Monday, September 30, 2013

Cleanliness next to Godliness, seat 12E

As I sat on the runway yesterday, I realized that it was 4 years exactly since I sat on a similar runway, awaiting life in NYC after moving from Michigan. (I have some deep, poignant thoughts on the past 4 years, but for a later time).

My clothing, however, was decidedly more frumpy this time than the last. After traveling in Colombia for 10 days, I had worn everything already, so I wore the least wrinkly of the bunch.

Not a big deal. But it also would have taken 30 seconds to pack an extra clean shirt and would've made the journey a bit more enjoyable. There's also something really nice about realizing you've thought ahead and want to make your future self more comfortable (also the reason I feel nice about putting $$ into my 401k).

Lesson #62: If you can, save a clean shirt, socks, & underwear to wear on a return trip home. Pack them in a separate compartment so you don't even remember you have and accidentally wear them prematurely, if that's what it takes. You will appreciate traveling with the small luxury of wearing something fresh, and others around you will as well. The other option is just to do laundry on your trip. I will spare you an explanation of how fashion-conscious New Yorkers are, but it is nice after being away several days to at least manage to at least wear a clean outfit (even if a giant backpack offsets anything cool looking about it).

And whether or not it's fashionable, I take this seriously: "I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn't itch."  -Gilda Radner.

hammock dreams about colombia, not clean clothes.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

look ma, no makeup!

“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.”
― Yves Saint-Laurent

In trying to think less about my appearance, I actually feel quite vain writing a post on my own makeup habits.

But here goes.

This past Monday, I didn't wear makeup to work for the first time in a long time, maybe ever (as an adult at least). Sure, I have plenty of weekends and vacations where nothing touches my face, other than SPF 30, but the thought of going to work without at least a touch of makeup seemed beyond strange.

Logistically, I saved minutes in the morning, rubbed my eyes as often as I pleased without worrying about smearing anything, and let my hair get as wavy as it wanted. I kept feeling like I was forgetting something all morning, though, and it helped me realize just how ingrained my morning routine was.

But most importantly, it felt really good. A little vulnerable but also clearer, somehow. By Tuesday, I was kind of relieved to put on a little concealer + mascara (+ bronzer and blush, if you must know), but it was nice knowing that none of it that necessary. I also feel kind of embarrassed by how much I worried about it for the first couple hours - what, is someone going to point out the blemish on my chin or my unadorned lashes?!*

Lesson #61: people care a lot less about how you look than you probably expect. But ultimately, it's what you think that matters anyway - so if you want to wear makeup, do it! if you want to try a day without it, do it! if you never want to wear it, don't! just don't expect anyone to notice and/or care.

Which hopefully isn't the case for this post. But, being true to this lesson, I don't think it would bother me either way.

And for proof, here is a photo. I also feel silly even posting this but now I'm officially part of #MakeupFreeMondays, at least this once.

here I am, smirking at the fact that I would write about this and also post a photo of it.

*a couple weeks ago, during a leisurely breakfast on vacation, I unknowingly dropped a large gob of grape jelly on my collar bone. The woman sitting next to me pointed it out. Her friend added, "Oh, I saw that but decided not to say anything. I thought it was a birth mark."

Monday, March 18, 2013

luck o' the west village

Tonight, while I picked up groceries on my walk back from work and started noticing how much snow was coming down. Then I heard the faintest sound of Irish bagpipes...

Though my fingers were near frost-bitten, I had to turn the corner and continue towards the music, as if entranced. (maybe the Pied Piper was Irish after all?)

lesson # 60: let your neighborhood surprise you! and by all means, when you hear beautiful traditional bagpipes, stop for a moment and listen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

kickin' habits

Given today is Lent, and the new year started just a few weeks ago (okay, 6 to be exact), I'm thinking a lot about habits and the ones that I'd like to add to my life, as well as those I could probably do without.

Two years ago for Lent I gave up nail biting, and I'm still going strong today. I may not have the most manicured hands in town, but I'm proud to have a little white on the ends. I feel good every time I polish them, remembering how many years and times I thought I was a nail biter for life. I have also mostly stopped touching my mouth and lips when nervous, and both of these habits being broken has resulted in an unexpected side effect: getting sick less frequently. The flu shot and getting more obsessive about hand sanitizer has also helped.

This year, I want to add something. I will meditate daily and try to remove stressors from my life. Starting with Lent, 40 days, but hopefully continuing.

You know what's a big stressor to me, but one that I haven't been able to break? Running late. So so often. It doesn't always bother me, but when it does, it can feel soul crushing and anxiety provoking to say the least. But I learned a small trick to help with at least the traveling part of it, thanks to @seancarlson.

Lesson #59: The worst thing about running late and trying to catch a train is to have insufficient funds on your metro card. You hear the train swooshing past as you curse yourself for your lack of foresight, walk out of line and then defeatedly over to the card kiosk to add funds (hopefully using hand sanitizer afterwards, because even though you missed the train, you don't want to ruin your next week getting ill). What's the alternative? Refilling your metro card as you leave the train station, once you've already gotten to your destination. Even if you're in a rush, it is so much easier to refill your card (when low) as you exit the station than it is as you enter.

The nice thing about this tip is that it takes exactly the same amount of time and requires just a second of proactive thinking to potentially save you a few minutes (as well as stress).

Oh, and happy new year!