Attitude Adjustment

attitudeI had to check myself before I wrecked myself the other day.

It was the first Saturday of the New Year and I went to the gym in late morning. And, to no surprise, it was packed.

And, unfortunately also no surprise, I immediately became a brat about it.

As I walked in and looked at the crowds of people on the machines and on the equipment, I got testy. I kept thinking somehow they were in my way. I felt so self-righteous that this gym was my gym. And that they were in my way. And how dare they even consider slightly inconveniencing me.

In short, I was a little biatch about it.

But halfway through my workout (when the endorphins started kicking in and I was calmer than before), I realized I was the one with the problem. Here are a bunch of people who, sure, don’t really know what they’re doing yet at the gym. But you’ve got to start somewhere. They were not at all getting in my way. It’s not like I go there with a really clear training plan of certain exercises I have to hit and certain goals that have to be attained. Usually I go with a body group that I’m going to focus on for the day. And then I look around and see what’s available.

These people weren’t my enemies. They were my new friends.

Sure, many of them may not stick around past February. But some of them will. Some of these people will have made it their New Years Resolution to get in shape and go to the gym all the time, and this will be the very exciting start of that journey for them. These are more people I now have something in common with. New people with whom I can talk working out with. New people who can complain about the lazy people who don’t return their free weights with.

It’s so easy to think you’re entitled to something. So much of our world today makes you believe you are entitled to whatever you want in the exact circumstances you want it and exactly when you want it. IWWIWWIWI, I believe is what it’s called (I Want What I Want When I Want It). I wanted to have the gym completely quiet and to myself. I wanted to be able to choose any time and go without any convenience to me. I wanted to have access to all the equipment I could possibly want for my workout at any given time even if I wasn’t using it or didn’t end up needing it.

Entitlement is gross.

I’m not proud of my attitude that day. But I am glad to be reminded that it’s so easy to fall back into a negative mindset. It’s easy to forget that other people are not your enemy. I live in Los Angeles…like millions of other people. If I start getting frustrated at crowds or traffic or whatever, I’ll never be satisfied in this city. Or any city. In fact, if I start wanting everything in my environment to be exactly how I want it without any distractions, I might as well move to a tiny hermit shack in Montana and hide from the world.

I’m not proud to say that I’ve considered this at times.

Then I remember, I love people. I love LA. I love being out of my comfort zone and having shared experiences and the excitement of a crowd. The only reason there’s even a gym close to me is because there are lots of other people who are members. I don’t keep it alive on my tiny membership fee alone. If there weren’t lots of people who belonged, I’d have to go somewhere else.

We need each other.

So I have to wait an extra few minutes for the leg press machine in January because some girl is doing 20 sets of 10 lbs. Whatever. No big deal. She’s gotta start somewhere. And I’m not going anywhere. So I’ll wait.

And I’ll be sure to check myself before I wreck myself.

Watch Your Words

I wrote this article called “6 Verbal Changes that can change your mood” for the awesome online magazine Ms. In the Biz.

Click on the link above to check it out and let me know what you think.

Rainy Day Fund

Imm be honest wichu, readers. I ain’t got tons a’ cash rite nah. I also ain’t knowin why I writin like dis. Feelz right. Feelz tite.PiggyBank_page-bg_16009

*ahem*

Sorry. I lost myself for a second there.

I was trying to tell you that my pockets aren’t “Rollin’ in the Deep” Adele style. I have to watch what comes in and what goes out carefully at this point in my life. I’m not super proud of it, but I’m proud of all the creative stuff I accomplish and recognize it as an investment in the future. Sure, I’ve been investing for a very long time. Sure, I don’t exactly know if every investment I make has a 1:1 ratio on return. And sure, I just pretended to understand returns on investments in the form of make-believe ratios and have no idea if it even makes sense.

It’s one of the only places in my life that I can still feel stressed to the point of frustration and helplessness. It’s the only place left in my life that will actually make me respond passionately, immediately and very emotionally before I’ve actually taken a moment to think. Just ask the terrible “doctor” I went to see for a basic office visit who sent me a ridiculous bill for services. If he doesn’t remember me, tell I’m I’m the chick who left a message. He’ll know. I’m not proud of that message…but it happened.

In the past couple weeks I’ve had to do what we all have to do and look over my finances and try and figure out my financial situation for next year to get a better grip on it. And as often happens, it can be overwhelming and frustrating. Especially when random bills come out of nowhere and you google it and it turns out you have to pay it because you didn’t know you could opt out and the date to fill out the opt out form is already passed. (Luckily for all of us, this particular bill had an office that was already closed and didn’t have the option to leave a voicemail. Otherwise, I’d be notorious in two different offices for my *ahem* passionate voicemails).

So in thinking about what I can do to remedy this situation that often leaves me feeling helpless, I’ve decided to do the only thing within my power and just change my attitude. Rather than being overwhelmed at the amount of money I seem to owe or frustrated by my ignorance of tax systems and bills and deductions and everything… I’m just going to breathe and take it one step at a time. I’m going to go to the tax office and pay what I owe the city of LA. I’m going to call my heath insurance and let them know they need to cover the quack doctor office visit because it’s part of my plan. And I’m going to use part of my rainy day fund to help me pay rent and groceries next month thanks to all these extra expenses. That’s why you keep a rainy day fund. In case of a rainy day.

I’m going to approach them one at a time and look at every situation from the perspective of what’s actually in my control. I don’t like owing money- hence why taxes and surprising bills stress me out. But it’s a fact of life. And it’s a fact of my own situation that I’ve chosen a creative and less lucrative path (at list at this point) so I’m going to have to rely on credit cards, coupons, and kindness for a little bit longer.

And that’s ok. It’s just money. It comes and goes.

I’m not gonna let it stop me from doing what I love or being who I am.

And- for the record- I’ll be paying all my taxes and bills with Care Bears checks. So I still win a small victory.

So bak up, tax man. Imma smack yo ass silly.