I. Am. Tired

Author’s Note: This may be the last you hear from me for a little bit. Unfortunately, my computer passed away, and I will need time to find a replacement. I will do my best to post when I can. Thanks for understanding!

I’m exhausted. I’m drained. I’m tired. And I have spent the last hour debating on whether I should even write tonight, or if I should just sneak off to bed and deal with the mob and the pitchforks outside my window tomorrow. Because, as I’ve stated, I’m exhausted. I’m drained. I’m tired.

And the more I think about how tired I am and how I have virtually nothing to say to you, kind people of the blogosphere, I realize that I do have something to say to you: I’m exhausted. I’m drained. I’m tired.

Because I got to thinking: why do we say we’re tired? Just to complain? Or are we letting ourselves know? Are we finally acknowledging it out loud? Because if you’re anything like me, you’ve been attempting to stifle any exhaustion for weeks now. You’ve satiated your body with quick cat naps and promises that you’ll tuck yourself in early tonight.

But work calls. A reader out there needs you. Or maybe it’s just a really funny cat video. But we all know the end result: you’re up to see the sun rise as well. And if we don’t admit to ourselves that we’re actually in pain from ignoring our own needs, if we pretend that being tired is our norm, it becomes this heavy suit of armor that we wear all of the time that protects us but drags us down.

So, I’ve realized that this little phrase “I’m tired” is more than a complaint, more than a compromise. It is actually a part of a huge revolution. Admitting it to yourself will help you to take the necessary steps to take care of you, in whatever way possible. Sleep, health, relationships, whatever. I’m tired is the beginning and ending of any change you want to make in your life. You simply have to be tired enough of your current lifestyle to make the leap.

And make the leap I shall. Tonight, it is only the leap into my bed. But tomorrow? It shall be the world.

5 Things You Can Do Instead of Making a Resolution This Year

If you didn’t know it by now, it is the end of the year. Yes, if you have avoided all of those weight loss/gym commercials, if you haven’t see all of the ads that show people drinking out of plastic champagne flutes, if you haven’t been on the Internet to see every blogger telling you how to love yourself and make this your year, then congratulations. You’ve stumbled across this blog, and you will inevitably have to hear all of this from me.

Or will you?

Actually, you won’t. In my opinion, you shouldn’t have to wait an entire year to start your life over, to pick up a new leaf. But if you are looking to make a change this year, you don’t have to chip away piece by piece at resolutions. You don’t have to torture yourself with an unused gym membership or self-degrading sticky notes that remind you of your commitment.

Instead, let’s take stock of what our resolutions are all about. Let me guess: you want to lose weight, find happiness, travel more, fall in love, and be a better person in general. But do you know what you really want? You want to leave the routine that you currently inhabit. That’s all. And believe me, that does not require an entire resolution. Why put yourself through all of that pressure anyway? Why shackle yourself to something that may not even apply to you in a few months? Why don’t you resolve to ignore your resolutions and do one of the following?

1. Say Yes More

– We all know the story. You’ve had a long day. You are looking forward to unwinding in front of the television or behind a book. Really, you’d prefer to stay in on this Friday night. But stay in every Friday night? I didn’t think so. Unfortunately, you are in the habit of saying no, and your friends are now able to predict your answer. Well, you should surprise them by saying yes next time. Actually, you should surprise everyone by saying yes to anything you would normally pass over. It may have been easy to get into this routine, but I promise that it will be just as easy to get out.

2. Count Your Blessings

-Any way you want to do this is fine. Write all the goods things that have happened in a year on pieces of paper and put them in a jar or place little pebbles in a box, one per happiness. However you do it, you should simply be conscious of the fact that there are great things happening in your life. It takes the focus off the painful agony of invisible progress and gives you something to celebrate right now.

3. Read a Book

-Maybe I’m biased (okay, not biased, just flat-out opinionated), but reading is a panacea. Books can educate you, comfort you, and inspire you. But the best part? When you finish a book, however small, it feels like an accomplishment. It feels like you’ve conquered something. And trust me, if you need something outside of your routine, books can take you there. Nothing can fill you up with wanderlust for places you’ve never been and homesickness for places you can never visit like books.

4. Be Present

-The real reason you want to start over this year and make it a year to remember is because the last 365 days have started to run into each other, and you’re not really sure if anything memorable happened last year. That routine you’ve been inhabiting is simply a symptom of staring at the clock, willing each minute to pass so you can go home and do it all over again. It’s why you’ve felt like your life isn’t amounting to anything. Instead, try to stay in the moment. Don’t think about the next second, just enjoy this one. And if you need help practicing, try to pick up meditation (yes, there’s an app for that) or keep a daily journal (or a daily blog, for that matter!).

5. Restart Everyday

-Yup, it’s New Year’s day and everything is shiny and bright. And then what happens on January 2nd? You are in the snack cabinet, scrolling through a dating website,  half-committed to everything you said you would do. You then find yourself cursing the new year before it has even started. Do me a favor, and cut out those last few steps by just starting each day anew. If you made a mistake yesterday, don’t let it stain today. Every day should be a new year with fresh beginnings for you to carve out for yourself.

So, don’t worry about running on the treadmill or traveling the world. Take one day at a time and get a library card. 2015 will treat you just fine.

It’s The Sap–Sappiest Season of All

I’m a sensitive person. I tear up a little when Oprah gives things to people. I smile uncontrollably and coo when I see baby animals do something cute. I see it as a personal attack when people don’t say, “have a nice day!” You know, I’m just a little thin-skinned. (Okay, okay, I have paper skin of the same hue, but let’s not split hairs.)

But thankfully and magically, the holidays have changed that (or at least, they have made my affliction less noticeable). Around this time of year, I am suddenly surrounded by a cloud of sentimentality from the people I interact with daily. What is it about this season (the end of one year, the beginning of the next) that makes people bust out their tissues and tell you how they really feel about your relationship? Like, if I don’t see you for the rest of 2014, I need you to know that I really enjoyed your company for the past 360 days. Could this be the result of the proximity of our loved ones? Or possibly some commercialism brainwashing?

Wherever it comes from, I think it is wonderful. Finally! says the CareBear inside of me, Finally, we’re expressing our feelings in a meaningful way! Group hug, everyone! No, come on, get in here and get your pipin’ hot slice of love!

And I do love it. I’m so thankful that people are a bit more free with their feelings, a little bit sappier around this time, so their loved ones and acquaintances receive some type of acknowledgement for everything in the past year. After all, everyone wants to be reminded of what their presence means to someone. That’s a no-brainer.

But what isn’t a given for everyone is that he or she will have another year to spend with you. So, don’t forget to spread the love around more than once every December. Remind your friends, family, employees, and acquaintances that you are glad that you’ve crossed paths on this great journey of life. Believe me, you’ll be happy you said something when you did.

Author’s note: I will not be posting for the rest of the week, but I hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday! Love, BaileyDailey

How To Give This Holiday Season

It does not matter what you celebrate. There is always a moment in the holiday season when you will say, “Crap. I didn’t get something for so and so.” Or “So and so bought me something, but I didn’t get something for them.” And you end up re-gifting something in your own closet or bookshelf just because you don’t want them to think that you are a bad person or that you weren’t thinking of them.

Unfortunately, I can’t help you with that little scenario above. That is going to happen until the end of time. I bet cavemen even did that. Like, Ugh, I got a rock for Bah, but she did not get anything for me. I’m going to write about this on my cave wall diary. 

Because people are forgetful to start with and that will only increase every year around this time.

But I can help you with deciding whether you should get someone a present in the first place. You know, when you aren’t sure if you should give a gift because of some awkward etiquette rules or because you think that they won’t get you something in return. Well, I’m going to make this seriously easy for you. Do it. Get them something. Something small, if you must. But just go ahead and do it.


Because there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a gift for someone that has made your day or helped you along the way. Don’t think of it as a preemptive strike. Just think of it as putting good vibes out there. Making someone smile. There’s nothing wrong with that after all, and as far as I can tell, there will never be.

Your mailperson, zumba instructor, favorite barista, co-worker, boss, dog groomer, toll taker, pizza delivery person, masseuse, hairstylist, or caddy will not forget that you thought of them this holiday season.

So, forget the rules. Forget that it might make a situation awkward. Instead, think more of what conversations it could start up. What you might gain from a thoughtful gift between you and a new friend.

Think of what could be, instead of what is. That is what the holiday season is all about.

That is Not What I Meant At All; That is Not It, At All.

That is one line in “The Love Song by J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot.

It’s a gorgeous poem, and if you get a chance, you should read it. (I’ll even pardon you if you must leave this blog to go read it. But you should come back because I have other things to say.)

Although the poem has such gems as Do I dare disturb the universe? or In the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo, the most powerful line for me is the one I’ve inserted into the title.

Because it’s absolutely mad.

I mean, you have to be a famous poet to write that line. To suggest that when people misinterpret what you say, you will have the chance to correct them. Wow. I mean, that deserves some applause. “That is not what I meant at all; that is not it, at all.” Do you know how the world replies to that? Too bad.

Because everyone is off and judging before the word “go.” Anything you ever write or say or do is going to be misinterpreted and misjudged. Whether you meant anything by it or not, people will read between the lines that you never intended. I wish there was a nicer way to say this, but chances are you will never give off the impression that you want. Meaning is not for you to hold on to; it is for the world to decide.

So, if it doesn’t matter what you mean, why am I telling you this? If you can never make people understand your exact vision, then what’s the point?

The point is you can’t hide because you aren’t sure of the impression you will make. Simultaneously, you cannot try to tell people that they aren’t understanding you correctly. Because that’s an endeavor in futility. It’s like standing in a modern art museum and trying to convince everyone that every piece deserves to be there. It’s simply not happening. Besides, in everyone’s minds, they are the masterful painter of their own reality, not you.

So, let people think what they will, and try your best not to correct them. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, whether you believe it or not.

Believing in Belief

Every holiday season, the “b” word starts to form on a lot of people’s lips.

No, not that “b” word. (Although I am sure you could find some use for other “b” words in your vocabulary.) I’m talking about the other “b” word. As in, “believe.”

Suddenly, around this time of year, we are asked to believe in miracles, in Santa, in people. The holidays seem to be formed around belief.

But what about believing the rest of the year? Does belief take its own holiday? (Looking at religious institutions, I am sure that many religious leaders will tell you that it does.)

But why? Why do we only emphasize belief once a year?

Well, I say we should do something about it. We should start inviting belief in out of the cold before the holidays. We need to start believing in belief all year round.

Because belief changes everything. When you believe in yourself, you own the room. When you believe in a higher power, you feel secure and loved. When you believe that people are terrible and capable of nothing, well, you know what to expect when bad things happen, now don’t you? Belief will keep you young at heart, no matter how old you get.

And belief costs nothing. It does not expire. And just because someone may have a different belief than you does not mean that yours will be lessened.

Of course, I understand why people don’t. Belief in anything, not just religious faith, makes us vulnerable. It suggests that we have a weakness. It gives our enemies the rope to make a noose. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we allowed ourselves to have beliefs, then we could then tolerate them in others.

So, this holiday season you should give more. You should smile more. And of course, you should believe more. But after the holidays are done, you should keep belief around. For those resolutions that you rarely, ah, resolve and beyond. Make belief as real a part of your life as the stress is, and you will be able to balance it all out. Believe me.

Why I Don’t Hate Humanity

Believe me, it would be easy to do so.

In the past 24 hours, I have heard on the news that a man killed his ex-wife and all of her family. I heard that a man held a number of people hostage in an Australian cafe. And finally, worst of all, I heard that 130 children were killed in Pakistan due to a terrorist attack.

Of course, I heard about all of this because our media holds closely to the adage: “If it bleeds, it leads.” I know all of these details because the bad dominates the good in the nightly news. And, if you were listening to the nightly news well, nightly, you may hold to the impression that humans, on the whole, are going to hell in a hand basket of their own making.

And if you believed that, well, I couldn’t very well tell you that you were wrong. Because that is what it looks like right now, doesn’t it? If I was an alien, swooping in from outer space, I would probably hightail it out of the Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, I would let the humans duke it out instead of using my own alien firepower to dominate the race. As an alien, I would grab a snack and watch the show.

But of course, this is all because we’ve been stretched as tight as drums and instead of admitting that we have a problem or that we need help, we’d rather grab a gun. It is fascinating that in a time of extreme connectivity, in a time where all of your friends and family are a text away, that so many of us should feel so alone, so ostracized. But we all do.

So, why don’t I hate humanity for all this? Why don’t I hate them for not recognizing all of this before it is too late? Is it because I am human too? Is it because I recognize that everyone has a good side and a bad side? Is it because I know that everyone is fighting a hard battle inside? No. Although I wish I could be a better person myself, believing all of that.

I don’t hate humanity because we are incredibly predictable. For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction for us. If there is love in the world, then there is hate. If there is violence, then there is peace. If there is pain, then there is joy. No matter what, there is an equal amount of everything.

It’s a beautiful system. Because whenever there is ignorance and darkness, there is someone trying to provide knowledge and light. Now, there is such a thing as a false sense of justice. Sometimes the tidal wave of humanity is too great to squelch a single evil thing in the world. We crush it and smother it, and that means that a great thing cannot rise in its place because it has been doused too quickly. We can’t learn from it. So, we must be careful of leveraging too great of a remedy for too small of a poison and vice versa.

And mind you, I said I don’t hate humanity. That’s a far cry from loving them. But I’m working on it. One day at a time. Because as I’ve said, when there is room for hate, there is also room for love.

Progress from the Passenger Seat

I wish I could tell you that my shyness was this cute, quirky trait that allowed me to win over my current boyfriend and star in my own rom com.

But it’s not. It’s this debilitating fear of doing anything outside of the ordinary, of pursuing any spontaneity, that makes me toss and turn at night.

Cue a year ago, when I accepted a new job and had to make the long trek into mostly uncharted territory, I was more than terrified. I was paralyzed. Thankfully, my father was kind enough to take me down several routes so that I was ready for this new aspect of my life: commuting. We spent an entire day driving every possible way, him narrating the rough spots, where to merge, when it would be busy. And me, recording everything in my mind.

Fast forward to the next few months when I had to hype myself up just to drive home. I had to talk to myself the entire way so that I kept focused and concentrated through all of the merges and lane switches. I couldn’t turn on the radio, and I couldn’t do it without a GPS. I could have run that car off of my own adrenaline, a fuel line to my heart.

Fast forward even farther to today. My car was in the shop, so my mom was kind enough to take me back and forth (to and fro?). Watching her drive, although she was relatively familiar with the route, I realized how comfortable I had become. Yes, for some reason, watching her drive made me feel like I had accomplished something. But as I dictated the lane switches and rough patches to her, I recognized something.

I realized that I had mastered the route. Sure, people still pull out in front of me. I accidentally pass through yellow lights. I do my fair share of lip syncing. But I have gained more confidence on the road and in life because of this.

So, the next time you are not sure if you have been progressing, if you aren’t sure if you are moving forward, don’t look at the speedometer. Get out of the driver’s seat and have a look for yourself.

And Now That You Don’t Have to Be Perfect, You Can Be Good.

I’ve (probably) blogged about it before, and I will (probably) blog about it again.

I am what kind people call a “perfectionist”(mean people call it “neurotic”). Notice the “ist” at the end, meaning that I have spent my entire life trying to be absolutely perfect. And it truly is its own lifestyle.

Of course, it started in childhood, as all traumatic things do. I had an awesome art teacher when I was in elementary school. She somehow got me to create things, which she should receive the Nobel Peace Prize for. Inevitably after I had made some mistake, (because I always did because I wanted everything to be perfect, but alas I am human) she would say: “There are no mistakes in art. Make the mistake into something else.” And then she would grab my marker and start to turn my “dog” (more like a cow) drawing into a cloud. Then, before my very eyes, it would be a cloud. And this was nothing short of black magic to me. Because when I tried myself, it never worked. I was simply stuck with some awful “dog” cloud.

And, no surprise, I never grew out of that “I can’t make mistakes into something else because I can never make mistakes” phase. I went through high school and college with a high GPA, weeping strongly when I was in danger of messing up. (And messing up would simply mean not having my paper framed in front of the class). It was like walking on a tightrope that was not only above alligators but was also made of sharp glass. You can only imagine what all of that perfectionist energy has amounted to now that I am employed in the working world. (Spoiler alert: nothing good).

So, what’s the happy ending for me? I’d love to tell you that I have now embraced the “dog” cloud life, and I can now write in pen instead of pencil so I cannot erase my mistakes but turn them into something new!

Yeah, this blog is cheesy, but it isn’t that cheesy.

I’m still obsessed with making everything really perfect. Day to day, I’m white knuckling all the way. But this quote from Steinbeck somehow brings me back down to Earth. It helps me to take one foot off the pedal and one finger off the trigger.

And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.

Essentially, if you stop trying to draw the dog perfectly, then you can draw the cloud. Or if you shoot for the moon, you’ll at least land among the stars. Or, if you just stop expecting perfection from yourself every time, you can focus on being actually good at what you’re doing, instead of asking yourself to do the impossible.

Because when you’re a perfectionist, no one really knows what to expect from you. They just know it will be your absolute best. And that is and always will be (whether you believe it or not) enough.

Life Sucks, and Then You Get a Hot Tub

No, not a hot tub machine. Just a regular one. But it’s still great.

You see, if you’re anything like me, you don’t even know you are stressed out. You’re moving day to day at lightning speed, trying to fit in everything before you put your head on the pillow. And then suddenly, you are crying in a fetal position, wiping your eyes and feeling a giggle rise up in your throat as you realize that you need to take a break. (And you need to do more than eat a kitkat.)

So, what do you do? Read a book? Listen to music? Take a walk?

Perhaps. But in essence, you need to submerge yourself in something other than your daily life. For me, it is more literal. Because there is nothing lovelier than submerging myself in a hot tub. The wind and the water are enough to bring me back to where I need to be.

But a hot tub, I’ve realized, is only a giant metaphor for how you are actually feeling. When you get in, you don’t realize how hot it is after you’ve been swimming around. This is the same with your stress: you don’t realize how anxious you have been feeling because it is your norm. Then, as you sink in, the water starts to evaporate into the air, and so do your worries. And of course, you have stripped down to your bathing suit or shorts. This is also a metaphor: when you are at your most vulnerable, you can start to heal.

But getting into the hot tub is not enough. You need to let yourself relax. Convince yourself that you actually deserve to put your feet up. Without that, you will literally feel like you are drowning in the very hot tub. The heat will feel too close instead of melting into you like a second skin.

So, do you need a physical hot tub to have a good time? Of course not. But if you don’t let yourself into the mental one from time to time, if you don’t let yourself let go, you will become clogged and full of stress. Open up your jets, and let the relaxation flow.