Friday, February 12, 2010

Live Better Than You Dare

I've been talking a lot about going to New York.
I've been talking a lot about Julie Powell.
And, I was tossing back and forth the idea of travelling to New York to go to an event she's speaking at. I know. A little crazy. But, also pretty cool.
And I've been reading the Happiness Project which is pretty full of some affirmations and quotes. I'll admit that I'm not exactly a daily affirmation person - but I do love a good quote. And one of her quotes is "Live as Well as You Dare." I thought that was pretty great - until my good friend said it should be changed to live BETTER than you dare.
And it's true. It's one of those quotes I play over and over in my head. I mean, do I dare? Do I do things I'm afraid of? Do I push things just a little more than I'm confortable with? Well, yes and no. Yes, for sure a lot. (just ask the people I work with)
So, with this whole New York thing - I'm going for it.
I was thinking about what inspired me in Cleaving. Like, I pretty much fell in love with the whole book - what Julie Powell said about herself (life lessons there). But it was also about butchery. I'll never forget the conversation I had with someone when I was halfway through the book. This person is a friend, but doesn't know me *that* well, and I was knee deep in the book, and had decided that perhaps I should move to New York and learn to be a butcher. It wasn't a serious thought. It was more of a completely engrossed in a book kind of thought.
He thought about it and suggested that perhaps I take some cooking classes, or even just try buying meat from a butcher (other than the grocery store).
And I was mulling this idea around when I decided that OMG! I could probably find the butcher shop from the book. (it's called Fleisher's) And go there! And, then I thought that I can't exactly buy meat there but they have soup and stuff. So, if nothing else - I can fly to New York, take a 2 hour bus ride to the store, eat a bowl of soup - and EXPERIENCE.
And, perhaps buy a shirt!
Live better than you dare.
Maybe to some people that's insane. To me - that's living!
Also, before I go, my friend helpfully sent me a title of a book to read (about meat) and some butchers in Toronto that have a similar philosophy. Awesome.
I'm SO excited.
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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sleep and Happiness ...

Chloe is almost 2. We're about 6 weeks away from her second birthday, and the child needs to sleep.
I don't know what went wrong with her sleep routine. As an infant she slept well, but as she got older it got progressively worse till we hit that point that every night Mike puts her to sleep by rocking her and then lays her on the couch until he brings her to our bed where she sleeps for the night.
I know that sounds terrible.
The truth is, when you have an older child who is really exhausting, you take sleep however you can, even if that means horrible habits.
But, the other day I was left to put Chloe to sleep, and given the fact that I'm a foot shorter than Mike, and have significantly less arm muscle, it was really hard to get her into the necessary sleep strong hold. And I realized that something had to change.
So for the past few days I've been doing sleep training.
Matt goes to bed pretty quickly and has a great knack for ignoring his sister, so while he slept I somewhat patiently walked Chloe back to her bed over and over and over. And listened to her scream - over and over and over.
And, for the last 2 nights she has slept in her own bed.
This is a miracle, I tell you. A miracle. Tonight we had only an hour of the walking back to bed/crying routine.
What's the magic formula? Well, nothing. But I'll tell you what's made it easier - reading "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. It's a fascinating book, and it breaks down her resolutions for happiness into 12 months. I'm kind of reading a month per night. And, it's funny how when I read it, and I'm reading about things that were hard for her, it kind of makes the suckiness of sleep training more bearable.
Also, it's a good book.
And, I've finished reading the month of February and she's actually mentioned Julie/Julia. So there's that. And she says stuff like:
One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
 And let me tell you, when you're feeling a little guilty about essentially just listening to your kid cry, stuff like that is amazing.
So sleep plus happy is making me happy right now.
And I'm hoping that by Chloe's 2nd birthday we'll have a sleeping toddler. Next step - toilet training.