Changes Are Good

The danger about living really close (as in 2 city blocks close) to your workplace is that if you’re a procrastinator to the Nth power like me, instead of being late some of the time–or even half of the time–you will be late all of the time, by 5 minutes. Or 10 minutes. But that’s it. And yes, all of the time. That has been my habit, anyway, for a few years now.

Recently, I’ve managed to make improvements in this area. Baby steps. The good news is not so much about my ability to break that really bad habit and get into work on time–it’s that I’ve learned to stop getting ready for that extra 10 minutes so I can walk to work, instead of driving. Sometimes I’ll be 5 minutes late, but have walked instead of driven, to work. If it’s one thing, it’s at least doing my easy share of “becoming more green” (and is much more effective than making the decor of the “Poshest Gas Station in Los Angeles” down the street to include the color green).

It’s been better in the being-on-time area, though. Women, you might tend to know what I’m talking about, by the way. Bad habits just need to die, sometimes. When I mean “stop getting ready” it’s exactly that and not even: “start getting ready earlier.” Because you can always get ready at a more leisurely pace than the one you’re at. And you can always do one extra cleanser, or exfoliator or something, on your face in the bathroom. Or, you can come to that point when enough is enough and sometimes you’re just not going to put on that extra pair of earrings because they’ll clutter things and take an extra 30 seconds to put on, anyway. It’s the little things that add up, and take up the little amount of time it takes to commute your short distance. I’ve learned to keep it simple and to adhere to that cut-off time.

Of course, when it’s all said and done, I have found the act of walking to work to be more rewarding than I expected. For far too long, I’ve kind of reduced my habit of driving everywhere to that rationale Angelenos tend to use: “It’s L.A. Everybody drives.” True, though. True. Then again, why? Just because you can?

My walk feels really good in the morning. The walk starts with my crossing kitty-corner across one of the busiest intersections in Metro L.A. But it’s fine, because after that it’s just walking through a small Beverly Hills park and into a couple blocks of Beverly Hills residential. It’s basically the dream walk-commute, with a better distance and nicer view than I could ever imagine once upon a time.

I felt I was softening, one morning, on the walk to work. It was a nice change from all the fist-shaking, stop-and-go and hustle-n-bustle that’s impossible to shake while in your metal tank of a car and on the streets. Instead, on my walk to work, I’ll pass people who are doing their morning walk around the gravel track. There are also normally a lot of people with dogs that I pass, who are going out for their morning exercise and poo.

I passed a guy who was taking out his (girlfriend’s) Pomeranian. One of those cute little dogs where you don’t know if he or she was purchased as the mandatory accessory to a lifestyle aspiring to emulate Paris Hilton’s, or if the owner was a breed enthusiast of some sort, who bred little Pomeranians with three-word names. (Or something in between, of course.) But this Pomeranian, even though it was so typical of L.A., it was just really, really cute. It had one of those lion mane cuts, where it’s kind of shaven on the body but allowed to grow out as a “mane” in the front around the head. Normally a sympathizer with dogs who have been forced to wear dog sweaters, dog shirts and dog shoes in some sort of attempt to humanify Girl’s Best Friend, I found it odd that I thought this cut was just … so cute on it. Him. Or her.

The walks to physical therapy are also pleasant. Maybe this is preaching to the choir but walks, in general, are good for clearing out your head.

Other Changes…

For about the past 2 months, whenever there’s been talk of snow, whenever there’s been an Evite for a crew going up to Mammoth, I’ve covered my ears. It was weird, because I had become accustomed to resisting checking the snow report, lest there be a dump that I couldn’t take advantage of. This was the first season in three years I hadn’t gone to Mammoth at least once or twice per winter month.

I bought this Burton L2 jacket a little over a month, ago. It’s better than 20,000mm waterproofing because it’s freakin’ Gore-Tex, so it was a really good deal for $100, on sale. It came with these retractable headphones to boot, which is ironic since I have a crapped-out mini iPod. (Well, it is probably even more ironic that I don’t like listening to music while on the hill because I think it lends to dangerous situations–like not being able to hear “on your left” from behind you.)

Anyway, I wore it to go out, a few nights–since I knew there would be no other opportunity to wear it. Certainly not on the hill. I knew that maybe I appeared ridiculous, since such little sportswear is in my normal everyday wardrobe. No matter. I found out that the jacket was a comfortable fit, and that I cannot wait to wear it in wet, cold and snow. Even ice.

I miss snowboarding, but I know I will be able to appreciate it that much more next season. To max out on the nostalgia, I also tried convincing Roycifer to buy a Mammoth chairlift from Chair 9 for $100 to hang in his condo. I wasn’t successful. Hey, it goes to a good cause.

…Like Agua

In other news, I’ve been trying to drink more water in a concerted effort to stay hydrated. What are the benefits? Only better skin, more energy and better health, of course! And, clear pee.

This renewed resolution means that during my visits to the Coffee Bean every morning (yes, every morning), I bring back a plastic cup of ice water in addition to my daily dose of black iced tea. And I’ve resolved to drink at least both before I leave work, and refrain from drinking coffee (coffee is customarily regarded a “minus one” in one’s daily tally of glasses of water).

It’s been inconvenient in multiple respects. One, it’s a bit arduous to carry and have water with you, all the time. Two, it’s somewhat disruptive to your work to have to go visit the bathroom five or more times during the work day.

I’ll have to work that into the category of “good habits.” Same with not using my shoulder surgery as an excuse to not work out, anymore. My monthly gym membership suspension will end this month, so I plan to resume spin class.

I think that I need change, because I need to feel as though I’m evolving. Or something.

Love,
*e