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Tag Archive for 'coping'

Malibu Weekend

I LOVE MALIBU | COVET LIVING

I spent my Galentine’s Day weekend in my favorite place on earth: MALIBU.  I’m insanely lucky to have one of my dearest gal pals there with a place on the beach, which = a getaway whenever I need it.  I remember thinking before I had ever ventured to this magical, beachy, laid-back fairy wonderland that it would be pretentious and snooty (*cough* like a lot of LA), but to me it feels just the opposite. EVERYONE is cheerful and friendly; even chatty.  No one ever seems to be in a hurry. Pups splash around in the surf with no leashes in sight.  Sunlight dances on the water like diamonds.  EVERYTHING is beautiful.  Everyone’s feet are sandy.  The waves are louder than anywhere else I’ve ever been and lull you into a dazed state of relaxation during the day, then rock you to sleep at night.  Surfers are in silhouette at dawn and dusk.  It is heaven.  Here’s my weekend, in pics:

Gus, being a great house guest, waking up Aunt Katie.

Gus and Kate | Covet Living

High-larious #truth on Valentine’s Day morning.

Fat Jewish | Covet Living

Let’s go, woman!

Beach House | Malibu

Even Gus is in a zen place.

Gus | Covet Living

Sea glass hunting

Sea Glass | Covet Living

Trying to get a good pic with this monster before I went to meet another friend for lunch at Duke’s.

Gus and Me | Covet Living

Gus and Me 2 | Covet Living

It’s just not ugly here.

Private Beach, Malibu | Covet Living

He doesn’t think so either.  Slash that’s some amazing bed head.

Gus in Malibu | Covet Living

What my Saturday looked like… outside of lunch, a 6-mile beach walk, and my first time stand-up Paddle boarding – which scared the ever-living &#%$ out of me. Getting off shore past the monster crashing waves with that giant board was a real treat… I got beat the truck up and thrown down about 7 times, knocked in the head with the board, lost my suit a time or two, and scraped my whole self up – while Val Kilmer stood on his balcony and watched.  He’s DEFINITELY seen my boobs.  Finally, I got out there.  It was both peaceful and terrifying – being a hundred yards or so off the shore, not knowing what’s underneath you, and having a baby seal (aka shark snack) bobbing right next to your board… but hey.  I lived.

Malibu | Covet Living

A handfulla sea glass from our long walk, and a wee heart-shaped rock for good measure.

Sea Glass and Gus | Covet Living

The surf

Surf | Covet Living

Big pimpin in my big Golden Girls sunhat

Malibu Weekend | Covet Living

Kate and I did The Ranch at Solstice Canyon on Saturday night for dinner… we chanced it without rezzies, and just when I was ready to hover over some old people at the bar to pounce on their seats, Kate charmed the waiter into giving us the best seats in the house.  Flirting gets that girl the VIP treatment like no one I’ve ever seen.

Solstice Canyon | Covet Living

Solstice Canyon, Malibu | Covet Living

Posting up for sunset on Sunday.  I know, it’s Cat Lady status to the max with all the Gus pics, but he’s such a good soul and fulla personality I can’t help myself… plus lately, I’m keenly aware of his age and that my (years) with him are numbered. Anyhow – we parked it outside with a glass of vino to watch the sun go down.

Malibu | Covet Living

Going…

Malibu | Covet Living

Going…

Malibu | Covet Living

Gone.

Malibu | Covet Living

And then it just got prettier & prettier from there.

Malibu | Covet Living

Malibu | Covet Living
Malibu | Covet Living

And then KP came out to join us!  She was inside working.  Poor kid.

Malibu | Covet Living

It wasn’t a conventional Valentine’s Day, but hey.  What are you gonna do?  It was awesome.  And if you would’ve told me a little over a year ago a) that I would ever be single again, or b) that I would’ve quit my job, packed up my house, thrown Gus in the car and moved to other side of the country, I wouldn’t even have been able to get my brain around it.  Who knows why sh*t happens.  I’ve been busting out 90’s country at work for the past few weeks, and a few days ago an old Trace Adkins song called “Time Marches On” came on – the one that says: “The only thing that stays the same is everything changes, everything changes.”  And it almost took my breath away…  in part because I hadn’t heard that jam since high school, and when I did hear it again, it felt like I’d heard it yesterday… except it wasn’t yesterday; it had been 16 years.  Just like that.  (Do you feel a tangent coming on?  Cuz I do.  Get ready.)

I’m extraordinarily aware lately that time moves SO, so quickly, and I’m even more aware that nothing is guaranteed… things I never thought would happen have happened: I still can’t believe that our best friend Mel’s little brother Ryan is really gone.  Or that friends with perfect lives and seemingly perfect relationships would walk in to find their significant others cheating and their lives changed forever.  I also keep thinking about a wedding M & I were gleefully seated at a few years ago, when we still had what we thought was a whole life together ahead of us… Fast forward 3 years, and no one ever could’ve conceived that one day, he would vanish in the most senseless of ways… or that the groom at that wedding would die tragically less than a year later.  Or that tragedy would befall any of the people around us.  My point isn’t to be a downer; it’s to put extra emphasis on: “HOLY SH*T, LIFE IS PRECIOUS.” And you never really know what’s around the next corner.  Another old friend told me about a year ago that life was always going to ebb and flow with joy and sorrow, and that the only thing you can really do to manage it all is to always be at peace, because all of it is going to come down the pike no matter what.  It’s maybe some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten, and I thought a lot about that this weekend… about being at peace, and about how change is the only constant in life, and about how things move so quickly that it’s all too short to spend doing anything but being fully present, wherever you are.  Even in the wake of things that tug (hard) at your heart. That’s what I’m working on doing a lot more these days… and this weekend was a good start.  Cuz if I had spent the weekend worrying about the life I thought I was going to have, then I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate the life that I actually do… and all of the wonderful things that are here now: like having an amazing friend in Kate… or a deliriously happy dog – who one day won’t be here anymore – and who traipses up and down the beach to greet (everyone) like it’s the best day of his life… And maybe I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate all the beauty that was around me, or how Kate & I both almost peed our pants when we got into the backseat of an old woman’s car parked outside her door on Saturday night who we THOUGHT was the Uber driver, but who then said to us: “What are you girls doing in my car?  Who are you?  What the hell is Uber?”  Etc etc.  Anyway – try not to blink, yo, or you’ll miss so much of the good stuff.  Imma tryda do the same.

Never Let the Things You Don't Have | Covet Living

Fist bump long distance,

Steph's Scanned Signature

aka Jack Handy

Pause.

This is totally how I feel this week.  And I know it’s how Karrie feels too, because we had a mid-week text exchange about how we had both been reduced to tears at our desks out of utter frustration and massive overload…  we must be bi-coastal cycling together or something.  And I know EVERYONE has their own set of stuff they’re dealing with, so it’s not just us.  But in the throes of the worst and most mind-bendingly stressful week of work I’ve had in my entire professional career, I’m trying to find some balance, and a way out of this horrible head space. And how to manage my life in a positive way when it comes to times like these when it’s not just raining, or pouring, but freaking monsoon-ing.

Here is all I have come up with…  and consider this an open forum, because I would LOVE to hear how you amazing ladies (and gents) cope with sh*tstorms.  Especially you Moms…  If I had this level of work stress + a screaming baby in the background, I think I might need to be committed.

1.  Make a List, and tackle 1 thing at a time. Cuz getting it out on paper helps transfer the load, right?  I also read recently that you’ll sleep better at night if you do this before bed…  that way you’re not lying there with your mind racing, thinking about the mental list of the umpteen things you have to get done tomorrow.  I also read something genius recently…  and it sounds like an 8th grade school project, but: grab a stack of index cards, and label each of them with something that’s weighing on your mind that you need to take care of.  Then line them up in order of which is most important, and it’ll help you decide what you need to tackle first.  It’s the same concept as the triage in the emergency room…  most critical items (patients) get attention first.  If it’s a paper cut, it can wait.

2.  Put on some lipstick and keep going. It sounds stupid, but I swear it’s a confidence booster…  even if no one else sees you.  I did this yesterday and got whistled at in the Kroger parking lot by a redneck in a truck that I’m pretty sure was only moving because he was pedaling it through a hole in the floor.  Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeey.

3.  Learn to say “no.” Cuz when you say yes to some things, you’re saying no at the same time to others…  e.g., saying yes and overcommitting yourself means saying no to other things that might be more valuable to you – like time to yourself to decompress, or time with your family.  Or your DVR, whatever.

Also, nobody can do it all…  and trying to do too much is like trying to ride 5 horses with one ass.

4.  Keep things in perspective. Yesterday, whilst I was having a meltdown, I saw on Facebook that one of my girlfriends from college’s little boy had just died.  He was about to turn 1, and had spent the majority of the past 12 months in the NICU, with his parents at his side.  Every single day.  THAT is devastating beyond comprehension.  The trivial facts of my work life are not.  Life is so, so precious.  Go hug somebody.  Right now.  Seriously.

5.  Remember to be grateful. Where your thoughts go, your intentions follow.  So if you’re thinking awful, dismal things…  well, you get the idea.  Whereas if – amidst chaos – you can manage to remember a few things each day you’re grateful for, however small, I swear it changes your perspective.

6.  Do something kind for someone else for no reason, and without expecting something in return. Because focusing on helping others snaps you right out of being self-absorbed, and lets your mind shift to the task at hand.  Make your neighbor cookies, write thank you letters, send someone a care package, or better yet – go volunteer.  Paint the old lady at the nursing room’s fingernails.

That’s all I got.  If anyone needs me today, I’ll be working on taking my own advice. What tricks do you guys have for managing stress / maintaining a good work-life balance?

xoxo,