Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Little Is Still Better Than Nothing

The idea of “perfection”, directly associated with the “all or nothing” mentality, has been haunting me my entire life. This mentality is the most discouraging and well.. stupid, as before you even try something you give up due to the fear of failing. The result - you continue making plans and dreaming about things, but you do not do anything to bring those plans and dreams to life. 

Last night, I make a plan to wake up early on Saturday morning, put a load of my laundry in, and while it’s in the washer go running in the park. As I went to bed, my usual hesitation began. “Should I go for a run? I don’t know if I will feel like it in the morning.. I’m not even a runner, I can only run for 1-2 minutes at a time anyway, is that even useful at all?”, and “I really want to go to Gratitude Cafe in the morning so I can work on my blog, what if running takes longer and I won’t make it to the cafe on time (it gets very crowded if you get there after 9AM, so it gets impossible to get a seat)?”, etc., etc. 

This morning I woke up extremely early (for a Saturday anyway), which would give me enough time to do my laundry, go running, take a shower and head over to the cafe before it gets too crowded. Before I could even consider the option of opting out of my plans, I jumped out of bed and decided to just go for it. I brushed my teeth, put on my workout clothes, grabed my laundry bags and detergent, and headed out the door. On the way to the park, a few thoughts of hesitation still creeped into my mind but I brushed them off and kept going. 

As I got to the park and started jogging, I could not believe that I actually did it! I followed through with my plan and I went to the park on my Saturday morning run. To be entirely honest, I could only run for about 5 minutes total (I did a warmup, 2 min running, 2 min walking, 2 min running, 2 min walking, 1 min running, 2 min walking, 1 min running, and then I pretty much died), BUT at that point all that mattered was that I did it! 

Now to sum this all up, for a minute there I did start feeling like I failed. I had a plan to run/walk for 30 minutes, with half of that time consisting of running and half consisting of walking; in reality I could only run for a few minutes. So the first thoughts that I had were that this was a waste of time, this was disappointing and I should probably never do this again. But as I starting thinking about things rationally, all of a sudden I was becoming more and more proud of myself, of the fact that I fought my fears and I ended up following the plan I set for myself the night before. And that is when it hit me. The “all of nothing” mentality (in this case, running the entire time I originally planned or not running at all) is the most disabling mentality one can have. This is the thinking that makes us lazy, scared and depressed. This is the mentality where we assume we are going to fail in everything we do so we give up before we even start something. 

As I was walking back from the park, I started thinking that my new approach to things should be “a little is still better than nothing.” You don’t have to push yourself to the limits just to carry out a plan, because that might result in traumatic consequences. You cannot make yourself run for 20 minutes straight from day one. Life is all about making gradual progress. Start small, build on it, improve, strive for more, but remember that everything takes time. Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to do something right away and do not get discouraged. Instead, keep working on it, take those baby steps, and be patient. Just make sure you differentiate between inability to do something and laziness. ‘Not feeling like doing something’ is entirely different from ‘not being able to do something.’ Take your time with the latter case, but push through the former one. And remember, you can do it; it’ll take time, but YOU CAN DO IT. 

Yep, wearing a skull shirt here. But it's lace so don't judge me.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Last Day of Parents Weekend

And the last day of our mini-vacation was, of course, incredibly busy again. As usually we went to Gratitude to have breakfast, and then took course into Manhattan.

Of course, since at this point Eugene (my stepdad) was with us, we could not miss the opportunity to take photos, lots of photos on every step of the way. Him and his camera are indeed best friends.

In Manhattan, we got off the train at Canal Street to walk around Soho a little bit. I love this area of New York, especially on weekend mornings. Soho gets very crowded during the day, as it is everyone's favorite area for shopping. However, in the mornings, it is usually very bearable. I love coming here early Saturdays or Sundays and witnessing it coming alive. In the early mornings, there are not that many people and you get watch the stores just get ready for their busy days.

I also love this area for its architecture. It is very beautiful and unique, and of course we had to take more photos here.

We did check out a couple of stores, but we were good - no damage to the wallet.

And then we had a spontaneous idea to go to the movies. It was a hot day, we did not really have any plans, and we still had a lot of time to kill before lunch. So an air-conditioned place that would help us stay occupied until lunch sounded like a perfect idea. 

Turned out though, the movie we watched was an absolute disappointment. It was not horrible, but just very uneventful. There was no plot, no real actions, it was very bland. 

And then... I got bangs! Yes, the inevitable happened. But please note - I had lasted for quite a long time without cutting my bangs, so this was way past due. Do I regret having had them done now (as I usually do)? Maybe. Maybe not. I'm still figuring that one out. But let's face it, I would not have been entirely happy regardless of whether I cut them or didn't. So if neither option would have brought me pure joy, I think having chosen change was the right decision.

The final stop before going home, was Dean & DeLuca. Since we had quite a heavy lunch, we decided to just stop by a bakery, get some desserts and have them at home with some champaign. Dean & DeLuca was a perfect place for this.

This was the end of our amazing day, and the overall weekend. As usually, we had a blast. It's always sad when the time with my parents comes to an end, as every time we are together, we have the time of our lives. But the good news is we still live close to each other and we always have future plans for more and more fun activities. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Day two of my mom's stay started with breakfast at our favorite coffee shop - Gratitude Cafe, which is only two blocks away from our apartment. As we sat down with our coffees and bagels, we started discussing our plan for the day. The day looked quite exciting, with the main destination being the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Manus x Machina fashion exhibition. 

We headed to the museum right after breakfast, as we wanted to get an early start on our day. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and we could not miss the opportunity to shoot a few photos in front of this grand architectural structure. 

After the exhibition, which was absolutely and unbelievably amazing, we took a walk through the Central Park to get to the West Side. 

Here, we found a cute restaurant with outside sitting, and it was decided that this would be the place for lunch and mimosas. Don't you just love summer, when you can sit outside, enjoy a nice meal and a couple of drinks?!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Jazz Night

Finally the weekend is here! The weekend when my mom and Eugene are coming to NYC. We have been planning this weekend for a very long time as it has been almost a year since they last came to New York. This weekend, my roommate was on a trip to Australia with her mom, and we had more room in our apartment for my parents to stay. 

Of course, my mom and I had major plans. Our entertainment program began on Friday as soon as she got to New York, as we do not like wasting our time. We met outside of my office, where we waited for a taxi to take us to our first destination - Jazz Standard. Neither of us had ever been to a real jazz club, and both of us had wanted to go to one for a long time, so we decided that today was the day. 

The club, located on 27th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues, is considered to be one of New York's largest jazz clubs, featuring new and established musicians. As we got to the venue, right away we knew that the experience will be amazing. There was something about the atmosphere of old New York, with authentic, old-school vibe. We sat down at our table, ordered dinner with a glass of wine, and started submerging into the authentic atmosphere of the jazz club. 

After the concert was over, we took a nice walk through the night Manhattan. "The city that never sleeps.." What a great way to describe it. This city never gets dull, it never fails to inspire, and never disappoints. As we were walking through the city's beautiful streets, we started talking about how different people have such different opinions about New York. Some see it as an overwhelming, dirty, loud and obnoxious city; others find comfort, inspiration and a means for uncovering and letting out their creativity. It's ok to belong to either group; but depending on the group you belong to, you will either love it or hate it. The city, though, it does not care where you like or dislike it. It always stays true to itself and never tries to be something it's not. It is real, it is honest, it just is.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Workouts and Other Struggles

I have really been struggling with my workouts lately. I don’t know what it is but it’s been a real effort sticking to my health and fitness routine, which a lot of times results in failure. I, as I am sure lots of other people, have that very strangle personality type where I know certain things are good, or even necessary, for me and I want to do so many things, but instead of actually doing them I just keep them on my do-to list for as long as it takes until they drop off the to-do list and go into my forget-about-it list. It’s sad really, because committing to those things would have definitely helped me have a more fulfilled life and a healthier perspective for so many things. But unfortunately, anxiety that I have been struggling with prevents me from truly getting out there and exploring. I don’t blame myself or anyone for it – it’s just one of those things that I have in my life, something I need to work with. And I do, and I will; slowly but surely pushing through the fears, pushing through the laziness, getting out there and learning and striving for more.