True Love

I love my boyfriend so much. We are really good together. He’s always there when I need him, and I love being close to him when I feel bad, and when I feel really good. There is no one better to celebrate with or have with me after a long week.

Things aren’t perfect. When I was younger I couldn’t get enough of him and I never got tired of having him around. But as I got older that constant attention took its toll. I started to gain weight and get headaches, until I could really only be around him every once in a while. But ultimately we found a balance in our relationship and moderation really has been the key to our everlasting love. He understands when I need him and I know he’s there for me, even when I have to handle something on my own.

As Valentine’s Day approaches we have very special plans together. On this one special day there will be no moderation, only indulgence and excess. We will be with one another constantly and I look forward to every minute. And when the holiday is over we will return to our well-honed relationship based on trust, understanding, and love, and he’ll give me just enough distance that I still crave him at the end of the day.

Because our love is true. And my boyfriend is sugar.

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New Year

While it is refreshing and noble to make grand declarations of all that we will do and change with ourselves in the coming year, I present a new kind of resolution: Give yourself a break.

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I have no idea how all of the people I have heard about giving up alcohol for the month of January plan to pay their credit card bill from the holidays without a cocktail in their hand. Perhaps you have had time off or been spending time with your family (whether that’s a pleasant experience for you or not). Does this really seem like the ideal time to give up carbs cold turkey? Because you are going to be miserable if all you are eating is cold turkey.

This is not to say that goals are not a good thing, because they are. And goals should certainly be in the spirit of self-improvement, but they should also manifest with a nod to humanity. Moderation and exceptions for reality are everything. Of course we should all be working out more regularly, but you’re going to need to use your legs tomorrow and thirty minutes on the elliptical totally counts. When you said you were going to be more patient, considerate, and kind you have to include treating yourself that way as well.

We do not live in bubble-like microcosms where we can do whatever we decide instantaneously. Other things and people are going to get in your way, and the least you can do is not be one of those obstacles. Have an overall goal, then break it up into smaller goals, then break those up again. If you accomplish sixty percent of your tiny goals this year then you are doing amazing. And you get to have extra cake and booze. Confidently allow yourself to enjoy your life, make mistakes, and fail.

Be good, be better, be yourself.

Happy New Year.

Falling with Grace

When I was thinking about writing this, I wanted to make sure I made it clear that I was talking about literal falling. That was until I realized that the advice you need to survive an actual fall is not greatly different from that which will serve you well in an emotional, professional, or metaphoric one.

I had the not-entirely-unforeseeable experience of falling right off of my five inch wedges and onto the grass in the middle of the memorial park of a Presidential library. I knew better than to walk on uneven surfaces in precarious footwear, given my weak ankles, having just completed a forty-five minute tour in said shoes, and my overall natural tendency to fall. However, I was in the middle of talking to a colleague, and most importantly, part of me was ready for it.

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 The scene of the crime

The first thing you need to do to fall well is to expect to fall. If you fall on purpose, people will rightly assume something is wrong with you. But if you know falling is a possibility, then think about the best way to fall given what you’re wearing, what surface you’re falling on, and ways to limit the carnage. Before I set foot on the grass I knew I was wearing dark jeans, carrying a beverage, and had a bag weighing approximately forty pounds over my shoulder. When my shoe found the one divot in the otherwise perfect lawn I fell gently to my knees, balanced my drink, and stood back up in one fluid motion without pausing; my companion would never have noticed if the security guard hadn’t started laughing.

Remembering the benefit of a calm demeanor, and the motto of the women in my family, “Panic Later”, got me back on my feet in the pavilion, but more importantly back on an even keel emotionally when an opportunity did not go the way I wanted it to. I knew that the outcome may be unfavorable, despite the elaborate fantasy scenarios I had already constructed in accordance with a positive result. When things didn’t go my way there was already a plan in place. Physical or mental, you can’t fight the fall; it makes it so much worse- be upset and hit the ground- then stand right back up. In the latter case I also threw in cake, for therapeutic purposes.

Falling with grace does not mean that you should never fall at all. Making mistakes, whether the world media is present or just a bored security guard, is part of being human and relatable; perfection is sterile. Handling those hiccups with the right combination of composure, preparation, and humor is what determines the standard of grace.

A Tide Pen is also not a bad idea.