Sunday, March 23, 2014

Part Time Party Girl

WARNING.  Shocking statement ahead.

It appears that I may not be able to party the way I could when I was 24.  I know, GASP, right?  In fact, I am actually thinking that it might be time to retire the "Full Time Party Girl" from my self-description.  Or, at the very least, amend it to "Part Time (As Long As There Is Ample Recovery Time) Party Girl".

Honestly, usually, these days, I'm quite happy with going part time.  Content with the much quieter lifestyle I've created.  Early to bed and clarity of mind and all that.

Usually.  Because even though green smoothies and detox tea are terrific for breakfast almost every morning, sometimes you just really need want bacon and a Bloody Mary as big as your head.  Sometimes it's necessary okay to revert back to your full time party person status.  Sometimes, very rarely, but sometimes, you might even need to pull a double.  (Or a triple?)  Yes, your recovery time will be exponentially increased, and there will be much less clarity about the night(s) before than back in the day, but you, with your years of experience & drive, are up to the task.  Sometimes you just need to listen to that devil on your shoulder.  This is especially true when there is an open bar.

But then, there will come a moment when you are tired and burnt out, when you begin preferring water to wine, when flirting has become more forced than fun and your party clothes are too binding.  And that's when you will make your way home.  You will crawl into your own bed made with clean, fresh sheets occupied by the ones that love you most of all, and you will retire your full time status.  The next few days will involve a lot green juice, kale, and possibly 2-a-days.  You will go to bed at your usual 10pm bedtime. You will rest & take your vitamins.  You will know that you cannot party the way you could when you were 24.  But you will also know you that still got it.

And that, for me, and maybe for you, is called balance.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Like A Boss

I have been told many, many times in my life that I am bossy.  I've been told I can be "difficult".  I am "tough as nails".  I can be "challenging to work with".  Does this make me feel belittled?  Inferior?  Like less of a leader?  Does it make me want to #BanBossy?

Hell no.

Yes, I am bossy.  I am also the boss.  I get things done.  Yes, I'll tell you what to do - "boss you around", some might say - but only after I've cracked the whip on myself.  Can I be difficult, challenging, & tough?  Damn right.  I am those things because I am passionate.  I am strong.  I care.  And you know that I am not asking/telling you to do anything that I wouldn't/couldn't/haven't done myself.  I'm with you in the trenches.  I get my hands dirty.  I am bossy and gutsy when the situation calls for it.  And proud of it. 

There will be no banning of bossy of my household.  I will not be offended or threatened by this word, nor do I think we should teach our kids that they should be either. Take bossy - along with ambitious, assertive, tough, challenging - and feel empowered by them.  Own them.  We can teach our children - all of the children as these are not gender-specific words - that they do not need to react defensively to any of these labels.  Instead, we can feel pride that we are kind of people that make things happen.  We have guts & strength.  We are passionate.  We care.  We can be proud when we are referred to as bossy.  

We can teach our kids that Bossy one day becomes The Boss.  And The Boss Runs The Show.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It's Your Day - A Woman's Day.

Today is International Women's Day.  Nasdarovje*!

I first became aware of International Women's Day, oh, maybe 5 years ago.  Our close friends, Maura & Gabe, having been in the Peace Corp in Ukraine where Women's Day is an actual national holiday, brought the celebration back to us here in Seattle.  They would host a party, they said.  We were to arrive at 3pm. We were instructed to bring a bottle (or two) of vodka, and we were given specific Ukrainian dishes to make & bring to share.  (Aside:  I was, until this party, a beet virgin.  Beets stain things, friends. They stain everything.  End of aside.)

When one arrives at an International Women's Day party, one notices that all of the regular furniture that belongs in the host's living room is absent.  Instead, it is replaced with long family-style tables and chairs. The tables are lined with bottles of vodka and overflowing bowls of food wherein potatoes and pickled vegetables are in abundance.  Everyone is smiling and laughing and hugging and talking.  Find your seat, friends, because the celebration is about to begin!  Nasdarovje!

It's International Women's Day**, and it's a day to celebrate the women in our lives, the women we love, the women who have changed us, the women who have made us who we are, the women we can't imagine our lives without, the women who inspire us, the women who give us hope, the women who have sacrificed for us.  It is a day for all women:  mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, wives, and girlfriends.

We all take our seats at the table, and there is a buzz in the air.  Someone stands, raises his glass, and proposes a toast to the beauty & loveliness of all of the women in the room.  Definitely a toast I can get behind.  Nasdarovje!  We all clink, drink, and the celebration is officially underway.

This Women's Day party is truly a Thanksgiving.  Strangers are now family, bonded over our common love of women.  And vodka.  The food is never-ending.  "Just keep eating," Maura encourages us.  We all take turns standing & offering our toasts to all of the world's wonderful women.  The celebration continues into the night.  We're dancing and laughing and the toasts begin to get a little blurry.

The next morning I wake up with beet-stained fingers, glitter in my bed, and a deep gratitude for all of the strong, courageous, wise, patient, generous, beautiful women in my life, both near & far.

Today is International Women's Day.  I think a celebration is in order.
Here's to you, ladies.  Nasdarovje.

*I do not know if this is the correct spelling.  The internet offers many options.

**Please note, International Women's Day has a long history, and I am not trying to discount that by leaving it out of this post.  This is simply how Women's Day was introduced to me, and this is what it means to me.

***Maura's original caption to this picture was, "Tim, it's Women's Day! Give her that beer! And for that matter, give her your hat too!"