Olivia Wilde's Advice for Turning 30 ›

champagnetoasts:

(from Glamour)

In human years I am 29. In actress years I’m the ripe, promising age of 18 to 35. That’s how it works here in Hollyweird. You aren’t a specific age—you’re an amorphous mystery cloud of time that molds to whatever the director has in mind. “Sure, I’m a freshman in college! Can’t you tell by my ponytail and henna tattoo?” or “Of course I’m a 34-year-old neuroscientist. Did you not see my lab coat and sensible shoes?”

Back in the human world, though, I’m hitting a major milestone: 30, or as I like to call it, the Cut the Bullsh-t and Go Be Awesome stage. I’m thrilled about this impending development (I might finally grow boobs!), but my brain has some catching up to do (I’m gobsmacked when bartenders refuse to ask for my ID).

Sure, it’ll be tougher to convince an audience I’m the “feisty young coed,” cramming for my biochem final and wondering if Zac Efron's character likes my new crushed-velvet headband, but I was never crazy about those roles anyway. People assume actresses are afraid to get older; the truth is the roles get a whole lot more compelling once you're too old to play dumb. So I'm welcoming this development with open arms, and so should you. Here's some advice I'm offering (and hopefully also taking).

DON’T freak out about all the brilliant people who accomplished more than you by 30.
Yes, Einstein had discovered the theory of relativity by your age, and Emily Brontë had written Wuthering fu*#ing Heights, but honestly, what you achieve is far less important than what kind of human being you are. What do you want people to say at your funeral: “Olivia may have cured HIV, but she ran over my cat and drove away laughing”? No, thanks! I’d rather be a good person who makes people happy than a dick who wins a Nobel by 32.

DO enjoy your sexual prime.
Hey oh! According to horny Professor Alfred Kinsey’s 1953 page-turner Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, women really start heating up in their thirties, so let’s just say it’s finally your turn to act like an 18-year-old boy—except you’ll be 1,000 times better at…everything.

DON’T cut your face.
I am so saddened and grossed out by young women who look like creepy, old aliens because of their new Barbie noses and lips. Is that a smile or a grimace? Did you melt hot wax on your face, or is that your skin? A better approach: Take care of yourself now that you’re old enough to know how. Drink water, sleep eight hours (I wish), and don’t go within 400 feet of a tanning booth or I’ll slap you. Hard.

DO travel.
This is possibly the last time until retirement that you won’t be considered a bad person for booking a last-minute ticket to Morocco with friends just because you damn well feel like it. You’re old enough to know where not to go (Cancún) but young enough to feel guilt-free being entirely unreachable.

DON’T propose to the next guy you meet just because you worry he’ll be your last chance at lifelong companionship.
Sure, you’ve attended more bridal showers than yoga classes in the past year, but that doesn’t mean you’re destined to be a craggy spinster, searching for roommates on Craigslist at 50. The danger with “husband hunting” is you start to see every date as a job interview (“He does seem to be homosexual, but that might be good for fatherhood!”); it clouds your ability to get to know someone.

DON’T feel pressured to pop out kids.
I love kids with a passion I usually reserve for hot cheese, miniature chairs, and Prince concerts, but I feel no stress to reproduce simply because of a fear of withering eggs. Wait for the right partner, and make sure you’re where you want to be in life before picking neighborhoods based on school districts. This is not to suggest you should live irresponsibly for the next 10 years, then expect to get knocked up when your chosen dude finally sneezes inside you. But you’ll never find the right baby-maker or enjoy baby-making if you’re doing it out of anxiety. Relax, be good to your body, and when the time is right, get busy.

DO reap the benefits of your accumulated wisdom.
You’re 30: You know stuff now. Your twenties were for “ducking up,” as my auto-correct would say, and learning from those mistakes. (For instance, never again will I convince myself that sleep is for sissies and go straight from a party to the airport. You will not “sleep on the plane”; you’ll vomit in the security line. Go to bed.) Now you get to live with that knowledge under your belt. Also, make it a nice belt. You’re 30. Stop dressing like a hobo.

DO learn a new skill.
You’ve already lived longer than most women in the thirteenth century, so why not look at your thirtieth as a rebirth? I started stand-up paddleboarding at 29 and consider it my baby step toward becoming a badass 30-something semipro surf goddess (as long as the sharks go vegan).

And DON’T be bogged down by your past.
Saturn has now orbited the sun once since you’ve been alive; make this next go-round whatever you want it to be. Consider your baggage (bad boyfriends, job setbacks, body issues) lost by the airline of life, leaving you empty-handed at your new destination with only one choice: Go shopping.

That’s it. Now go—be awesome.

[this is the greatest op-ed I’ve ever read (personally love the “don’t cut your face” bit) // full article here; found thanks to Aly

I love her perspective!

371 notes

On Turning 2

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On Saturday we celebrated Eleanor’s 2nd birthday.  We spent a fun weekend up in the mountains attending a wedding and luckily had some grandparents along to babysit after our sweet toddler started turnng into a bit of a handful.  A night of bad sleep and a day with no nap will do that to you.

And as we caught up with old friends and watched another couple bind their lives and futures together, my mind started wandering and I thought about how much things have really changed in the last 2 years.

She’s had 2 years of life; learning the most amazing things like eating, sleeping, crawling, walking, talking…. communicating her needs and wants, figuring out how to play nicely and not so nicely, and generally trying to sort out her place in this world at any given moment.  I’ve been a witness to it all and I revel in who she is and who she may become.  Her personality that has been so dominant since her first days on earth has become magnified as she can now assert herself.  There is nothing like being on the receiving end of a volunteered kiss or cuddle.  And seeing the wheels turn as she learns a new skill or recalls a story or song she heard a day or even a month ago make me so proud.  I knew I would love her.  I knew she would be the center of our lives as soon as she was here, but I did not expect to feel this much joy in her presence every day.  Because motherhood is hard, life is hard, marriage is hard, and there are just a lot of things that can make every day a challenge and an excuse to get downtrodden and wallow in the bad instead of the good that is always there.  And that has been her biggest gift to me.  Showing me the good, pointing it out as she sees it and herself being the one thing I see and hear everyday that I know is truly GOOD.

As she’s grown and learned, so have I.  I’ve now had 2 years of being somebody’s mother.  Learning how to navigate what the word mother means to me.  There are a million ways to be a mother, but only one way for me to be a mother to this child.  Priorities have shifted, goals have changed, ideas about who I am or want to be are different.  I’ve had 2 years of watching how other mothers interact with their children, taking away things that seemed like a good idea and trying not to judge the ones whose footsteps I will not follow, but nevertheless, feeling a bond and kinship with them all because we’re all the same.  We all have our battles and struggles, our triumphs and successes.  We win and lose every day and wake up to do it all over again.  We want the best and try our best but sometimes just have to do whatever we can to make it through a day.  It is the most rewarding, frustrating, wonderful, and challenging thing in the world.  Often all of those things and more within a 24 hour (or less) period.

This is a hard concept to explain to a room of old college friends that aren’t quite on the path of parenthood yet.  This weekend was one of the first out of town events we’ve been able to go to because they’ve either been too far away or I’ve had too young a baby to bring with me or been too pregnant to travel.  So even though I’d looked forward to a “responsibility free” weekend, I’d already had one night out without a baby to care for, and the image of a cozy hotel bed with my sweet girl and her daddy tucked into it was too hard to resist. 

At some point this weekend I heard someone say they couldn’t go to bed beacause they were afraid they’d miss out.  It brought up a lot of things I’ve felt in the last 2 years (and 9 months).  I was sad when I had to miss  certain get togethers and events, some more disappointing than others.  But my friendships are still intact and I haven’t forgotten how to have fun.  It’s just now that my fear of “missing out” applies to something different and someone smaller. 

"Happy Birthday" belongs to us both.  For as she was born into this world, I was born as her mother.  I will never forget that moment.  I will never stop being grateful for it. 

 

#Eleanor

#motherhood

#mothers and daughters

#the best day of my life

#happy birthday

#change

#growing up

Getting back to basics today. 
Digging in the dirt. 
Turning the wet soil over, revealing earthworms gray-pink and squirmy.
Filthy fingernails, muddy boots.
Sore shoulders and sweaty brow.
Seeds planted. Future sowed.

Just an hour in the sun. A few giggles from an innocent mouth. 
Fresh perspective, spirit renewed.



It’s the little things, the very small every day things that make a life. A collection of seemingly insignificant moments that make the heart of childhood beat sweet and true.

Getting back to basics today.
Digging in the dirt.
Turning the wet soil over, revealing earthworms gray-pink and squirmy.
Filthy fingernails, muddy boots.
Sore shoulders and sweaty brow.
Seeds planted. Future sowed.

Just an hour in the sun. A few giggles from an innocent mouth.
Fresh perspective, spirit renewed.

It’s the little things, the very small every day things that make a life. A collection of seemingly insignificant moments that make the heart of childhood beat sweet and true.

3 notes

#Gardening

#toddlers

#innocence

#renewed spirit

#Eleanor

Find the Good.

I keep going back and forth… From being glued to the tv and reading updates on Twitter and online to turning the tv off and walking away from my phone.  I am battling both a need to block it out and a feeling of being obligated to keep watching, keep reading, so I can somehow share the burden and carry my part of this heavy load.

Except that’s not how it works.  Watching the news and shedding tears for an 8 year old little boy waiting for his dad at the finish line neither brings that little boy back, nor eases the pain for his family.  Perhaps the outpouring of support and prayers from strangers brings a small amount of comfort to Martin Richard’s family, but nothing short of that boy being back on this earth will ever be enough.  Seeing the same clips over and over again will not restore limbs or life.  Feeling this shared heartbreak that has washed over our nation will not be a balm for those fighting injuries that may last a lifetime.

So why do we do it to ourselves?  Why do we insist on watching the same news clips, hearing the same sound bites, and putting ourselves through the emotional turmoil of the repetitive horror if all it does is break us down and weigh heavy on our hearts?

Because we need answers.  We need to know why this happened, who has done this, and to what end.  The thing is…. answers to those questions won’t make a difference.  We’ll never understand why and it will never make sense.  Putting a name and face to the these terrible deeds will never be able to heal our hearts.

So what can we do?  What can we do that will help fill in these cracks and voids that yesterday left behind?

We can look for the good.

Sometimes it’s hard to see. Sometimes you have to dig through a lot of bad and a lot of sad to find it. But I promise you, it’s there.

It’s the first responders who ran toward the mayhem and the danger, who ignored basic human instincts that tell us to save ourselves and get out while we can.  They run in while everyone else runs out. 

It’s the runners who kept on running to go donate blood.  It’s the people of Boston who took strangers into their homes.  It’s the doctors and the nurses who cared for the victims and tirelessly worked through the day and the night.

It’s in us. In all of us who care enough to watch, care enough to cry, and care enough to go on and find the good so that in the end, the light beats out the darkness. 

Find the good.  Be the good. 

1 note

#Boston

#Find the good

#Be the good

#heartache

#current events

#media overload

#human nature

Toddler Travel

Eleanor and I have another trip coming up in a couple of weeks. And like most of our past trips, it will just be the two of us on the plane together. Flying as a solo parent means packing her into the Ergo (lifesaver), slinging a bag over my shoulder and hauling her car seat (and sometimes an extra carry on bag) through check-in, security, trams, and terminals. You think that sounds challenging? We haven’t gotten to the actual flight with a toddler yet!

You’d think after doing this several times (3 months, 8 months, and 15 months) I’d feel more confident, but traveling with a baby carries that risk of a meltdown or tantrum. It’s always in the back of my mind that this time it will be my child that is inconsolable due to pressure changes and pain in her ears or frustration from not being able to move around as much as she wants.

In order to ward off any of these nightmare-ish events, I usually pack new activities or books and a few special snacks to keep her occupied. I’ve been collecting little things over the last week or two to throw in my purse, but after she once again pulled out an old make-up bag of mine from the bathroom cabinet, I had an even better idea! I decided to use the bag as her own little travel case. It’s the perfect size to put in my oversized purse and I won’t have to dig and dig and dig for her snacks and books.

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Clockwise from top: Purple Carrot and Blueberry Happy Baby Puffs, Go-Go Squeez Berry Apple pouch, Nature’s Bakery All Natural Whole Wheat Fig Bars (yum!), Alphabet stickers, Dr. Seuss’s Amazing ABC book, zoo animal stickers, $1 notebook from Michael’s, $1 Hello Kitty Crayons in a Michael’s gift card tin, Lalaloopsy Invisible Ink activity book (no clue what Lalaloopsy is and they’re kind of creepy, but I liked the idea of invisible ink!), Barbara’s Bakery Snackimals, Munchkin Traveling Flashcards, $1 Minnie Mouse Coloring and Sticker book, $1 Calculator (Eleanor loves to punch the buttons and also likes to pretend it’s a cell phone), and a pacifier leash.

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After cleaning out the old make up bag, I packed up all of these goodies and they fit perfectly!  I know the snacks will be a hit since they fall in the “treat” category at our house and I think her recent obsession with letters will make the alphabet stickers and flashcards a hit.  Coloring is a real hit-or-miss activity with her, but it’s an easy addition.

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Ta-da!  All packed up and ready for our adventure!

#Eleanor

#mama & me

#Toddler Travel

#traveling with babies

#Activities for Toddlers

#airplane activities for toddlers

#Adventures with Eleanor

8/52
A photo of my child once a week, every week.
This is life with Eleanor.  She is constantly making us laugh with her silly antics.  I don’t know how she can exhibit a strong sense of humor at 19 months, but she does.

8/52

A photo of my child once a week, every week.

This is life with Eleanor.  She is constantly making us laugh with her silly antics.  I don’t know how she can exhibit a strong sense of humor at 19 months, but she does.

2 notes

#Project 52

#Eleanor

#mamarazzi

#photography

#8/52

7/52
A photo of my child once a week, every week.
This is my cop-out photo and I’m hoping I don’t ever have to resort to my iphone for these photos again.
I do love this picture, though.  I inherited a set of pretty teacups and saucers when my great-aunt died about 10 years ago.  They’ve traveled with me to every house I’ve lived in between then and now, but rarely do I use them for tea.  I filled the cups with flowers for Eleanor’s first birthday party but otherwise they haven’t seen much action besides sitting on display on various shelves or glass-fronted cabinets. 
I decided to take out two cups and saucers the other day to have a real tea party with Eleanor.  I brewed a little pot of tea and we sat at her tiny table together, sharing tea and a snack.  She sat nicely and attempted to drink out of the cup herself and managed to get most of it in her mouth instead of on her shirt. 
Every time we do something new like this, I can’t help but smile because I know it’s a moment I’ll look back on through the years.  From now on, when I bring down the delicate pink and white cups from the very top shelf I’ll remember the very first afternoon we sat down to tea together. 
I know she’s too young to remember our first tea party together, but I’ll never forget.  There are always two sides of parenting; the experience of the child and that of the parent.  Creating traditions for the both of us and whatever children may follow is one of my favorite things about being a mother.

7/52

A photo of my child once a week, every week.

This is my cop-out photo and I’m hoping I don’t ever have to resort to my iphone for these photos again.

I do love this picture, though.  I inherited a set of pretty teacups and saucers when my great-aunt died about 10 years ago.  They’ve traveled with me to every house I’ve lived in between then and now, but rarely do I use them for tea.  I filled the cups with flowers for Eleanor’s first birthday party but otherwise they haven’t seen much action besides sitting on display on various shelves or glass-fronted cabinets. 

I decided to take out two cups and saucers the other day to have a real tea party with Eleanor.  I brewed a little pot of tea and we sat at her tiny table together, sharing tea and a snack.  She sat nicely and attempted to drink out of the cup herself and managed to get most of it in her mouth instead of on her shirt. 

Every time we do something new like this, I can’t help but smile because I know it’s a moment I’ll look back on through the years.  From now on, when I bring down the delicate pink and white cups from the very top shelf I’ll remember the very first afternoon we sat down to tea together. 

I know she’s too young to remember our first tea party together, but I’ll never forget.  There are always two sides of parenting; the experience of the child and that of the parent.  Creating traditions for the both of us and whatever children may follow is one of my favorite things about being a mother.

#Project 52

#Eleanor

#7/52

#traditions

#Memories to make

#love love love

6/52
A photo of my child once a week, every week.
An outtake of our Valentine shoot. 

6/52

A photo of my child once a week, every week.

An outtake of our Valentine shoot. 

2 notes

#Project 52

#Eleanor

#mamarazzi

#photography

#valentine's day

#6/52

5/52
A photo of my child once a week, every week.
Playing catch up as usual!
Our zoo trip…  I love this sleeping baby with her dummy (pacifier) because I know it’s one of the last things that makes her a “baby.” 

5/52

A photo of my child once a week, every week.

Playing catch up as usual!

Our zoo trip…  I love this sleeping baby with her dummy (pacifier) because I know it’s one of the last things that makes her a “baby.” 

#Project 52

#5/52

#Eleanor

#mamarazzi

#photography

Currently. (Inspired by Dani Hampton at Sometimes Sweet http://sometimessweet.blogspot.com/) Reading: I’ve just recently finished 2 books that I know I’ll be reading again at some point. Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy I read a fair amount of adolescent lit (blame my English Lit/Education majors for that) so it’s a lot of quick, almost guilty pleasure reading. My love affair with historical fiction also follows that pattern. I tend to devour books in those genres. It’s rare that I find a balance of both wanting to absorb every word immediately, with as much speed as possible to soak it all up, and appreciating each carefully crafted sentence, paragraph, and chapter with a need to savor every little bit because I know what I’m reading is GOOD. “Tell The Wolves I’m Home” is a book I enjoyed for the story and the complexity of the characters and wanting to delve deeper into greater understanding of who they were. With “Everything Beautiful Began After”, it was more like an exquisite buffet of words. (The further I go with this paragraph, the more it feels like I’m describing food!) The writing in that book, the crafting of sentences and story is what made it memorable. I love when I read something that was written with true artistry. Watching: Well, since season 3 of Downton Abbey is over (why?!) I haven’t been watching anything particularly enthralling. So, I’ve found myself watching E even more carefully and observing her interaction with the world around her. We spent a sunny day with my brother and it is pretty heart warming to see this 20-something dude interact so sweetly with his niece. Seeing my daughter with my siblings and parents has been one of the biggest joys of parenting. Playing: We are finally getting to the arts & crafts age! I’m a little bit crafty and like to do creative things from time to time, so I am simply loving this new turn of events! I’ve set up a little cubby station full of art supplies for Eleanor and she has been increasingly interested in “dawing” and “paining”. Granted, I’ve already found some crayon “dawings” on the refrigerator and her toys, but nothing that can’t be cured with soap and water. We have some paint with water books that create puddles on her little table and I made homemade play dough for her which she tried to feed to the dog, but whatever. This is the beginning of so many afternoons creating memories and art work together and it makes me happy. Knowing: At 19 months, every day is still new. New words, new skills, new sparks of her personality glowing through the stubborn sassy girl she’s been since day one. New ways to communicate, to share, new ways to be together and new ways to find how to be a good mama. Her needs change every day as she tries to navigate toddlerhood and we try to define what kind of behavior is acceptable and how to deter her from things that are not. She is still dependent in numerous ways, especially as she walks the fine line of discovery and learning things the hard way. I’m always there with a watchful eye, but I try to let her find her own way and learn from her missteps. I know this time is both fleeting and permanent. She will forever be walking her own path, one that has been leading her away from me since the second she was born. And I have only this small, limited time that I am here to offer safe boundaries and gentle guidance. Where I am still the light in her eye and able to meet every physical and emotional need. This is both terrifying and enormously fulfilling. So, I relish it. I watch her with happy and heavy heart, proud and a tiny bit heartbroken with each milestone met. I keep wondering when this parenting thing gets old. Yes, it’s hard. And it can be tedious. But there hasn’t been a night in the last 19 months that I haven’t wanted to go scoop her from her bed and give her one more kiss, one more cuddle, and say once again, “you are the apple of my eye and the joy of my heart.”

1 note

#Currently

#Reading Watching Playing Knowing

#Eleanor

#my heart

#grateful

#books

#book review

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