Monday, October 8, 2012

Personal note to readers 10.8.12

My Dear Readers,
I’ve moved over to ONELEISURELADY.COM and hope you’ll make the move with me! Over the next few months there will be lots of great Lady of Leisure articles and advice from Dating, to trying new foods & exercises, and making the most out of your travels. I’ll have some guest article bloggers as well so stay tuned! 

Like the One You're With

You hear it constantly, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” But what happens if you don’t LOVE the job you’re currently doing? Is that supposed to be a reflection of where you are in life?  And what if you love being comfortable more than you love your job? What if you want to have a life? 
I’m a writer and a producer. I love what I do- most of the time. But there are jobs that you take, just for the money and the ability to have a Lady of Leisure lifestyle. For those of you new to the blog, an LOL lifestyle is a new lease on life! It’s putting yourself first, being adventurous; finding moments of carefree bliss in our otherwise hectic and crazy lives. 
Recently, I was working on a show that sucked. I won’t name which one, but needless to say a combination of things came together to make it a less than exciting experience. And again, I usually love what I do, but I found this particular job incredibly annoying with difficult parameters and not challenging in a positive way. I found myself in uncharted waters because usually, I feel like I can do anything! I usually love what I do! Its part of my new LOL mantra! 
The reality is, that I did the job at 100%, not at my usual 200% speed. This makes me think of two things. 1) Why do we always feel like giving all of ourselves during the time required is not enough. Why do I feel bad that I only gave 100%? I only did exactly what was asked me, nothing more and nothing less and for some reason that makes me feel bad about my performance? This feeling of having to give more than is asked of you and it being expected in work performance is ludicrous. We are all culpable too, because when taking a new job, we like to over deliver and over achieve. We don’t talk about all the things that we need to be the most successful, we talk about the things that the company or the job need. This makes you start already behind because it is impossible to deliver great results when you are burning yourself out or when you aren’t discussing the time off you need to recharge, the benefits, and other “you things” that are needed to provide you with energy and brain power for your optimum performance. 
The second thing it made me wonder is why I need to love the material. Is it necessary that you love each job? I don’t think so. I think that sometimes, you can just like it and be fine. This notion we have of having to be in love all the time is inconsistent with the rest of the worlds notions of work. Sometimes, a job is just a job and you do it well, get paid and move on. Just because you’re not dreaming up new ways of making it better every second does not mean that you’re not doing a great job. So take a deep breathe and get rid of those guilty feelings!
On the flip side, having a job you don’t love can be a miserable experience. It can lower your productivity and make you a generally crabby person. I think that it all comes back to being a “glass is half full” kind of person. If you’re in the unfortunate situation of being in job you don’t love and you feel like you’re working hard for no reason,  think about all the great benefits of this situation! 
1- A pay check is great!
2-You have an ability to disconnect from the material and have a life! 
3-Yoga/workouts/personal hobbies – these are all things you tend to put off when you are working on something you LOVE. 
So I say that you don’t have to love what you do all the time. Sometimes, you love that your doing something that is moving you further along in your career endeavors and that is enough. It’s okay to just mildly like the job your with. We don’t need to have love affairs with our work all the time. Sometimes having a life for a moment is just as great.
So don’t get discouraged if you’re an actor out there wearing a chicken suit right now – Brad Pitt did that too. Or if you’re a housewives whose kids are driving her crazy and at night is penning the next 50 Shades. Like the job you’re with enough to just appreciate that its moving your along on your path.  The rest will come. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Failure to Launch

I fell down Runyon the other day and have a wicked bruise on my left leg. As I was falling in slow motion, i thought about 2 things:

1-George Clooney's Inside the Actors studio appearance was really good.
2-Please don't let me fall on my dog. She is tiny. I will kill her.

I got up with a little help from my friends and limped back to the car, eventually making it home. When I got home I fed my dog and was about to cancel my spin class date when I looked at my badge of honor, purple and blue and thought,  "F it".

While at Spin class, feeling incredibly proud of myself for being there, I started thinking about all the things I wanted to do and made a to do list in my head.

1-Re-watch a moment of George's Inside the Actors Studio
2- Edit my novel
3-Edit one of my screenplays
4-Edit my spec
5-Find work
6-Figure out the pesky health insurance thing
7-What the F is wrong with my car
8-The dog needs food
9-Where in the world are my sisters
10-Touch base with my brothers
11-Jesus, when did my To Do list get so long
12-When was the last time I went to church
13-Check out the Churchill
14-Don't fall down anymore hills
15-Stop making lists

And it went on. Suddenly, I was wishing I had stayed in my bed, bruise and sweat free. I had a moment of panic during the uphill climb. What was I doing with my life? Prince was singing, Purple Rain and I was pondering the meaning of my life. Purple bruise and now purple rain? Was the universe sending me a sign or was I just acting crazy, looking for signs everywhere in the hopes of getting a clear directive?

When our parents were our age, they were adults with children and steady jobs. Most of the "kids" my age I know, have dreams and worlds that don't revolve around PTA. Even my friends with kids have sort of alternative lifestyles. They take yoga, they might not own a home, they try to eat organic.

My overseas friends insist its a big city American thing. They are sure that in the big cities we are all big dreamers rebelling against conservative conformist ideals yet secretly making communes of our own where we want to grow cabbage out in the wilderness with some sort of family.

My city friends insist that they aren't hippies and that this "failure to launch" is due to the overwhelming amount of options they are now presented with. When our parents were kids the career paths were clear - Doctor, Lawyer, Homemaker, Teacher and maybe the artsy ones would be journalists, actors and in LA, a producer. Now a days kids can be youtube sensations, they can multi-platform marketing specialists and brand multimedia managers or skate board artists - and get paid for it. Our dreams have gotten so big and our childhood a bit longer.

The HBO show, GIRLS, deals with this. I love in the pilot when she points out that she's ONLY 24 and that in this generation, how is she supposed to follow her dreams without help? She still has dreams and feels some sort of entitlement to follow them despite the current state of the economy. Most 20 somethings can probably relate and we excuse them as 30 is the new 20 and 20 is the new 14.

But in your 30s when do we give up the right to have those dreams? When is it that we start feeling like we shouldn't be renting, we should be buying? When is it that we feel we should take that 9-7 job that we don't love because we need financial security? Is there an acceptable age? When I was 20 I used to think that number was 30 and now that I'm there, I know that I didn't have a clue.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Say What?

I went to visit an adorable little baby this weekend. He was 3 days old and already had a personality. He liked being swaddled, he had a little snort, he was already a little guy. Who knows what ideas were swimming in his little brain or what smells he was attracted to, but grabbing fingers and making faces seem to be his favorite past times while awake.

Now, as a Lady of Leisure, I've had plenty of time to think lately. And as I stared into his tiny little blue eyes, I wondered what were the things that would have the biggest impression on this tiny little life. Would it be his surroundings? His parents? His friends? Would it be movies that would teach everything he needed to unlearn about dating? Would it be his favorite TV shows or the music he listens to everyday?

Well, I've been paying attention - and I'm ready to pick a beef with some of the music! Yes, you artist! You with your catchy song lyric and great tempo - I'm talking to you!

So, I actually like this song, and listen to it often, but level with me here Bruno - what are we saying? You would catch a grenade for this girl, but she's likely to rip the breaks out of your car. That doesn't seem like a fair trade...or like unrequited love even. That just seems like you're a pansy. I'm sorry. I like you, a lot, but that's what I think. But people sing this song and they think it's romantic! We breathe this song in on the radio and sing it out loud at karaoke and start to think it sounds so lovely! The man would catch a Grenade for you, he'd jump in front of plane for you but you won't do the same! And thank Goodness, because we don't need to two crazy dead people.

Loving someone who doesn't love you isn't romantic. It's silly. A right of passage? Yes and certainly something we can all relate to, but, really? We are we chasing after someone we'd take a bullet for but who in turn doesn't only not like you - it seems like she'd like to let you take that bullet, Bruno.

Not a sermon- just a thought.


Ah yes, Girl I love the fact that you have no idea how hot you are. That's the single thing I find the hottest about you - so please, be insecure, question your self confidence, have no idea that you're pretty. Don't you dare be empowered by that fact because the thing I like about you the most girl --- is you don't know you're beautiful.

I know I know, what are we teaching people anyway? Do we want girls to be self absorbed, conceded assholes? No, of course not, but to celebrate how attractive it is that you have no idea you're even a little attractive and triumph your insecurities... Well, that just seems a little chauvinistic doesn't it?


You know how Whitney Houston told you that the greatest love of all was to love yourself? Forget all that. Lets take a short cut baby, and let me love you until you love yourself. Don't work on yourself, don't go through all that - nah, just be with me and I'll love you enough for the both of us. I got this don't your worry you're pretty little head.

Really? Again, I know we're trying to be romantic here but the message is a little...well, wussy.

But I guess that's what love songs are right? We feel like wusses when we're in love! Maybe I shouldn't be so tough. The truth is, from what I remember, Love, makes you feel crazy and love loss, even worse. I think I've been feeling numb for so long, its been easy to be cynical. But, yeah I do remember that! At one point in time, I would have caught a grenade for some douche bag that wanted nothing to do with. I did play on my insecurity and want guys to like me when I thought was ugly and started to feel that way too! And yes, I did want someone to love me enough for the two of us. We tend to loose ourselves in that state right? Yeah, I vaguely remember that feeling.

Fortunately, though unfortunately while we are in that state, it doesn't work that way. You know what's romantic? Being in love with someone who loves you. Falling in love, slowly with someone and being petrified of every step, that is romantic. Kissing someone in the morning who doesn't wish they were in bed with someone else. That's romantic. Being able to live without someone but truly enjoying their company, that's romantic. Having the confidence to know that you'll be okay if it doesn't work out -- that's romantic.

But we don't respond to those songs. They would be too upbeat and when you're down, you need someone to commiserate and thank God! Because otherwise you might really start to think you're alone. Instead we all sing along to the same songs at the top of our lungs hoping and willing ourselves to know that this is the last time we ever feel that way.

Maybe it is?

I dont' know. As you know if you read my blog - I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm an expert at dismantling relationships and finding all the reasons it's not gonna work out, but trying positive for a change - I'll leave you with some romance. Besides, that baby I now know might benefit from being surrounded by romance. He lives in a University town - there are enough cynics around him anyway.

Bright Eyes- First Day of My Life

And for that matter - I like "GET LOW" too - regardless of the message - Forget the message. Everyone, put on your dancing shoes and go the Window - to the Wall....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Relationship PTSD

If you've been watching "Episodes" and you've ever broken up with someone only to try and rekindle the flame after a bad break-up, you saw Sean and Beverly's attempt at make up make out and instantly knew, he couldn't go through with it. Not because he was a bad guy and couldn't get over his wife's cheating, albeit sort-of-kind-of-getback-at-you-sex. He kept seeing Matt LeBlanc's rumored an anaconda sized manhood shagging his wife. He was traumatized and still suffering from severe relationship PTSD or R-PTSD.

Sean is not alone. Many of us bring lots of baggage with us into new relationships. Divorced people and monogamous people in long-term committed relationships are the worst. We may as well has bags that say:


and so on and so fourth. We are a wreck!

I asked on Facebook what kinds of R-PTSD people  bring with them into new relationships and the responses were hilarious and sad all at the same time.

My friend "Lindsay" sent me an email saying that her ex-husband's mother was incredibly controlling. She's been dating her new boyfriend for a month and everything was going well. His mother called her to invite her to lunch and Lindsay promptly broke up with her boyfriend. "It was too much pressure," she confided in me. "He was great but I just had visions of her ruining my life and wearing white to my wedding and demanding to sing at my baby shower".

Lindsay may have over-reacted, but after 10 years with the same husband thinking that this was it for her, the thought of an overbearing mother in law who found her phone number by looking through her sons phone without any warning was one sign too many.

"Meg" wrote to me about a similar PTSD experience regarding Facebook. Her ex was having an affair with a woman on Facebook and as a result she tends to be incredibly overbearing with her new boyfriend about it. "I don't care, I don't have anything to hide so I just give her my password," her boyfriend Allan told me. Meg appreciated his patience, but admitted to me, "I don't want to be this way.  I don't want to be mistrusting, but I was with my husband for 8 years and that happened. How can I keep my guard down after just 9 months?" she asked.

I have no idea Meg. I will say that if you're new boyfriend is going to cheat on you, he's going to do it regardless of whether you have his Facebook password. This paranoia mostly affects you, the traumatized one, but also has an affect on your kids, your co-workers and your new relationship. Luckily for Meg, she's in a relationship with someone who lets her, as she herself said, "be crazy".

And thank God for those patient people out there who date those of us afflicted with Relationship PTSD, because we are a handful!

"Alana" confided in me that once a month she asks her boyfriend if he wants to break up with her. They've been dating for 5 years. "I just like to know where I stand" she told me.  And its not only women who suffer from Relationship PTSD. "Jacob" sent me an email the length of a novel explaining to me that his ex always use to come into the bathroom while he was pooping. True story. He said it bugged it him out so much that it lead to their lack of sex and eventually the demise of their relationship. He now has a locked door policy in the bathroom and says weekend getaway trips with girls he's dating have been pushed to the three month mark and beyond.

My friend "Erin" constantly asks her fiancé if he wants her engagement ring back.

On my end, I can tell you that as a fellow R-PTSDer, I too have my many moments of crazy. I am the most confident person in the world, except when it comes to relationships. I still wonder when I can call or when I can text or if its okay to post a photo or if he's going to realize I'm crazy at any given moment and tell me where my daddy issues and I can go.

But there is hope for us! Relationship veterans have to be in relationships with very patient people. If you're not a patient person and can't' take a little bit of crazy, then you probably should date someone whose never been married or in a committed long-term relationship that went awry. They might be a little saner or at least do a better job of hiding it. Because isn't that really what differentiates us anyways? Us veterans of relationship war to the table with all of our bags - labeled not willing to commit anymore time than we need to if you're not up for it from the get go.

But we're not all bad! There are many benefits to dating a Relationship Veteran.

*We generally cook better.

*We generally communicate more...much more than you may be accustomed to (It's something we learned in couples counseling).

*We are planners because we have been, but we're not making long term plans for while.

*We generally will be nicer to your parents (because anything is better than the in-laws we had that now hate us).

*We love your "alone" time because we miss ours.

*We love your kids, because they aren't ours.

*We tend to want to have more sex with you...because we've been married or in a long term committed relationship that went south and probably spent a lot of time...not having sex.

*We are generally more independent, because we've had to be.

So if you can take a little crazy, try dating a Relationship Veteran PTSDer. We keep it interesting...for sure.