We Live Here

For the last few weeks I’ve been having a lot of anxiety. To spare you the fine workings of my inner-craziness, I’ll just boil it down to this: there isn’t enough fucking time.

There isn’t enough time to bake.
There isn’t enough time to go to the holiday markets.
There isn’t enough time to sip a spiked hot chocolate and admire my Christmas tree.
There isn’t enough time to eat healthy foods and go to the gym.
There isn’t enough time to make money.

You get the picture.

Anyway, after doing some soul-searching to quell my over-commitment-induced anxiety, I decided that I needed to prioritize things. This year, I’ve decided that the first priority in my life is holiday merry-making.

I want to enjoy all of the holiday cheer that this fine city of New York has to offer. When I leave New York in a week, I will continue my merry-making extravaganza in California. My days are going to be so merry and bright that sunglasses will be required.

In an effort to juice this holiday season raw, I’ve packed my calendar full of events: ice skating in Central Park, viewing the tree at Rockefeller Center, an ugly-sweater paint-your-own-pottery event, drinks with friends (both impromptu and planned), spontaneous Christmas movie viewings, and of course a whole slew of holiday parties, Mr. Fezziwig style.

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New York City is at my absolute favorite in December. The cold doesn’t get me down because it is part of the holiday magic. (I’d kindly ask Mother Nature to be done with snow and bitter cold come January 2, thankyousomuch.) It’s even grand to do touristy things at this time of year. The city is dressed up in its finest for us locals, too! The big star on Fifth Avenue, the tree, the lights on 55th Street, garlands in restaurants, trees on the sidewalk in front of CVS: it’s all part of the magic.

On Sunday, my friend Matt and I indulged in some Magnolia-eating, tree-viewing, Christmas-shopping, strolling-through-the-snow moments. When we arrived at the tree, we took the requisite pictures of each other individually in front of the tree.

[NB: I was feeling a little “down and out”, as they say, and so I put on my Sunday clothes: a fabulous vegan fur coat I acquired from a charming thrift store in Tennessee, a huge Adele-style bun, and some 6 inch stilettos. There’s no blue Monday in your Sunday clothes! I had a wonderful time, and kept singing “I am faaab-u-lous, baby!” as I strolled down the street, arm in arm with my dear friend.]

After we had taken individual photos, we searched the crowd for a person who seemed capable of taking a picture of us together [able to use an iPhone and aware of the fact that we wanted ourselves AND the tree in the picture. Sometimes it’s hard to find these people]. We located our prospective photographer and I approached her.

“Excuse me? Would you mind taking our picture?”

“Sure! No problem!” she obliged.

When we were done, I offered, “Would you like us to take yours?” She was with a friend.

She laughed, “No thanks. We live here!” More laughter.

“So do we,” I responded.

At that moment, I was pretty thankful for the fact that I could still find joy after 5 years in my gorgeous city, even among the tourists.

Here’s to days filled with love, merriment, gingerbread cookies, mulled wine, wonderful friends, giving for the joy it brings, and feeling thankful.

Go juice your holidays raw.

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Snatched: I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here

Yesterday, I had my movement assessment at Mark Fisher Fitness. In my mind, I envisioned the assessment to go something like this – I would have to do about 290,138 bicep curls with ever increasing weight so that they knew how much I could lift and assign me the properly weighted kettle bell.

Obviously, it wasn’t like that at all.

The movement assessment was more of an observation of my range of motion (not strength). I was glad that it wasn’t the scenario that I had fully formulated in my brain. [Though I was horribly¬†embarrassed¬†when I struggled to do a push up. Upper body strength is not my… um… strength.]

Every single person that I met was SO kind and wonderful and funny, and it made me even MORE excited to get started.

Except.

I’m having anxiety, also.

After having completed Sober January and being essentially quarantined for the month of April, I’ve had a realization: my emotional well-being begins to deteriorate when I can’t leave my apartment and be social. In New York [or, at the very least, in MY New York], being social means going out for meals and beverages. However, if I want to get the most out of my Snatched experience, those are two things that I am going to have to take a long, hard look at.

FOOD: First of all, I’m a terrible cook. Second, as is the upside-down nature of New York, it’s usually cheaper to eat out than to prepare your own food. Stupid. Third, the food in this city is just. so. damn. good. I suppose an option for the socialization problem here is to invite friends over for food we prepare ourselves. Then the food is social and controlled, I guess.

ALCOHOL: I mean. This is hard. I’m just going to have to say no. I’m perfectly happy to go out and NOT drink, but… it’s not that fun to be the only sober person when everyone else is drunk, AND I just get tired earlier when I’m not drinking. Possible solution? Err… I’ll get back to you on that one.

Anyway, all of this is to say that I’m worried that I’m going to become an emotional wreck because my new, healthier eating and drinking habits will keep me from socializing.

Logically, I KNOW that this is ridiculous. AND I’ll have lots of new friends from Snatched who are all experiencing the same thing – sober friends who want to go ape shit on some grilled chicken breast while guzzling water.

I think I just need to make an effort to expand my definition of socialization. Some options I’m currently considering?

Improv 101 at UCB
Acapella Group or Choir
Cake Decorating Class [This should probably wait until after Snatched…]
Guitar Lessons
Sewing Class
Rowboats in Central Park
Picnics
Museums [I totally want to see this whale exhibit!]
Writing Meet-Up Group
Bicycle Riding
Suburban Excursion Days [Target. Home Goods. Nordstrom. Done.]
Governor’s Island Adventures

[Any and all further suggestions greatly appreciated!]

I think the key here is to just have a plan [for food, for drinking/not drinking, for social life]. Then I’m not stuck in one of these scenarios:

“Ah! I didn’t pack a lunch and the ONLY OPTION is Pommes Frites!” [OH, THE HORROR!]

“Ah! I didn’t make any plans and now I’m stuck at home with nothing to do but organize my socks!”

“Ah! There is a whiskey beverage in front of me and I don’t know if I’ve budgeted for it calorically!”

I’m sort of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of gal. This will probably all be a good exercise in seeing how the other half lives.

One thing is for certain, though: every single person that I’ve met so far on my Snatched journey has made me even more grateful to be embarking on the experience.

Anxiety: Ain’t It a Bitch.

I’m dealing with a lot of anxiety this week.

Sources?

Poor Friday night decisions (poor Saturday night decisions, for that matter), auditions, my inability to motivate myself to go on auditions, auditions that I bomb, work, lack of work, the half marathon, why I prefer to have a crush on a person who has no interest in me rather than pursue something with someone who is really interested, insomnia, the messy state of my bedroom, why my health insurance doesn’t kick in for another 17 days, money, how much I miss soda, how I should drink more water, money, my achilles tendon, my need for a new perfume (I like this one!), when I will have time to bake Irish Car Bomb cupcakes and Peppermint Patty cake before Sunday, my plantar fasciitis flare-up, my phone’s inability to keep a charge for a whole day, how I want to clean my apartment…

You know. The usual. [Oh wait. These things don’t keep you all awake at night, too? Oh. Hmm.]

Anyway, I’m brainstorming some ideas to quell said anxiety. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. Pot – I’m the worst at this. Once I had some crazy brownies and I found myself googling “Can you die from a pot overdose?” This is probably more anxiety-inducing that relieving (for me), but I’m open to anything.

2. Yoga – A friend of mine should call me “the girl who cried yoga” for all of the times that I’ve told her I would come and take her class and then bailed at the last minute.

3. Passionflower – It’s a natural, herbal treatment (like pot? Hmmm). The interwebs are raving about it. I’ll pick some up at Trader Joe’s and report back.

4. Running – There’s nothing like an endorphin release, right? Sadly, I’m having those running related anxieties, so it’s not quite the same high.

5. Cleaning – Chaos begets chaos. Clean is the way to go.

6. Reading – I’ve started reading before going to bed, and I think it’s actually really helping me! I know when I was in high school nothing put me to sleep better than my required reading assignment… HardyHarHar.

7. Xanax – Why not just bring out the big guns? Kiddingnotkidding.

What do you do to quiet your brain?