How To Never Get Bored In Your Thirties

I’m almost never bored. I feel like there’s always something new to do, and a multitude of things that I’ve been wanting to get to. Sometimes I think I might be bored for a second, but then I realize I’m just not thinking about all the activities and projects and entertainment I want to play around with. Boredom is likely a symptom of poor planning. If you set yourself up to catch boredom in it’s tracks, you can either use the extra time for easygoing, contemplative moments, or put the time towards something you’ve been wanting to do anyway.

Start a list and write down a bunch of things you’d really like to do but never seem to have time for. My list includes:

  • Watch YouTube Videos on new hairstyle/makeup ideas
  • Practice singing (the word practice can easily be replaced by the word ‘start’)
  • Get out that dusty paint set and finally paint!
  • Organize Retirement Account
  • Rush a Broadway show
  • Study Turbo Tax for self-employed individuals so you can fire accountant and do your taxes yourself (hopefully my accountant does not read this blog).
  • Relearn Italian
  • Journal (I have many prompts for this, though freestyle works too)
  • Cook a new recipe from my huge and glorious vegan cookbook
  • Watch tutorials on basic Photoshop techniques

There are many more items on this list. When I’m done with my original To Do list (I’m somewhat of a to do list-aholic) I can look at my long term list and there’s always something big and/or interesting I can be doing that doesn’t include browsing Facebook or Instagram for hours (which does happen and is almost never happy-making).

Here are some other suggestions for stopping listless boredom in its tracks, effortlessly:

  • Start a list of tv shows/movies you want to watch that are currently streaming. When you’re bored, begin!
  • Make a list of people you’ve been wanting to call more regularly and finally call them! You have time!
  • Make a list of books you want to read…and finally start reading them!
  • Start a list of pampering moments you can give to yourself (face masks, hair masks, bath time, anything goes!)

I use and am obsessed with Wunderlist for all my to do list needs… this blog isn’t specifically affiliated with them in any way although I wish it was.

Here’s to never being bored again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Social Media and sometimes FOMO in your Thirties

I have a love/dislike (hate is too strong a word) relationship with Social Media. There are many reasons for this, some simply to do with concentrating on better ways to spend my time. But the biggest reason for my discomfort with social media is that it can occasionally make me feel really bad about myself.

The badness I feel from social media is a strange type of vexation- it comes and goes. When I go through social media ‘feel good’ periods, I can actually remain in a peaceful fun stretch for quite awhile. I understand the points of connection and sharing that are at the core of Facebook or Snapchat. I even feel connected. I feel looped in. I enjoy sharing. I enjoy commenting. I feel like An Important Part of Something Big. And I actually really like social media at these times.

But then there are the FOMO periods. These periods can happen at two very opposite times for me: 1.During times when I’m using social media a lot. 2. During times when I’m using social media not a lot ..but am thinking about it.

FOMO, for those of you who haven’t heard of it, stands for Fear of Missing Out, and I think social media taps into this inner fear more than anything else I’ve ever known. FOMO occurs from social media because people are sharing the polished, highlight reels of their lives and not necessarily what’s actually happening- so everything looks pretty good from an outsiders view. People rarely share worries about their relationships, career fears, family drama, fallouts with friends, financial struggles and the like. Social Media is full of platitudes, photos of cute kids, congratulations on new jobs, sunny visits to the beach, diamond engagement rings, delicious food with friends, and more happy times.

Honestly, that’s okay. That’s what social media is here to do for the most part- enable people to share great parts of their lives. Super depressing happenings usually come off as weird on a news feed and people understand that. I don’t necessarily want to read about tons of negative happenings either.

Yet, even being aware of the highlight reel nature of the beast can’t stop FOMO from coming. There’s a certain discouragement I can feel when scrolling a Facebook feed, especially if I’m already feeling not so great. I can get extra down on myself. Why am I not as happy as I can be right now? My friends seem so happy. Everyone is so busy doing social things- they’re all together- am I being antisocial? Oh god, I don’t use Snapchat enough. Everyone is having fun. Why can’t I get into Instagram? Why don’t I have 6 pack abs? I need to take gym selfies or no one will know I went to the gym! I need to use social media or no one will know I exist!! IF I DONT WRITE ABOUT IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA, DID IT EVEN REALLY HAPPEN??

Even though my mind knows most of these thoughts are extremely silly, the feelings come anyway. I’m bombarded with feels as I’m bombarded with feeds. Some of these thoughts are a mild exaggeration, but you may recognize others in yourself.

Some people don’t go through FOMO at all- I have a few extremely extroverted friends who remain in love with their Snapchat stories and Facebook feeds, and never seem jealous or sad about the whole thing. But this post is for the people who do have this kind of anxiety, or even occasionally do. You’re not alone. And you’re not missing out either.

I don’t have an answer for social media induced FOMO except to take breaks from the newsfeed and stories from time to time. But in my moments of greatest clarity I know that the only fear of missing out I should have is of the present moment. And the most important place to be, no matter what others are up to, is always where I am now.

image

Facebook and My Self Esteem

So, tonight I was watching the awesome “Master of None” – comedian Aziz Ansari’s new show, and I decided I wanted to post about it on Facebook. But I kept second guessing myself. I thought: Is anyone really interested? Does anyone even read my posts? Am I yelling into a vortex that this is how I spend my Friday nights, Netflix and pizza? And will anyone “like” this post?

The last two things I posted on Facebook got exactly ZERO likes. For having 762 “friends,” that was surprising. I rarely get zero likes. For some reason, that really bothered me. I wondered why no one was liking my posts. They weren’t terrible; it’s not like I was posting pro-Donald Trump messages or advocating for the NRA. One of my posts was a link to an article on friendship, and another was a quote from one of my favorite movies. When no one liked them, I felt invisible. I’ve always told myself, “Who gives a shit about Facebook?” and pretended like I was holier than thou, but then, I found out that clearly I care.

The thought of having these “zero” likes would float to my head every once in awhile this past week. I wondered why the quote I posted didn’t resonate with anyone. Or why no one could relate to the article I posted about friendship in adulthood.

But then. Tonight, as I posted my Aziz Ansari TV show plug, Facebook asked me if I wanted to keep my privacy settings for posting as “Only Me.” I sat there, looking at my computer screen, feeling like a dummy. Because I had inadvertently made my last posts completely private, so that only I could see them.

As I sat there, I realized just how much I let Facebook affect my self-esteem. The whole time, I thought the “world” was ignoring me. And yet, it was my administrative mess-up.

So for awhile, without me realizing it, my only audience was myself. But as corny as it may sound, there’s something kind of beautiful about that.In the same way when you feel most isolated (after a break-up or a friendship ending), you learn to dive a little deeper into your own reserves and find you’re stronger than you think.  You become your own rock, not because you want to, but because you’re forced to.

What did I learn from all this? That at the end of the day, we are our own most important audience.

Let’s impress ourselves.

Facebook Nostalgia in Your Thirties

I was on Facebook tonight saying happy birthday to a friend when I accidentally clicked the wrong button and was suddenly transported back to 2011.

Time traveling back a few years in Facebook time brought me to London. I was visiting my then-boyfriend and was very excited to see him. I scrolled down and watched myself quote Pablo Neruda a half dozen times, recommend 3 “brilliant” plays I don’t remember seeing, sit backstage jittering before going onstage and performing, invite people to donate to numerous kickstarter campaigns, and link to The Onion as much as I could humanly link. I also posted a few things that I would laugh scoffingly at now such as “Happy. Peaceful. Joyous.” Gag.

And then there were a few things that I would absolutely still post now, including all my travel/work updates/stories such as “In Mexico City trying to work but failing at Spanish language. Thought people here spoke English but was sadly misinformed. Now being laughed at by customers as I read Espanol verbatum from product brochure.”

I was actually about to write a post for this blog when Facebook dredged up these strange throwbacks. The darn site ended up keeping me on guiltily for an extra 30 minutes, as I nostalgically read over post after post dated all the way back to 2010. I hadn’t seen any of them in years, yet, for most, I remembered exactly how I felt when I wrote them.

Though I’m prone to nostalgia anyway, Facebook has a special way of pulling up sentimentality in me, I’ve been on the site since college, and now that I’m thirty, it’s become this time capsule of so much of my young adult life…but in these strange little quippy bows that aren’t exactly how things were at all.

It’s funny to think that a lot of the younger generation isn’t really using Facebook anymore but has switched platforms to other social media… such as Instagram and …god knows what else. Haha, I can’t think of the new forms of social media. Am I really getting old? WhatsApp and Snapchat come to mind, but they’re not really social media… It’s kinda sad/kinda funny how unaware I am of the new wave of Social Media apps. And I’m usually a pretty techie person…

I actually went and looked up “Facebook in your thirties.” I wanted to see if there were articles about Facebook dying off in the younger generation while still being a mainstay of this one. Instead I ended up coming across article after article about how Facebook just introduced a new nostalgia-inducing feature called “On This Day.”  Apparently there will be a new button on Facebook, similar to Timehop, that’ll take you back to what you did on this day last year…and up to 4 years ago. This new feature was introduced March 24, otherwise known as ‘today.’ Pretty ironic, huh?

When I Facebook time traveled back to 2011, I didn’t push the “On This Day” button. I don’t even have the button- it’s apparently rolling out to users in waves and it’s not on my computer yet. I just happened to accidentally click into the past on the exact same day that Facebook rolls out a new nostalgia feature. Sometimes life can be funny like that.

But then again, life always has been sort of funny, hasn’t it?

 

1918667_849788948979_3544183_n

 

Are You Sick of Blue and Black, White and Gold? Or still fascinated?

In case you’ve been under a rock (and it happens to the best of us), there’s been a major viral sensation going on since Thursday night easily dubbed Dress-Gate. It nearly broke the internet. Or at least my Facebook feed.

Is the dress blue and black or white and gold?

tumblr_nkcjuq8Tdr1tnacy1o1_500

This debate divided the internet so fiercely last night that everyone from Mindy Kaling to Kanye West to Taylor Swift to top researchers on colorblindness from universities all over the world have weighed in…and everyone seems to disagree.

Some people even saw the dress change colors from white and gold to blue and black or vice versa right in front of their eyes! These people include my very own mother.

And my social media experience today consisted of comments like:

“Am I on acid? This thing changed color!! Woh!!”

– “You are not on acid. The same thing happen to me. I saw the picture today at work it was gold and white, I looked at it again with my wife and it was gold to me and blue and black to her. Then we scrolled up the page and it changed colors colors back and fourth several times. Crazy”

Then today I received a phone call from my brother and I was shocked to hear him ask at the end of our conversation: “Oh yeah, blue and black or white and gold?” I had my response ready (I see blue and black). But man, if my brother, who could care less about colors of dresses, said he’d been “researching this fascinating phenomenon all morning,” then it really must have hit a nerve with everyone.

But why such fascination over a dress?

My guess is that not believing our eyes here is kind of equivalent to seeing a ghost. Or suddenly time traveling. Whether or not you believe in ghosts or time travel, if you haven’t experienced either of these things your entire life, and then suddenly do, it’s a major shock. Whether or not we consider ourselves “pretty open” human beings, by our thirties, we pretty much know the limits of our physical senses. So when we see or experience something we didn’t believe existed before, we kind of freak out.

In this case, we experienced something normal (viewing a photo of a dress) and then freaked out that our trusted friends or relatives seemed to see a completely different dress. BUT HOW CAN THAT BE??!

It’s now been proven that the dress is blue and black, whatever that means. The company that makes the dress said so themselves:

“We can confirm #TheDress is blue and black! We should know!” http://t.co/qAeIIHzJxkpic.twitter.com/kkxjUbmgI3

— Roman Originals (@romanoriginals) February 27, 2015

There have been various explanations for the differences in how the dress colors are viewed, but I have a feeling none of them are truly satisfying anyone right now. We’re still too busy being fascinated about our newfound five sense discoveries that can be had even later in life.

No matter what your age, stay open to new information still to be found out about your body and senses. Never assume you know everything about yourself. We’re probably not even close to discovering all that’s out there.

Though hopefully ghosts aren’t some of those things…

And if you’re interested in more info about Dress-gate, here are a few expert theories on the phenomenon:

“Your interpretation depends on several factors, such as which part of the figure you attend to.” -Dr. Joseph Toscano, Villanova University Department of Psychology and an expert in illusions.

“This photograph was probably taken on a phone camera and is very poorly exposed. It depends if your retina is interpreting this photo as over or under exposed, or more scientifically if your rods or cones are dominating the image interpretation.” -Dr. Reena A. Garg, an Assistant Professor of Ophthamology at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai

“It can be slightly different in different individuals and the spectrum of wavelengths dedicated to any color could be slightly shifted in some people.” -Dr. Steven Galetta, the chair of the neurology department at NYU Langone Medical Center.

“I’ve studied individual differences in color vision for 30 years, and this is one of the biggest individual differences I’ve ever seen.” Jay Neitz, a color-vision researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle, told Wired.

“It has to do with the tiny cones in the back of our eyeballs that perceive colors in a slightly different way depending upon our genes,” -Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent.

Business Insider has even has a great way for you to see both color schemes. Check it out- it’s like  finally decoding one of those crazy optical illusions you couldn’t figure out as a kid.

oldyoung

The Occasional Inspiration of Social Media

I wrote a bit about social media and how it can get you down in my post “That Time You Hated Positivity in Your Thirties.”

Sometimes I attempt to take breaks from Facebook (this is hard) because it can occasionally get me down. Seeing too many selfies on my Newsfeed can be the emotional equivalent to eating handfuls of Doritos…I just feel kind of queasy afterwards. Workout selfies especially bother me- they just feel icky somehow.. exceptionally self-involved…and I even enjoy working out.

In my thirties, I am now super aware of the time suck that can be social media. As powerful a tool as social media can be, it can also be the junk food of our adult lives. I’ve had Facebook as a part of my days during all of my twenties, and have regretted countless addicted hours spent there. :p

hashtag-fail

But to each their own. I understand that some people want to take pictures of themselves sweating off their weight in the gym. And other people love to “#hashtagblessed” everything that happens in their lives. And sometimes when I’m shaking in -6 degree weather, I hate that people love to post dozens of photos of their tropical vacations. However, I know that I post a lot of travel updates, and sometimes a bunch of happy warm weather trips too, and am possibly annoying a bunch of acquaintances accidentally. I know I can’t censor everything I want to say for fear it’ll upset someone- EVERYTHING will upset SOMEONE.

Also, since I can easily block annoying posts from my feed, I’m usually quiet about them. I’m only writing about them here because this is my blog, and I feel like I can secretly tell you about all the things that bother me :p

you_and_hashtags_annoying_t

But I’ll also tell you about the social media posts that don’t bother me. My friend Tiffanay posts a lot of inspirational quotes that never seem to drip with phony positivity. They always ring extremely genuine and honest. It’s hard to put my finger on why they inspire me. Maybe it’s because I know her and I know how honest and genuine she is personally. But her Facebook posts always make me feel peaceful inside and calm me down.

I’ll copy a few here. Let me know what you think. Do you get annoyed by social media? Or do you have a passion for it?

And thanks, Tiffanay!

10805674_767465553289494_2656935938973433526_n

 

10351480_847250111994021_7226624754045713820_n

1455189_729280507100790_1908580271_n

10440730_904157052930927_2336150837073893379_n

10731156_911815495498416_9216122098156728919_n

That Time You Hated Positivity In Your Thirties

Have you ever had someone say “cheer up” or “smile” to you? Did it annoy you at the time?

Have you ever wondered why you can’t constantly be happy and peaceful? Why do circumstances always come at you and change your happy perspective for a bit? Why can’t you get back that peace you felt a minute ago or yesterday or last week or last year?

I used to think, “all I want is to be strong all the time. And I feel strong when I’m positive and happy. So I want to be positive and happy all the time. I wish I could figure out how to always be peaceful and happy every moment of every day.”

Or I’d think, “I don’t know how so-and-so does it. He/She seems so peaceful/happy/blessed/lucky all the time on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. How is He/She always so happy/magical/overjoyed in His/Her status updates? If only I could be stronger, I could hold onto this kind of happiness/blessedness/unicorn-ness all the time!”

The older I get, the more I have moments of clarity about this kind of happiness and strength. I actually think that true strength doesn’t lie in holding onto smiles and cheer all the time, but in recognizing that feelings come and go in waves. And waves go both up and down.

The other day, I was saying to a friend of mine “I just want to be strong, and I’ve been so happy lately. But today I feel shaken by outside circumstances, and I can’t hold onto the strength I felt yesterday. What do I do?” But as I said it, I realized that in a way I was stronger than ever. And I didn’t really need to do anything. I’ve begun to recognize the waves and ride them, even when they’re occasionally jarring and scary.

Constant happy-joy-joy positivity, especially on social media, annoys me because it seems fake. There’s a notion that ‘putting on a happy face all the time’ is the absolute best thing to do. I don’t really agree.

Not that I think being negative is good. But as I enter my thirties, I think the best spot to be is ‘positive but honest.’ You can still be positive and admit you’re scared. You can still be positive and feel weak. You can still be positive and cry. And you can also be positive and happy.

Life happens. Circumstances outside you happen. It’s okay to admit they get to you sometimes.

Ironically, the more you can ride the low feelings and let them be, the better you’ll ride the high…and the happier you’ll be anyway.

1797608_1505406369738255_8556569257062031013_n

 

 

Did You Get an “Hour” with People you Care About Today?

As you might have learned from this blog, I love learning about ways to life-hack. Specifically, facts and numbers about how to make my life better. As you can probably guess, I’m subscribed to way too many blogs/newsletters/fan pages of self-help/life-coach gurus and thinkers. I recently got an email with a link to an article by Deepak Chopra titled “Social Media and Your Personal Growth.” The article is worth a read; it’s basically about how to form more meaningful and deep connections when using social media. I was particularly interested in this:

“Psychologists point out that being connected in a positive way for at least one hour a day with people you care about is one key to happiness.”

Do you normally get your hour of this time? I have recently. Today I did, at least. I had a great phone conversation and I felt happy and connected. This “hour” doesn’t have to be in person – you can spend your hour on the phone, or engaged in a video chat, or perhaps just even gchatting online.

It’s fascinating to me that we’re constantly told by doctors and the media that we should exercise a certain amount each day, and eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day…But no one talks about setting an exact parameter about social connectivity. So I’d like to propose – get your hour with a close friend(s) a day!

images

%d bloggers like this: