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Archive for the ‘my happiness project’ Category

and, let’s go again

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

I know, ME with the yoga ALREADY. For someone who had never tried it eighteen months ago, I’m kind of a pain in the ass about it, right? “Oh, I can’t, I have yoga.” “Oh, I’m sorry I’m wearing tights and a very visible bra at a bar, I just came from yoga.” “In yoga today we peaked with baby caterpillar and my hip did this thing …” … etc.

BUT (c’mon, you knew this was going somewhere yoga positive).

There’s two things that have come up recently that are both like duh and also like woooooaaah.

The first is more of both duh and woah, and came from one of the teachers I see at least once a week and love as a teacher but am sort of overwhelmed by as a person.

– You don’t have to be the person you were ten years ago, ten months ago, ten days ago, or even ten minutes ago. –

Yes, duh. You don’t. But also, like, lean into that a little bit? Think if it were genuinely true. If you could be honest about how you change from moment to moment, and everyone around you would roll with it because they’d be doing it too. Am I overstating this? Am I the only one who spends a fair amount of my time doing my next thing because it’s my Emma thing, that everyone knows I will do? I’m not talking about going to work – I can’t *not* go to work, but more like … I don’t even know. Like, I don’t like it when strangers touch me, so I don’t really get massages or manicures and stuff. What if that’s not even true anymore, because it’s been so long since I tried and everyone knows I don’t do it? (I don’t want to try, because … I don’t like it when strangers touch me.) What if I don’t want to be a dog person anymore? (I DO.) You get the point, though. (If there is a point in here.)

The second is just a goofy thing that never occurred to me. When I was at a yoga retreat a little more than a month ago in Moab, it happened to be during the full moon. The instructor said something along the lines of never understanding why people use New Years to check in and course correct, when there’s a new moon and a full moon every .97 months.

!!! (This is not three exclamation point information but I don’t care, I really like it.)

I just find that very personally satisfying, the idea that you do what you can for ~four weeks, check in, see how it’s going, set new goals, and just keep it going. There will be many many fewer sweeping resolutions, this way, but maybe a higher overall status.

Or I’ll quit things a lot faster knowing I can pick them up again at the next full moon. But, you know, having a positive attitude is one of the things I’m working on this moon cycle. Also running and going to yoga when I say I will (so far: check), not putting off chores (check), and not crying in traffic (we all have stretch goals).

Learn something new every day, etc etc. I love yoga. And you guys, of course.


DOIN’ stuff

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

A friend of mine and I have been having these very serious discussions regarding what people do.

Not, like, as a career (although do we talk a lot about that). More like what you do, during the day. Like right now, I’m sitting on a couch, watching Family guy, sipping wine, and writing this post (yes, I probably published this Tuesday morning – rest assured that I didn’t write it Tuesday morning).

My friend, as I understand it, is of the opinion that certain things are sort of a waste of her time. Television, for example.

I don’t really understand how that whole attitude came about. I’m not calling her out, specifically. This is a widely held opinion and one that I frequently fall prey to. Reading is better than the radio, which is better than tv. Writing is better than reading. Meditating is, perhaps, better than writing. Working is better than meditating. Volunteering is better than working.

In some cases, this totally works. If you’re supposed to be working and someone is paying you for the outcome, you maybe shouldn’t be watching tv.

In other cases, though, I’m a little confused. Why, exactly, is reading better than watching tv? Really?

I was trying to relate this to sexual predilections the other night when talking to Crockett, and I wasn’t quite successful in my comparison. I was trying to say that we (we being cool people) have reached the conclusion that whatever weird sex people like is fine, as long as they’re doing it with other people who also like it and want to be there. The same cool people should be ok with whatever you do in your spare time, as long as you want to be doing it and aren’t hurting yourself in any major way (skipping work repeatedly to watch tv probably counts as hurting yourself).

As I said, doesn’t quite hold up.

Anyway, why is watching tv a worse way to spend your than reading? Or listening to the radio a worse way to spend your time than meditating? Where does that idea come from?


Thursday, April 7th, 2011

If this blog were a baby, some court would have deemed me absentee sometime in the last couple of weeks.

It’s not that I’ve been busy. I have been, but I used to write every day while I had a whole buncha shit to do. It’s not that I’ve been lazy. I’ve been doing stuff, left, right, and sideways. It’s that I haven’t had anything to say. I’ve been all conflicted, and blahblahblah, and just insert Charlie Brown’s mom here for awhile, ok?

For about a year now, I’ve been writing for a collaborative blog called The Road More Travelled. The bloggers are me and the mindblowingly  fabulous woman who has been my best friend for 17 or so years.

Last week, I told her I had to cut back on The Road posts.

I expected anger, or something, but she was all ‘dude, of course – whatevs’. Ok, not really. She doesn’t say ‘whatevs’. She’s classier than me.

The thing is, I feel like I have to be all smart on The Road. We’re making a point. We’re experiencing and we’re writing about it. We’re blogging about our quarter-life crises.(Yes, I am going to live to be 120 – you want to fuck with that?) We’re saying REAL THINGS.

I feel obligated to be smart.

I also have a food blog, called Mangled Baby Duck. (You know you wish you owned It’s a cross between a recipe blog and a diary. It’s a pain in the ass, to be clear. I take pictures. I upload them and edit them and then write about what’s in them. The lemon asparagus risotto recipe I just posted took me almost as long to write down as it took me to make (which was a long fucking time, thankyouverymuch).

I feel obligated to make, eat, and do interesting things.

Here, though?

I don’t feel obligated to do jack all.

I feel obligated to be myself. To yap at whoever happens to land here, from the wide world of the internets, if that whoever feels like reading. Basically, to yap. I feel obligated to curse if I feel like it, but not to curse if I don’t feel like it. I feel obligated to show my cranky pants when they’re what I’m wearing, and to show my enthusiastic pants when they’re what I’m wearing.

I like it here. For some reason, that has made me feel bad lately. I feel bad because I don’t feel bad about being not-always-interesting, or not-always-smart.


It’s, what, a blogger thing? A girl thing? An Emma thing? A person-under-5’2″ thing? Who knows.


I’m back.

Feeling bad is for chumps.


Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Once, when I was in middle school, a girlfriend told me that it’s inappropriate that my middle name is Joyce, because someone with that name should be someone who brings joy to the people around her.
The same girl also continually pursued boys I liked and was too shy to talk to, and refused to eat the manicotti that my dad made for my birthday one year because she was, as far as I can tell, a cranky bitch who wanted everything to be about her.
In retrospect, I have no idea why we were friends, but we were.

For awhile here, I was blogging about my happiness project (inspiration courtesy of Gretchen Rubin). I had a whole bunch of things that I was going to try, from taking care to get sick less often to laughing more.

Turns out all I needed to raise my personal joy level was to go back to school. Yes, I am miserable. It’s hard and I’m overwhelmed and I’m not succeeding in the effortless way I grew used to as a low level manger with minimal responsibilities. I am trying my brain more than I ever have before, including as an undergrad. I am too busy to spend time with my friends, which is good because I don’t have any money to go anywhere anyway.
Yet, here I sit, joyous.
I am joyous in my busyness and my overtaxed brain and my struggling to catch up.

I’m not going to say that I bring joy to those around me, but for now? I’ve at least earned my middle name for myself.

Which is good, because my school email includes it in my signature line. Sure, I could change it, but at this point?
Owning it.

no, no, no, no, YES, no

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

This one time? I wrote a Fuckit list? The whole point was to list the shit I am never going to do, thereby enabling myself to make decisions much more quickly.  Witness:

Emma, would you like to go to Japan without Crockett’s high school swim coach?

No, thank you.

Emma, would you like to see pictures of high school Crockett in his swimsuit?

Why, yes, yes I would. Thank you for asking and send them over toot suite.

Recently I’ve become aware that people who aren’t Michael Ian Black also embrace making decisions by ruling things out.  The two examples I was able to track down again are specifically for fashion, but I did see it elsewhere, I SWEAR.

Last time I went shopping I told my husband that I was so glad I wasn’t skinny because then I would have too many options and would be in the stores forever.

April Flores

…I wear none of the following: high necklines and turtlenecks; bulky knits; large prints; long skirts; flats; anything floaty, bohemian, or hippie-inspired; anything shapeless, babydoll, straight or Mod; double-breasted coats and jackets; and the colors red, orange, yellow, black and white.

Now, if this list makes it seem like I can’t wear half of what’s out there, well — yeah. That’s kind of my point.

Sadie from Jezebel, in part of their Dress Code series

Y’all, this is genius. I’m so much more comfortable ruling things out than in, you know? I’m perpetually in a state of de-cluttering – removing clothes from my closet, knicknacks from my shelves, songs from my iPhone, whatever.

As of right now, I’m ruling out:

  • Any recipe with bell peppers in it. I’m allergic and I sometimes try to make peppery recipes pepperfree, but you know what? That’s not how that recipe was developed, and from now on I’m just ruling ’em out cause they’re not that good anyway.
  • Related: fajitas.
  • Blazers.
  • Thong underwear.
  • Jeans from Old Navy.
  • Clothing with busy patterns. I don’t wear them, they wear me, and no one wins. The clothes WANT to be worn! They do!
  • Buying ingredients without a recipe in mind. Yes, I’ll face an empty refrigerator more often, but is that in fact worse than throwing food away because I had nothing to do with it? No. I daresay it’s better.

These aren’t resolutions, mind you. They’re just things I don’t have to worry about. Is organic cilantro on sale, two bunches for a dollar? Sure, and awesome! I’m not buying it! Are there really cute thongs at Victoria’s Secret with roller skates on them? Of course there are, but they’re not for me!

I love this idea – my only concern is that I sometimes have a tendency to overdo things. There’s a small chance I might go home and throw out everything I’ve ruled out… but I’ll definitely keep those pictures of Crockett in his Speedo.