This is Marriage 3

My husband and I went on a little road trip to Joshua Tree the past couple days. It was lovely, getting out of dodge, and being out with nature. Yes, it was over 100* so I had to mostly be indoors with AC or outside in a pool, but still, it was most relaxing.

On the way up (about a two hour drive from where we live,) I saw my husband was in a bit of pain with some foot trouble and also, in a bit of an agitated mood because of work stuff and a limited food diet.

The old Christina would have not liked it. She would have drawn attention to the mood and asked why the hell he was starting off our mini-vacay with the attitude…. full disclosure.

But now, nearly five years into marriage, I know myself better and I also know us better. I know that I have the power to take him out of this mood because I know what makes him tick and I’m learning what he needs.

The last thing he needed was for me to come at him. Even if I had a point, it would be far from helpful.

No, I knew he needed to have his cup of coffee and he needed me to just listen. I also knew a healthy lunch spot would put a smile on his face so I let him choose and I also knew he responded to touch so I made sure to hold his hand, give him hugs and just let him know I was right beside him.

And it worked!

Well, if that’s not growth, I don’t know what is.

 

Saying Goodbye When It’s Time

I said goodbye to a friend this week. And no, before you think the worst, no one died. Only the realization that two people should not put each other through trouble anymore. When expectations of what being a friend means differs tremendously between two people, it’s time to end the pain.

And that’s okay.

Full disclosure, a regular question to me over years would go like this –  “She’s doesn’t seem that happy with you. Why are you friends exactly?”

While differences can be part of the fun, if those differences cause someone pain, well, time to cut the cord, no? It’s okay not to be friends with everyone.

I mean, come on… different strokes for different folks.

It’s quality. Not quantity.

Friends compliment life. And when necessary, they challenge you. But if they try to make you something you are not, to fulfill their needs, then… is that friendship? What’s worse is if they try to make you feel bad, over and over again, for being yourself, then it’s clear they’re not happy with you as a friend and again, why are we friends exactly?

Not easy, though. Especially when dealing with human emotions.

But I’ve learned over the years that friendship is whatever a pair defines it to be. I have been blessed with dear friends I’ve retained since my teens. And while we may go a year without talking, we know we care about each other as life moves swiftly and we go in different directions.

Friendship is what you make of it. If both people really want to be in it.

“Real friends were the kind where you pick up where you’d left off, whether it be a week since you’d seen each other or two years.”

 Jojo Moyes, One Plus One: A Novel

 

 

 

 

 

11 Things I Discovered While Staying Home #coronavirus

It’s been weeks since we’ve all begun to “social distance” ourselves from one another and opt to stay home except for the bare necessities. And then came the orders to do so… FYI I’m in Los Angeles, one of the worst hit but we’re doing okay, relatively speaking, as we shut everything down early on…

During this time of being homebound, I’ve made some discoveries that I’m thinking I might not have, if this virus never came about…

Inspired by John Krasinski’s Some Good News, I thought I’d pass them on, not only to share but to commiserate and laugh as a whole. I’ll be ignoring the basics, like how fast a bottle of hand sanitizer can go or the fact toilet paper is a hotter commodity than food, and sticking with more, let’s say, odd ones…

11 Things I Discovered While Staying Home #coronavirus

1. There is in fact a limit on how much I can sleep a night when given the freedom of zero alarms – eleven hours!

2. Showers can become such little priority that, well, I won’t even write how long I went without noticing I hadn’t taken one… (hint: how many sides to a square?)

3. I love the hell out of my husband. He’s my best friend who makes me laugh from the gut. Now, I know. This should have been a given, not something I am just now discovering, BUT as someone who loves, loves, loves alone time, this could have gone two ways when forced to be together nearly 24 hours.

4. It pains me to say this but reality tv is insanely awesome to binge on. I can not get enough of Married At First Sight. 

5. I miss my job. Truly. And again, this could have gone one of two ways….

6. My OCD (yeah, I’ll admit, I’m clinically diagnosed) has finally served me well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Most of this COVID protection shit, I’ve been doing for years…

7. The Couch. All hail the Couch.

8. I’m a pack rat in the oddest sense. I throw most things out but adore hoarding free samples, receipts from every damn thing I’ve ever purchased over $50 dollars and office supplies. Clean out your stuff and trust me, you’ll learn a thing or two about yourself…

9. There is a BIG difference in having kids and not having kids. HUGE. MONUMENTAL.

10. Bad habits can be more dangerous than this flippin’ Covid-19.  B.E.W.A.R.E.

11. Nature always wins. So, why do we keep betting against it?

Revisiting Sex And The City Fifteen Years Later

The other day, I decided to turn on Season 4 of Sex and the City. No reason for selecting that particular season, only that I saw it on my Amazon Prime homepage and thought, wow, it’s been a hell of a long time since I watched the show that meant the absolute world to me way back in the early 2000s, so why not put it on while I decorate….

Well…. one thing led to another and I watched the entire season – all 18 episodes – in a matter of five days.

And yes, I will admit, watching in hindsight makes me realize it wasn’t as far-reaching or convention-defying as I thought it had been but still… at the time, it pushed boundaries the status quo imposed and allowed women to explore their sexuality and individualism in a way no other show had before. It empowered a whole generation of people.

And it showed women were not the lesser sex; simply a different sex than the one who had been dominating.

For all I mention, I will never forget this show. Sex and the City made me feel not so alone, not so crazy to want to explore life rather than have children right after college (or ever, for that matter) and defined us women as strong, powerful humans with the expectation to have every right a man has. It didn’t show us in the kitchen or watching children, it showed something else I will state after a quick story….

Post college, my dear friend would recap entire episodes since I didn’t have HBO (or a TV for that matter, haha!) She would detail every moment, every scene, and I was captivated, waiting until I could make it over to her place to watch what we had just discussed and dissected.

Watching the show present day, however, showed me the difference in which I viewed the material, especially in relation to marriage.

When I was in my twenties, or even early thirties, I wasn’t sure marriage was for me. I thought perhaps I liked my independence just a tad too much to be good for someone or have someone be good for me, not to mention I had determined children were not going to be in my plan, so that was limiting in selecting a partner as well. You’d be surprised how many men want children. Not just women.

Exactly the type of material Sex and the City explored, right? Which is why I loved the show so damn much. It was almost a religious experience for my friends and I, but that’s another discussion…

Now, though, having found a man whom I genuinely want to spend the rest of my days with, I realize Sex and the City no longer confirmed my singlehood, but rather, what it really did, at its core, was show us CHOICE.

And I will never forget that it did that for me and still does. And I’d imagine a ton of other women would agree. I believe it gave us, in particular me, a voice that marriage, kids, sexuality, all of it, was a matter of choice, not a predetermined route to be defined by society or religion or anyone else other than the person(s) involved.

So, thank you Sex in the City, and Sarah Jessica Parker, and all those who created the show, for having the courage to do so when it wasn’t in vogue or so readily accepted, and while, sure, if the show was made today it would be different, what it was is precisely why it was so perfect at the exact time it was made.

It helped paved the way to be where we are today.

And that is a beautiful thing. At least to me.

#sexandthecity

 

Relationships 401

It’s interesting. Today I was watching an episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s show “Comedians in cars getting coffee” and it was the one where he had Julie Louis Dryfus on.

The camaraderie between her and Jerry was obvious and you could see he adored traits in her that were enviable, even after all these years. And she saw him, faults and all, as her comments attested.

But at the core – they really got each other.

That’s flippin’ important in any relationship, no? Friendship… Romantic…whatever…

But it also begs the questions – do you have to almost envy the person you’re with in order to want to be with them? And if you strive for the best, should that only be within yourself or does that include your partner too?

What say you?

Losing 20 pounds – post 8

Okay. It was a slow start getting there but I finally made it to the gym.

I’ve been twice now (Sunday and today, Tuesday) and I AM SORE.

SORE. SORE. SORE.

I worked muscles I didn’t know I had. I learned what a tricep was (totally thought it was somewhere else on my body, haha!) and I breathed deeply, going for it.

Now, I’m a lucky girl. My trainer is my husband (he did it professionally many years ago) and he is very good to me. He keeps me on my toes but knows when to back off. Gentle with his gym-virgin wife yet firm. And even though he tries to be serious, his loving nature shines through as he teaches me.

Everything you want in a trainer, right? ;)

But it comes down to me. And I’m determined. Four times a week is the goal, even though I now fully understand what is meant by “no pain, no gain.”

The gym and weight training is no joke. It’s definitely NOT the easy way, which I realize I had been trying to take since I started this journey, eight posts ago. But no, life took that idea and had a good laugh with it.

I haven’t weighed myself on purpose this week. I don’t want to do it daily, but rather weekly, and track it over time to see if I am losing weight.

So, please stay tuned and see along with me if I make it below 141 after my very first week EVER at the gym…

 

 

Losing 20 pounds – post 7

I did it.

I joined a gym.

This is a first for me and I’m not going to lie. I feel… nervous and apprehensive. I always pictured gyms as large sweaty rooms full of people trying to show each other up. I’m hoping I’m wrong but I guess I won’t know till I’m there.

Fortunately, my husband is a trainer-quality gym-goer so I am in very good hands for my first session, which will likely be tomorrow. If it wasn’t for him,  I’d be struggling far greater. I truly have only been inside a gym maybe three times my whole forty-year life.

I want to slap the 28 year-old me who took for granted a super fast metabolism. I should have been nurturing it and appreciating it.

But yes, hindsight is twenty/twenty.

Now, pictures of myself are becoming harder to look at. Quite simply, I am not happy with the way I look.

I should mention this is extremely personal. It is NOT a statement on how others should feel about themselves at any given weight. It’s about feeling good about oneself and if there is something you want to change to make that greater, then you should, as long as it’s done in a positive way.

For me, this means losing twenty pounds. That’s my truth and what I’ve determined will make me feel better about my body and my health. If I want to be around for a lot longer, I have to take steps to help ensure that, no?

And I’ve tried the past several months and appreciate all of you who have come along with me, but now, still weighing in at 141, I’m pulling out the big guns.

I’m a certified first-time gym member.

Stay tuned…

 

Being Alone

As most who know me know, I love being alone.

I can spend days, if not weeks, without human contact and not even bat an eye. I’m not saying this as some badge of honor or anything. Merely as a fact about me. And one pertinent to what I’m about to tell you…

Recently, my husband was heading to the East Coast to visit his mother for some one-on-one time. I was planning to stay home and enjoy my alone time.

Well… things didn’t go exactly as planned.

It just so happened that my grandfather passed away and his funeral was scheduled during the eight days my husband was also away, so needless to say, my alone time at home was interrupted with a four-day-trip to New York.

I had a day alone before flying to the east coast and then I had three days alone after returning.

I know this sounds ridiculous but I was savoring each one of them.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love and adore my husband and we are seriously perfect for each other BUT we BOTH work from home and though our apartment is nice and large, our kitchen is the size of a bathroom (not kidding!) so when we’re both in there, moving is difficult. For someone like myself who loves (no, needs) alone time, this is all very difficult. I also work nights part-time so my sleep schedule is all over the place.

Anywho…

My grandfather’s funeral was beautiful and we celebrated him with love. I have no regrets and loved him very much.

When I returned home, I was keenly aware of my alone time countdown. I reverted back to the Christina who lived alone for seven years. I pee’d with the door open, I walked around with zit cream on, I worked wherever and whenever I wanted. I slept soundly as there was no one there who could wake me up. I cooked what I liked and didn’t care if the house smelled of shrimp (my husband despises it!) All in all, I had a good time. Not gonna lie.

I was so enthralled with this aloneness though, that I shared a little too much about it with my loving partner, who needless to say did not care too much to hear about how happy I was living it up in Aloneville.

Our reunion wasn’t as heartwarming as it should have been and I take the blame. Rather than express how much I was enjoying being alone, perhaps I should have told my husband how much I missed him.

But the funny part of this whole story, the reason I am writing this long tale, is that I didn’t realize I missed him until after he came home.

I know. Crazy. But that’s how it went.

First, I started to see how nice it was to have him by my side at night. Falling asleep on him is one of my favorite places in the world to be. And sleeping alone, though it was great to sleep diagonally in silence with all the covers, didn’t seem as significant as before. And when something good happened, like when a piece of mine got published, sharing it with him made it so much more meaningful than smiling to no one in the room.

I also realized coming home from work to an empty place isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Sure, the freedom to do whatever you want is tempting, but much less satisfying that coming home to a smiling partner, who is waiting to eat dinner with you and genuinely tells you they missed you all day.

But what really got me thinking was a few days after my husband returned, I shared with him how much I loved him and that I try to learn about us and grow every day and how I want to show him this more… and you know what, it turned around his entire day, taking it from a shitty one to not so bad.

Love is powerful.

It teaches us daily if we’re open to it. But with it, comes responsibility.

Thank you, Don. For putting up with my demand for alone time but you know what, I might not need it as much as I thought…

 

Losing 20 pounds – post 6

Hello again. It’s me, the same 141-pound woman who is trying to lose weight but keeps failing at it.

I’m still at that above weight mark. Fortunately, I haven’t gained more but I am not losing either and am getting beyond frustrated.

But then, leave it to my loving husband, to bring me to reality and tell me the real reason my weight loss plan is not going as well as I’d hope –

I drink too much wine.

There’s nothing like a glass of wine or two after a long restaurant shift but that’s 300+ empty calories I’m taking in. There’s nothing like a glass of wine as I write my latest article but wouldn’t some green tea be a much healthier pairing? There’s nothing like a fun happy hour on the weekends but really, is three glasses necessary followed by more at dinner?

When I think about how much I involve wine in my life, I realize it’s likely the reason I am struggling with losing weight. As my husband pointed out to me, my eating habits have gotten healthier and are not bad. It’s the extra calories and carbs that come along with this beloved beverage of mine (yet another unhealthy one…)

So, here it is. I need to be honest with myself. I am going to drink much less. I will likely be grumpy about it but I know it will help with my weight loss goals, not to mention it’s just plain healthier living.

Wish me luck. I’m gonna need it.

And thank you all for following along on this journey of mine. Your support means a lot to me.

XO

Family Is Love

Hi All!

I made a little one minute short film with my niece and nephews this weekend to submit for a filmmaking grant by Moet Champagne.

If you have a moment, please visit it’s site here to watch and vote if you like it!

Children are everything. Let’s celebrate them.

http://www.moetfilmfest.com/entry/family-is-love

Thank you!!