Friday, February 7, 2014

What Worked For You Last Year?

What worked for you last year? Instead of making resolutions this year I decided to examine things that worked last year and just keep on doing them. Sort of lazy bum resolutions. (Yes, it does seems strange to write this post in Feb...Extended Reflection or Day Late Dollar Short - you choose.)

New Year's Resolutions that are actually attainable

A friend who hires top work trainers says the latest philosophy is figuring out what you do best and forget about the rest. Don't waste energy on your deficiencies. ( This means for employers that you concentrate all efforts on your best staff and forget about the others. I guess if you're an employee you hope you're the former.)

My writing tutor says our human fault is finding a good way to work...and then setting out to change everything about it.


*Small Everyday Inspirations:

Young Wendy wrote a great post about drawing inspiration from quotes. I agree; as restorative as the simple act of burning a vanilla candle.

My favourite is Oscar Wilde's: Be yourself, everyone else is taken. Did that purveyor of fabulosity ever say anything sans eclat? He was really the veritable King of Twitter of his day.

Another goody is from the philosopher princess K$sha: "You are who you are" (no arcane Dickensian locutions here today my friends).  Or Lorde, with her sideways fountain of curls, her refusal to wear short frocks, low tops or curtail her funny ziggy zaggy hand movements: "I'm sort of over being told to put my hands up in the air."

Lorde doing her ziggy zaggy hand thing


*Books and Docos:

I have a Jaybird concentration "Oooh bright shiny object!" and reading too many magazines only serves to exacerbate that tendency. A friend reckons even with news magazines you garner only "topsoil knowledge."

Trying to read books rather than magazines and watch documentaries rather than movies: less easy but more satisfying. My sister Pietra (herself a doco maker ) sent us this list -  the 15 best docos from last year.

20 Feet From Stardom (official trailer) is about a group of backup singers who never made it as solo stars -  even though Sting and Mick Jagger say they're the best singers they've ever heard. Sting says it's all about being good at the actual business too...and luck. Makes you think long and hard about why you haven't "made it" if you think you haven't. I realised I've always wanted to be a back-up singer not the star (I'm not a leader or a boss and I don't want to compete directly with other people) and I'll keep working towards that even though I'm 51 and three quarters.

It's a long walk to the front...Source

*Stop The Shopping Madness

Fashion Therapist Vanessa Hernandez told me in an article I wrote for the SF Chron that most of the clothes languishing in the back of our closets are a result of the fact we opt for colour and pattern, when in fact fit is the most important thing. Describes all of my mistakes and I'm leaving those sculptural big-shouldered stuff for someone else who looks good in it.

What works: sssimple striped sweater (Just realised I dress like our house)



In my search for energy lift (I am the lowest energy person you'll ever meet) I bought some multi vitamins (what's difference between cheap vitamins and expensive ones?) St John's Wort for perennial bad moods and magnesium for digestion and started drinking gallons of hot water with a slice of lemon. None of them seemed to make a sliver of difference but continue because it seems like the right thing to do.


What worked for you in 2013, changes big and small?



63 comments:

  1. Interesting mix of supplements. Add in some high test vitamin D3 maybe and take that magnesium with calcium. (Not a doctor, just play one on TV.) But seriously, I have been adjusting my daily cocktail of vitamins for decades. That magnesium is the trickiest.
    I like you in stripes. Is that because everything you own in stripes is a perfect fit? Or is it because I just like stripes? For me, it's yellow that I wear and love no matter how it fits. Truth be known, what is a perfect fit at the start of an Hawaiian vacation can be way too tight at the end of the week. Thanks for the Wilde quote - what a genius that man was!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beryl, thanks for tips on vitamins, need all the help I can get.
      yes I know quite a lot about psychology and policing as just binged on The Wire.
      Stripes are always great aren't they, specially horizontal ones which counterintuitively are flattering. I love Yellow too

      Delete
  2. Stop talking about it, stop forgetting about it, just do it...I channel Nike I guess. Very much into God gave me life and I'm going to live it. Oh, and paige hidden hill jeans discovered in 2013...love them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BB, this comes are very good time for me as have spent two weeks procrastinating on a job

      Delete
    2. BB - hidden hills, will check them out, sounds like they might be good for those like me with PA syndrome (pancake arse)
      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/paige-denim-hidden-hills-bootcut-stretch-jeans-super-mckinley/3320395

      Delete
    3. Yeah! Now get off that pancake ass and " got er done".

      Delete
  3. That fashion therapist would certainly approve of that sweater as it fits like a glove. There has been some recent nutrition talk/studies saying that multi-vitamins & vitamins are either useless or harmful so I've stopped buying any additional vitamins until I hear otherwise.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/12/17/251955878/the-case-against-multivitamins-grows-stronger

    Also, there are now studies that show anti-oxidants aren't so great either.

    http://www.nature.com/news/antioxidants-speed-cancer-in-mice-1.14606

    I also like docos and recently binged on several fashion related (Vreeland/Bergdorf/Halston/YSL etc.) and saw one on the Barnes Collection that was interesting but deeply flawed in it's narrative. I haven't seen any on your sis's list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi GSL, interesting to know about multivitamins, money saved then - why are these vitamins so expensive? bought my spensy ones from Health Store then wondered if they were any different from the generic ones next door from Trader Joes. Must watch Barnes Collection, deeply flawed? Did it have a voice over, cant' stand anything with voiceovers. Though Vreeland was very cool, though sad about her non-existent relationship with her sons though she and her husband were always enchanted with each. I guess in people who are larger than life, the personal is the thing that suffers...Re list - def start with 20 ft from Fame!

      Delete
    2. The Barnes doco is called "The Art of the Steal" (Netflix) and the whole Barnes Collection story is fascinating but the villains of the narrative weren't nearly as villainous as the doco maker would have us believe. It's quite reasonable I think to see that one of the greatest private art collections ever assembled is placed in an institution that allows it to be seen by millions of people from all backgrounds. Yes, a few of the parties had self-interests (surprise!) but a greater good was served by treating it more as a public domain type entity rather than strictly adhereing to Barnes's wishes which were I think poorly planned and petty in motive.

      Delete
    3. Oh interesting sounds like a must-watch.
      If you like docos about art GSL there is none better than Herb and Dorothy, husband and wife art collectors who spent every penny of their pay amassing the biggest collection of conceptual art in the world. She was a librarian, he was a postman - they are adorable - the story is incredible.
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1227929/


      Exit Through the Gift Shop is fun though kind of maddening ending

      Delete
    4. Both of those documentaries are in my Netflix watch list. I havent seen them yet. I really enjoyed the Nova episode 'Mystery of a Masterpiece' about the process of authenticating a previously undiscovered Leonardo. Netflix has it, too

      Delete
  4. I'm trying to simplify and get rid of the drama that has distracted me from my purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If you are dressing like your house-good thing-you are both looking fabulous! I so agree with this philosophy, go with what works. My only resolution this year is to remember #it's enough. Whatever efforts I can make-it's enough, no perfectionist tendencies allowed. Who really cares anyway? I'm laughing at the low energy thing. I've never worked harder than this last year with my blog/boutique and working as a School Psychologist almost full time. I feel low energy too but pushed myself to the breaking point and ended up in the ER. That DIDN'T work so I'm trying to balance some self-care with the rest of it. Maybe I should bump up the vitamins too.
    xx, H

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's enough! Thats a good one Heather! I think I've shackled myself many times or haven't got the job done or haven't even started because I think of how perfect I want it to be. Take care of yourself my friend!

      Delete
  6. I love that sweater on you BTW!
    I have gone back on B12 tablets.....my hair actually feels thicker....yeah,right!
    I like that philosophy....do what you do best....and .....most of the time....I try to do that......I'll get back to you on how that turns out!
    Enjoy your evening....
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I last went to UK I bought some Imedeen and that seemed to help my hair and skin...but not available here

      Delete
  7. I'm into a "You can't take it with you" frame of mind at the moment. (Basically translated it means I can be lazy when I want to be.) No really, material stuff doesn't really matter, nor does achieving and having it all at the end of the day. As long as you try to be the best person you can be, and perhaps have a positive effect on someone else's life, that's really all that matters.
    I realize that was a bit deep, but when you strip it all down, I also think it's rather brilliant and I'm sticking to it. (Told you I was lazy!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You realise no one has it all anyway and trying to chase that makes you crazy

      Delete
  8. Jody, This was perfect post for me as I'm terribly procrastinating writing something today..Just want to watch the Olympics. Maybe I'll just chuck it until tomorrow and enjoy the rest of the evening...I agree with GSL -just read a lot recently about how vitamins may be doing more harm than help..I've now totally stopped taking them. Who knows. I do have that Calm magnesium drink though..
    The problem is being people like us, we always think we SHOULD be doing something. I sometimes with I were more like a few slacker peeps I know. They really enjoy things with no worries of ,"shoulds."
    Have a relaxing weekend!! ;D Kim

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really like this post! What a great idea to just go with what has been working. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  10. have to watch the vitamins as they aren't monitored and cheap or expensive they can just have loads of crap. Add vitamn d3 and a probotic(one that needs to be kept in the fridge), those are the two every single person should take.

    And as far as studies go, some of it is true, but it is a complete misdirect too in a way, because they don't want you buying vitamins, they want you buying drugs. I'm walking proof they do good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, I'm going to put d3 on my list and a probiotic too. what do these do? and what is a good brand that doesn't put loads of rubbish into their pills?

      Delete
  11. Hardly any patterns hang in my closet it is basically black grey and white or cream. Any interloping colour comes as an accessory like a scarf or shoes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like the "Interloping" great way to think of pop o'colour

      Delete
  12. Love the idea of Oscar Wilde on Twitter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always think too that Mark Twain would have made a top blogger too. He was so so prolific, just wrote about everything in his life

      Delete
  13. I am really trying to define my goals in 2014- being a specific as possible... when I do that I feel like I achieve the most success. But with all that comes not doing EVERYTHING.. by only doing the specific activities, I cut out a LOT of crap....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have cut out all school volunteering, after 16 years of it, I feel I can take a break

      Delete
  14. Loved this post Jody. I have fairly low energy levels. I think it's hormonal, because sometimes I get a massive energy boost some days, for no apparent reason, and I am a veritable whirlwind of activity - going into cleaning and organising frenzies. If only I was like that every day, instead of once every few months.
    As for clothing, I'd agree with it all being about fit. Things that you get out the most are the things that flatter and that are comfortable to wear. Challenging clothes are not the first thing to be pulled from the wardrobe.
    As for reading more books... that's on my new years list too. I could never read books while pregnant (did something to my concentration), and after was challenging with sleep deprivation etc. And I feel like I've got out of the habit, instead reading mags and flicking around the net. I'm trying to read more before bed, or even during the day or while waiting for kids at their various activities. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heidi, the other I overhead someone say: "What sad person buys these celebrity magazines' oops that would be me.

      Delete
  15. Once I figure out what worked last year, I'll consider whether I want to do it this year. One thing that did work was moving from a human filing cabinet to a house. But I don't want to move again in 2014. Moving is such a lot of work.

    Blessings and Bear hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truthfully it takes a couple of years to settle in. There were so many things I worried about coming from London to Oakland but in fact finding a good dry cleaner was the hardest part. The rest slipped into place

      Delete
  16. What an entertaining and educational post, Jody. You are providing me with great 'topsoil knowledge' .
    My view on life at the moment is that as long as I have a load of washing in the machine, I can sit down and not feel guilty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually my writing tutor said to do three quarts of an hour or writing and then quarter an hour of filling the washing machine (or yoga) and then will really get you reaching into the collective subconscious!

      Delete
  17. Well so much to respond to in this great post. I will take the moniker "young wendy" and run with it first of all!

    Re: work - author Marcus Buckingham would agree with this completely. He argues in his work that it is imperative that people find work that is consistent with their temperament and abilities. To do otherwise is to court disaster, since you might end up like me - top of profession but not particularly happy about it which really doesn't make you top of anything, does it?

    I love docos too and will have to make my way through this list! Reading again has really helped me - for so many years I read mostly work-related things and now I find that I am reading all sorts of fiction and nonfiction and it is opening up my mind in good ways!

    As for clothes - what good advice! I had this aha moment just this week. We went to an event Thursday night (forgot pics - grr) and I wore a black fitted dress and a black textured blazer. I caught sight of myself in the mirror and realized I looked really good. I stared wondering why - it wasn't because I was thinner (if anything am the opposite!) or that the colour was so flattering (it was black after all), but the clothing fit PERFECTLY. Then I thought of what I wear day to day - those are the things that fit me PERFECTLY. The things that languish because they are nice but don't quite fit due to weight fluctuation or some other reason are never worn. I need to revisit those things and decide if they are worth waiting for the weight to drop (!) or can be salvaged by a tailor or if they ought not go visit elsewhere. Oh Lord - it is hard to be a woman sometimes!

    Congrats on keeping on keeping on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must look up that author. Once of my friends at home was fed up with law and the way you were always aware of the clock as you billed by the hour. She went to an adviser to see what she was better suited to. The test showed she was suited to law - she was devastated as was hoping to re-train as a nurse or something. Anyway long story short she switched to training young lawyers in house and is much happier.

      Delete
  18. Your 'lazy' resolution idea is such a good one - far more achievable than the usual ambitious ones!! I'll pop over to read your article too - a lot of neutrals in my wardrobe and very little in the way of pattern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A good pattern (some DVF etc) stay with you forever. Others you wear once and you tire of them.

      Delete
  19. Very wise words by your writing tutor. Never thought of it that way before but that really is true!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think it is all the self help books and magazines, we want to mess around with the stuff that isn't broke...

      Delete
  20. It's February already and I haven't done very much at all. But too tired to care. I have bipolar energies - but mostly low due to thyroid. Trying to fix it but keep forgetting to take my stuff. Vitamin thing is such a huge issue - but basically they say take supplements separately bc some you need to take before meals and some after and some with acid - you get my drift. But you should get tested to see if you are deficient in anything. I did that at the Mayr and i have made a huge turnaround since before i went.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, just went over to your place and love all the midnight blues in those rooms. I was thinking I might have a thyroid problem but tests show no, so am just very low energy without a medical diagnosis. Two friends found they was borderline took the medicine and felt better and almost lost quite a lot of weight.

      Delete
    2. Just so you know - i don't technically have thyroid problem - was on the cusp but i was iodine deficinet which make thyroid not work properly that is why tests were confusing! it was like a case in House or something but that is why I think you should test for vitamin and mineral deficiencies!

      Delete
  21. I decided I just wanted to be happy . If I achieve this it means everything else is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  22. As for vitamins, seems to me that our bodies tell us when we need a particular vitamin, like if I don't take Mg I get horrendous leg cramps. Regardless, I also take Calcium and D3 because it makes me feel safe. I buy the expensive brands because you never know.

    But mostly I've learned that I can't do all the things I want to do, which really is only read and watch videos. Lofty goals right! Ah well, I like blogging and reading blogs and there are too many I want to read and comment on and so I never have time for that video I wanted to watch. So I decided I need to learn to be picky, or discriminating, and neglect some blogs. I've yet to be successful at this though. As you can see, here I am at a new blog thinking about what I just read from this new interesting intelligent person. So it goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, thanks for popping by. OK now i have a full list of must-have vitamins to add to. Also because Im 51 need to do that calcium. I eat enormous amounts of kiwifruit, just hoping they have something in them.Just heading over to your place, Rubye

      Delete
  23. Hellosies, that Hermes post was from three years ago , no idea why it keeps popping up on bloglovin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So I'm not going to win the Hermes book? Ah well...Blogspot sends my random posts on ocassion, not sure what activates it.

      Delete
  24. I just let the negative stuff go, people as well. Stopped wearing so much black, more colours and just whatever I wanted without a thought to what anyone else might think. Sometimes putting the blinders on to other people is actually a healthy thing...listening to yourself and doing what you wish to do...I've always been that kind of person, but last year it got a little muddled, so now I am back to what I like and not paying so much attention :) xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never wear black but i do wear loads of navy. I am working on more colour to lift the mood too

      Delete
  25. Good vitamins worked for me (less bulking agents. higher concentration. because you asked), having a workspace used to work for me (I'll get an entire room to myself again in the new house, YAY), work works for me (I'd be the grumpiest fulltime mum you'll ever meet), exercise to loud music. Makes me happy. And look OK in a bathing suit. Anything else? xx
    PS: blackcurrant seed oil for mood. Works ace for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On my list MM! Gosh just visited you at your place, thought I left a comment ages ago and haven't, I need that blackcurrant oil plus a memory restorer...or cut down on the Corpse Reviver cocktails

      Delete
  26. New follower here. Your blog is fabulous-where have I been? I could have been reading you all this time.
    My discovery last year: Spinach shakes. No lie. Sounds a bit unappetizing but you don't taste the spinach so they are delicious. And a plant-based diet is so healthy-as long as you are reasonable about
    it -sort of 'vegan with a side of bacon'
    Off to read archive posts.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for popping by Bebe! I really should try the spinach shakes. Also must keep doing bacon though too just to be fair. Heading over to yours now...

      Delete
  27. For the first time ever, I did dry January and made it through to 1st Feb without one drop of alcohol. I wonder what Oscar Wilde would have to say about that!?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He said; "Alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, may produce all the effects of drunkenness." says it all doesn't it?

      Delete
  28. I tried Mitoq Serum last year after watching a current events programme on TV,which featured one of the scientists behind its development here in NZ, now based at Cambridge University in the UK. I had lost quite a bit of weight(good) but being close to 50,my once full face suddenly revealed every line and wrinkle going .It was a throwaway comment from not only one but two family members on separate occasions that I decided to read more about this so called revolutionary anti -aging serum,. Being an ex librarian but also a normal woman(!) I read both the scientific articles and those in popular magazines and watched the videos online .So with a healthy dose of optimism, I purchased a bottle. Now I cant do without it and love how my skin looks ,I was always lucky with good genes and have a good diet and this has enhanced all of that. After about 3 weeks(takes a full skin cycle of around a month to see results but others see or feel it sooner)I got up one morning to do routine daily cleanse tone Mitoq moisturiser sunblock and my face under my fingers felt like a thick wall. The product had started to work for me and thickened my skin, Am now onto my third bottle and have dropped back form twice daily use to once, my skin is smoother and skin tone more even, lines under my eyes diminished and have even tried what another user suggested putting on eyelids, to find the skin folds have completely gone. Others have suggested backs of hands, doing one and leaving the other out to see what happens over a period of time. I have yet to try that. It is well priced for what it does, easy to use and enhances other skincare products. I like that it is non invasive treatment .I think its good to look and feel your best at the age you are and this product has done it for me. Now curious to see how the supplements will work as they will take a bit longer. Never really been one for those either and don't take anything else but am trying out on the strength of how wonderful the serum has been .Mitoq has no endorsement from any cosmetics company or celebrity and is only sold through their website .There are some stories from ordinary people ,men and women of all ages about how it has helped their particular skin problems and concerns which are also worth reading. My husband is also on it.This product addresses skin aging on all levels and isn't a gimmick. Happy to be 50 now!! PS I don't work for Mitoq! Just happy to share my story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue - Sounds like a bit of all right, I have it down on my list. I am also going to try backs of hands too, as have dreadful age spots. Will do before and after photos - do you think three weeks is enough to tell. And yes - you have got the good Hungarian genes as a starter for six which I don't have so will have to take that into account. Hope they sell it here, looking now on the website

      http://www.mitoq.com/

      Delete
  29. I think results depend on your skin, I noticed the thickening in three weeks, smoothing of lines etc a bit later. Eyelids, very quickly .They say give it a month as that is a skin cycle some people notice a change very quickly. Dont have to use much. Bottle lasts about 6 weeks.Be interesting to get your mum to try and see what changes she notices and if it helps with skin thining,not a nice part of aging.It should soften some of the lines too and give her a lift.Try capsules as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue have ordered two lots. am going to do before and after photos. Am extremely sceptical about stuff but this sounds like a goer

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...