and expectations) I have created for myself. 

Here is a clip from the widely unacclaimed movie "I don't Know How She Does it," with Sarah Jessica Parker.  I like the movie because I am the target audience, but no one else in the world seemed to like it.  Regardless, you only have to watch the first 58 seconds of this clip and you will be saying - "Oh that's me.."  Or maybe you won't.  I don't know.

You'll like this clip though.  And if you are at work and supposed to be working you really don't even need the sound.  Nothing says "I'm definitely not working over here," than the sounds of Sarah Jessica Parker's voice coming from your office.

Anyone have a solution for the "Do everything today!" syndrome?

At least I didn't scratch off "do nothing."  Although sometimes I want to put the most mundane things on my list just so I can scratch them off. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Go to funerals -

Go to funerals.  Don’t go for fun of course, you weirdos; go because it's the loving thing to do for people that are important to us. 

There was a time when I was so deeply exhausted from my job and chronic sinus issues that my husband would practically hand me a dress and tell me what time to be in the car to leave for a funeral service.  The whole way I would grumble that I had things to do (like sleeping) and we should just write them a lovely note and that would mean more than showing up with tons of other people, and I didn’t even know the person, and also I didn’t want to go. This feels terrible to admit now (I was a Very Sick and Tired Girl back then - now I am just normal tired).

Time after time though I would see the looks on these friend’s faces when we would hug them before or after the service and I could tell it meant a lot that we were there for them.  And often when we see these friends/acquaintances/business partners/etc. they tell others about us: “These guys came to my grandmother’s funeral!” 

So I do things like buy in twos and do leg lifts while I dry my hair to allow extra energy to build up so that I can spend it on people that are important to me.  I feel less tired when I make others feel loved.

On a side note I have come to cherish celebrating a person's life and learning about their legacy to those that were important to them.  

And on a light note I think watching a New Orleans Jazz Funeral Procession would really be something awesome. 


This is not a Tired Girl  source

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Don't compare yourself to others -

It is important that we don't compare ourselves to other people.  For like lots of reasons. Tired Girls especially should not fall in to this, because it just makes us feel bad when we are NOT Senators at the age of 30, or don't have six children and also run a Fortune 500 children's clothing company from the corner of our kitchen, or don't even exercise every day.  Comparing myself to other people, mostly women, rarely goes well for me.

I know this, and so I enjoy a fashion magazine with a critical eye, knowing they have airbrushed each body . Every face and head of hair have been professionally done as well.  If Bobbi Brown did my makeup every day I would look better too.

So, I was surprised last week when I let my comparisons (read: jealousy) get away from me.  I was looking througha Southern Living and came across a beautiful "lake house"  (read: mansion) spread, complete with photos of the place and the charming couple that get to own it.  They even had a cute little BMW convertible parked in front of the lake house.  Ugh.  I don't need a gorgeous lake house, filled with linen slip-covered furniture and expensive rugs, or a BMW, or a trillion dollars, or a dock with adirondack chairs, but MAN did I want those things when I was looking at this article.

This innocent photograph pushed me over the edge.  Source 
I immediately starting looking around my house and my brain trying to figure out what I could do, or sell or make, or whatever so that I could create a huge amount of wealth for my family.  At that point, just being comfortable wasn't enough - I needed BIG money.

Sooo, you see where this is going - exactly nowhere. I basically spent a few days being annoyed that I, at age 35, didn't own a mansion-lakehouse-second home.  And then I realized that even though I am on to the fashion magazines and their airbrushing of women's bodies, I let everything else get in to my head!  I let myself think that most people have beautiful homes, and perfect meals every night, and loads of energy to wash and fold and put away clothes all in one day, and flat stomachs.   I don't know if other people do or not have these things, but the truth is I don't, and I can only do what I can do.

Comparing myself and my lack of a lake house gets me nowhere except to grumpy town.

Marlo Thomas, daughter of comedian and actor Danny Thomas, tells a story about how her dad encouraged her to "run her own race in life."  He gave her a gift of horse blinders and told her, essentially, not to compare herself to other people. I guess it's better for horses not to see the other horses or something or it screws them all up (message!!!)  It makes me infinitely more tired when I see what I have not accomplished yet in life compared to other people.

So this Tired Girl is going to calm down, enjoy looking at the beautiful homes and ideas in my magazines and not over think this crap. I am going to "run my own race in life" and I realistically will probably be running that race by really just walking slowly in my pjs.

I mean whatever.  Source

Anything ever put you over the edge and make you feel less than adequate?  Don't let it!!  But tell me what it is anyway, so I feel better. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Clarisonic Review and Messy Bun: update -

Clarisonic Update - Six months later - 

My mom bought me the Clarisonic face scrubber for Christmas (thanks mom!!), and my friend has the Clarisonic Mia. We both review the Clarisonic here:  Clarisonic Review

Six months later I want to update you on what I think about it.

I look younger, am thinner, and have more money thanks to this thing!  Actually none of that, but six months later I can tell you that I still LOVE it!!

I have used it almost every day (except for a few weekend get-aways where I made the mistake of not packing it), and I believe that my skin is improved.  I definitely have had less breakouts and am completely off of Proactiv.

I have oily, combination  and temperamental skin and I feel my over all skin quality is improved because, as Tired Girl Ashley says in her review,  "if my skin is completely clean of makeup and dirt at the end of the day, then the less likely my pores will clog up and combine with my hormones causing acne."

Tired Girl Ashley is on to something for real.  Having skin cleaned in the right way is where it's at for me.  As I mention in my review I partner my Clarisonic with an all natural face wash, which I believe has also been beneficial for my skin. (Rafa Natural Clarifying Skin Cleanser, $14) 

Six months later I still highly recommend this pricey purchase.  I may be tired, but my skin doesn't look it (well sometimes we all look like crap - but you know what I mean).  

I didn't post any of the "before and after" photos here because I can't verify their accuracy, but if you feel like it, or are procrastinating doing something else then google image search "clarisonic before and after" and you will see lots of great shots.

Messy Bun Update - 

I finally talked my camera in to photographing me not looking quite so angry so here is an actual day that I threw my hair up in to a "messy bun" and this was the result.

I also want to acknowledge the girl on youtube that used bobbypins in her messy bun and I said I didn't want any part of that.  Sometimes when I have my hair up and am actually going to leave the house for a long period of time I use two or three bobbypins to secure the messy bun so it doesn't go all wonky on me in an hour.  

I feel the use of occasional bobbypins does not compromise the overall ease or laissez faire attitude of the messy bun. 

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