Mantras Not Resolutions

new-years-resolution-list

Every year I take on a “mantra.”

Instead of a long list of resolutions that are destined to fail (I’m gonna lose 10 pounds, eat healthier and stop stalking the cute guy on the bus), I focus on a slogan, a guiding principle — in short, a mantra. In years past, I had “Slow (the F) Down” or “Get It (G-ddamn) Done.” (The words in parentheses are just for my thoughts. There’s something fun yet firm about a well-placed expletive. I didn’t tell other people about those words. Until now, that is.)

Sometimes the mantra was silly: “Be Like a Duck and Let Things Slide Off Your Back.” (That was less successful — too long. I forgot most of it by March instead just remembering the “Be Like a Duck” part with not very pretty consequences.)

finally learned how to swim at least

At least I finally learned to swim.

One year was a bit unseemly: “Get Rid of the Old (Crusty) Underwear.” Meaning, stop hanging on to shit you don’t need: crappy stuff goes in the garbage and crappy friends — show them the door! (Please recall: words in parens — here, “Crusty” — are for my thoughts only. I wouldn’t tell that to people. Well, like I said, until now.)

And the rule is: it needs to be an affirmative statement. It’s something you DO want to do. No negatives in the sentence — no “Don’t Be Mean” or “Quit Complaining.” Turn those into “Smile at Everyone” and “Appreciate the World.” The Lady in Pink makes this clear:

a better slogan (mantra) would be... well, actually Take Care of Yourself!

A better slogan (mantra) might be Keep It Healthy!

And the second rule is, I don’t think about the picking of The Mantra too much, I just sort of “discover” it. Let it come to me.

However, this year for Xmas/New Year’s, I was in my mom’s tiny home town in southern Italy — a place not known for keeping up with the times.

At 5pm after siesta, the men gather in the piazza to hang out, smoke play cards and talk about who'd dies recently.

At 5pm after siesta, the men gather in the piazza to hang out, smoke play cards and talk about who’s died recently.

And so, I was overloaded on too many kissing-my-cheeks-twice relatives, bored by the constant hum of bad Italian television and screaming conversation (that’s just how they talk) and over-indulged in amazing food. It broke my brain. The mantra was not only undiscovered but completely forgotten.

Until…. I got a message from a friend I adore and haven’t seen in years. She wrote, “So what’s your Mantra for 2015? I LOVE that you do that!” I didn’t even know she knew about my quirky mantra thing. At the VERY moment that the message came, I’d been feeling bad about eating pasta for both lunch and dinner and it just came to me: “Take Care of Yourself” (I might need to adjust that to “Take Care of Yourself (Asshole).” )

Silliness aside, a mantra is more powerful rather than a list of resolutions that you HAVE TO do. Because those remind you of your failures, whereas, a Mantra reminds you of who you declare yourself to be. Who you are is who you SAY you are. Train your brain to be your best self.

Wonder-Woman-Flying

Wonder Woman and the Golden Lasso of Truth! She’s cool, she cares and she obviously takes care of herself! What might her mantra be?

Ok so… pick a mantra, from the list below and/or write in comments and then TAKE IT (THE F) ON!!!!!

 

 

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! We have a table, We have a table! Hallelujah….

IMG_5540

that’s a table under there!!!

To the tune of Hallelujah, please:

“We haaaaaave a table, we haaaaaave a table,
We have a table, a table
We haaaave a taaa-a-a-ble!”

Here, we’ll show you:

As I’ve expressed here and here, it’s a sad day when one does not have a table. And now I sit here AT THE TABLE with my cappuccino. (Moving to England ain’t changing that, oh no, nuh-uh — got me a mokka, a foam maker and I am ready to go to Timbuktu if needs be. Don’t try to come between me and my cappuccino.)

The landlord finally borrowed a table from his brother. I think he broke down after seeing us night after night cracking our backs and stretching our necks in the middle of dinner on the living room floor. We would sit hunched over, legs splayed in a V trying to scoop up salad from a plate set in-between our knees, constantly dropping green bits from our mouths. After dinner one night Frank said he had to work hard not to laugh because I looked like the Beast from Beauty and the Beast trying to eat normally. Visual aid below! Go to 0:27.

(Ignore dude speaking in Italian at beginning. No idea what that’s about.)

But Beast I am no more! Hallelujah!

We now have a table but — of course — no placement mats. So for today’s substitute, I’ve picked the “Money” section of the Sunday Times (no, dear New Yorkers, not the New York Times). Headlines include:

“Why it may still be better to give birth in Scandanavia”

“I donated some boots to a charity sale… and bought them back for £15,000”

And complete with a photo with the consigliere whispering into the ear of Marlon Brando as The Godfather, there’s the heading:

“Our savings won’t sleep with the fishes!”

Who says the Brits are so reserved? Drama and sensation amuck at least in the Money section.