In Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day, she asks: Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
On the Edge of Thirty
I’m turning 29 next week. I might as well be thirty, since it’s the same thing. After you are twenty-five, you are basically thirty.
I find new gray hairs while examining a pimple. This doesn’t seem quite fair, but it is ironic in an Alanis Morissette kind of way.
I’m done with friendship and relationship drama. If you’re interested in getting mad or arguing over pettiness, I’m not interested in being around you.
How to Be Successful
Once I hit two million views on this post, I answer a phone call from an unknown number for the first time ever and it’s Savannah Guthrie (who is definitely responsible for contacting her interviewees for the Today show). Naturally, I prove equally charismatic in person as I am in writing during my 7:10 AM spot when I am “surprised” with a book deal. I fly back to Wisconsin, spend the rest of my days reading in my overstuffed chair and writing at my vintage desk from West Elm, wearing some on-trend, dorky glasses.
New Part Time “Work”
“Deep inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Let go of anything that happened earlier today. Let go of any thoughts and focus on your breath. Bring your attention right here, right now.”
That’s me, teaching a Pilates class at the Wisconsin Athletic Club. While I instruct participants to do this, I am doing the same. I am releasing the exhausting day at my full-time job and the rushed car ride to the gym. With a few deep breaths, I relieve my usual pre-class jitters and the guilt of leaving my puppy at home for another few hours. Then, my attention stays on cuing an exercise and the individuals in the class. Being a Pilates instructor might be my new Part Time “Work” but teaching doesn’t feel like work (hence the quotation marks).
Confession: I Like Country Music
When I started listening to country last summer, I would actually roll up the windows in my car. With some prodding and persistence from my country-music-listening boyfriend and former roommate, I started singing along and put FM 106.1 on my presets. Now, I sing an off-key version of Chicken Fried at a stop light while a man on a motorcyle watches. Yes, I like country music.
Wisconsin Winter Builds Character (Again)
Last winter, I told you that Wisconsin Winter Builds Character because…
- You will fall down
- You will have accidents
- You will get stuck
- You will rearrange your plans
The four inalienable truths discovered during the 2010 – 2011 winter season were about self-reliance and staying positive within a typically stressful situation. Three weeks ago, the 2012 winter season came back with a vengeance and wasted no time chalking up truth number five.
Another New Year’s Resolution?
Week One 2011 Along with the other resolutioners, I was excited about a lifestyle change that would make 2011 the best year yet. I firmly stated: I, Ali Webster, will not be stressed at work.
Week Two 2011 Resolutioners were boasting about thirty-minute workouts, healthy dinners and no confrontations with their spouse for 14 days straight. I was holding strong too as I upheld my resolution: I, Ali Webster, am not stressed at work.
Week Three 2011 The gym was empty while frozen pizza sales and cases of domestic violence increased. I also hung my head in defeat: I, Ali Webster, am totally stressed at work.
Reflecting on my already-out-the-window resolution, I wondered how I expected myself not to become stressed at work for an entire year. On the walk between my car and the office building, I decided, Today I will not be stressed at work. With this mantra in mind, 365 mountainous days were simplified into one grain-of-salt day so that I could maintain my perspective, focus, and a normal blood pressure for eight whole hours.