Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 20: Crash and Burn

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 20: Crash and Burn

Last night I went to my friend Mark’s 40th surprise birthday party. I figured I would catch up with some of my friends from the storytelling community, but I didn’t imagine that I would get a great self-care exercise from them.

I learned that last night there was a Super Blood Wolf Moon happening, which is a total lunar eclipse. Science was my worst subject in school. So bad that my sister used to sing, to the tune of Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science,” “She got a C in science. She got a C in science.”

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 19: Up, Up and Away

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 19: Up, Up and Away

Five years ago I was working at an ad agency when my Art Director partner, John, made some reference I didn’t get it. I stared at him blankly.

“Haven’t you seen GoodFellas?” he asked.

“Nope,” I said.

He was shocked. I told him I haven’t seen a lot of movies and he insisted that I needed to catch up. Days later, he gave me a hard drive with 30 or so must-see classic films that he had downloaded from bit torrent.

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 18: Making My Mark

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 18: Making My Mark

When I was a kid, I drew a lot.

Mostly clowns, lots of 3D boxes and I even made my own coloring books. I would draw (not trace) pictures from McDonald’s glasses and other fun characters I’d find around the house, my Dad would make copies at work, collate them and my masterpiece would be done. Then, I would sign copies for my family from the world-famous Robin. Natch.

I loved it. I loved the focus, the creativity, the fun and the ability to get lost in the project. (I wish I could say the same about my recent vision board debacle.)

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 16: I Hugged a Genius

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 16: I Hugged a Genius

Thank G-d for deadlines.

Without them, I’d get nothing done. Seriously. I put the “pro” in “procrastinating.”

  • I delay entering expenses (mostly paper receipts) until a few weeks before April 15 (Ugh, adulting)

  • I wait until only a couple weeks before to book a flight (Oy, too many choices)

  • I edit and go over my stories seconds before I hit the stage (I hate rehearsing)

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 15: Putting the "Oy" in Essential "Oils"

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 15: Putting the "Oy" in Essential "Oils"

I used to go to a yoga teacher (incidentally named Robin) who would drop some essential oils into our hands at the end of each class. We would rub our hands together, cup our face and inhale these magical concoctions that had different healing properties (I did my best to inhale them through my nose, but it’s really tough when you’re a mouth breather. I say this as I sit here with my mouth agape.)

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 14: Gimme a Break

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 14: Gimme a Break

It’s May of 2000 and I’m running up the hill during my first triathlon. The Wildflower Triathlon in California, which claims to be the hardest one in the country.

I have completed the cycling and swimming part of the race, which are my favorites and have come upon my nemesis. The run. I hate running. I hate that it’s so boring. I hate that it’s the last part of the race. If I had my druthers, I’d do the run first, then the bike and then cool off with the swim. That makes waaaaay more sense to me, but alas, that’s not how they’re designed.

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 13: Ask and You Shall Receive

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 13: Ask and You Shall Receive

When a man would offer to help carry my bags, I figured he thought that I was weak and I would turn him down. If someone offered to help me at my show, Yum’s the Word, I would say no knowing it was easier to do it myself. I used to try to figure things out myself. I thought I had all the answers and if I didn’t, then I would find them out.

Man, was I wrong.

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 12: What Would Laverne Do?

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 12: What Would Laverne Do?

For the past 15 years, my college roommate, Mindy, and her husband, Rick, have thrown a White Elephant party, which has nothing to do with the makeup of the Republican party. ;)

It’s a gift exchange where you usually trade funny, impractical gifts. It’s also known as a Yankee Swap or a Dirty Santa (never heard of that one although I do know another kind of Dirty San thing and in my opinion, it’s not a gift.)

Over the past ten years, I’ve gone to this party twice for various reasons, but this year, no matter what, I was going.

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 11: A New Kind of Me Time

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 11: A New Kind of Me Time

As a freelancer, my days are typically focused on what my clients need. They are always my priority and I let my work (mostly administrative in nature) fall by the wayside.

I have spoken to several successful people who take time out each week to focus on what they’re doing with their business. They dedicate several hours to things like invoicing, planning, expenses, promoting, strategizing, setting up systems and the like.

Things I consider adulting. As a creative, I’d rather play. Who wouldn’t?

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 10: Sunrise, Sunset

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 10: Sunrise, Sunset

My friend, Judith aka my personal Buddha, has a strong self-care game. Not only did she recommend I buy flowers, but she sent me an advent calendar full of self-car ideas like listen to an inspirational podcast, sweat, read, meditate and more.

One of the items on the list is “Watch the sunset or sunrise,” so I watched the former and after a few minutes of staring out the window, I got surprisingly antsy. So I decided to close my eyes and do a visualization exercise picturing what I want in my life. That felt good and I figured it would kill some time (sort of the antithesis of self-care.)

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 9: Desk Debacle Video

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 9: Desk Debacle Video

Do you sit at a desk all day? I do and after freelancing for so many years at so many different types of desks, I wound up with tendonitis in both of my wrists.

The good news is I found a keyboard that changed my life. The bad news is that very few keyboard trays can accommodate the size of this special keyboard, so finding a desk is challenging to say the least.

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 8: Stretch Your Mind

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 8: Stretch Your Mind

Anyone who knows me well knows that I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I fall asleep easily on buses, in cars (not on planes, unfortunately) and at every damn movie (I hate paying for a nap.)

I even booked a commercial where I play an exhausted dentist because I could yawn so well.

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 7: Flower Power & Jan Brady

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 7: Flower Power & Jan Brady

I used to have a cutout from a magazine that read “Plants You Can’t Kill” on my fridge. It felt like a good bar to set for myself.

After a few years, I threw it away because I hadn’t bought a plant and it never really crossed my mind to have one inside. I didn’t grow up with plants in the house. We had trees, bushes and flowers around the house, but never anything inside the house.

Years ago, my friend, Judith, who I think of as my own personal buddha recommended I buy myself flowers from time to time to make myself feel good. It had never occurred to me to do that.

The only time I bought myself flowers was when I played a trick on the women in my office in San Francisco.

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 6: Trying to Find a Man

Gelf-Care 30-Day Challenge Day 6: Trying to Find a Man

When my friend Colleen invited me to do a vision board with her and some friends, I couldn’t respond fast enough.

It had been seven years since I’d done one and it seemed like the perfect way to kick off the new year and a great example of self-care. Clipping out pictures, headlines and copy from magazines that spoke to me and pasting them onto poster board imagining what my life will look like.

I was excited to get clear on my goals and do it in a fun, creative and no pressure way.

However, after a 15-minute walk from the subway and getting lost in the building, I arrived at the Center for Social Innovation pissed.

Gelf-Care Challenge Day 4: Breaking the Rules with the Bobbitts

Gelf-Care Challenge Day 4: Breaking the Rules with the Bobbitts

I have always been a rule follower.

  • I never went to detention.

  • I stick to the time I’m given when telling a story at a show.

  • I prefer following recipes to winging it.

It may sound boring, but I like having some parameters and sticking to them.

That’s why I came up with this challenge. I like goals, structure and order (although, at times, my apartment would tell you otherwise.)

The truth is when you’re straight-laced like that, you don’t take as many risks and, some would argue, you don’t have as much fun.

Gelf-Care Day 3: My Ice Cream Cake Cone-fession

Gelf-Care Day 3: My Ice Cream Cake Cone-fession

Since I’m all in on this month of self-care (Gelf-care) and my foot is bothering me now (oy), I decided to take a yoga class. The instructor, Mardi, talked about making space in your life. Something I am admittedly not good at.

  • I fill up my calendar with meetings and activities.

  • I have too much stuff in my apartment and need to purge.

  • My devices are constantly reminding me to upgrade my icloud storage because I’m almost at capacity. They’re like my own portable bouncer.

Gelf-Care Day 2: Embracing My Inner Altacocker

Gelf-Care Day 2: Embracing My Inner Altacocker

At the risk of sounding like an altacocker (that’s Yiddish for “old fart”), I woke up with a sore knee again. Oy! I used to do endurance events like triathlons, a century ride (100-mile bike ride) and the NYC marathon despite the fact that I HATE running, so this, as you can imagine, is incredibly frustrating.

Exercise has always been a huge part of my routine. It not only helps offset all the noshing (Yiddish for “snacking”) I do, it makes me feel good and it’s the very first thing I do when I wake up (after brushing my teeth and getting dressed, of course.)

Because of this Gelf-care (self-care) 30-day challenge, I decided to listen to my body and cancel my spinning class. It (pun intended) pained me to do this.

Gelf-Care Day 1: Ciao, Chow!

Gelf-Care Day 1: Ciao, Chow!

For many, the New Year spells resolutions. For me, I’ve done that with limited success. I’ve also tried coming up with a theme for the year only to forget it weeks later. I can’t even find my theme on my computer for 2018, so that tells you how committed I was.

That’s why this year I’m doing something different. A new 30-day challenge each month.

To kick things off, January is dedicated to “Self-care” aka “Gelf-care.”