I'm sitting cross-legged on my therapist's couch 4 months after my husband's announcement that he wants a divorce when my therapist informs me that he thinks I should start dating again.
I had told myself and others that I was going to take time off to concentrate on myself for once. Between a husband and three boys, I didn't know who I was anymore. I just wanted to hang out with my girlfriends, drink martinis like a fish, and let the hair grow long on my legs if I wanted. I had even gone so far as to announce to my friends that I was going to take a full year off from any kind of relationship.
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I’m having a bit of a crisis over my New Year’s Resolutions. You see, I’m not really one for making lists of resolutions at New Year’s, but this morning, as I was still lying in bed…has anyone else noticed how freaking DARK it still is at seven in the morning? Maybe it’s just Seattle. Anyway, I’m lying there in the dark, checking my emails on my phone, and I already have emails from three other bloggers about New Year’s resolutions. Ok, so two of them are on the East Coast and have a bit of a jump on me, but I wasn’t even planning on writing about resolutions. I felt conflicted.
Oh the peer pressure.
It started last night with this article from Spark People on The Worst New Year’s Resolutions You Can Make. I already feel guilty about my calorie intake throughout December, and like a lot of folks, I’m ready to get back on track, but this was the first feeling I had that maybe I should make some resolutions.
Then, early this morning, I had a post from Kat Richter of Fieldwork in Stilettos, who didn’t write about resolutions at all but, instead, about the Ice Wars that erupt within her family on New Year’s. While I agree with her dad, The Chauffeur, about the importance of bubble-free, cloud-free rocks in your cocktails, I don’t usually say these things out loud. God forbid; that might reveal my tendency to be a little
obsessive-compulsive detail-oriented. Check out his comment after the post, pretty funny. The whole bunch may be certifiable, but I would love to be there for the Ice Wars of 2012. Cheers to the Richter family!
Again, I felt I should probably get my lazy ass out of bed and write something, anything, about the New Year.
Then, I received The Byronic Man’s post over at A Clown on Fire. When it comes to blogging resolutions, The Byronic Man is actually an overachiever. This is his second post on resolutions in the last four days…that we know of…he may be traveling around the internet writing resolution in other places still yet to be discovered. He first list of resolutions can be found here.
2013 Conflict Resolution #1: The Byronic Man is my hero. Despite my lack of motivation, I will write a blog post today. It will contain New Year’s resolutions. (They say the hardest part is getting started.)
I hadn’t even finished reading The Byronic Man’s post before I received the next set of resolutions from Dan Rockwell, The Leadership Freak. These are less tongue-in-cheek and more inspiring, but I especially liked when he said,
“The people closest to you determine the heights you reach.”
2013 Conflict Resolution #2: Meet with at least one friend per week who inspires me. This, of course, conflicts with my tendency to be introverted, but I’m told that hanging out, watching movies with Thor, does not count as networking.
I was reminded of the importance of being around people who inspire me the other night when my MBA study team, Big Purple Chicken–there’s a long story behind the name, can’t get into it here–got together for a team “meeting.” We hadn’t been together as a group since our graduation in June, and it was great to see everyone. I haven’t laughed that hard in ages, and it feels so good to be around people who are striving to make their lives and the lives of others around them better.
Ok, that started to sound pretty sappy, but I love the people in Big Purple Chicken.
Finally, there was a new post from YumUniverse, which, unlike the others, told me NOT to make resolutions, but to THINK BIGGER! What?? I wasn’t even out of bed yet. Can I get my coffee first? Oh wait, YumUniverse would probably want me to down a green smoothie instead of coffee…
…ok, well, Thor needed to pee anyway. I decided I better get up and take him outside.
So, now here I sit with my coffee…
2013 Conflict Resolution #3:
Buy ingredients to make green smoothies. (I actually have Italian black kale in my refrigerator right now, but I’d rather sauté it in olive oil with garlic and a little sea salt.) Learn to like green smoothies. Ok, wait, revise, edit…2013 Conflict Resolution #3: Make and test two recipes for green smoothies per month until I find one I like or until I confirm, for certain, that I do not like green smoothies. Baby steps, people, baby steps.
One of the most important things to remember about resolutions is to make them specific. I have made it no secret here that I need to lose weight. If I simply say I’m going to lose weight in 2013, that will never work. My goals have to be specific and measurable.
Last winter, for example, I created a goal to “get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.” This might seem like a funny goal to some, but my reasoning was twofold. First, my doctor told me I was in adrenal fatigue. “You’re in fight or flight all the time,” she said. Second, cortisol is known to affect weight gain and belly fat, which is also affected by sleep. Rather than try to tackle the whole host of factors contributing to my weight, I chose to focus on one and do it really well. It was normal for me to stay up until midnight or 1 a.m. and then get up at six in the morning. It was no wonder I was biting off people’s heads and punting small children…
…no…no…for the record, I never did that. Those were just disturbing visions in my head cause by sleep deprivation.
Anyway, I didn’t just say I was going to “get more sleep.” I said how much sleep I intended to get. I logged my sleep hours into a calendar and tallied and reviewed them each week. I posted a goal on stickk.com. Using the book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, I also implemented changes around my house that would change my environment and my habits. I put a timer on the lamp in my living room and set it to turn off at 10 p.m. every night. I have a programmable thermostat, and I programmed it to go down to 56° F at 10 p.m. Yeah, that’s cold, but as the temperature started to drop it encouraged me to get in bed under my nice, warm comforter. Anyway, it worked. I’ve actually kept it up, and I’m actually a much nicer person with two extra hours of sleep per night.
So, here’s the thing. I don’t feel like I can make too many resolutions, because, well, to be quite frank, I should probably concentrate on the conflicts and projects I already have underway. So here are the rest of my conflict resolutions for 2013:
2013 Conflict Resolution #4: Continue working out at least three days per week. I just learned last night that Experience Fitness has closed its doors. My trainer, Zach, says he can still train me, but he’ll be doing it at a gym downtown. I don’t think that’s going to be feasible, but I’m still working this out. Accountability for me is key. I downloaded the Nike Training Club app last night, but I still haven’t exercised yet today. I’m kind of freaking out about this one, but the conflict resolution needs to encourage me to continue working out.
2013 Conflict Resolution #5: Shut the bastards down! You may have noticed that I’ve been blogging a lot of bullshit lately, and I’ll tell you why. I recently discovered my content is being skimmed and reposted on another website. The assholes even had the nerve to copy the Christmas picture of Thor and me. I have filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act report. Keep your fingers crossed. With any luck, I can get their website, or at least my posts, taken down, but you can see why I’m hesitant to post anything worthwhile until I have this issue resolved. I’m pissed off enough about this to start kicking people again…
…wait, I never actually did that.
2013 Conflict Resolution #6: Finally, once and for all, determine whether I am a serial dater, a serial entrepreneur, or just a serial optimist. I keep telling myself that getting laid off two years ago was the best thing that ever happened to me. My friend, Samantha, calls me a “woman un-cubed,” but I’ve had a tough time getting things off the ground. I’ve cobbled freelance and contract work together with other part-time gigs to try to maintain my happiness and independence, but it’s hard.
In early 2013, you’ll see a Kickstarter campaign for My Dating Prescription. I’ve found a videographer, Indy, who I want to work with, and we’re set to film the Kickstarter video next weekend. Let’s face it; the only way I’ll be able to cover publishing costs to turn My Dating Prescription into a book is if I get people to help me. Crowd-funding is my only hope. Like all Kickstarter campaigns, my MDP campaign will have different contribution levels linked to various rewards. This will all be explained in more detail very soon.
2013 Conflict Resolution #7: Publish My Dating Prescription. Hopefully, someone likes my writing.
Ok, that’s enough for one year. Obviously, I have stuff to do, so I better get to it.
Happy New Year! I’m wishing you all the best in 2013!
Copyright 2011-13. My Dating Prescription blog. All Rights Reserved.
I apologize that it has taken me so long to recap my date with Man #24, but I felt I needed to give you the back story about how we got set up and how I was getting pressure from my friends for this to, not only be a good matchup, but to also provide good material for a romantic comedy. (Hence Man #24′s tag – The Leading Man.)
To be honest, I anticipated that The Leading Man and I would have a good date. The friends who set us up happen to be very intuitive about these kinds of things, and I usually trust their judgment. Like I said, however, I was extremely nervous. The last time I had seen Man #24 had been before I had gotten married, started feeling depressed and trapped, and started drowning myself in emotion-deadening amounts of food and red wine. Therefore, he was not going to see the thin, sexy woman to whom he had last spoken. He might not even recognize me.
Oh dear god.
When we set up our date, The Leading Man said he was willing to meet me somewhere near my neighborhood, and I appreciated this a lot. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I have strong feelings about the things guys can do to make themselves look considerate from the very beginning, and offering to meet a woman on her turf is just one of them. By this, Ladies, I do not mean meeting a man at your house. (Geez, that would be scary.) What I mean is, if a man lives a half an hour away, he should not expect a woman to drive out to see him sight unseen. I’m okay with meeting a man halfway between his place and mine, but it’s always appreciated if he will make the extra effort to allow me to stay in neighborhoods in which I feel comfortable.
Sorry, guys. Maybe this doesn’t seem fair. But, your gender isn’t the one getting raped every 60 seconds in this country, so I don’t want to hear any whining and this is not something on which I’m willing to compromise.
Anyway, sorry for that tangent/soap box moment, but I just wanted to say how pleased I was that The Leading Man was willing to let me pick our rendezvous point without any pressure.
He mentioned that he was hungry for Thai food, and I was trying to think of a good Thai restaurant that had the right “first date” vibe somewhere in the U District. Unfortunately, there is a plethora of Thai restaurants in the area, but none of them have the kind of ambience I thought was comfortable for a first date/two people catching up after a long time kind of date. Most of them have these little, vinyl kitchen chairs to sit on, and I felt we really needed a booth. After himming and hahhing for a couple of seconds, I asked him if he would be willing to forego Thai in exchange for meeting at Schultzy’s instead. (Yes, I realize this is my third date in 24 that has been at Schultzy’s.)
He went for it, but then I felt bad for bulldozing his Thai food desires.
Although he said it was fine, I was conscious of what I had just done and felt I was not off on a good foot.
On the night of the date, I put on some dark-washed jeans, a brown top with three-quarter length sleeves, cute leopard spotted shoes, turquoise, brown, and gold necklace and bracelet, and gold earrings and headed out the door. Again, if you’ve been reading from the beginning, you may have noticed that I’m less anxious about sucking everything in these days. LONG gone are the Spanx! I still care about my appearance, but I am no longer willing to wrestle with compressive undergarments when I am out on a date.
The Leading Man and I met and talked for a few hours over beers and fries about everything from our friends and their crazy ideas to dogs to the legalization of marijuana to Ken Griffey Jr and beyond. The conversation was really fun and easy and I enjoyed it a lot.
At the end of the date, The Leading Man walked me to my car, gave me a kiss on the cheek and a hug and said we should definitely go out again. I said, “Well, next Saturday I’m invited to a party where everyone who comes has to perform a talent. You’re welcome to join me.”
I admit; that would be a lot of pressure…
… but maybe we can go have Thai food.