Future Me

I had a definite vision when I was younger of what I would look like when I was older. Generally, I would be taller than the average height I find myself at currently. My hair would be really long, and so would my legs. In short, I’d be an older but more attractive and put-together version of myself. (What could go wrong?)

Fast forward about ten years and you’ll find that age has not been kind. Everything about me is pretty average, which is to say, not what I imagined. I certainly didn’t know how future me would fare, but I wasn’t thinking this.

And even now, I’m still making trouble for future me by assuming what she’ll look like or what she’ll want to do.

For example, I’m a bit lax when it comes to laundry. I let clean clothes pile up on my floor until they grow metaphorically moldy and need to be washed again. I actually try to trick myself by putting the clothes on my bed so that I’ll have to put them away before I go to sleep.

Enter future me. Future me does everything that present me doesn’t want to do. I think, future me will be a lot less tired than present me is. She’ll put these away.

But of course, in addition to being a disappointment in looks, future me is also a disappointment in acts. Because what ends up happening is future me takes the clothes off the bed and sets them on the floor. Or she sleeps on top of them, the clever fox. It’s just pointless to ask her to do the things I need to do in the future. It’s almost like I have to make it seem like it was her idea all along…

And really, it’s not fair of me to put all of that responsibility on her. It’s not right that I am going to put off things just so that future me can deal with them. It’s not good that her “to-do” list is as long as my arm.

And here’s the biggest problem with letting my future self do the things that I should be doing: I become my future me before I know it. That’s right, it doesn’t take long for present me to overtake future me. And then I’m stuck with stuff that I could have done beforehand and there’s less time to do it in.

So, my advice is to consider your future self. Can you save her a little time by doing something now? Can you make her quality of life a little better by helping her out? If you can, you won’t have to see the future to know that she really appreciates it.

I Almost Saw Laura Marling In Concert

Tickets: $20

Bottle of water at concert venue: Also $20

Missing the entire concert because you were at the hospital: priceless

So, as the title suggests, I almost saw Laura Marling in concert. I had bought my tickets about 6 months ago, and I was ready to go last weekend. It was going to be a great concert at a small, intimate venue. Of course, my body wanted to hang back, so I ended up in the hospital and missed the entire thing.

And really, that’s the entire story. I was completely bummed and generally disappointed with the situation and with myself.  Actually, I still am. I’ve wanted to see Marling since I first listened to “Alas I Cannot Swim,” her first album. As is customary when you fall in love with a musician and her music, you have to see if what you’ve envisioned matches up. You have to hear what they do with your favorite song.

I was thinking that this was seriously going to be a huge moment in my concert history, and it just didn’t happen.

So, I did my best to look on the bright side of things: I got some rest that weekend, I made some new friends in the form of nurses and doctors, and I could always buy myself a concert t-shirt later (which is really my favorite part). And then I added the fact that I had seen one of my favorite artists the weekend before with my favorite person (my sister).

And so without sounding like a complete spoiled brat by being able to go to two concerts in as many weekends, I had to admit that I was still lucky, even though I hadn’t been able to go to the second concert on the bill. Even though the only souvenir I had was a couple of bruises from having blood taken all weekend.

Now, when I face any other disappointment, I’ve learned that I need to realize that you shouldn’t begrudge life. It always gives you exactly what you need when you need it. And even though you may be frustrated because you want something to happen and it doesn’t, you need to bring yourself over it. Being stuck on what could have been makes you miss out on what is.

Basically, this is all a really elaborate metaphor for looking at the glass half full. Even from inside a hospital room.

In the end, I say buy the ticket. Whether you make it there or not. 

Give a Mile, Get an Inch

Stuck on how you are going to be the best person you can be? Confused about how to reach your fullest potential? Fortunately, there’s a lot of advice about how to achieve success out there. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of advice about how to achieve success out there. It’s hard to know what is right or what will work for you.

But I’ve heard one piece of advice from several sources recently that I love and respect. And the basic gist of it all is quite simply this: the universe hates it when you play your cards close to your chest.

Think of the universe as that nosy neighbor across the street that watches at the window for you to come home, and when you see a telescope lens poking out between his or her curtains you aren’t at all surprised. So, instead of making that little granny or grandpa work so hard to find out what you are doing, you need to reveal your life and your intent.

How do you do that? You work really hard. And then you work really hard. And then you work really hard some more. In whatever capacity that may be. If you want to be the best ballet dancer, you need to wake up and practice before anyone is even dreaming about practicing. If you want to be a great salesperson, you need to hit the pavement and not take no for an answer. If you want to be the best blogger, you have to pick a format and remember to blog daily (even when you’re in the hospital).

And then. And only then does the universe acknowledge you. Because the universe is getting requests like the stock market. It has all of these pleas and requests being thrust into its face. But it can only respond to the one that is most serious, the one that is going to have the most ROI, the most profitable.

So, when the universe finally takes your ticket after you’ve woken up at 5 am for three years in a row to crank out a masterpiece, when you’ve spilled hot coffee in your lap for the bajillionth time on your way to the gym, when your computer has crashed without you saving your work for the absolute last time (you swear), the universe sends down some heavenly host in whatever form you subscribe to (angels? goddesses? Chris Pratt and his raptors?) and provides you with a little bit of oomph. The strength to go on, or the last chapter of your book, or just some confidence in yourself.

But that’s only after you’ve given the universe everything you got. In essence, you need to give an entire mile to even get an inch. But that inch will give you the rest of the fuel to give and go another mile. And then life goes on…and so do you.

Sorry, I Was in the Hospital

I’m really sorry. I was in the hospital over the weekend, and I took a little time off from everything, including blogging for the past two days.

And at the same time, I’m not sorry about that. (Well, I mean, I would prefer not to go back into the hospital.)

Listen, I know that I have a responsibility to my readers and to all of the other things I do on a daily basis. I know that I am an important cog in the machine, as we are all (asked to believe). And I apologize for letting some things slide, especially this blog. But I am truly not sorry for taking the time off.

In reality, I think that I (as a citizen of this country) have a serious problem with work ethic and productivity. Of course, I may not live in the worst nation in this department and we’re probably even in denial about that, but I think there’s a serious disconnect when it comes to vacation time and the rest of our time in America, and what happens when we try to split the difference.

You see, I know I’m not alone in the fact that I’m afraid to miss any time from work or any of my extracurricular activities. It just makes me generally anxious. I’m all like, What if someone needs something, and I’m not there? Or worse, what if no one even realized I was gone? 

The problem is that when you are burning the candle at both ends and the midnight oil, your body will let you know that this can’t continue, which mine did. And when that happens, it makes you feel like you’ve been missing the signs all along and that you could have possibly prevented it if you picked your head up once in awhile.

So, in some respect, the fact that I even have to say the words in the title of this blog post is evidence of all of our issues and stigma about being able to take the time we need to recharge and rejuvenate ourselves. I shouldn’t even have to apologize for being in the hospital because it’s something that I would certainly classify under “unable to be helped, whatsoever.” It’s not exactly like I chose to be there. And yet, I still felt (and still do) that I owed everyone an apology for not acting as expected and for showing up late to my own party, in effect. I feel somehow responsible for a job not done.

But please take it from me: you do not want to realize that you need some down time when a nice nurse is jamming an IV into your hand and you’re being told that you can go home…as soon as your blood pressure climbs down from the rafters. Be kind to yourself out there and listen closely to what you need. And remember that sick days should not be used solely by the sick. Instead, they sometimes need to be used by the perfectly healthy in order to ward off what they are actually intended for.