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!!!!!

 

 

Gay is the New Straight

joancusack

I was watching a great Ted talk given by a terribly bright, terribly funny gay man who designs book covers. First he was talking about one author, then another, both of whom are also gay. And I suddenly felt like Joan Cusack in that scene from the classic 1997 comedy In & Out — when she’s still in her wedding dress, having been dumped at the altar by Kevin Kline (who in the nick of time realises he’s gay) — and so Joan Cusack goes to a bar, still in her damn white dress and a bit tipsy (and very horny), and she hits on Tom Selleck who informs her he’s gay as well. She then runs out of the bar and screams: “IS EVERYBODY GAY? AM I IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE! I NEED A HETEROSEXUAL CODE RED!”

Here she is, Joan Cusack, in one of the funniest performances ever EVER EVER:

Anyway, that’s kinda how I’m feeling right now.

 

 

IN DEFENCE OF ENGLAND

IN DEFENCE OF ENGLAND. SPELLEDT WITH A C.

People have— Ok, let’s be honest — I had, the most difficulty parting with Italy on the basis of two things:

1. Food
2. Weather

The food is goddamn good, ok. Period. No need to go on about that. Pretty obvious about the weather as well.

The thing is, England is known for two negative things:

1. Food
2. Weather

So, situation is effed up.

But now I come to her defense — I mean, defenCe. Oh, Mother England. See video below and please defend her as well in your comments!!!!

And take the poll. Winners will be announced shortly.

I guess it’s official. We’ve moved to England.

They really ARE white.

They really ARE white.

Yep, that’s what we could see from the ferry. The white cliffs of Dover. Through the raindrops. Through our exhaustion. Through our misgivings. The white cliffs of Dover.

We decided to move out of Italy last January. Trying to run a small business in Italy is … well, comical. Between the taxes and bureaucracy, — surprise surprise! —  there’s a huge black market.

I remember when I first opened a regular old bank account 10 years ago in Rome when I still felt romantic about immigrating to the county of my forefathers. Eugenio, the very pleasant bank manager, gave me some documents to sign in two places. I did and then I started to put my pen away.  “Non abbiamo finito,” he said. We’re not finished. I’m sure I smiled. Then he gave me another set of documents, six signatures I think. Then he gave me some more documents. Then more. More. More. At some point I looked at him and asked if there was a hidden camera somewhere and if this was a joke. He chuckled and said, “Welcome to Italy.”

Welcome to Italy, my culo. My ass.

More to come.

Terianne