Thursday, September 01, 2011

Operation "Live More, Worry Less" is in effect.

I hope everyone had a great summer. The locals are starting to return to Rome.

I'm looking forward to fall. It's time for a fresh start and I must make some changes in my life.

I don't know if it's the business I work in, being the first born of Caribbean parents with high expectations, being a Virgo, a New Yorker/Jerseyite, an anal retentive American or what, but I have a bad habit of winding myself into a super tight ball of stress.

This year, I really went over the edge. And for what? It's not like anything changed. I have to let go of my control freak ways and get a grip.

This will be hard for me to do. It's so against my nature. I always have a plan. Only recently did I stop with the whole five, ten, fifteen year plans.

Last week I celebrated another birthday. I realized I have a big one coming up in a few years. Do I want to look back on this decade as the one where all I did was worry and stress the hell out?

I'm at the age where friends are starting to lose their parents, or are battling cancer. Instead of wallowing in self-pity about what is not in my life (a house, a man, a savings account, financial security, my next job, a Birkin, etc.) I am going to do my best to appreciate what is in it.

I had a long talk with my parents about my work/money situation. They are very understanding and supportive. Without them I would have to forget about Hollywood and call it a day. Many people assume that because JUMPING THE BROOM was a hit, I must be rolling in dough or have a billion jobs lined up. That is not the case. Not even close. Post JTB I had a big wake up call. I will get into that in few weeks. I need to let the rage subside a bit.

At first I wasn't going to go away for my birthday weekend. Instead I planned to hold on to the birthday gift from my parents for living expenses.

Then I thought about it. What is a living expense, only rent, food, bills? Of course I can't/won't go crazy spending money I don't have. I'm not irresponsible.

The other extreme I was following, budgeting every single euro wasn't healthy either. I have to find a middle ground. The only things that are certain in this world are death and taxes. What I feared and stressed out about the most happened and yet I'm still here.

As I sat on a TERRACE on a hill in Piemonte I made a vow to myself to live more, worry less.

I'm not sure how things will go. I feel I did take a major step in the right direction last weekend.

I will write about Piemonte next week. I have a bunch a photos to go through. Grazie mille to Diana & Micha for making my birthday weekend so special.

If you have some good advice or links about how to become less of a control freak, I'm all ears.

UPDATE: Several friends have sent me the link below.


erin said...

I'm right there with you...very similar personality traits. planner planner planner. Living that daily thankfulness over worries is a daily practice. Yoga has helped me a lot actually.

...on a side note. I miss you! Really hope to have a mojito stop over in Rome next month!

somepinkflowers said...

dearest nyc/cr,
i do wonder how you
reasched inside my head
and grabbed this very sentence--->

"I'm looking forward to fall.
It's time for a fresh start
and I must make some changes
in my life. "



i might add...
i pretty much say this Same Thing to myself
Every Single September 1st...

no really
i do.

as one control freak 2 another
i send best wishes
with your goal!

i always saw Sept 1st
as the True Beginning
what with new starts back
to school
early as a student
later as a educator...

so i say this:
go by yourself
some new supplies, missy,
and start a new...

{{ i bought 3 pairs of shoes
so i know i am ready
for the Next Part....
one pair was RED!
sometime it is encouraging
to B
a wee bit irresponsible...}}

GigiSxm said...

If you do find anyone of those links be sure to share. Another control freak here. I always have a backup plan to the back up plan. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, unless it rules your life.

I've learned to let go of the things i have no control over and to enjoy the now.
Sometimes somethings bubble up to the surface like last night thinking of my 36th BD, it's around the corner, according to what I'd envisioned, I'd been married at least 11 years and be preparing for back to school for the kids right now. But it didn't happen like that for me and I can't no longer live in what mighta-shoulda been. Instead of wallowing (which i succumb to sometimes) I do the things i wouldn't be able to do if I were a wife, mother, home owner.

Instead I focus on the things i do have control over, my happiness now, My peace of mind, finding fulfillment in the now.

As a type A personality i put so much more pressure on myself than anyone else ever could and sometimes something's gotta give, know what I mean?

Hope that helps.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

erin - I miss you too! Let me know when you might be in this area.

I tried yoga. My mind raced during every class, then I ripped a tendon. I might pick up tennis again. It will be good to be outside and do something completely unrelated to work.

somepickflowers - I so agree with you about the back to school feeling.

I have a big meeting coming up next week, but I'm going to make sure I spend some time with friends this weekend. I did buy some wine when I was in Piemonte and two very pretty pieces of hand made pottery.

I will write up a new budget for the rest of the year and put aside some money for an occasional treat.

gixisxm - It does help. True, in moderation, being Type A is a good thing. You get things done.

My problem is at times I'm inflexible and super hard on myself.

I hear you on the woulda-shoulda-coulda situation. I've gotten better about that since I moved to Italy.

Viajera said...

This may sound trite, but you've gotta relax!! :) I'm learning to, but I suck at it, but I, like you, realize that I HAVE TO (!!). If you find any good resources, please post.

I hear you about the budget situation. I'm happy that you have such supportive parents.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I like your attitude.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

"I tried yoga. My mind raced during every class, then I ripped a tendon."

I love you.

Earlier today I was composing a post in my head about fall and change...definitely something in the air :)

nine said...

oh man you did ring a bell...
plus my family originally is from piemonte
plus i'm going to sxm in november
i love coincidences
take care

Linda @ Ice Tea For Me said...

Happy Belated Birthday. Here's to new beginnings...

Lisa said...

Belated Happy Birthday! Being a Virgo as well, I know about the big ball of stress. Sometimes I have to just take a deep breath and talk myself down. Yoga and meditation help. Taking a walk, and kneading dough are good. Repotting plants and doing crafty things helps me too.

Benny said...

I've been reading your blog for more than a year and have found so much inspiration in your triumphs and struggles. Thank you.

The act of letting go is just that, an act, or action rather that I had to practice. I use to have unkind thoughts about myself all the time and a friend recommended that whenever I had those negative thoughts to verbally tell myself "No" and put my hand out in a stopping motion. I held out my hand as if I was halting a dog and would say, "No" with a mom tonality. It seems strange but it worked. It's not to say I never have unkind thoughts but I have them a lot less.

You worked hard to learn the language you loved and practiced, forgiving the mistakes you made along the way, and the patience it took to get there.

I think the same principles can apply for learning how to de-stress. I hope you get some great ideas to put into practice.

Anonymous said...

Plan...f the f-ing plan. Is what I say. Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.- I'm sure that's from a movie. But really the man the Berkin the money will come when it's ready and not a second before and really scary thought- it might not look like you want it to. Might not be a Berkin but a lovely Chloe bag.:)

Claudia said...

Happy Belated Birthday. Wishing you years of happiness ahead-time to enjoy your life!!

Deborah said...

Happy Belated Birthday, beautiful Ms. NYV/CR!

Yoga. Yes, I have tried as well and I too, couldn't turn off the thoughts in my head. My joints and muscles felt better though. Yoga did teach me to be more present within this moment, this day. That seems to help me keep perspective on life in general.

Here's a link for you, that has help me be more productive with less stress. Zen Habits,

I hope this is helpful. But remember one thing, "Breathe".

dorinalouise said...

happy birthday! you know, finding the middle ground is an ongoing process . . we're always trying. as long as we keep doing so! ah . . so i tell myself :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

viajera - I know. Last week though, I made some major progress. Yes, I'm lucky to have parents who are supportive.

CCL - grazie!

michelle - look forward to reading that post.

nine - have an amazing time in SXM. I didn't know your family was from Piemonte. Beate te.

linda - thanks for the b-day wishes.

lisa - Happy Birthday fellow Virgo. Working out really helps a lot. I will have to figure out something for the winter months. Maybe there's an indoor tennis court somewhere close to me.

benny - grazie for the advice and for reading the blog. Being super-critical is one trait I am not proud of.

sm - I think John Lennon said that and he's right. Already I can see a change in my attitude and my mood. Oh yes, I would take a Chloe or Celine bag as well.

Claudia - thank you. It's been a great birthday!

Deborah - grazie. It's a great link. Very helpful and not too "crunchy".

dl - thank you! Yes, it is a process. And not an easy one.

Karen said...

Great post. I am totally with you. Been feeling like that the last several weeks. I guess it's a bit of a relief to see so many of us feeling the same.. maybe it's something to do with the planet alignment or ?? If only. ;)

In any case, here's to some worry-free living for change! Good luck to all of us!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Karen - cheers indeed!! Curious to see what fall/winter will bring.

oilandgarlic said...

I am also a planner by nature, so much so that I've put off moving to Italy because I'm paralyzed by what ifs. Of course in my case, we're doing the move for sure (my husband's Italian and longing to move back, and I also want to raise our kids in Italy)...but it's scary. I admire your bravery in moving. I think learning to "live more, worry less" is a very Italian way to think!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

oilandgarlic - It is and it's something that doesn't come easily to me. I am getting better though!

As you know, Italy is going through some tough times, as is most of Western Europe and the States. We have no control over the recession. That said, you are moving with your eyes wide open which will help you deal with the "what ifs" a lot better than people who pack up and move to Italy because they think it's going to be La Dolce Vita 24/7.

Anonymous said...

I was in Rome last year and I found your blog. I never had the courage to reach you at this moment, but I'm planning returning in Rome to work on my screenplay projects this winter. I hope it could be possible to meet you. I wish you the best, you are very inspiring for me. Grazie for your blog.


nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

julie - thank you and good luck with your screenplays!

odessa said...

i'm looking forward to starting afresh in the fall too.

here's to us, and to change! :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

odessa - hear hear!!