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"i'm not good at that"

From a young age, I believed that there is no point in doing something if it isn't done well. This mentality has been very fruitful in some aspects because it's pushed me to give 110% even when I didn't want to, but, as I've increasingly realized these past few years, I tend to simply excuse myself with an "I'm not good at that" after a brief, half-hearted attempt at things that don't come naturally to me. While I'm great at challenging myself at things I already know I can handle, I tend to just excuse myself from the field entirely at others.

Recently, I've put aside my beloved romance novels and begun reading books on topics that I always thought I am no good at. Is it more comforting to weep over a heroine having her heart broken than slog through hard-to-understand concepts? Yes. But there is something satisying about stretching my mind once more now that it isn't in peeved, I-have-another-paper-to-write mode, and making myself understand things I've always wanted to but didn't think I could. A small step outside my comfort zone, but immensely satisfying nonetheless--and yet another reminder of the wonder of books, and how they can be so rewarding without you ever leaving your comfy spot on the living room couch.

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that tingly feeling...

After two back-to-back weekend trips in March (to Baltimore for a dear friend's wedding and Vegas for the husband's birthday), I was burned out. No trips for a while sounded like a good idea, particularly since the rest of the month was overwhelmed by my busiest work period. I was tired and couldn't muster the excitement to do anything other than have a good night's sleep in my own bed.

This week though, with its spring breeze and happy sunshine, the wanderlust is back. And now, rather than hoping, needing, a quiet weekend at home, all I can think of is where next? how soon?

The answer, dear friends, is Austin. After all of the good things I've heard (admittedly, for some odd reason, I thought the Riverwalk was there although my friend laughingly disabused me of that notion), I've decided, what better place to celebrate an anniversary weekend than the city that likes to keep it weird?

Thus has begun the extensive restaurant researching, the hunt for the best bars in town, the endless debate of car-versus-cab, the wonderful, maddening anticipation of it all. There's nothing better for a planner to do but figure out a vacation. Just thinking about it is half the fun.

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spring cleaning

One of the things that I am having the most fun with now that spring is tiptoeing its way into our lives is spring cleaning my closet. I previously mentioned my joy at opening my warmer weather storage containers and think it's worth going into more detail. It's funny how, after six months, one can forget about a skirt, a pretty dress, or, in some cases, a not-so-clever, too-ruffled buy. Already I have an idea of what items will get folded but never worn--and am already battling with keeping it just in case versus just getting it over with and donating it already. This is made more complicated by my new pixie cut--silhouettes that were previously flattering now make me like a six-year old boy, but, on the bright side, pieces that were previously boring suddenly have a flair about them.

And let's not get into the shopping! Everything, and I mean everything, at J. Crew is just darling. (I confess to taking advantage of their recent sale--who could resist these espadrille wedges?) And that's just one store. Don't get me started on Anthropologie or Kate Spade (which has just come out with my dream skirt.)

It's times like these that I love, love, love being a girl.

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it's here

Yesterday was the first day of spring (I strongly suspect more people know this than normal given our abnormally long winter), and if I needed a test to tell me whether I am an optimist or a pessimist, yesterday was it. Despite evidence to the contrary, I began gleefully taking coats off their hangers and opening one of my "spring bins," the one with long, light dresses and cotton blouses. (Come to think of it though, is that being optimistic or delusional? Hmm...)

My good friend brought me back to earth and reminded me how I did this last year with disastrous results. But oh how I am looking forward to seeing my bare feet again (and pedicures with friends!), to getting a glow again, to color, to flowers, to drinks on a porch and talking about nothing at all.

Aren't you?

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I saw this Vogue Diaries interview of Sarah Jessica Parker a few days ago and have been thinking about it ever since. Not only do you get a peek into her lovely home--which was much more homey and colorful than I would have expected--but also get to see SJP as a gracious, slightly absent-minded hostess (which I think is akin to my hosting style--absent-minded, I mean, although I hope I am the former as well). She comes across as charming and at ease (I love the casual ensemble--comfortable yet still chic--and the necklace reminds me of Anna Wintour's signature piece). With 73 questions rapidly thrown at her, she gave answers that displayed a breadth of cultural interests, and so instantly that they had to be genuine. (Unless, of course, this was rehearsed, in which case, what a shame.) If I had been asked those questions, I may very well have stuttered through half, or at least would have needed a good minute to think. She seems remarkably self-aware, and I thought, how nice it would be to know myself that way that well too.


back to you

After a long hiatus, I have gone back to my yoga mat and couldn't be more pleased. Having found a happy medium (a place that keeps the room at a warm 90 degrees instead of a sweltering 100+), I've had a bounce in my step on my way to weekend class and an admittedly much more sluggish limp come 6 am session. (And fine, I admit that sometimes I just cancel because I want to sleep more.)

Even though it is my busiest time at work, or, more accurately, because of it, I am much more deliberate about including physical activity in my life. It reduces the jitteriness, the restlessness, and makes me that much more focused for the day.

I've come to wonder if I'm the kind of person who can't stick to one thing for too long, and, consequently, how many months it will be before the yoga high wanes and I attempt to find something else. (I've long documented how exercise was never in my DNA--I blame my parents for allowing me to read for days on end and not signing me up for any sports teams as a child.) But for now, I love the way it makes me feel. I love the sense of power and grace that comes with sinking into Warrior II, stretching my arms just so, and looking out into the distance. I love the sensation of my body doing precisely what I want it to, and when I fall out of a pose, I also love the challenge of getting back in it and getting the right balance of thinking-but-not-overthinking to make it happen.

I have come to truly understand the sentiment that my body is a gift, my health is a gift, and in large part, that is thanks to this practice. And while you, dear reader, may not get the same yoga high, I truly hope you get it from somewhere else. It's a wonderful feeling.

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they swear it changes your life

Before I did it, I read all the articles. Looked at all the pictures. Tried to envision it on myself (and failed miserably).

They swore it would change my life. (Yes, the ubiquitous "they.") That it would make me feel liberated. That it would simultaneously make life easier and make my personal style more complicated. They said it worked like a club, and those who had it would be much nicer to others who did. They said it was the ultimate man-repeller. I took everything they said into consideration.

Then I did it. It took a mimosa and a very generous pour of white wine, but I did.

Hello, pixie cut.

Time will tell if they were right.

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