Sunday, January 4, 2015

Self-Control


January, when every magazine exhorts us to LOSE WEIGHT and GET ORGANIZED!

How I loathe the marketing year....

Despite my extreme Capricorn tendencies of work, work, work, plod, plod, plod, I am no poster child of self-control.

Indeed, I walk hand-in-hand most days with my two best chums, Procrastination and You Deserve It.



Every day when I sit down at the keyboard to write I go through extreme calisthenics of avoidance:  "I must check my email - so and so may need me!", followed by "I wonder what so and so has written in their blog" or "What's up at the New York Times or Facebook or Pinterest or else I decide to read an article that will help me with my ______ (insert writing, cooking, current affairs, potential and current weight issues up or down, skincare, memory, etc, etc, etc).

When I finally start typing, well I am just good to go, but for some reason, I must twist myself like a pretzel for a good twenty minutes before I can begin!

As for my friend You Deserve It - this is also a close bosom buddy who makes me think I deserve everything I see, especially after working really hard (after procrastinating!).

I keep this friend mostly at bay, feeding it now and then (especially chocolate this Christmas), but for the next couple of months I am going to try and feed it less.  No extra goodies, no online shopping, no local shopping (well except for a book or two...)

The few weeks after Christmas always strike me as a period of fatigue - the parties, the late nights, the presents, the mess - they make you want to lie down on the couch and wait for Downton Abbey to start (TONIGHT!).

Don't get me wrong,I love it all, but when I finally pack it up and send it on its way (this time in an extremely taxing and organized fashion that I will appreciate in early December of 2015, but which my back regretted keenly after five hours of it yesterday.

I will admit to jealousy of friends with birthdays mid-summer.  I don't even want anything for my birthday this year (oh by the way - special birthday shout out to our friends Jen and Hexicon celebrating their Capricorn birthday this month as well!) and I likely couldn't afford it anyway with the upcoming trip to NYC!

However.  Ahem.  There are some things one shouldn't have self-control about.  In this category I put anything that brings you extreme joy and which hurts no one.

To this list I put forth:

1) Pink Champagne (well any champagne!)


I loved every sip I had of this bottle!


2) Croquembouche (well any dessert actually)

I have wanted to make one of these for the longest time and on New Year's Day my friend Martine and I - with great assistance from my daughter Sydney - made a small, but mighty one and it was GOOD!!!!

Not Martha-like yet, but I see a future for us...


3) Imaginary Giraffes and Real Friends

I have wanted a huge stuffed giraffe for a long time.  As in years.  As in many years.

Why you ask?  Why must you ask why?  Just because.   Should I confess I now own two? (in my defense the second is much smaller)  There is a story about why I have two giraffes but we need to be drinking pink champagne and eating croquembouche for me to do it justice.

Some would say it is too big for my small house.  I say: is there a house that is too small for a giraffe?  because that is a house I don't want to be in.

I have a feeling this giraffe is going to show up in a book soon.

I have mused about its name and then this afternoon it hit me: Russell.  The giraffe's name is Russell.  The smaller one is Noel.  You decide if that is an homage or not.

And the giraffes already have a pretty friend, Miss GetFresh, who stopped by for a night of frivolity and good food and fun games last week.  We hadn't seen each other in person for over a year and my husband said "that was a lot of talking".  He was right, it was.  And it was wonderful:



So yes, I will try and exert a little more self-control this year, except where it interferes with champagne, dessert, giraffes and GetFresh!

Cheers!

xoxo Wendy

55 comments:

  1. Here's to procrastinating self control!!!

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  2. I vote yes for that desert! I love it.

    I beg to differ... I think I put the PRO in 'procrastinator.' :)

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  3. Thanks for the birthday shout out and happy birth month (I think a month of celebration is in order!) I've always wanted a summer birthday too. Everyone is always broke and on a diet and nobody feels overly festive so soon after the holidays. On the plus side, I always get birthday money and pick up a birthday prezzie or two for myself in the post-Christmas sales. Great giraffe. Love to hear the story but agree that champagne and cake is needed first!

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    1. I will drop by with both and share the tale!

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  4. i didn't know you were a capricorn too! happy birthday wendy! and yes, next december you will be so grateful that you took the time to organize it all. that's just how we roll. x

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    1. Thanks Janet - I'm the 14th - when are you?

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  5. I must have a Capricorn connection! I think my moon is there or Mars or something! My brother is one and he always envied my summer birthday and complained about the present rule not really applying to him. But love the giraffe! But I am enforcing non essential object ban this month!!

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  6. Sigh, self control, got to get me some. With the food, mainly. And some self discipline wouldn't hurt to get either, when it comes to getting things done and staying on task. Why are the virtuous things never any fun?

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    1. Cate I think it is the outcome of the virtue that is supposed to be fun (thing enough to not hate a swimsuit holiday, tidy enough to not spend all time looking for stuff...) Telling myself anyway, "pain" for gain...

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    2. Cate - so with you. Trying to focus on good food, but not fretting over the palmiers...

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    3. WMM Absolutely NO fretting over THOSE palmiers (and I ate my share and Noel's I think.)

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    4. Oh I was talking about the newly baked ones today :-)

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    5. GF, the process is definitely painful! lol It's hard to motivate when there is no swimsuit holiday looming.

      Wendy, I had to google "palmiers". I don't think I've ever had one.

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  7. I made the mistake of having my Xmas-anniversary-birthday trifecta all within three weeks . . . so Mr. Hex usually slacks on the gifts. Not that it matters, because I will buy them for myself under the Capricorn banner "You Deserve It," right? And of course the procrastination goes hand in hand with the other Cap trait, perfectionism . . .

    Croquembouche AND perfectionism story (sorry if this is a repeat): Many years ago, before she had her regular TV show, Martha had an Xmas special that guest-starred Julia. They were making croquembouche together. Naturally, Martha stacked her croquembouche perfectly, with hospital corners. Julia was cheerfully stacking hers every which way. She smiled, "Oh Martha, yours is elegance Parisienne, and mine is country style!" I like to think of that story when I'm overly focused on perfecting the details!

    May you get lots of pink champagne this year on your birthday!

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    1. Hex, I love that relaxed, we all have a style, Julia response. Important to realise life has room for all kids of ways and methods.

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    2. Hex - you got married over the holidays? (once upon a time) How brave! Our 30th is September and am hopeful that the ship will be righted and carrying me off to exotic ports of call! And I am SOOOOOO Julia and so NOT Martha!

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  8. I'm the worst procrastinator ever....here I am re-reading this very blog post when I should be writing or working. Or both. I did call the guy about the dishwasher though, not sure if that is conquering or more pro-crastinating.
    Here's to bathtubs of pink champers this year as you become the new hot book author!

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    1. I hear you! I had to write a synposis today and had vowed to get to the halfway mark of the second draft of my book today so I couldn't even peek till after supper!

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  9. Impressive dessert and impressive giraffe! I did not think you were a procrastinator, Wendy.

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  10. When it's time, things will get done. And yes, we deserve champagne, sweets, and a really big giraffe. I always wanted clogs but never got a pair...it has passed.

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    1. Are you thinking the giraffe desire would have passed? I never wanted clogs but I would still like knee high gladiator sandals. Not going ot happen!

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  11. Russell, Noel, the very cute Freshy, Pink champagne, and Croquembouche are all anybody should ever need....everything else can wait.

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    1. GSL, very honoured to be on The List ;-)

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    2. Freshy, had to check it twice to include naughty and vice...

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    3. January is a time of moderation in all things GSL, you ersatz poet know it.

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    4. Poets don't even have a passing acquaintance with moderation in any month of the Gregorian calendar.

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    5. Ahem, not to interrupt the admiration society (and who can blame you for admiring one another?) I agree with you both! GSL - have you started Scoop? I began last night!

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    6. Wendy, I listened to Scoop on unabridged audiobook a couple months back and it's brilliant and wickedly funny. I of course own a hardcover copy as I always get one for every book I listen to. You're going to love it!

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  12. Ahhhh Croquembouche! That was an annual event when the kids were little, I loved doing it. I hope you decide to make it an annual thing, too,the family's anticipation is a delight.

    We should all have baby giraffes in our lives!

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    1. I love that it was an annual ritual - if I'd known it wasn't so horrible to do I would have tried it 20 years ago!

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  13. Oh my goodness Wendy - I would love to hear that giraffe story! GF is looking very well indeed, I think it would be very hard not to have a lovely big grin on one's face when hugging a giant giraffe!

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    1. I can attest, impossible not to smile Patricia. Although in truth the giraffes are just more good company for happiness engendered by Wendy, Indy the Wonder Dog, Barry the Bomb et al chez WMM.

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    2. Patricia - come east and pet the giraffe!!!!

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  14. The giraffe and the croquembouche are both spectacular! I can't bear January and all its associated better you, nonsense, whether it's self growth/weight loss giving up/sugar - every magazine and blog and TV advert is the same.

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    1. They've got to do something to sell stuff ;-)

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    2. Oh, I can't stand all the NEW YOU stuff either. Dr Oz-- what a sell-out!

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  15. Lovely picture of Russell and GF! Very jealous of your visit. I always say that January is not the time to give up anything or be hard on oneself. First day back today for everyone after the long break, I think MrBP is procrastinating with his ipad...

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    1. All Russell ,makes everyone look fabulous and relatively leggy Dani. We will manage a trio visit once soon, "Come East...champers."

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    2. Dani - get in the car with Patricia! I will even bring the giraffes down to the Algonquin if need be, so you might need a suite!

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  16. How beautiful is GF?!?

    Are Russell and Noel here for your bday? Funny, when the littlest one was in Tanzania, her study animal was the giraffe. She is totally in love with them, too.

    I don't think 20 minutes count as procrastination, m'dear. I think if you drink pink champagne in a bar for 3 years straight, that's procrastination. Sounds like you are very very productive, leaving the rest of us in the dust!

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    1. Lane that made my day! Am I allowed to confess I find your concept of true procrastination rather tempting? Mornings could be painful and expensive. But there are so many great hotel and other bars we could sip at -- New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Sydney...

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    2. Russell is named after Russell Brand and Noel after Noel Fielding - I finally caught the big fat quiz of the year 10th anniversary show and love those goth detective boys! I am feeling much better about my procrastination now!

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    3. I think we need to all procrastinate together, in the same room with our champs. Totally, we do.

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  17. RUSSELL UP SOMETHING GOOD WMM, naturally I love this and am chuffed to bits to be included with the first pink Moet and the incredible croquembouche. What a good job the three of you did on pastry, props to baker S. Please extend my apologies to B. about being Chat Kathy. (Not really sorry, a lot to catch up on, but he was admirable.) Remember, if Noel and Indy go AWOL you know just where to look. And fact the giraffe shares a moniker with one of my dearest also makes that piccie extra special. Already told him Giraffe Tale, will be further amused they have same name.

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    1. It isn't Noel Fielding is it? Cause then I am en route!!!!

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  18. Yay for procrastination!
    Happy 2015 Wendy!

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  19. Oh I love your posts! Pink Champagne, Croquembouche, Giraffes… brilliant combination.
    Re the procrastination, there is some thing you can download that will let you set a time and it will block you from the internet and email for whatever time you set. Can be useful if you're trying to write without distractions as you can't undo it! I remember Jody from About Last Weekend blog talking about it (she is a journalist, so not unlike you in needing to use a computer, but not become diverted by a quick check of blogs/ emails/ etc).
    But don't deprive yourself too much! Make sure you find some things to alleviate the discipline, otherwise you'll bust out somewhere some day and go crazy with some online purchases etc…
    I hate new years resolutions too. That's why I don't make any. Especially weight or exercise related. Although I probably need too… haven't really been denying myself much lately I have to say!

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  20. Wendy, I'm with you.. Tried to write all day and I get so distracted, especially this time of year.. I suddenly have less deadlines and I cannot get anything done! I love your list of things that are important and hate resolutions as well.. Happy New Year and enjoy this time of year! I just caught up on all your posts and loved them. Especially nice about honoring the lives of others by being grateful each day. I so agree!! x Kim

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Kindness is a virtue...