Thankful Thursday

Each week we encourage you to tune in, join the discussion and pass on your own thankful thoughts!


We are thankful for the ability to stop.  How often do you just stop what you’re doing, not because its the end of the day, or because you have to–but because you want to?  Give yourself time.  It is the greatest gift–even if its only 10 minutes.  Stop, and take a moment, or three for yourself today!

We are thankful for fast connection.  It is so easy to talk to people these days–remember 20 years ago when we just had land lines and the internet was just starting to go public?  And now you can talk to anyone or look for anything instantly.  Yes, it has trained us to need things more instantaneously, but it is a lovely thing to be able to connect with so many, so easily.  Today is National Presidential Joke Day AND National Sons and Daughters Day–maybe you should take this as a sign to reach out and share a joke with a friend (so many Trump jokes pop into my brain), or reach out to a son, daughter, or someone who is a son or a daughter!

Comment below with what you’re thankful for, and post on social media with #thankfulthursday #liveclarelesley

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Life is too short for bad coffee

If you’ve been reading my goals posts, you’ll know that I’m struggling with my brain not liking my waist–I mean I’m human, so who among us does like our bodies more than three days in a row?

So I’m sitting here this morning, a lovely sunny summer Sunday in NYC, and enjoying my coffee.  There is nowhere I have to be today, I do have a few obligations (phone calls), and errands, but nowhere I have to be.  And I’m taking a lovely sip of my French pressed coffee and as I swallow, I’m realizing for the first time in weeks, I’m actually enjoying my coffee.  Its warmth, its nuttyness, its robust but creamy taste; as the warm and and the caffeine hit my system, I’m slowly awakening into, and becoming a part of the world again.  I’m drinking it out of one of my seven favorite mugs–If you’re an original follower you might remember that I’ve moved six times in three years–so I’ve dwindled down my coffee mug collection, so I have exactly the number of cups (that I LOVE) for the number of days in the week.  I’m drinking out of this beautiful oversized bone china tea cup–I can’t get away from working for three years in a fine china shop–all of my dishes HAVE to be quality!  I’d decided to enjoy my coffee and read a little (my roommate loaned me her copy of Warrior Goddess Training to assist my brain realignment with my body issues) as the sun and the breeze stream into my NYC apartment, and the coffee is bringing me into life and bliss, I’m realizing: this cup of coffee is amazing, and life is too short to drink crappy coffee.


Let me back up a little, and bring you to the pinnacle of why this realization is important.  For the past six weeks or so, I’ve been trying to drink alternative coffee.  As in, I like my coffee lightish and sweetish.  I don’t need it to taste like a Werther’s Original, but I don’t need to suck on coffee grounds, either.  The easy way to deal with this is to buy those presweetened flavored creamers.  Which have a lot of sugar.  I’ve been drinking these for years…. but I decided that a good way to cut my sugar intake was to take the flavored cream out of my life.  So I did.  I tried almond milk.  I tried unsweetened almond milk.  I tried cashew milk.  I tried sugar alternatives.  I tried just milk.  I was so unhappy–I tried to make alternative coffee work… but it just wasn’t the same.  Yeah, yeah, first world problems, I totally know… but its a fine line, isn’t it–the difference between taking care of one’s self well, and what we’ve deemed as a first world problem.  I mean, its one thing to complain about creamer when,  I realize, there are people starving in some countries, and I sit here and complain about finding a creamer that tastes good, but won’t add five pounds to my waist whenever I have a serving.  But this is about me taking care of myself.  Which is also a fine line.  When do we treat ourselves well, or when do we “take care of ourselves”.  


I’ve never been starving–I’ve had an extremely low or a negative amount in my bank account many times.  I’ve lived off of, and stretched food because of poor choices.  However, I also have gone the other direction and found myself eating just to try to make myself happy (aka have been extremely overweight because I was eating because I was depressed).

I’m not the most regimented of people–diets just don’t work for me… I find I become very irritable (aka an extreme bitch) and they never have anywhere close to the results I want (my stomach isn’t much flatter, and my thighs didn’t shrink).  However, I am good at moderation–I’ll happily have a handful of chips and stop.  Or one serving of ice cream.  I’ll have the yummy treat, but then be done.

As I get older, I’m seeing my metabolism slow.  I’m witnessing that 10 extra pounds of happiness each decade.  I’m probably more healthy than I’ve ever been, as living in New York makes me move and climb and walk much more than I’ve ever done in my life.  And yes, I actually go back and re-read my own blog on loving the skin I’m in now every three months or so.  But the voices in my head, will loudly remind me that I’m not as skinny as I could and hope to be.  Most of the time, I can tell those voices that I’m beautiful no matter what size I am.  Like Warrior Goddess Training, and other books like it I’ve read, tell me that its the size in the person not the size OF the person that matters.  In other words, confidence is what is beautiful/sexy/attractive.  Shape and size are all just perspective.


So back to my coffee–I’m reminded to return from my tangents to the original thought that started this blog because I just got myself a refill.  My mom was in town visiting me last week, and I bought flavored creamer for her–as I was finishing out my round of caramel flavored almond milk–still not a winner.  This delicious Hazelnut International Delight creamer was left over… and so coming from a “don’t waste food” home, I’m drinking it.  And for the first time in weeks, I’m enjoying the coffee.  The interesting thing is that it was too sweet and creamy on the first sip, so I watered it down with milk–and ultimately making it a little healthier.  A little.

Maybe my enjoyment comes from the fact that I’m drinking something I really like. Maybe my enjoyment comes from the fact that two weeks ago, I threw up my arms, went out and bought fat shorts and decided not to give a fuck about my weight.  Maybe the realization comes from the conversation I had with my roommate last night about “overweight” being the line of discomfort that you cross, and not the size of your clothing.  Maybe it comes from the price of happiness is worth wearing a size larger shorts this summer (and the understanding that the last two summers I was doing a lot of hiking and walking for my jobs, so I was more active albeit a smaller waist size). Maybe its something entirely different.  But this morning, in my one size larger shorts, I’m enjoying this cup of coffee and not caring about anything else.  And that’s the point of living, isn’t it–to deal with the ups and downs, and to enjoy and revel in as many moments of goodness as you can.

I’m going to finish this cup of coffee.  Let me know what you like to enjoy and revel in!

–Clare

 

 

 

Perfect for someone

This morning while running around UCLA I was listening to this weeks episode of the “Being Boss” podcast.  They were interviewing artist Brenda Mangalore about her transition from working in the corporate world as a web designer to living as an artist. An artist who gets paid to do what she loves. She would pray that she wouldn’t have to go into work each day. One day this made her wonder. Why do I not want to go to work? It’s a perfectly good job. Great job really. That’s when she realized that this perfectly good job was perfectly good for someone else but not her.

Perfection is very attractive. We tend to all be striving to do something or multiple things perfectly. It’s easy to want to be the best. Perfection is a bright shiny object. It’s like a moth to a flame. But we usually fall for perfection on paper. Because as we know “Perfect” just doesn’t exist.

This all got me thinking. I remember setting my goals about 5ish years ago. I had some great goals about work that I wanted and can now look back and see I have achieved. But some of my personal and health goals. Well they were perfectly good goals. Goals many people would have understood and even supported me on or joined in with me. But, they didn’t really light my fire. I actually kept postponing them, making excuses of why I shouldn’t do them. Which got me wondering…why someone who loves achieving goals is literally shoving goals in a corner. Oh, because these goals were perfectly good for someone but not for me.

Here are a couple of other “perfect” journeys:

Perfect Job: As you know if you have been reading our blog for awhile I have twice left salaried jobs for something else. Something my heart was yearning for. Something bigger than what I was doing. Both times I was expecting people to be as excited as I was for this next adventure. What I found when I told people I was quitting my job was shock, concern and worry. Most people said “Are you sure?” There were only a couple people who were supportive in a way that didn’t feel like they were waiting for the bottom to drop. I even felt like some people thought I would change my mind. Both jobs on paper were pretty awesome. Decent work schedules, good pay, room for growth and the ability to lead others. But both had run their course. Both jobs were perfect for someone else but not for me.

Perfect Mate: Just like in my jobs situation when I left my ex I had more people as me “if I was sure?” Plenty of people reminding me I could always go back. Most people just didn’t understand how I could leave a relationship that was “working.” My ex was a lot of things that many people would want. He has even recently married. He was perfect on paper, a great person but just not the right mate for me.

I think it’s important for us all to take time to do inventory in our lives and see where we are keeping things because they are perfect on paper or because they are “perfect” for you.

Do you wake up and dreading doing something you used to love?

Do you find yourself wishing you would wake up sick so you don’t have to work?

Do you sometimes wish your significant other would break up with you?

Are you making excuses for not doing something you say you want?

It’s not easy to give up with “perfect on paper” situation. But, what if you could? What would it take to give it up? Do you have to save up money, take a class or classes, move somewhere? Vision your life doing what’s right for you instead of doing what’s right for someone else. Then take that leap of faith! I promise from our end you’ll get lots of high-fives.

I left that perfect job and perfect mate and am thousands times happier. Life would have been fine if I stayed. Life is so much fuller because I did me. I through out that perfect paper and just trusted my vision. It’s so worth it.

I highly recommend listening to the full podcast episode. It’s always incredible to hear how someone went from the 9-5 job to rocking their bliss. We all have our own journey. I’ll repeat that, we all have our own journey. Enjoy yours!

xx~LL

Ways I’m trying to quash my jealousy. 

Jealousy is an interesting feeling. It comes up suddenly and inspires all sorts of feelings: rage, disappointment, loneliness, insecurity, to mention a few. Jealousy is the really frustrated and angry feeling of desire or need for what someone else has. According to Psychology Today “jealousy can strike…when a third party threat to a valued relationship is perceived…”

Now, I don’t get jealous easily. Sure I’ve felt my share of envy: wanting a certain role now, or a new flute in high school, wanting the drive others have to make their careers work.  I am envious of many people, but very rarely jealous.  And although similar, they’re far from the same thing.  Lately, I’ve been suffering tremendously, painful jealousy.  One of my friends seems to spend so much time with another friend and it drives me crazy, nee insane. Al, my friend, seems to continually post on social media every time they hang out. They see each other multiple times a week. They’ve been on vacations together.  And with it in my face constantly, I find that I’m actually doubly jealous because I want a friend like that, and I want to be that to my friend.  I want that, but for some reason can’t have it.  And I don’t know why.


Jealousy is not a fun way to feel. It’s anger and neediness all rolled into one. According to Psychology Today, it’s a survival skill that arises when a relationship feels threatened.  And I guess that is where I am. It’s an odd feeling–I rarely feel threatened.  But for some reason, this friendship I do. I just can’t be all the things that this other friend is to Al.  And I don’t know why. Which makes me seem inferior and unworthy, which makes me jealous and depressed. And the cycle doesn’t stop.

Relationships are chemical. All relationships. Romantic or platonic, although we’re more forgiving in the platonic kind. However this chemical attraction is what keeps the relationship going. We have to work hard on all relationships. We have to come forward, or in my case, let others come forward and take ownership of the relationship as well.  When one person doesn’t seem to put forward as much as the other, it’s frustrating. And it gets worse when they put, what seems to be more effort, towards another person.

I’m jealous because I want to be everything, but I can’t. I want to be as important to Al as he is to me….and I want to believe I am, but for some reason I don’t trust the fact. I don’t expect any of my friends to solely focus on me. That would be narcissistic and boring. But at the same time, I’m jealous that my friend seems to spend a lot of time with another one of his friends.

In a conversation tonight with my friend Dee, a nail was hit on the head. Dee tossed the painful realization at me that I’m seeking to fill a void in my life and seeking to fill it with people who aren’t correctly suited to do so. Instead I need to find the strength within myself to be complete, and not wait around for my friend Al to come dashing to my side–because that has never happened, and probably won’t.


As I’m writing this, I’m babysitting and watching the end of Big Hero 6–the kiddos started it before they went to bed and it’s running in the background. And I do love this movie.  Sorry to ruin it for you, but in one of the final scenes Beta Max says to Hiro–who doesn’t want to leave him– “I will always be with you.”

The Universe always sends the message we need, doesn’t it??

Trust.  Trust is the antidote to jealousy.


I have to trust my friendship.  It is important.  My friend Al does make time for me and is happy to see me, but for some reason I forget that the moment I see a picture on social media.  I have to create a strong talisman against this jealousy. So what am I doing to make this better?

  1. Breathe.  Yeah… this is ALWAYS my first step–but its important to do.
  2. Get it out physically.  DON’T HURT ANYONE, but a nice jog or a hearty physical workout always helps get the emotions out of my body.
  3. Block social media.  I took a break from my friend.  I hid him for a couple of weeks.  If I want to text or call or email, I do.  But I’m taking a social media hiatus until I can handle it again.  (After all, social media isn’t real life.  Its what people want you to see.)
  4. Journal.  And blog.  And talk to friends.  Get it out–otherwise it festers.
  5. Rational conversation.  When I’m ready, I’m going to have a rational, unemotional conversation with my friend–I actually have had this conversation with him a few times.  Every time he always hugs me, tells me I’m silly because he loves spending time with me.
  6. Know your pressure points.  Like in step one, I know that social media pics and posts push me over the edge.  You can’t avoid the pressure points forever, but know when you are about to steer into a situation that might set you off, either mentally arm yourself, or know you’re about to snap, and try to restrain your feelings.

I would like to make clear that I’M NOT a psychologist or psychiatrist.  However I do know people, and I am trying to learn my own mind.  Jealousy is not an easy emotion to deal with, and I certainly haven’t mastered or overcome it yet.  I would love to discuss this with any of you!  Please leave comments or suggestions!!

–Clare

Six ways to find your inner strength

You know what is amazing? Strength. And even more amazing than the strength itself is finding it unexpectedly inside you.
Lesley and I have been “live blogging” our goal reports to you weekly. We were inspired to do this because we were commended by a few readers when we announced we met a goal, and we thought that it might be a fun journey for you to take with us…because although the achieving is great–the journey is always…interesting. Also, posting publicly our goals is not only a follow-able journey, but it keeps us honest and on top of things we deem important. Things we need to work on to make ourselves stronger.
One of mine is fitness. I believe I wrote in my original post in January that my fitness goal is to find something I stick with and will make a habit of, as I am one of those who will work out for a bit doing one thing and will get bored and will just stop doing it. I want something I can practice regularly and keep doing.


Among the three things that seem to have stuck are Sun Salutations. I started just doing 4-5 every morning. This in itself was a struggle for a few reasons:

I’m out of shape and my upper body strength sucks

I’ve never been good at Downward Facing Dog

I LOVE waking up slowly: having a cup of coffee and just sitting for an hour or more in the morning.

If I’m working, I set my alarm until the last possible moment I can so I get all the sleep I want.
This was the beauty of sun salutations. A few can take as little or as long as I want. If I want to, I can do them quickly while my coffee is brewing and they don’t take any of my precious “Me” morning time, or my getting ready for work. Contrarily, if I want a more intense workout, I can stretch longer and deeper.


Now, any of you who have taken yoga know that Sun Salutations can take on many forms, with different poses in between. I generally have a plank pose in the middle of mine (prayer pose, down into a bend, lunge one leg back then the other to meet and go into plank, then lower down before pushing up into cobra or up dog, then push back into down dog, then waddle my way forward into half bend, then up into prayer pose. Repeat).
Back in college I took a few semesters of yoga, and I remember being extremely proud of my pectorals (aka, I had perky boobs and they were even better with strong muscles underneath-hey, I never said I wasn’t vain!) and loved yoga because of this. I also loved yoga because I could do it. I’m tall and strong, but wasn’t physically fit. And I loved that I could do yoga, be challenged, and was getting stronger without too much sweat or pain.
I chose to dive back into yoga this year, at least minimally because it works with my schedule and I can be the master of my own workout. I can go at my own pace–whatever that is that morning. And I can work as hard as I want to.


Again, my goal this year was to find something I would stick with. An addition to walking my 3 mile average that I walk daily in NYC. Something a little extra that I would want to do and can keep up with regularly. Losing weight and health and gaining muscle, blah blah are great–but my ultimate goal is to find something I’ll stick to. Something I won’t cringe at doing. Something I’ll just DO. So my body doesn’t go into rigarmortis before I die.
And it’s working. I’m doing 5-8 sun salutations in the morning. I aim for 8, but if I’m not feeling it when I first start, I do what I can and come back to them later. When I first started doing them, my body was like: “GURRRRRL. What do you think you’re doing?!?” But this morning, I found myself holding plank for 10 seconds each time without shaking arms, and holding down dog without wanting to cry–something that even at the peak of my previous yoga tenure, seemed to happen regularly. In other words, this morning I found myself stronger.
After only practicing a minimal amount daily, I’ve gained strength. My practice is maybe 10 minutes. I don’t really push myself. I don’t strain or hurt. Which is good because a lot of times I’ve stopped whatever workout because it hurts or I’m tired. And then I get out of the habit.

This may not be a surprise to a lot of you, but the secrets to getting stronger are:

1. Do something you can do regularly if not daily. If you can fit it in your schedule, you’ll keep doing it. Gretchen Rubin says in her book about habits is that it is easier to keep doing a habit then it is to not do it. So to quote the famous Nike ad campaign: just do it.

2. Find accountability–I think what gets me through the hump is that I blog about my progress weekly. I know people will read or will ask and therefore I am more willing to commit and stay accountable.

3. Make it convenient–I do my yoga in my living room while the coffee is brewing. Practice instead of staring at the percolation process pushes me to do it and get through it. I also like the challenge and the blood pumping!


4. Go at your pace–I know I like to feel successful about working out, so I start low and when I get confident I add more. I started with 5 sun salutations every day. I’ve added three more, and spend more time in each pose. Some days I add push-ups or add a Warrior or Triangle pose. When I feel good, I want to keep going. You could be the opposite–and that is fine. Do that. Go your own pace. No one else’s.

5. Know your goal. Maybe this should be first, but know what you want out of your pursuit. I would love to be skinny, but I know that “thin” isn’t a strong enough motivator for me. There are just too many amazing things to eat and too many things I would rather do than exercise. Therefore a “health” or anti-stagnant goal is great for me. Know what you really want so you can know what your focus is.

6. Don’t expect results or be upset if they don’t come right away–results will come, don’t get me wrong. But it might come in different forms. I lose weight in the three places I feel fattest in, last. And it never fails that I always feel larger/fatter within 3-5 weeks of working out. It just happens. Part of it is because I’m looking more closely. Part of it is because I’m expecting my body to lose weight. When I don’t expect my body to do things, it shows me results. Like being stronger.


Knowing these things will help you focus on creating and sticking with a habit that will eventually grant you the strength you slowly will work up to. You’ll get there!

–Clare

Goal Update 2016 #18 LL

Wow, I cannot believe May is literally halfway over. I have to say it’s been a crazy wirlwind of a month. I have some very exciting goals updates for you. Sadly, I cannot give away lots of details but just know it’s super exciting.

Business: I had an amazing meeting with my team and we are gearing up for some big projects. Our efforts have yielded some great responses. Now, it’s time to start aiming a little higher.

I also have been hoping for 2 huge things to happen. In the last 2 weeks I have received word that both these dreams would be coming true. Something I didn’t even think would happen this year. Just shows everything happens the way it is supposed to. Don’t worry I will share the deets when it is time.

Health: this week is my doctor appointment. Goal get my stomach and my body to work together is still in progress. I am feeling 60% closer to health already.

Personal: My hubby and I have worked hard at tackling our goals together and I am happy to say that our financial goal and our puppy goal are on track!

This week it’s all about follow up! Planting seeds is only good if you plan on watering them. I’ll be doing some watering this week. What about you?

xx~LL

7 Ways to Get Through Professional Loss

Within ten days, I lost a gig making a nice pile of money, and I lost a role that I thought was mine.  It was a rough week–two separate losses that I was not expecting but had planned on. I could have gone into a very dark corner and stayed there for a bit; weeks; months. I could have taken both inward and beaten myself up; berated myself with asking: why?

Truthfully, I feel mildly like a child complaining that “its not fair” what happened to me.  I’m frustrated that things didn’t go my way.  But after crying over one, and stamping my feet over the other, I came to the conclusion:  these things weren’t meant to happen for me.  I took a deep breath, released my frustrations and moved on.


Seriously, this overwhelming sense of calm came over me both times, and I realized that no matter how much I wanted these situations to happen, no matter how much I wanted this role and this job, no matter how big they were in my brain, neither one is meant to be mine.  Neither one is meant for me.  My time is to be spent elsewhere.  The thought that  I’m not meant to be (for you Hamilton fans) “in the room where it happens” is frustrating because I had been planning on both of these activities for a few months, plans were made around them. Obviously, I was not living in the moment and counting my chickens before they hatched. But, to quote Robert Blake, sometimes “the best laid plans of mice and men go awry.”  Or maybe they weren’t the “best” plans.


Part of the reason I felt release from these disappointments go because although I wanted both situations to be in my favor, it truly feels like neither is the right direction for me to move in.  I cried about not getting the role–I wanted it; I had been talking to one of the producers for about a year and a half about playing this role and was over the moon when I was asked to audition for the role. And I suffered panic and confusion for about an hour over the gig–I wasn’t able to work because I was short a qualification and I sent emails back and forth trying to figure out how to rectify the lack. Neither, although both I want terribly, are the way I’m supposed to travel in my life.


Its an interesting feeling, because once I came to terms with both of these adjustments in my life, I feel better.  I don’t feel bitter or angry.  I’m not trying to bargain to get back what I feel I’ve lost.  I’m not crying anymore–I did over the role for about three hours, but I’m a highly emotional being… it makes me a great actress.  I’m at peace.

How did I get there–actually I didn’t know.  Loss of something is hard. Loss of something you know is yours, is even harder. But as I wrote this blog, I realized, these were my steps:

  1. Be Upset.  Seriously.  When I found out, I called my mother, who told me it was ok to cry about my loss.  But I could cry about it that day, and then I had to move on.  I was given the permission to be upset, and a time limit for my grief.  Now, I realize this time limit thing doesn’t always work for everyone, but it really helped me.  I cried it out and was done.
  2. Breathe.  This is usually my step one, but you need to get the bad stuff out before you can take the good in.  Deep breaths help you remember that you’re still alive; that you’re still able to do many things.  True this didn’t work out.  True you wanted it.  But you’re still breathing.  Hear Viola Davis tell you: you is kind, you is smart, you is important.
  3. Take a minute.  Its ok to just chill out and just go through the motions of your days for a bit.  Get back to a stasis and an unheightened state of emotions.
  4. Tell yourself you’re going to be ok.  Keep telling yourself this.  There is some reason you’re not supposed to be headed down that path–and whatever it is, I’m sure its a good reason. 
  5. Look forward.  This step might come a few days or weeks after loss, FYI.  What can you do next?   What is the next step?  What is it that you needed out of the situation that you didn’t get?  (One of mine was money, the other was getting to fulfill a dream.  So for me–What other ways can I make money and what are other dreams, or other ways I can complete this dream?)  Is this the right direction, or should you head in a different one?
  6. Look backward.  Wait on this step until you’re emotionally clear–note you’re not allowed to beat yourself up with this step–its introspection only.  Was there anything you could have done differently?  Was there anything you can still do?  (Also make sure you’re not pathetic about it.  Needy and pathetic won’t get you far.)  Chances are you couldn’t have done anything differently–but note ways you could be more concise in the future.
  7. Make a new plan.  Do you want to head in the same direction?  Do you want to try a completely different goal?  For me, I’ll always keep auditioning–that part will come around again.  For the money, I’m realizing I’ll be alright with out the extra income, and I’m just trying to figure out how to deal with my finances with out the extra padding.

When faced with loss, you have to keep living.  You have to keep going.  Don’t let loss cripple you.  Take time to mourn, of course, but don’t let it be the anchor around your neck. Sometimes loss makes us refocus.  Sometimes loss saves us from ourselves.  Don’t harp on the past–instead take this lesson and move forward.  We only have control over the present.  Make it count.

Good luck!

–Clare

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Is There Merit in Laziness?

I was at work a few weeks ago, and I heard a co-worker quote Bill Gates: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

 

I’m having a hard time with this one. I’m not lazy. I’m an over-thinker, overachiever,  exuberant bundle of knowledge and positivity. No I’m not writing out my hedgehog for Danielle Laporte… Well. Though it’s kinda where this started…

Wait, let me start at the beginning. I’m an actor in New York City, which means in any given week, I work up to five different jobs, plus my free time is spent looking up auditions or going to plays.  I’ve never been a lazy person.  I started babysitting when I was 13, and had a job ever since. When given a task to do, I want to get it done. I do work first and have fun second–in fact, I usually can’t have fun or even relax if there are unfinished things to do. I’m not so crazy that I’ll get up and scrub the kitchen sink in the middle of the night, but if I’m in bed and I’ve forgotten to do something or get a grand idea, I get up and do it, or write myself a note for tomorrow.
Downtime is a thing I cherish. I love some of my TV shows and I’ll make time to sit and watch them. I love reading and I try to find time to read each day. I understand the desire to relax and do the “wants” in life and not the “needs.”  Believe me, I would much rather watch The Blacklist, rehearse plays, and sit around drinking coffee with my friends.
I’m always looking to entertain, be entertained, enlighten, or be enlightened.
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But lazy…let’s discuss this. Lazy people, if we use Bill Gates’s definition, will get things done faster because they want down time. They will find the most direct solution.
Lazy people make time for themselves. They take down time. They sleep. They relax.
Lazy people lay awake at night and don’t worry about being the best because it requires too much work. However, they will do just enough to get by.
Lazy people figure out how to get other people to do their work for them because they don’t make the effort. Thereby they free up their time to do what they want.
Lazy people almost always own up to being lazy.  And they don’t care that others call them that.
So, to all my overachievers, here are the lessons you should take from The Lazies.
1) Find the direct way to do something. There might be a better way, but sometimes you just need to finish. If you have time, you can go back and tweak and polish.
2) Take downtime. You NEED to sleep. You need to decompress. The more time you allow yourself to relax, the heather and more alert you will be.
3) Stop with the stress. I read something recently that said Worry means you’re thinking about the future. depression means you’re
Thinking about the past. Stop doing both and live in the moment. Tomorrow will get here whether you worry about it or not.
4) Delegate or ask for help if you can’t do something. Someone else can take care of that task if you can’t. Sometimes just the act of asking for assistance allieviates some of the stress.
5) Own what you are. I’m a busy driven woman who will make time for TV–it’s what I choose. Deal with it.
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I’m still not convinced that lazy people have it all right, but there is
some merit behind the behaviors of the lazy. (Now stop reading and procrastinating and go do something productive.)
Clare
 (And if you’re wondering… the lazy baby picture–that’s me.)
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2016 Goals update #2–Clare

My relationship with money:

I’ve got a note pad page on my phone and I’m noting everything I spend.  UGH.  I HATE writing down every purchase.  I feel like it might be easier if I just walked down the street tossing coins like rose petals.  This is a blindfold removed from my eyes.  Grace says to spend normally so we can analyze… but its really hard.  I’ve stopped myself a few times when I should have spent something.

Finding an exercise routine I can stick with:

A lovely reader suggested I put exersizes on slips and draw them from a jar. Which sounds fun…but I haven’t done it yet. I also look across to Central Park (I live around the corner, not ON the park) and think: ooh the blizzard left some snow, that would be fun to run in…but I haven’t yet–I talk myself out of it thinking of the cold and the wet.  I’ve realized that I need to keep myself accountable in the health and exercise world. So, I need to pencil in time to do that AND/OR have an exercise buddy–LL and The Husband did this, and they RAVE about it, they even make it happen while on vacation.. but I don’t even have a regular routine for anything in my life. The closet thing is morning coffee… but even that varies some days.

I miss living near my friend Bryan–I literally walked uphill in the snow to go to the gym with him, a few times a week. It was great because we would get on the treadmill and gab–so 30/45min would go by and I didn’t realize it.  I kept that up for a couple months.

I really WOULD love suggestions!!

Book Publishing:

One step forward, two steps back, is what this project feels like at the moment.  I just want to get it DONE!!  Working on finding copy editors… if you know of anyone who works cheaply and is good, please leave a comment or email me their info!!  liveclarelesley@gmail.com

Finding an agent:

Took an acting class this week and met a casting director of a theater I really admire.  It went well. So fingers crossed. Signed up for another acting class next week!

This week was harder than the last… but the second week of anything usually is… breathing and powering forward.  Its too early for a Trough of Sorrow!!

 

 

Your Greatest Mistake?

What was it? What mistake was your greatest? The biggest, best mistake ever?!

As you may know from some previous blogs I am a podcast lover. I really enjoy listening.  Mostly I listen to other authors podcasts.  I wish I had more time to read but I don’t… so, I listen to their podcasts and then if I find myself say YAAS!!! High fiving the air, I buy their books.

On a recent podcast I heard the interviewer ask the author: what was your greatest mistake? What was you best mistake?  As someone who lives without regrets I have to admit I was caught off guard.  I didn’t understand why anyone would want to think of their lives and highlighting mistakes. But, then I got to thinking about all of my “mistakes.”  I thought about the stupid boys I dated.  The jobs I have had.  Not saying yes to some experience,  or saying no to someone.  Then I thought about where I am today.  I realized I had some great mistakes.  I have had some of the best mistakes ever–I am so happy I have had them.

Let me explain, I believe everything happens for a reason.  Not that anyone of us deserves bad things to happen, but that sometimes things that feel bad, seem bad, or just are bad are part of our path to greatness.


When I left my ex, it sucked.  I felt terrible for hurting him. I struggled financially, emotionally.  I questioned for a bit whether or not it was the right decision.  In the healing process I thought about the “Red Flags” of our relationship. I didn’t want to repeat my past.  I realized that had I said no to one of the dates in the beginning, had I dated others had I stopped things when my gut said to.  We probably wouldn’t have made it 5 years. We wouldn’t have probably made it past a few months.

But, if I hadn’t dated him I would not have learned what I know now about myself.  I wouldn’t have written my first book most likely.  I wouldn’t have known what I need out of a relationship. I wouldn’t have been prepared to meet the man I was meant to marry.

So, one of my greatest mistakes were all the bad dates I went on that got me here today.   Had I not had all those I would never have realized true love, true romance, true teamwork and true partnership.   Who would think that thousands of bad dates, and a perfect-on-paper relationship would lead to a happy marriage to someone else, a book, and many other successes, including this blog?!?

You may be sitting here, reading this and saying “Lesley! I am in a huge issue now. This could be the biggest mistake of my life. It doesn’t feel good. ” Like I said before, it didn’t feel good after all the bad dates. I truly wish I could go back to my twenty something self and tell her “this is going to suck at the end. But there will be a pot of partnership gold at then end of the storm.” Oh, how I wish! Sadly, readers, we don’t get that. We can’t take our future selves to our present selves and tell them “Everything will be ok.”


We can trust, though. Trust ourselves. Trust the Universe. Today prepares us for tomorrow, next year and fifty plus years from now. If you are feeling like you are in the worst mistake ever and you don’t know what to do. Here are some tips for you:

  • Don’t make any decisions right away. Get your breath back to normal.
  • Tell yourself how much you Love yourself, trust yourself and want and deserve nothing but the best for yourself.
  • Remind yourself you are being molded for the future. You are growing. Growth spurts don’t feel great while they are happening. But when you’re “taller” you can see the bigger picture.

  • Journal. Write and write and write. The first half will be your brain the second half will be God.
  • Get grounded! Lay on the ground. Put heavy blankets on top of you. Eat heavy foods (yes, I am saying to eat heavy foods) warm and heavy foods. Drink hot fluids. You need to feel whole and warm and soothed.
  • Just Keep Swimming. It’ll all make sense one day. That day isn’t today. Lucky you, you don’t have to have the answers now.

This brings me back to the beginning, what was your greatest, best mistake? Share them with us and our readers. The beauty about life is we are not alone. Your story can help so many others grow!

Xx~LL

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