Saturday, September 13, 2014

The List maker.

I am one week away from commencing my final year in my 30's.  Needless to say, I have a lot on my mind. I don't know if you would call it a full on freak out - as I am reserving that for *next year*  but I have been doing a lot of outside looking in at myself in the recent month.

Much of that looking in has resulted in some list making... I am a list maker. At any given time, I have a To Do list, a grocery list, a 'buy stuff' list, a 'want' list, and I've recently added what I call my 'long term list.'

**Note, I refuse to refer to it as a bucket list, because I a sort of  supersticious and figure if I check it all off, I may kick the bucket..**

There aren't any hard and fast rules to my list, except that what ever it is on the list, has to be something that takes longer than a couple hours to accomplish.    I should also mention, that while there are things on there that I realize I can't possibly complete before 40 (ex. law school) don't think for a second that I'm not subsconciously trying to cross off as many of these before the big 4 0 tolls.

So without further fanfare I give you what I have thus far

Graduate Law School (with Honors)
Pass Calilfornia Bar
Pass Minnesota Bar
Find my niche

Health and Wellness:
Drop 25lbs (I'm down 16 ish since August 18th!)
Use my gym membership regularly, and by *use* I mean 4-5 x's a week.  (So far I'm up to 3)
Run a 1/2 marathon without walking
Maintain an 8 minute mile for at least a 5K, and not just a mile or two.

Go to a Crimson Tide Football homegame
Travel to Greece (This is going to be my goal for my waiting period between taking the bar, and finding out if I passed)
Cook a goose

House and Home:
Buy a new home. (Then really make it 'ours', i.e. throw out 99% of our furniture, and stuff, and start fresh.  I haven't flushed this one out much except to know that I really NEED a home office, and a place for all my papers. (I've recently realized that having 'important documents' is a sign that you may be middle aged, and as much as I dread that, I've come to terms with the fact that it's par for the course.)

Wardrobe & Self
This is it's own catagory as it's more vanity related rather than health related.
1) finally throw out some of the clothes that I've had since I was 18 (yes, a few still fit!) and/or pack the up into the attic once and for all.
2) Toss all the trendy makeup that i've bought, and worn once.. There really isn't ever a good excuse to 'need' 5 containers of blue, green and purple eyeshadows... ditto on the 40+ types of lip gloss.
3) Refine my wardrobe.  I've recently accepted the fact that I enjoy wearing classic staples, with a punch of trendy, and shun things some consider in fashion (lace in all of it's cheap, god awful renditions on the majority of women's fashion today) But do I really need 50+ t-shirts?  I'm starting to think not.
4) Stick with a skin care routine for at least 6 months rather than bouncing around.  I was a big birchbox fan until I recently opened a drawer and realized I had about a years worth of beauty supplies that i've never even tried.  I like the Keihls stuff, so I'm going to give it a go.

I have realized that some people are toxic.  Some of these toxic people I don't have a way to rid completely (those of you who know me, know exactly who I am referring to) but I do have a say in how much their negativity affects me, and by drawing boundaries with them - I am free to live my life how I see fit, and not let their tornado affect me deeply.

I've also realized that there are other people, who I really just don't like. and contrary to my younger self motto of 'you can never have too many friends!' I've decided that yes, infact you can, and those who aren't nice people can be taken off the friend list.

And I suppose the #1 thing that I am working on doing better in the coming year, is planning for my future, and of course battling gravity every step of the way!

Friday, August 8, 2014

You've come a long way, baby

There is this unspoken notion that as you move through life, you mature, and some of your maturity is expressed through the items you own.  For instance, in your 30’s your furniture generally matches, the shelving you have came from a  furniture store or at the very least you no longer have shelves built from 2x4’s and cinderblocks.

It’s one of the few rights of passages I don’t seem to mind.  Having disposable income to buy ‘nice’ things, such as designer handbags and shoes, clothing that lasts longer than two wash cycles, and jewelry, that falls into the category of ‘real’.

Perhaps it’s my countless years in the Wine Industry, but there is another category that hits home with me, one that to quote the Virginia Slim tag line “You’ve come a long way, baby”.  Glassware.

Specifically, I am talking about the kind that you quaff your cocktail from after a hard day.  Nice glasses say to that single malt bottle of bourbon, I have prepared myself for you, and I fully comprehend what you are about, and I am here to appreciate your $95 price tag.  You sir deserve more than to be imbibed from a juice cup with a screen printed penguin.

If glassware were a status symbol, then I would be royalty.  I have varietal specific wine glasses made from some of the finest crystal from around the world.  Edges so thin, bowls so large and perfectly hand blown that on the rare occasion you can actually get every last water spot off of them, they really are a sight to behold.  My obsession doesn’t stop there, perfect sized brandy snifters, martini glasses constructed so thin, it resembles a shard of ice, and when they accidentally break your wallet cries out from inside that designer handbag.  Whiskey glasses replete with whiskey stones so your drink is the perfect temp, but never watered down. (Side note: HUGE waste of money on the stones, a little ice melt does wonders for a drink)   Sounds fan-fucking-tastic right?

So now that ya’ll have me as the picture of refinement, allow me to tell you what I did Monday night.   I came home from class late. I had just turned in my first law school final. My brain was drained.  I walked into a house, that looked like a hurricane hit, Richard (cat) had destroyed the back screen door in a herculean effort to get out and a very puzzled G wandered about the house trying to discern if we did in fact still HAVE a cat, and perhaps if so, how to punt him THROUGH the ripped screen door.    Fast forward, an hour of me in the dark, with a flashlight, outside yelling Richard! Here Dickie Dickie Dickie…

No cat.  I should mention we only adopted this cat two weeks ago, and after sweating through the application process, I was marginally surprised they accepted us, and here in less than 14 calendar days we had ‘misplaced’ the responsibility they had given us.  Son-of-a-bitch. G is staring at me, arm’s crossed and says – So um, if we lost this one, do you think that black balls us from future adoptions?

This comment, coupled with the fact that I hadn’t eaten since noon sent me over the edge.  I open the fridge, and the first thing I see is a jar of green olives.  I open them up, and start filling my mouth with them.  Hamsters have nothing on me.  I’m 8 or so olives in, when I realize that I could really use a drink to combat the brine flavor filling my mouth.  I proceed directly over to the bar in our dining room. Yes, yes, we have a bonafied bar in our dining room.   Plopping down my olive jar on the bar, I don’t bother to reach for a glass, just the 1.5 liter bottle of vodka, spinning the cap off with two more olives firmly tucked in my palm, I take a large swig straight from the bottle, swishing it around through the olive particles in my mouth.  I realize that perhaps I’ve taken a bit too much as there is no longer salty brine flavor.  G is staring at me, silent, mouth open, awe.  For good measure I pick up the olive jar and take a slug of the juice then pop the remaining fist full of olives in my mouth and lick my palm for good measure to remove the juices from the slightly smooshed olives.  I capped up both the vodka and the olives, and properly put them both away, before going about cleaning the mess left by hurricane Richard. 

G was still staring.  Silent, watching me walk around the kitchen picking things up.  I’ve already begun muttering to myself my plan for setting up something to trap Richard.  Finally I looked up at him. 


He shakes his head at me.  “and you think I’m gross when I drink out of a milk carton in the fridge and don’t get me started on the fact that you licked your palm....”

*sigh* I’ve come a long way, baby.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Looking down the barrel of the big 4 0

They say acknowledging there is a problem is the first step, ergo, My name is Samantha, and in 412 days, I will turn 40. Full disclosure, I am not a fan of Birthdays to begin with, so perhaps I am a little hyper sensitive to the underlying meaning of turning a year older, as I am in full on flight or fight mode when face to face with a birthday cake.

It was in 2011, on my 36th birthday, I realized that I was officially in my last year of 'mid 30's' come 37, and I would soon be one of the 'late 30's' crowd. This knowledge sent me into a full fledge panic. About a week later, I went back to college, knowing that time wasn't on my side, I piled on the classes and finished my Paralegal Studies program in 15 months rather than 3 years. Not bad for an old lady, I thought - then with less than a month to graduate the program, I had an epiphany - why stop there? Why not go the distance and become a lawyer? Heck! Why not! I was full of momentum ...or perhaps I confused Momentum and vodka...comme ci comme ça- right?

Perhaps that should have been the first indication that I was on the verge of what might be a mid-life crisis (I haven't fully acknowledged that this could be the case, nor will I for at least another 20 years... so just let this sleeping dog lie.) It wasn't more than a day or so after enrolling in Law School that I had my second come to Jesus moment, that I am perfectly capable of caring for myself, and I don't "need" anyone to save me, thank you very much.  I'm not here to blow sunshine up your ass, so I won't say that this moment changed me and every moment going forward. When I was 18, I worked a full time job in a nursing home as a department head, and no one took me seriously because I was 18 and about 60 years younger than most of my patients.

Somedays I still feel that way, like I'm the kid in the room trying to prove myself.. That is of course until someone younger than me says something mindblowing, for example tonight, one of my class mates admitted that earlier today she saw "in real life' for the first time, a ...drumroll.. typewriter! And then followed up the comment with, so like, how did people carry those around? I choked on my coffee and then she nearly fell out of her chair, when I told her that I typed my 12th grade English final on one of those 'dinasours' and they were not carried around such as a lap top, they lived at home, and people took notes on a steno pad. Yes. Really. They aren't just hipster cool.

The revelation hasn't stopped with beginning grad school. Not even close. In the past month, I have rather unceremoniously changed jobs and left my job at the winery, one I've had for over 12 years, in an industry I've been in for more than half my life. I've come to terms with the fact that I spent time, effort and money to learn a new set of job skills, skills that will propel me to exceed later as a lawyer, so damn it, why sit on the side lines, until I pass the bar? I jumped in head first - scared to fucking death, and knowing I will either sink or swim. Either my advanced age has calculated the risks and deemed it a 'safe bet', or my naïvety still rears it's ugly head when major life decisions need to be made and I'm flying by the seat of my pants... the jury is still out.

I didn't stop there, I've committed to starting a new diet in the next two weeks, a new exercise routine, and *gasp* not having a cocktail until my 39th birthday. I'm either the smartest woman in the world, or I'm setting myself up to crash and burn. Go big or go home... isn't that what today's youth say?

So what prompted me to cowrite this blog? I recently went to a new doctor, and had to fill out the mundane forms, when I got to the known allergies section, my answer was:

Vicodine, and turning 40.

My answer hardly went unnoticed. Although when your doctor is pushing 70, and staring over his spectacles with a less than amused look and a comment about "honey you ain't seen nothing yet" you just nervously grin and nod at the white washed advice Doc gives to get over that feeling and get the hell out the door.

I came home a changed woman, and decided that while I can't stop time, I can fight the aging process every step of the way, so I am here, standing up to 40, and saying fuck you 40! I am arming myself with face cream, hair dye and anything else I can get my hands on.

Shortly after, I sent the following text to Ophelia: I haven't formed my entire plan yet...but I think we need a Thelma and Louise 39th year. We need to turn everything in our wake on end. Diet. Life. Negative people, you name it, I'm down to do it. We need to kiss our 30's goodbye ina style like no other... and not surprisingly she replied in the affirmative. I don't know how much bourbon factored into our decision, but clearly it was more than a passing thought for the both of us, and so here we are.

So this blog is our journey to 40. We aren't here to sugar coat it, I will tell you right now, I never had kids and my damn boobs still succumbed to gravity. I got my first grey hair at 18. Being chin hair free is a daily battle, and smile lines maybe my biggest enemy. I don't know where I am going, or what I am going to learn on this adventure, but for now, here is my journey, and if you take anything positive away from it, I am happy I could impart some wisdom. If you don't like what I have to say, stop reading. It's that simple. This is more for me (and O) then an audience anyway.

.. and 40? I may not be able to stop you, but I'm going to fight you every step of the way. Game on. and one last parting thought... Damn you Mary Schmich and your sunscreen speech... you were right!