Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Independence Wasn't Easy

When visiting Massachusetts recently, I felt the strong connection between the present and the past in many of the places I visited. Many areas in New England preserve and honor American history before and after the American Revolution, which I appreciate. The holiday isn’t just about fireworks, barbeques, and pool parties; blood was shed so that thirteen colonies could break free from an oppressive monarchy to become a nation in its own right. I try to remember the meanings of holidays that many of us take for granted, including our Independence Day, because I know there are many parts of the world that do not enjoy the same freedoms that we do. As a dark skinned woman, I felt at ease traveling to various parks and other points of interest without fear; others like me in other countries may not have those same freedoms.

The historical events surrounding Independence Day did not result in complete freedom for everyone, as we all know. Slavery did not end until the following century, Native Americans were deprived of their lands and their way of life, and women did not have the right to vote until 1921, but it was still a step in the right direction. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution laid the groundwork for the progress in our country, and both are still admired today. In the middle of all of the Fourth of July celebrations that will be taking place this weekend, I will take at least one moment to think about all of the hard work and sacrifices made by countless people (some we know by name, and many others who we will never know) that have given us the freedoms we have today. As we know from news reports, history books, and perhaps from our own lives, living free does not come easily, even though it should.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I'm assuming you've heard of Twilight, right? Unless you're living under a rock or are completely out of touch with popular culture, it's hard to think that anybody isn't at least vaguely familiar with the vampire series. Twilight has captured the attention of millions, dominating and influencing entertainment and pop culture for the past few years. Everyone from tweens to moms consider themselves Twi-hards, except for all of us who, well, don't.

Consider me in that camp.

My job requires me, among other things, to stay in tune with what's going on in entertainment, so the premiere of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse this week is kind of a big deal. Which is all well and good, except that I'm not at all a fan. I'm not into vampire lit, and I can't think of one romantic novel I've ever truly enjoyed. I watched the first film and was bored to tears. I just can't get into it. And now I find myself having to learn all about Bella, Team what's-his-face vs. Team that-other-guy, werewolves vs. vampires vs. more vampires (or something?), and so forth.

In realizing just how little I know about this series, I got a strange feeling of being an outsider. For Harry Potter, I was committed. Lost? Never missed an episode. Sex and the City... Dexter... True Blood... I can easily engage in discussions about these cultural phenomena. It makes me feel strangely disconnected to know that I'm missing out on this one.

Then again, I think I've dedicated enough time to overly excited fandoms as of late; I could use a break.

Are you a Twilight fan or have you also stayed off the bandwagon?

Monday, June 28, 2010

The BIG 3-0!

Well, as of this weekend I've officially crossed the threshold from 20s into 30s! I always planned to throw a big party for myself on my 30th birthday, but as it happened this year, the American Library Association decided to throw one for me!

Okay, not for me, exactly, but I came to their annual conference determined to get my little piece of the celebration and festivities. On Saturday I signed copies of The Rock and the River in Simon & Schuster's booth at the ALA conference expo. Then I hung out with friends from Vermont College of Fine Arts who surprised me with an Alumni Achievement Award (I cried) followed by a yummy restaurant dinner complete with key lime pie and a pink candle!

Yesterday I attended an awards banquet, where I found myself surrounded by well-known and up-and-coming YA and children's authors. Strangest of all, I began to truly feel that I could count myself among them! Which brings me to the real reason I'm here at the ALA conference: because my book was selected to receive the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent!

Tomorrow morning, at the frightening hour of 7am (!!!! I am such a night person, people. It goes against nature to expect me to function normally before the double digit hours of the morning....but for the CSK Breakfast, I will muster!), I will receive my award, and have my moment to thank the Academy...errr, the CSK selection committee. It's so exciting!

All in all, my 30th weekend did not go as I orginally expected, but I certainly feel the occasion has been extraordinarily well-marked.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Forum: School's Out

For a lot of out there, summer means more than just warm weather; it also means that school's out. For students and parents alike, this can either be great or awful - it means no classes, but also too much time on your hands.

How do you spend the summer? If you're a student, do you take classes or get a job to keep you busy? If you're a parent, do you take more time off to spend with your kids? For everybody else, do you still feel like a student when the summer starts?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Link Love for 6/24

It's been a while since our last link love round-up, so here's some of the great stuff we've been reading online.

Girl w/Pen does a great job of addressing some of the concerns raised about how feminism affects the family.

Global Sister celebrated Father's Day with a piece about the incredible men who stand up as advocates for women.

In Good Company has an interesting post about whether or not having a safety net makes a new business real (the discussion can apply to other areas of life).

Lindsey Pollak's blog features a guest post exploring the jobs that matter for millennials.

One Writeous Chicks delved into the power that fear can have to spring you into action.

Savvy Ladies wants you to have some financial foreplay - getting to know your partner's money, matters.

Be sure to check out these links and leave a link to what you've been reading or writing in the comments.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Resolutions

Summer officially began this week, and I already realize how fleeting the season is. The days are longer, the weather is much warmer, more people go off on vacations and wear less clothing than they usually do, but I am always amazed at how little I accomplish during this time. I already feel that this summer will be different, because I began the season accomplishing more of the things I have always wanted to do. One of these is to travel to places in the United States I have never been to before, I am currently doing that.

To keep the momentum going, I plan to continue to keep myself motivated by not overwhelming myself with too many projects that will be impossible to complete.
Many people make the same mistake when they make New Year’s resolutions, and I am determined not to repeat the same mistake for the summer season. I hope to do more outdoor activities for my health and for general wellness, because working out in a basement can’t beat sweating it out in sunshine and breathing in fresh air. I have recently fallen in love with hiking again, and I want to do more of them as long as the weather stays pleasant. I think my renewed commitment to participating in more outdoor activities comes from seeing the negative effects of sedentary lifestyles on people around me. It isn’t just physical health; I believe that our mental state is a reflection of the external world around us. Summer is a great excuse for me to do this and other things that will hopefully stay with me all seasons of the year.

What new plans do you have the summer?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Female in Relationship Seeking Friend in Relationship

It’s funny that Kekla posted on relationships yesterday, because what I’ve wanted to touch on for a while is friendship… as it relates to relationships.

I’m lucky to have a good core group of friends that I can turn to for almost anything. I have friends who I know can always make me laugh, friends who give great professional advice, friends who I have a lot in common with, and plenty of friends that I just love being around. What I don’t really have, though, are friends that I can easily turn to for relationship advice, or to simply let out my feelings about my relationship. Let me elaborate…

It’s easy enough for my friends to indulge me in general griping – when he’s made a mess in the kitchen, when he’s calling too much, when he’s not calling at all, etc. These are small things I can quickly release, make fun of, and move on from. But anything deeper than that doesn’t work. Most of my friends are single, so the number of conversations that end with “well at least you have a guy” (either in words or in general attitude) are many. Then I have friends who are in relationships, but who I don’t feel comfortable getting advice from because the dynamics of their own relationships are not what I want in mine. The advice they give me is well-meaning, but not anything I’d follow.

And so it is that whenever I am having one of those moments when I need to let out any frustrations or anxiety, or when I just need some really good advice, I usually have to look inward or get advice from a book. So far this has been an adequate strategy, but I can’t imagine it being successful for much longer. Now I’m on a mission to find more friends in relationships that I admire, but something tells me that won’t be so easy.

Do you find that you can’t talk to your single friends about relationships? Or that you can’t talk about being single with your coupled up friends? Where do you turn for advice?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Love and Longevity

Pauline has posted about the pressures on single women (especially those “of a certain age”) to get married and settle down, and Sally has posted about the pressure on committed couples to throw a wedding. I tend to land in the same place they do on this issue, which is to forget about what others think and to move along at my own pace. I don’t worry about it—I just live and let live. But the topic has a tendency to resurface.

A recent Newsweek article* discussing my generation’s shifting attitudes toward marriage cited some intriguing and comforting (to me!) statistics. For instance, the article reports that the median age for marriage in the U.S. is 28 for men, 26 for women—the highest it’s ever been. And apparently waiting isn’t such a bad thing, because: “Every year we put off marriage, our chances of divorce go down.”

The article goes on to ponder the true question of our day: “If you’re going to wait, why do it at all?” If marriage is no longer economically necessary and singledom not so strongly socially taboo, why not skip the expensive party and look for completion in other ways? A woman can make her own living these days, but is it really true that the “old maid” taboo has lifted?

I love the idea of marriage, and I’ve certainly witnessed some strong and beautiful partnerships. In fact, this weekend I attended a lovely wedding ceremony for an old college friend. Yet, I can’t help thinking about all the ways the world has changed in the last half decade. It makes sense to me that the model for marriage set by the likes of Donna Reed and Leave It to Beaver has begun to shift towards something entirely new. The old joke about women going to college to get their “MRS” no longer applies.

In the old days, marriage meant stability and commitment and protection for both parties. Today, plenty of couples commit to one another without the formality. We still value the ideals of partnership and family, and the laws are slowly coming around to support unmarried couples. So what’s the big deal? Is it the same in the end, or isn't it?

*Jessica Bennett and Jesse Ellison. “‘I Don’t’: The Case Against Marriage.” Newsweek, June 21, 2010. p 42-45.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Forum: Father's Day

Even though CHICKS ROCK! is geared towards women, we know that the men in our lives are also important.

Whether it's your father, husband, son or mentors in your life, how do you celebrate the father figures in your life? Will you be celebrating with them this weekend?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Valuing Your Voice

Over the past few weeks, you've gotten a chance to read from various guest bloggers, particularly about health and wellness. Hopefully, reading the words of others has reinforced how much we value the voices of our readers. That's why we want to remind you to submit your guest posts to us!

No matter what's going on in your life, or what happened in the past that you still remember as significant to you, we'd love to hear about it. Check out guest blogging guidelines and submit your post today!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Forgiving the Unrepentant

What do you do when someone wrongs you, you want to forgive them, but they are not sorry at all? It is a dilemma that many of us face, and we handle it in different ways. Some of us hold grudges for weeks, months, and even years, while others ignore the situation to avoid conflict, but the unfair treatment constantly manifests itself. Both responses are unproductive and wind up hurting the wronged person more than the one who did the bad deed. So how do we forgive the unrepentant and move on with our lives?

I am hardly an expert, but evaluating the situation from the inside out works for me. Can I work this out amicably? Did I do anything that I have to make amends for in this situation? If so, will making the first step repair the relationship? If the answer is no for each question, I change my tactics. The first thing I do is take a step back from the person and wait to see what happens. Many people will not say “I’m sorry,” even when they know they are wrong. I prepare myself to accept that I may never hear those words from my aggressor, because pride is often stronger than admitting the truth.

Someone I care about has been in this unfortunate situation with a relative for several years now. The initial attack shook her so deeply that she collapsed and was rushed to the hospital as a result. I was angry at everyone involved, including her, because I couldn’t understand why she made herself sick over untrue accusations; I realized later that the attack roused her insecurities, and the fact that it came from someone she cared about took a heavy toll.

My advice is to accept that you may never receive the apology you deserve, but to grant forgiveness anyway. It doesn’t have to be a verbal declaration; as long as you make peace with the past and move on, good fortune will smile on you more than anyone else in the situation.

Can you forgive those who are blatantly unapologetic?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cheap Summer o' Fun

The summer is (almost) here, which means the time has come to take advantage of all the free and cheap events in NYC! I’m not a big fan of the heat, and I could do without the bugs, but cheap fun in the city makes the summer worthwhile.

Every summer, my sister and I keep an eye out for great events that we can enjoy that cost us little or no money. Broadway at Bryant Park is one of our favorites, and last year, Shakespeare in the Park gave us one of our best stories ever (camping outside of Central Park is something you don’t easily forget). Usually, our biggest obstacle is keeping track of it all, but this year, I refused to let that be a deterrent. We spent hours going through the various summer guides and calendars that come out, picked our favorites, and made a calendar listing all of the events we’re interested in attending.

The best thing about the calendar is that now we’re able to share it with all of our friends as well. We can pick out the events we want to go to together and coordinate from there. The way I see it, if somebody wakes up and decides they want to do something fun and free that day or the next, they can look at the calendar and surely find something. Between dance classes, outdoor films, festivals, and musical performances, there won’t be a boring week all summer.

What do you have planned this summer? Is there something you look forward to each year?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Between Projects

There's nothing more satisfying than wrapping up a big, long-term project. My favorite example is typing the final scene of a novel and tacking on "The End" for good measure. It's a great feeling to have finished something important - the sense of accomplishment, and relief, just can't be beat. A short while later, though, comes this yawning moment of possibility - what to work on next?

Sometimes, in the world of assignments, tasks and deadlines, the answer comes easy. You can move on to the next item on the to-do list and start all over again. Other times, what's next is far less obvious.

I happen to be caught in such a moment now. My work is largely self-directed, so there's no boss looking over my shoulder and inspiring my priorities. Sure, I have agents, editors and publishers to please, but at this particular instant, I've done what I need to do for them, so the balls are in their courts, so to speak. Which means I can turn my attention toward anything I want. Hmmmm.

The lack of direction is simultaneously exciting, confusing, and nerve-wracking. It's liberating to be aimless for a while, but it's also an important choice, which project I dig into. Because for an author, work now means money later, and it's not always so easy to determine what type of book will serve me best a year or more from now.

So I try not to think about that. I try to run after the ideas that tease and interest me today, not worrying about tomorrow. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but most days at least it keeps my fingers flying over the page!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Forum: Healthy Living 101

World of Wellness, TWM's month focusing on health and wellness, is coming to an end this weekend. We've been featuring guest posts all month and we want to turn the discussion over to you.

What is one (or two or three...) health tip you learned that made a positive impact in your life? Whether it's a workout secret you learned, a great set of healthy recipes, or a stress-reducing tip - share your knowledge so we can all learn from each other.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Journey to Look & Feel Good

CHICKS ROCK! welcomes Barbara as a guest blogger this week, as part of TWM's World of Wellness:

Barbara Charles lives in New Jersey and works as a full-time Ardyss International distributor. When she’s not working, she devotes her time to her 3 children and two grandchildren.

When I was first introduced to the Body Magic with its claim of “Dropping 2 to 3 sizes in 10 minutes,” I didn’t believe it, but I volunteered as a model and was amazed at the results. Rolls in the front and love handles disappeared… Instant hourglass shape… The Body Magic did not roll up or down, it was comfortable and my size 8 pants were now too big!

I decided right then and there that I would get involved in this business to help people look and feel good. I feel great when I watch the transformation of women who put on a Body Magic – I see their faces beam and their self-esteem get an instant boost. I’ve learned that it’s not just about changing the body; it’s about changing a person’s perspective and making them feel good about themselves. It’s also important to start living a healthier lifestyle, and giving them that boost of confidence is often what they need to start living that way. Everyone wants to change something about their body. Most people get overwhelmed at the thought of spending months dieting and exercising, and sometimes it’s easier to stay motivated if results are visible immediately.

The Body Magic is a product of Ardyss International, a health and wellness company. Our mission is to change people’s lives and help them maintain a healthily lifestyle. Ardyss has created a unique system, the Body Magic 2-Step System, which shapes you inside and out, transforming your outer appearance while improving your health.

Step 1: Wearing the customized Body Magic to tighten your abdomen and get the figure you’ve always wanted, while at the same time improving health. It also corrects the posture, lifts the breast and buttocks into proper position.

Step 2: Supplementing your health with the nutritional line which features Le’Vive (Mangosteen, Noni, Acai Berry, Goji and Pomegranate), in addition to a wide variety of multivitamins, fat reducers, regenerators and antioxidants, energizers, fibers, and digestive products that will revitalize you from the inside-out.

An appointment with Ardyss will change your life! As part of TWM’s World of Wellness, enter promo code 7328211020.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Low Expectations

It happens more than I like to admit: someone or something raises my expectations, and then disappointment sets in when the situation doesn’t work out. I recently spoke to a friend who was let down by a mutual friend who broke promises and trust. We have all experienced the fall out that comes from having “great expectations.” I have learned from experience that having the opposite works far better.

I am not being pessimistic or overly cautious by admitting this. I just know that by not expecting too much when I meet someone for the first time or get into any particular situation without knowing all of the facts, I am protecting myself from being crushed. I know people who are so dazzled by charismatic people that come into their lives that they give their trust and believe every word they say. I have learned to be observant and a bit reserved when I meet people who seem too good to be true; I am friendly without revealing too much of myself. Even after an initial meeting, I make sure to listen to my instincts when I am getting to know someone. After all, trust is something that should be earned rather than given away like party favors. Often the desire to build friendships and romantic relationships distracts us from listening to our consciences and picking up on vibes. Most of us walk away from bad situations with just our confidence shaken; others suffer much worse. For myself, I feel more comfortable with people who consistently keep their promises, and treat other people (including myself) with respect.

Having low expectations doesn’t mean I am unfriendly or unapproachable; people who know me know I am the opposite of both. I do have my guard up and ready if I ever need it, which helps when unexpected situations arise. This requires balance which some of us are better at than others. I just tell myself and those who care to listen that it’s better to be pleasantly surprised rather than cruelly disappointed.

Do you give your trust too easily?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Bookworm's New Obsession

A couple of weeks ago, I was wondering what on earth I'd do now that Lost is over. A couple of days later, I realized that part of the problem is that this is the first time in 10 years that I don't have either Harry Potter or Lost to obsess over. I’ve been looking for a Harry Potter replacement for a few years now, but since I still had Lost to love, I wasn’t that worried. Until I didn't, and then I was.

Well, now I can quit mourning because my new obsession is here – The Passage by Justin Cronin. I received an advance copy of this book a while back, but between everything else I had to review, I just hadn’t gotten around to this massive text. Knowing that the release date was rapidly approaching and finally done with the other books I was reading, I picked it up and started reading over the weekend. And now, I just... can’t... stop.

I don’t really know how to describe this book, partly because I have no idea what’s going on and partly because it seems like one of those things that make you sound ridiculous when you explain it. It’s like trying to explain what a horcrux is to somebody who’s never read Harry Potter, or bringing up polar bears to people who don’t watch Lost... it’s just not worth mentioning. What I can tell you is that if you also have a hole in your soul that’s aching for Harry Potter, Lost, 24, Twilight, or whatever other work of literature or tv show you really crave, you should definitely check out this book. All 700+ pages of it.

Of course, the real reason I’m hoping somebody else will pick it up is because, like HP and Lost, it’s not something I want to experience alone. I’m having a really hard time keeping what I read to myself so – for the sake of my sanity – I hope somebody starts reading it with me soon.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Women of Substance

When I was little, my mom would sometimes say about the large black women we encountered, "Now there's a woman of substance." I think this may be a West African turn of phrase that she picked up in Cameroon, but I'm not really sure. Maybe it's just her thing. At any rate, I always liked the sound of it. Much better than "fat" or "heavyset" or "big-boned," as people used to say, and also better, I would argue, than current p.c. terms like "plus-sized" or even "full-figured."

I like this phrase because it speaks of something more than physicality, some kind of soul force that is somehow more visible in large women. A presence, a power that is inescapable. You know the kind of woman I'm talking about--the ones who bear children and run households and move mountains and can silence a room full of men with a look, but more often than not have yet to be fully appreciated in the world, despite their brilliance and grace.

I'm proud to say I recently witnessed two "women of substance" breaking through, and saw each honored for her wisdom, power and voice. I attended Yale University graduation last weekend, where the school bestowed honorary doctorates on Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Aretha Franklin. Sing it, sistahs!

Aretha Franklin, of course, is the gospel-singing goddess known as the "Queen of Soul." She received an honorary Doctor of Music. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, is the first woman elected to lead an African nation. She received an honorary Doctor of Laws. Of course, Yale didn't discover these divas--they've both been making their mark for years. But it is gratifying to see them being honored in new forms, in new venues, in front of new audiences, so that we may continue to be inspired by their gifts.

As women go, this pair definitely has a lot of substance!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Managing Stress in the Moments You Have

CHICKS ROCK! welcomes Jennifer as a guest blogger this week, as part of TWM's World of Wellness:

Jennifer Edwards MFA, RYT is a writer, body-mind maven, and social entrepreneur. She teaches stress reduction privately and through institutions including the American Heart Association and New York University.

I started focusing on stress management because I grew up with symptoms of chronic stress - irritable bowel syndrome, constant headaches, anxiety, mild depression, oral ulcers, and blurred vision. I experienced this while training as a dancer and eating organic food. I was a poster-child for ‘healthy living’, yet I felt ‘sick’ much of the time. Having undergone batteries of tests and consultations with specialists, I decided, as single mom and college student, to seek answers on my own. I had only 2 questions: why was I ‘sick’ and how could I feel better. My passion became healing myself in the minutes of spare time I had each day.

I have found that modern-day ‘stress’ is a learned behavior. Just like any other habit, you can change the pattern of engaging the primal, neurobiological stress response. When you react to a stressor or trigger, your body releases a series of hormones that create the following results: your heart pumps faster, your digestion and reproductive systems slow down, fats and sugars are dumped into your blood stream for quick energy, and your immune, vascular, ocular and mental systems are (overly) stimulated. This can keep you alive in a situation of real danger - while you fight off or run from a predator. When we engage this reaction multiple times, daily or weekly, stress symptoms can become chronic conditions.

In daily life we often react to situations we perceive as threatening; judgment, others' expectations, or loosing a part of our self-identities (parent, partner, or successful businesswomen). When feeling stressed, start with the knowledge that you are not in real, immediate danger. Understanding the relationship between your body and mind is the first step in managing and reducing stress.

I teach people how to implement mindful practices in the moments they have each day – segments of 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The next ‘Stress Reduction 101’ class starts June 22. Mention TWM and receive 10% off the cost of the class series, or a series of private sessions, as part of TWM’s World of Wellness.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Toast (or Dance) to Your Health

As you already know, TWM has been celebrating a World of Wellness this month, with email blasts, and health-themed posts here on CHICKS ROCK!. For those of you in NYC, the culmination of all of this will be two live events. Check out the details below and be sure to RSVP today!

Latin-Lindy Dance Class with Larissa Velez
Saturday, June 12th, 2-3pm

A high octane aerobic workout, dancing Swing Samba, Salsa and more! Open to all levels.

COST: $12.50 for TWM Members; $20 for Non-Members
LOCATION: Ripley Grier Studios, 520 8th Ave. bet 36th and 37th, 16th floor

RSVP & Payment in Advance Required:


TWM's Healthy Happy Hour!
Thursday, June 10th, 6:30pm-9pm

Come celebrate the culmination of our TWM World of Wellness series- meet and consult with health and wellness providers, receive a Resource Guide, take home some goodies and have a drink (some studies have indeed shown this to be beneficial - but alcohol or not, it's healthy to socialize with TWM friends old and new!). Enjoy drink specials until 8pm!

LOCATION: SideBar 118 East 15th Street at Irving Place


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mid Year Assessment

When June arrives, most people think about their summer plans; vacations, parties, special events, the outdoors, etc. While I think about many of same things, I also reflect on what has already happened this year, and think ahead about the remaining months ahead. The halfway mark of 2010 is particularly important to me because I made some very important New Year’s resolutions last year. The arrival of June this year makes me think about what I have accomplished so far, and what needs to be done from now on.

As human beings, we are prone to procrastination. Some of us succumb to it more than others; I know that I have listened to the small voice in my head telling me to give up or delay finishing something I have started more than I like to admit. This year, I don’t feel as guilt-ridden as I have in previous years, because I have accomplished a great deal. I know I have much more to do, such as setting a course for my career, but what I have done so far gives me the confidence to move ahead with all of my unfulfilled goals.

It is a good thing to remember that every day we are given; we have a chance to do better than the day before. Whether it be exercise, diet, cleaning up the clutter in our living spaces, resolving our differences with a co-worker or loved one, reading another chapter of a great book that has been gathering dust on your shelf, each day gives us the time we need to accomplish our goals, no matter how big or small they may be. I know that unexpected occurrences always happen, but I persuade myself not to get too upset about what cannot be helped. Each day I am able to accomplish a goal, or at least move one step closer to doing so, I feel good.

Are you hard yourself when you don’t fulfill your own expectations? When do you give yourself a break?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spring Cleaning Turned Shopping Spree

My goal for Memorial Day weekend was to do some major spring cleaning – clean the apartment from top to bottom, rid my closet of clothes that don’t fit me, organize the 8 (!!!) bags of clothes to donate or recycle, and then take said piles to Goodwill and the textile recycling at Union Square. Lofty goals for 3 days, but I was ready to make it happen.

That is, of course, until life got in the way.

On Friday night, when I was supposed to start my cleaning spree, a good friend of mine who I haven’t seen in a long time invited me out – I couldn’t resist! I spent all of Saturday cleaning furiously, and while I was able to make the apartment sparkle, my closet was still untouched. Sunday was so beautiful that another friend and I decided to spend a couple of hours reading in the sun… That turned into an evening cooking, eating and watching a movie. By the time I got home, I was too tired to attack my closet, but since I’d made plans to go shopping with my sisters on Monday (after cleaning out my closet, of course), I knew I had to get it done.

So I woke up at 6 a.m. on a holiday to sort through the 8 (!!!) bags of clothes I had, and I did some digging in my closet, but not nearly enough. Still, after lugging 2 huge bags of clothes to the textile recycling, I felt accomplished enough to take a break for the day. I’m glad I didn’t stress over it, because it was a great day with my sisters, shopping, strolling in the sun, and having lunch at one of our favorite restaurants.

Even though my closet’s still a mess and there are still about 6 bags/crates of clothing that need to get recycled or donated, getting to spend the time with my friends and sisters made it all worth it.

How did you spend your weekend?

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