I’m sorry for the prolonged silence, my beloved Gigglers! It’s been a hectic 2012 so far. Barely a second to catch my breath or sit down and write. Writing doesn’t come wholly naturally to me yet. I still find the process of forcing myself to sit down in front of the computer a painful and lonely one. I am at heart a collaborator, so the desolate landscape of just my brain and me is still a bit frightening. Yet again, I suppose this is another topic for another post!
So, we’ve done it again! A successful family trip across the pond with the two wee nudniks and my beau. This time around, we decided it was time to make our daughter hoof it rather than schlepping along our outrageously burdensome double stroller monstrosity. We’ve tried everything to get our daughter to walk, including an all-time low of me telling her, “You look like a lazy American” as she lolled about in the stroller, her long legs and feet dragging on the concrete. Somehow, this outraged her… I suppose she understood it, as it was, a big insult! At any rate, we did finally get her walking. Or, I should say, her bestie Maude got her walking. We were on vacation this time with my BFF Jorjee (you may know her for her HG beauty writing AND she does Zooey’s beautiful make-up on New Girl). Jorjee and I have been best friends for almost 20 years, if you can believe that… we have our own story to tell in another post.
Maude got the great idea of using “bootie” and “butts” as a motivation for all things on this trip. If the girls were feeling sad, they cheered each other up by mooning each other. Listen, that may sound crass, and certainly garnered some “ugly American” thoughts from the French passers-by, but as I’ve written in the past, desperate times call for desperate measures. If showing each other their butts is what gets two 5-year-olds out of a temper tantrum inferno, then hell, I’m all for it!
The other butt-centric motivational theme of the trip was a song called “Shake Your Mouse-y Booty” that the girls would sing each other when one got “too tired” to walk. It’s basically a rumba and “shake your mouse-y booty” are the only lyrics set on repeat for as long as it takes to forget the trials and tribulations of the overly taxed and exhausted 5-year-old body. I noticed over the course of some long schleps that as the girls walked, ran and danced their way down the cobbled streets, their moods soared. It was really just a matter of getting them started… and at times, some sweet crepes as inspirations. There’s nothing like a “Welcome To The Bastille” crepe at the end of one-hour walk across the Seine.
This song got me thinking. When I feel tired, stressed, overwhelmed, depressed or just plain blah, bad or boring, the only thing that gets me out of it is exercise. Not just any kind of exercise, but doing something that I really love. I’ve tried A LOT of exercise. I had a therapist tell me years ago that the only way to combat my morning depression (I tend to wake up in a murky swamp of self-loathing and negativity) is some coffee and some exercise. In fact, she told me that most low-level sadness could be brushed away by moving your body. I really took this to heart. I hate how stuck I feel when I’m sad or uninspired. Exercising is truly the only thing that helps. I gotta get out of my head and shake my mouse-y booty! Later in life, I’ve found this to be even truer when I’m pregnant. I keep meaning to write about pregnancy, exercise and health… is that something you’d be interested in?
At any rate, for me, exercising is most fun when I am doing something that I want to excel at. Aerial arts (otherwise known as Trapeze) have become a true love for me. Because I want to be better at it, conquer movements and tricks, push myself to be a better artist and performer, I do things that I normally would be far to lazy or fearful to try. I now train with an amazing, nurturing and excellent artist named Amanda Topaz. I also work with Chelsea Bacon when I do The Citizens Band so I’m lucky to have two super inspirational ladies to work with and learn from. This is also important in getting physical - finding people you love to sweat with!
On this note, another form of exercise I love is ballet. I was quite serious about it until I was in my teens, but then needed desperately to get super dark, wear all black, go to clubs and date boys. I never stopped loving dance and ballet, though, and I really missed it over the years. When I met Mary Helen Bowers and began her Ballet Beautiful technique, a whole new world opened up to me. (I really recommend her balletbeautiful.com classes… you can do em’ over the Internet). With Mary Helen, I’ve found a true bunhead best friend to nerd out with. I get to dress up like a ballerina and work on getting more graceful, elongated and strong. Mary Helen and I have been meaning to write something on these topics for you all, too… keep an eye out!
All this said, it’s hard to find time to hit the trapeze or the mat. We are all busy ladies; school, jobs, kids, work, relationships, what have you, keep us in the mindset that there is no time for “me”. Honestly, I still feel selfish taking a moment 5 days a week (on a good week) for exercise. But I know myself well enough to deduce that when I don’t do it, I feel terrible. I get the blues real bad, I feel unmotivated and I feel downright sad. So I force myself to find time. I force myself to treat exercise as a business meeting with my bod. I take it seriously, is what I’m trying to say. Even if it’s only 15 minutes in the morning or before bed. Even if it’s just walking from one meeting to another. (Oh, walking is another deep love of mine!) Whatever I can squeeze in, I do. It takes determination and, really, it takes a fierce love of self. But I just wanted to say, get out there and SHAKE YOUR MOUSE-Y BOOTY!
Go for walks, runs, skips and jumps. Take the stairs. Take the long way home. Do karate, interpretive dance, soccer, hip-hop, parasailing. Snorkeling, skiing, skateboarding, bike riding…. I don’t know! Just find something you love and that makes you feel alive! I promise after a week you will be feeling great.