Ladies and gentlemen, it is with distinct pleasure that I announce I am 1 final exam away from finally being qualified to tell you what to do;organization wise. Now, now, I know you’re not as excited as I am. But I want you to know, you’re on the ground floor of what could be a very good thing. In all the text books I’ve been consuming, one thing stuck out: There is no organizational expert for the modern maiden, or man. With chapters dedicated to video cassette organization and paper catalogues, I think I’ve struck upon my niche. Or perhaps, it’s struck upon me. I will be able to create streamlined systems for the tech we have and the clouds we depend on. I will also be capable of parring down your clutter and building new habits and routines. Which will save you time, energy and lead you toward living the life you want. So, as I sit down to take the test that will seal my organizational fate, I’m revved up and ready to become the Modern Emily Post. And I will Post, right here;)
I love sunny Saturdays. Especially if there is a garage sale involved. Now, as a poor starving artist, I don’t have the capability to walk into a store and purchase all those special details a showgirl needs for her showgirl bag of tricks. I have to be creative. And that means I have to beg, borrow and barter. Garage sales are a great forum to showcase my slowly developing skills. Of course, none of these transactions are high finance by any means, but they save my precious shekels for those complex costume pieces that can’t be bought.
After a lazy morning spent snuggled up with my fur baby, Mr. Sun invited us outside to play. So, Hubby and I leashed our beloved Jilly Bean and stumbled out into the daylight and towards a neighbouring complex. As we turned the corner we saw, the grass was covered with tablecloths and the fences were strung with hangered goodies. In this big city it’s always strange to know your neighbours, especially by name, but recently our tiny universe of misfits has grown substantially. And one of Hubby’s oke regulars was one of the lovely ladies soaking up the sun and selling the bits and bobs that take up space in teeny TO condos. The pack rat in me loves sorting through the disorganized piles and finding a cracker jack prize. On this day I found a pair of elbow length white satin gloves. There they were, draped over the shoulder of the bust form decorated with jewels and topped off with a jaunty brown derby. Their iridescent gleam catching the sun. They wanted to come home with me, so I made it happen. What follows next may seem obsessive, but I’ll let you be the judge.
Those gloves became my best friend. They followed me through my day and all weekend long. I took them off. I put them back on. I posed and peeled. I caressed and caught them. I tossed, twirled and twisted those gloves. I would catch my reflection in all the shiny flat surfaces offering it. The stove-top, the sliding glass door, the hallway full length mirror. There were reflections of white gloved elegance everywhere. Now, if you’ve never worn satin gloves for a weekend, it changes you. It alters the way you hold your hands. The way you pick things up, only to put them down again somewhere new. The slightest flick of the wrist becomes a dramatic and enthralling gesture, if you do it right.
Now, if you’ve been following along, you know that last week was my premiere as a burlesque performer. It was great. By that I mean I had a lot of fun. But, I worked on that act for almost 2 months. I had to build the whole thing from scratch, which is great for a DIY diva like me. But now what do I do? I have 1 finished act…that hardly seems like enough. So, the next step is creating another act. Yay! That’s my favourite part. Ask any artist and they’ll tell you the beginning is the most exciting. And I am back at the beginning. This burlesque thing might be perfect for me. It plays into my OCD, ADD and dare I say it…Narcissism. What am I trying to say? Well, I am saying that I am now building act #2 (pronounced Numero deux). And this act is gonna feature my new best friends. Those gloves and I are going to be quite the pair.
When I was in grade 4 I thought it would be so amazing to have braces. I longed for the secret identity I thought glasses would provide. I yearned for a unique trait that would separate me from the norm. I wanted a conversation starter, a hook, a gimmick. A limp, lisp or dark secret past. Heck, even my daily bruises developed elaborate stories. I’d detail the fictional fun to make myself seem more interesting than (I thought) I was. I have always wanted to be just left of the middle…well, honestly, deep left field. I’ve always wanted to be different.
I grew up a middle class girl in the middle of Ontario during the mid-90’s. That’s all smack bang in the middle. And the middle is very different from the centre of attention. I was born in the 80’s but my serious memories were made in the midst of Smashed Pumpkins and grunge-y Shangri-la. But as far as I could tell I was just one more of the faceless masses with pre-teenage spirit. I found myself jockeying for position within systems that didn’t celebrate our differences. Sadly, most systems are finite, not interpretative. Systems are by nature are, well, systematic. Empathy, consideration and individuality isn’t part of the equation. I looked throughout middle school, but I couldn’t find my defining feature, no matter how elaborate my exterior got. I was just another little girl in a school of little girls. And, I wasn’t happy with that to say the least.
I am not sure if I was born wanting to be different or if I grew into it, but I’ve never liked the status quo. When my wish for braces came true at 16, it only stopped me from smiling. When I wear sunglasses to protect my sensitive eyes, I lose them and can’t imagine the cost, were they prescriptions. I still suffer from exaggerated bumps and bruises, though I allow their cause to remain mundane and preventable. As for the lisp I lusted after…I’ll admit that sometimes I spit when I talk. But all these minor first world problems don’t define who I am and the sad thing is: I didn’t realize that I’ve been unique this whole time. The mere act of wanting to be different makes me so. I am not interchangeable in a row of blondes. I stand out naturally…er at least my fake peg leg limps out.
Summer is revving up and kicking itself into high gear. You know what that means? Teeny, weeny bikinis and sweating way too much. And all those shorts and tees from last summer season are now being rotated back into my wardrobe…the only problem is with the physical progress I’m making they’re sagging and sad and I can’t afford to replace them. I was taught growing up that appropriately sized clothing is an important part of looking your best. Clothes that are too small make even the sveltiest person look like an uncomfortable sausage. Though the flip side has baggy shapeless sacks adding lumps and bumps and blah to an otherwise ideal silhouette. I fall into the second category. Last year’s shorts are rumpled in the bum. The tanks droop in the neckline and arm holes. I look like a schmoe, in need of a serious $5000 makeover- tell me something new. Okay, enough with all that What Not to Wear stuff. Today, I realized that I have been writing about being an artist for the last 39 Mondays. Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I am sad, but I am always creative…hopefully.
Over 40 weeks ago, I issued myself a challenge. I wanted to put up or shut up. It was time I started taking this little-performing thing seriously. It’s time I take what I want, instead of waiting for someone to give it to me. Now, those are all just adages that don’t make a whole lot of difference by themselves. I mean, Take one day at a time and write it beautifully in front of the setting sun, and all you have is a motivational sunset. It was time to take action. So, I started going to the gym. I started writing, creating and proving to myself (my toughest critic) that I was as talented as others told me I was, and more talented than I thought possible. Mentally, I’ve realized I’m wicked smaht *said of course with a Boston accent. Smarter than the average dummy and I can use that to my advantage; and should. Emotionally, I am still growing my thick skin but I have exposed more weakness this past year than in all my years before. Professionally, I have been looking over the occasional four leaf clover, but there hasn’t been much job security (that’s a beast). So, I am bumping and hustling to make ends meet; ensuring I still have time to pursue my bliss.
As for my physical progress, I have taken my own challenge quite seriously. Though to the casual observer, it may not seem like much… I mean, while home for Father’s Day I tried on a dress from Grade 8 and it still fit. So, when I say I have been this size my whole life, I’m not exaggerating. Though even I couldn’t believe it. I mean Hubby says I look better now than I did leading up to the wedding, which was so stressful I would forget to plan meal time. Now, I have doubled my athletic efforts, spending hours stretching, sweating and squatting. If I have dessert, it must be split with someone else- but I have forbidden myself to suggest it. I have cut down on my liquid calories, including my beloved patio season beers. I am trying my best not to eat after 9pm…I know it’s supposed to be 8pm but some days I don’t get home until then, and dinner doesn’t make itself. So with all those things in mind I have an update to my records…And though it may not seem like much, the winds of change are a’blowin’, and I love a good updraft.
Height 5’8 1/2″ I gained a half-inch and Hubby thinks it’s all neck
Weight 166.4 (+2.2 lbs)
Bust 38.5 (-.5″) whoo hoo!
Natural waist 31.25 (-.25″)
Hips 42.5 (-.5″)
Arm flex r:13.5 (+.5″) l:13.5 (+.5″) *Which way to the beach?
Arm rest r: 13 (+.5″) l:13 (+.5″)
Thigh standing r: 24.75 (-.25″) l:24.5 (-.5″)
As you may know, my Hubby is coo-coo for Big Blue. He’s idolizes the Kryptonian Boy Scout. The den I am sitting in right now is saturated with S’s. Big bright, yellow S’s that stand for hope. It’s no wonder he wanted to be among he first non-critics to take in all that intergalactic glory. So, late last night we went to the movies and I learned a couple of things.
1. It’s hard to beat up a guy who can punch you so hard you fly through walls.
2. Every planet has environmental issues that can be prevented
3. The Daily Planet is a super place to work, especially with their investigative journalism travel budget
4. Kevin Costner is an awesome Dad
5. I like Russell Crowe as a computer generated ghost
6. A 60% critic rating doesn’t speak as loudly as an auditorium full of fanboys and girls
7. Even people who love Superman can be dinks
8. Don’t throw candy at the movies
9. People still don’t understand the only rule at the movies; which is not to have their cellphones on during the movie. Sheesh- whatever it is, it can wait.
10. Superman is super-duper
11. A cape can’t disguise a sexy bottom
12. Henry Cavill looks great as a soaking wet castaway
13. Henry Cavill looks great lifting heavy things
14. Henry Cavill look great hugging Diane Lane
15. Henry Cavill*insert drool
16. If you’re Lois Lane, you will always have great hair
17. Hans Zimmer is a Mother-Drummer, but I miss John Williams
18. Being bred for a purpose is helpful in achieving that purpose
19. Doing the right thing can be the hardest thing you’ll ever do
20. Fear is the strongest manipulator
21. Alien doesn’t mean evil, it just means different
22. It’s never too late to fight for what you believe in
23. Superman fights for the world, not just America
24. We can’t hide who we truly are
25. The person you choose to become can change the world
26. Sometimes it’s hard to play nice, but it’s better than sacrificing your morals
27. Fighting won’t save you, if the planet is dying
28. The Phantom Zone CAN be a scary place
29. Henry Cavill is super…oh, wait did I say that? I may have been distracted by thinking how hot he is. He just is, okay?
30. Bravery is found among the ashes of adversity
31. Clark Kent ain’t too shabby either
Although this movie is still being weighed by the fan clubs and diehards, I found myself going along for the flight. It was exactly what I wanted in a Summer Blockbuster Hero flick. Explosions and fight scenes scattered through the origin story of the world’s first superhero. Who, by the way is at least half Canadian. Also, Henry Cavill, not Canadian, but that’s not what I want to hold against him;)
The follow-through is key when swinging a bat, club or cat. But it’s also important for every other activity, ever. The follow through is the thing that gets you to the end. Progress is laid out: beginning-follow through-completion. The follow through is the toughest part. It doesn’t have the excitement of the start of something new. Or the relief and satisfaction of a job well done. It is all the work and all the struggle and all the boring, but it’s also all of the important.
It is well documented that I am a procrastinating Jane, a hoarding Pete and general sad sack. All of which I would debate you, but it’s hard to fight facts. Cuz I am also a truthy-goose. Now, of course all those terminologies are made up, but that doesn’t lessen their implied meanings. See how I followed through on that joke? It may not have gone exactly as planned, but by then I was committed. And when I am committed, it’s usually for 28 days. Or until I forget about it and start another project. But part of me says I may have stumbled off track, forgive me.
I am 6 pages away from being done a book I am really enjoying. It combines Zombie apocalypse and blogging, throw in a Unicorn and it would’ve been Xanadu. I am having trouble with follow through though, I don’t want this book to end. I can’t bring myself to sit still and take the head shot; effectively killing this book, and preventing it from “amplifying”. Where’s all my big talk now? I’ll tell you where. It’s hiding behind a stack of books I am not excited about. I wish every book gave me those funny feelings, wanting to rip through those pages. But they don’t and it’s too late; I’m committed.
Follow through isn’t such an awful thing…all the time. The journey can be fun when there’s a clear destination. Problem is follow through can feel like a stationary bike. Sure, it’s working, but wouldn’t it be better to be outside, really getting somewhere, even if you just had to turn around to come back home. I know I am not being very clear, foggy weather does that to me and it’s been a foggy year so far. What I want to remind us is to think about all the crazy different ways we can follow through. There are segues, unicycles, paddle boards and you get to choose whatever way you want. Remember, there is always more than one way to swing a cat; just make sure you follow through.
Every 7 years we become a totally new person with the same fingerprints. That’s science. At the molecular level we shed, grow and shift. The changes are so small we can’t even feel them. Allergies are gone. Habits have died. The new you is ripe for the taking. This much change happening every single day is a perfect excuse to celebrate a new you: today. Today may not be the day you get over your fear of heights, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be an important start into the journey towards the all-new-super-duper-better-than-you-ever-dreamt- you.
Today can be the start of something wonderful. Today can be the day you start acting like a Superhero. It can be the moment you choose to reveal the winner that’s been hiding under your secret identity. Everyday you can start to begin again. Do you suffer from the feeling of something not quite right with your universe? Change it. Have you been putting off a decision that could alter the way the world sees you? Do it today. It is time for a new beginning. Begin it.
Even the lowliest of decisions can shift the journey you started on. The greatest thing about beginnings is that they can be started even before the end of something else…maybe it was something that you shouldn’t have started, maybe it’s something you’ve procrastinated into more of a challenge than it actually is. I want you to know, you have the power to change who, where and what you started into whatever you want. People are living their happiest lives all around you; why shouldn’t you be one of them? If it’s broke. Fix it…or simply start over.
Every peasant could be a Princess. As long as the King has an open mind. Every super villain can change his ways. The immense power you have inside will surprise you. I know it can be scary. I know it takes hard work and in some cases pain, but if it’s a change you’re willing to make, you should make it. Choose to start happiness and end sadness. Choose to be brave and bold. Motivate yourself to end those nasty habits. So, unless you’ve broken a mirror lately, your 7 years of bad luck are at an end. Start being the person you want to be… of course, if it’s a pilot, take a few flying lessons before starting your own airline…And then start.