Why I (Occasionally) Wear My Fitbit

I get it. We all have fitness goals. Run farther and faster. Weigh less. Be stronger. And a Fitbit or other weight loss device can really help to motivate us. We set goals and track our meals. But then we’re all like, “I can’t walk any farther because I’ve met my goal for the day, and I don’t want to over do it and lose steam for the rest of the week.” But at least we’re trying, right? 

And don’t get me wrong. I totally appreciate having a little thing that helps me get up and go. Because that’s not exactly easy when you have a desk job. And it’s not exactly easy when you’re just an all around busy person, like we all are. 

But these were my thoughts before I realized that with a fit bit, you’re never really alone

Like, instead of running along a path, getting a workout in, in complete silence,  your Fitbit vibrates because someone’s texted you and you can read it on your Fitbit. I mean, how am I supposed to get into my run, enjoy nature and the sensations of my body, if I’m being reminded that I’m still connected to the real world? If I can read texts on my wrist? 

And it distracts me all day long. Because how do I ignore something that is right under my nose?
I know, I know. I could just turn off the alerts. But wouldn’t I miss being constantly in the know? And when does this become a concerned citizen discussing a pervasive issue to a bratty twenty year old something’s entitled rant? (Yes, I have a Fitbit. Even though it scares me to own one, I have one.) 

But maybe that’s what our new reality is. Our technology has just become a part of us, and we have to stay connected, no matter what. 

And like it or not, tech is pushing forward…by sometimes just making us do push ups. 

MLK Day

“You cannot kill an idea.” – V for Vendetta

But a man? Yes, you can kill a man. Even a man who stood for something as important as what MLK Jr. stood for. Maybe that man does even more dying than any other man because of that. Because he’s remembered for the sacrifice he’s made in the name of an idea, every year, and very little for who he was. Because he’s quoted and photographed and photoshopped and read and reread. And suddenly he becomes synonymous with the idea that he once stood for and transcends humanity that way. 

And with all that said, it’s hard to live up to the idea, especially for the idea that MLK was/stood for. Equality. I mean, how do we do that? How do we start over? (And we still need to start over, even decades later). 

We take one step at a time. We start small and we do it today. We give kindness, in small acts, and in this way we move forward, and very slowly, we change things. 

It was just an idea at one point. And he was just a man at another. And you will perform just one act of kindness. And someday, we’ll all be really happy with the progress we’ve made. 

At least, I hope. But at least there’s still hope to be had. In large part thanks to MLK. So, don’t forget to thank him today. Always for the person he was and always for the idea he gave us. 

Sugarcoatin’

Today, it was pointed out to me that I like to sugarcoat things. 

Like, oh, your house is on fire, but it’s not that bad! It’s just mostly singed. And at least you won’t have to pay your mortgage this month! 

And I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I mean, who likes to tell people bad news? But I think my dislike of telling it like it is goes deeper. Because what if *gasp* people don’t like me if I tell them the cold naked truth? So…I don’t. And then what happens is that people feel good when they’ve left an interaction with me but they also haven’t gotten the whole picture. 

But I have to tell myself that people may not like you for a moment, but they’ll appreciate your truth in the long run. I mean, what if a newscaster sugar coated the news? We’re facing just a bit of a nuclear war crisis and just having a touch of global warming. But it’s not a big deal. Mars is habitable. 

Or what about doctors? I mean, it IS cancer, but think of it as an opportunity! You’ll get so many cool wigs!

The point is no matter who you are or what you do, you shouldn’t have to be worried that people won’t like you just because you need to tell them something they don’t want to hear. The best interactions in my life have been when people were brutally honest with me when I needed it. And I don’t mean being Simon Cowell honest. They just made me face facts. 

So, don’t overthink it, and lay off the sugar. People will appreciate you slimming down the truth. 

Excited?!?

So, are you excited to get married?

Are you excited to move? 

Are you excited to buy a new mattress? 

Yeah, sure. I’m about as excited as getting a problem tooth pulled. I’ll be happy when it’s done, but there will be a lot of pain in the meantime. 

I mean, why do people ask if you’re excited about huge life changes? (I know. Where did my status as an optimist go?) But don’t they realize how much stuff (aka money, energy, tears, potato chips) goes into making a life change? Because I’m super tempted to tell them the truth. Just in case they really don’t know. 

And I guess it is exciting from the outside. When you’re not involved and you don’t have to stay up late picking napkin colors and wrapping yourself in packing tape. You’re blissfully unaware, and that must be so so nice. 

The point is that the next time you’re going through a life change and someone asks if you’re excited, think about telling them the truth. And then bite it back and tell them that it’s “great!” Because maybe in convincing them, you’ll convince yourself. 

The Next Time Your Train Catches on Fire

I’m a pessimist in the worst of times. And I’m a pessimist in the best of times. I don’t know; I just can’t help but see the negative side and err on it. 

I mean, I’m not really a half empty kind of pessimist. I’m more like “that guy probably has a knife and he’s probably here to kill me” when I’m in the self checkout line at Target pessimist. 

But today, I experienced something a bit different. You see, I was evacuated from my train home because it was on fire. Yeah, you can read that again. I’ll wait. 

So, a whole train of people were evacuated onto a street in the freezing cold winter air, coughing from the smoke. And when we came above ground, we realized we were not exactly in the best part of a city that’s not exactly (or at all) the best. 

But something came over me. Instead of freaking out and giving into the tears pressing behind my eyes at being in a place alone and not being sure how to leave it, I started to take stock. I had gloves and a hat to help against the cold. And my phone was charged, so I could make any number of calls to get me out of here. 

I guess in emergency situations, after your mind does the freaking out part, you have no choice but to look on the bright side of things. It’s what keeps you sane. 

And maybe, this blog is really rubbing off on me. Maybe I am really learning to look on the bright side. Maybe I’m a born again optimist, or I’ll be there someday. Or maybe I’m just wayyyyyy too used to our country’s transportation systems and dealing with crises. 

The point is that the next time your train is on fire, try to find a silver lining. Because chances are it can’t get much worse. And if it can, there’s always something to be hopeful about. 

That’s Life. 

So, I was going to write a post about something really trite and how you should take time for yourself and yada yada and there would be a cool metaphor tie-in at the end like there always is and you could get on with your weeekend. 

But I have a question instead. How do people live life? No, I’m serious. This is not a metaphor or even an existential question. I want to know how people live with their whole life hanging over their head. The disappointment and fear and hope and joy. Like, every opportunity you do or do not take shapes you. And no matter how much you want something, it doesn’t matter, not even a little. 

I mean, I wanna wake up covered in burritos with Ewan McGregor singing “Elephant Love Medley” next to me in bed every morning. But what does that have to do with anything? (Good question.)

It doesn’t have anything to do with anything. I mean, I might as well be a dust mote floating through a sunbeam rather than a sentient being, that’s how much my wants and desires matter to the universe. That’s how little

And the thing that really gets me is that good people don’t get the things they want, no matter how hard they desire it and wish for it and want it. Like, how do we deal with that? Hard work means something, for sure. But what about the intangible? Just the want of something? 

And all we have to show for wanting something when we show up to the competition and don’t even receive a participation trophy is someone saying “that’s life.”

Well, this is my rebellion. Just for one night, I’m going to say that “that’s life” just isn’t enough for me. I want to know why it just doesn’t work out for two people who love each other, or why that job wasn’t a perfect fit, or why people who never mess up get hurt when other people make mistakes.

For one night, I want to know why. 

But I don’t think I’d even be comforted by the answer. Because that’s just life, isn’t it? And we’re all comfortable with the knowledge that it just doesn’t work out sometimes. 

And so am I, usually. Just not tonight. 

Up All Night

“Look at us, baby, up all night.” — the Eagles 

“Nothing ever good happens after 2 A.M.” — Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

These are my favorite quotes about staying up late at night. And they have another thing in common: they tell us that staying up late is definitely not a good idea. Like, bad stuff goes down. And then you’ve absolutely messed yourself up for the next morning when you’re groggy and sleep deprived and so ready to drown yourself in a vat of caffeine. 

But what else are you supposed to do? When the sun sets at 4:45 and your body starts to fold in on itself with the hope of going to bed, how do you let it? Don’t you have to stay up late? 

My answer is that you do. And it’s actually another one of my resolutions. I’m going to be staying up later each night. Why? Because I don’t have enough time during the day to do the things that I need to. But more than that, I don’t have time during the day to do what I want to do. Which makes Bailey a dull girl. And a very uncreative person. 

I mean, just about every successful person, at some point in their career, has dedicated their time to doing what they wanted to do. 

And a lot of those people swear by getting up in the morning, making some strong black coffee, and doing that thing before life really begins, so that they can have some time to dedicate to their passions. 

And there’s those people and then there’s me. I love my sleep, don’t get me wrong. I’m going to actually dedicate my first book to my pillow because it helps me fulfill my dreams (what?), but if you want to get something done, then you have to …um, do it. And because we’re all overachievers, and we have lives, sometimes the only thing to do is stay up until midnight a few nights a week and resist the urge to get some shuteye in order to do what I wanna do. 

And I can’t wait to stay zzzzzzz…..

Resolute/Resolve

So, what are your New Years resolutions?

C’mon, don’t act like you didn’t make them. Don’t pretend like you’re too jaded for the new year. (Although I will admit, you can start to be a new you any day of the week. You really don’t need to start at the new year.)

So, why didn’t you?

I think the biggest reason people don’t make resolutions is that they think they need to “resolve” something. They think they need to start at square 1 and be at square 365 by the end of the year. That everyday needs to be pure progress instead of one step forward and two steps back.

But that’s the nature of things, really. It’s a process, not a one and done. It’s why you should think of yourself as being “resolute” in your resolutions instead of resolving something. Just be firm in what you want to do and you won’t notice that the problem at the end of the year isn’t fixed. You’ll just be happy that you focused on something for a whole year and put your energy into it.

So, what are my resolutions? I have a lot to be “resolute” on, but here’s a couple:

  1. Lose weight

I’m sure that one is no surprise to you, and it’s probably on your list too. The problem is that it’s really generic. You need to set goals and deadlines for weight loss goals, not just say you’re going to do it. Like, I’ll lose 2 lbs. by March 1, etc. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll set your goal really high but will be really happy with any progress at all. For me, I’m going to try to eat less carbs and focus on meat and vegetables as the main part of my diet. (What do you expect? I have two food allergies! There’s not much left!)

2. Learn a new language

Not every resolution has to be about making yourself better. It can just be something you want to do. Focus your energy on learning something specific like a language or a hobby, and you can count your time working toward your goal just by reading about it on Wikipedia. (It’s a lot less strenuous than exercising!)

3.  Notice more

Sure, I can achieve this just by putting down my phone when I’m  walking down the street. But this also means noticing when I’m happy and noticing when my body is sore and when I’m thirsty and when I’m bored and everything around me. Because we internalize a lot of things all day, but when was the last thing you actually noticed something? Really took it in? (I’m hoping this blog will help!)

And that’s it! Have a great year out there! Just remember to be resolute, not resolving!

Miss Me Yet?

Well, hello there.

That’s right. I’m back…for the fifty-third time. With a new domain name: baileydailey.com.

Yup. I have an official website now! You can tell your friends to come visit my site and comment on my posts without having to join WordPress.

The question is why. Why do all of this?

For a lot of reasons. But the only reason that you need to know right now is that I appreciate all of you reading this. And that it has been a dark time without this blog in my life. And in general, it has been a dark time for everyone, if social media can be trusted about 2016.

So, I wanted to revive this blog to remind everyone (dailey) that there are good things in the world and that there are good people. All we have to do is focus on those things. I know that’s hard, but I’m here to help.

And that’s it. So, tell everyone you know that I’m back. And I intend to stay.

Love,

Bailey

It’s a Nice Day for Nuclear War

Caffeine makes it hard for me to go to sleep. No, really. And I think it definitely has a weird effect on everyone, in one way or another.

But the other night? It was weird on a whole new level. (Except for that time where I couldn’t remember how old I was, and since I am really bad at math, I thought I was a whole year older and got upset that I wasn’t living life to the fullest. Oh my god, you have NO idea how I wish I was making this all up).

As I lay awake in bed, quite literally staring at the ceiling and wondering why my head wasn’t as blank as it was, I started to worry. No, that’s not the right temperature of things: I panicked.

I kept envisioning these horrible scenarios about my life and I couldn’t help how they turned out. Then, my brain pulled the worst Jenga piece out from the leaning tower, and asked me the following question: “What if there is nuclear war before I can get married, in a year and a half?”

And I know, I know. Just like a true bride-to-be, I’m thinking about myself before the whole world. What do you mean you don’t care which color napkins we pick? This is a matter of national importance! I bet President Obama would never stand for this ugly shade of mint!

But breaking out into a cold sweat, I didn’t rationalize this thought away like you would think I might. I metaphorically patted myself on the head and said, “Oh, well you and your fiancee are about as close as you can get to being married anyway. Haven’t you lived a long enough life?”

Weirder still? That crazy psychology actually worked on me. I calmed down; my breathing and heartbeat slowed. But not before realizing how absurd it was that I think that I could ever stop nuclear war from happening anyway. I mean, it’s coming.

Look at America. We have Donald Trump (in which many a psycho, and perhaps many a sane person, would line up to be able to say that they were the one who took him down) and we have a woman (in case you haven’t noticed, I’m not sure if all of the world is #withher or not, simply because she’s… a she.) I mean, we’re on the brink of something, and shave my head and call me Sinead if it isn’t something violent and ugly. And yes, perhaps nuclear.

So, look. I’m not here to spout off my opinion. Heck, I’m still on hiatus for all it’s worth, and there’s no way that one lowly blogger’s opinion is going to rise to the top of this political trash heap of bad hair and bad pant suits.

Because I can admit when I don’t have much power to control something.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t vote and change things (hopefully for the good). I hope you remember that, too.