As we discussed last week, today is my pretend birthday. Hooray! Pretend birthday hats for everyone.
Three and eleven are my favorite numbers, so age 33 is particularly auspicious. If you see me, you should probably rub my tummy for good luck.
Every year, I make birthday resolutions, because I find them weightier than the New Year’s variety. This year, I have three big ones:
1. Don’t drop-kick the puppy.
In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott writes:
“Try looking at your mind as a wayward puppy that you are trying to paper train. You donâ€™t drop-kick a puppy into the neighborâ€™s yard every time it piddles on the floor. You just keep bringing it back to the newspaper.”
This year, I’d like to be a little gentler with myself. I need to focus on my health, my environment, and the present tense. I’m going to take all the time I waste replaying my various inadequacies, and spend it celebrating the things I should be grateful for instead.
2. Make my work the best it can be.
Here’s the part where I lay a little Oprah on you — she always comes up when I’m course plotting. She says the defining question in her life is:
“How do you use your life to best serve yourself and then extend that to the world?”
I spend a disproportionate amount of time working, and this is because I have an awesome job. I’m feeling inspired lately, especially by the design community, and I’d like to use that momentum to rethink the Mighty sites with Oprah’s question in mind.
3. Harness the good.
This is something I think about almost every day. There are so many of you. I’d like to know more about what you know, and find ways to make each others’ lives better. I’m still working through the details, but I want to do some sort of group project with the Mighty Life Lists many of you made with me. Perhaps we could start by crossing a few things off.
Anyway, that’s the overview. There are many detailed to-dos attached to each goal, and I’m excited to tackle them. It’s going to be a good year. You come too.
So remember when I told you that most women’s underwear makes me want to stab people? I asked the universe where to get comfy yet stylish underwear, and 105 of you ponied up.
As a thank you, here’s a round up of the cutest and most oft’ name-checked undies in the all of Mightyland:
Adorable Enough to Risk It
$4 (on sale) from American Eagle
$9 from Macy’s
$35 from Macy’s
Cute and Reliable
$34 each from Nordstrom
$26 each from Nordstrom
$18 each from Nordstrom
(I must interject here that I will wear thongs only for as long it takes to get me laid, but so many people mentioned these that I couldn’t ignore them.)
$3 each (on sale) from Old Navy
Straightforward Crowd Pleasers
$10 for two from Target
$8 for three from Amazon
$4 (on sale) from Gap Body
$24 for three from Jockey
There now. I feel more pleasant already.
My last piece for JC Penney’s is about my inexplicable lust for pretty dishtowels. I also did a roundup of the ones I covet most on Etsy. So if you like cool dishtowels, we should have a party together where we use wasteful paper towels to wipe up any messes.
The time has come to buy new underwear. However, since having that cute baby and then losing the pregnancy weight, something has gone awry. All currently fashionable underwear is now made to go up my butt.
Bikini undies? Sure! If you like them up your butt. Tap pants? Sounds good, assuming you enjoy that extra material nestled up your butt. Boy shorts? Why waste effort walking around for 10 minutes? Just wedge them up your butt immediately so you can tug uncomfortably at your jeans for the next eight hours.
Listen, I’m already wearing shoes that make my feet bleed. The underwire on my bra is probably jabbing my ribs. You don’t want me any more irritated. It’s taking all my willpower not to cut someone. Introduce up-the-butt pants to this precarious scenario, and I can’t be held responsible. I also probably won’t be able to operate a motor vehicle.
Do you hear me, Universe? Take me to your comfortable yet stylish underwear! You drive.
A few friends and I have been reading a book on wellness that suggests eight ways to improve your life. It says you should choose a few and run with them, so I decided on:
Me thinking about light flowing into my head, and then thinking how nice it would be to nap.
Me thinking about how well things are going, then wondering when disaster will strike.
Me conquering food allergies by doing a restricted diet for 21 days, then remembering that I have hives because I really like to eat the stuff I’m not supposed to have.
Doing Fun Activities:
Me doing things that make me happy.
For the record, doing fun things is better than denying yourself caffeine. Should you choose to follow this path, I’d recommend starting with the fun stuff and worrying about your gluten intake later.
I’ve decided to do one fun thing a day, and it turns out that fun stuff is awesome. Yesterday I went down to City Hall to celebrate gay and lesbian couples getting married. There was a huge crowd, and lots of happy tears, and much merriment. Added bonus: no one yelled ugly things at the newlyweds.
So you see, we’re all evolving as a team.
So. Remember sixteen months ago when I was super, duper pregnant? Barely, right? It seems like a looong time ago. Especially when Hank strolls into the room and says something like, “Mummy, I have a few questions about the mortgage crisis.”
Well ladies, this is how long it took me to take off all the baby weight. Sixteen months. I did not wear my jeans out of the hospital, I did not lose the “fat face” the minute I gave birth, I was not able to eat whatever I wanted just because I was breast feeding, and I could not climb back on a tread mill right after Hank was born. I needed quite a while to heal.
Are you listening? Sixteen months. For me, that’s how long it took. Sixteen months and quite a bit of help from Weight Watchers online. It’s not true for everybody, but it is true for lots of folks. So put down the issue of People magazine, and turn away from all the moms on E! who got their bodies back a month later. If you’re feeling bummed about your gut, get yourself some flattering dresses, and give yourself a little time.
Good job making that baby, girl.
So Esquire‘s list of 75 Skills Every Man Should Master has been everywhere lately. It’s a good read, and most of the stuff is applicable to both genders. Here’s my little list of seven things every woman should know how to do, because I lack the stamina to come up with seventy-five:
1. Entertain unexpected company. Invest in a cheeseboard, and then keep a big jar in your cupboard filled with bags of dried apricots and cranberries, almonds, hazelnuts, and a few bars of exceptional chocolate. All of it will keep for a while, if you can refrain from devouring everything while you watch an episode of Lost.
Now, in three minutes, you can dump out some fruit and nuts, chop up a chocolate bar, and arrange it all to maximum effect on the cheeseboard. If you have decent cheese in the fridge, it’s a bonus. Pow! You’re Martha Stewart.
2. Comfort someone in mourning. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” And then as much silence as you can muster.
3. Celebrate. Good stuff is happening all around you. Pour a glass of champagne, pass around a box of chocolate, and say something memorable.
4. Break up with a poisonous friend. I had this friend in junior high, and every time I told her I liked a boy, she suddenly became very attentive towards him. I was too young to realize what was going on at the time, but by high school, and the fourth or fifth crush she’d pinched, I caught on.
Most of us have a friend or acquaintance who always leaves us feeling just a little bit worse. Maybe your mortifying missteps become her favorite amusing anecdotes. Maybe she throws her arm around your boyfriend’s shoulders with suspicious frequency. Maybe she guilt-trips you into piling a few favors atop your already hectic schedule. Whoever she is, stop calling her. Tell her you’re busy — so very busy — until 2050 or so.
5. Give a good blowjob.
6. Dribble a basketball, throw a football, kick a soccer ball. This stuff comes up. If you can’t do anything athletic at all, you start to look like the kind of girl who spends too much time getting mani-pedis.
7. Apologize convincingly. I was wrong. I’m very sorry. It won’t happen again.
If that doesn’t work, you may need to genuflect.