A hundred thousand years ago I lived in Barcelona, Spain, with a bunch of friends from college. We lived in this big old building that, with its high ceilings, fabulous molding and gigantic French doors, was clearly all the rage in its day, but had since crumbled to a not so savory state by the time we got our hands on it.
I lived in a sparse room with a balcony that was connected to the room next to it by a pair of grandiose sliding doors that my neighbor and dear pal, Jason, would fling open every morning in his silk kimono. He’d glide over to my bed with two mimosas on a mirrored dining tray, hand me one, take one for himself and and beseech me, “what shall we celebrate today?!”
I am reminded of him today not only because I just came off a week of hanging out with the old college crew, but because after ten years of nonstop sunny days, bike rides on the boardwalk and In N Out burgers, I’ve decided to take the plunge and move out of Los Angeles!
My motto upon arrival was “I just want to see what I can get away with,” and I do believe I have seen aplenty: 2 books, live performances up the wazoo, TV writing gigs, radio and TV appearances, an awesome coaching practice, insider access to the sex industry, a screenplay, countless speaking gigs, a herd of the most amazing friends a girl could ask for, blond hair, a house by the beach and a convertible.
I will leave the boob job to someone else.
At the moment I’m planning on returning to my beloved New Mexico, but I’m staying open – Montana? Italy? The Moon? As long as there’s water, oxygen and internet access, I really could run my business from the moon. Hence, it is under serious consideration.
What I’m most excited about at the moment, however, are the possibilities that will present themselves now that I’ve made this decision. My perception of my everyday life in L.A. will be so radically different now that I know I only have 7 more months left (April 1st is my official blast-off date).
And this is what I want to write about: What if you lived your life like you knew you were going to leave it soon? What would you take advantage of? What would you appreciate more? Who would you make an effort to hang out with more? What things would you finally do that you’ve been putting off doing?
In honor of the new urgency in my life, I’m going to make a list of all the people, places and things I need to do, set up a meeting with, explore, write about, perform, make out with, eat, swim in or get my favorite shirt back from.
So here’s an exercise that I think you should do because not only will it fill you with gratitude for what you’ve already got, but it will make your life a lot fuller and move you at lightening speed towards living that life that you can brag about at cocktail parties:
1. Make a list of people you want to hang out with but never do and make a date with each of them.
2. If you want new, excellent people in your life, write down the specific traits you’d like them to have, put yourself in places where that kind of person can be found or, if you know someone who might know this type of person, ask them for an introduction, and make a date with them
3. If there’s anyone, be it a celebrity, a business contact, a possible client, that you know would move your business forward, figure out how to contact them (we really are only about 3 degrees of separation from everyone) and do it.
4. If single, inform the next hot person you meet that you are available for a date.
5. If taken, inform your significant other that you’d like to take them out on a date.
6. Make a list of 10 places that you’ve been meaning to check out, get out your calendar, and write down the dates and times that you will check them out.
7. Make a point to notice something new about your block/house/neighborhood/city every single day.
8. Make a list of your top five favorite things about where you live and celebrate them – for example, if you love the public transportation, take the bus somewhere and relish it, if you love the weather, get out in it, if you love that you have the best neighbors in the world, bring them a cherry pie.
9. List off the things that are available to you where you live that aren’t necessarily available in other places and take advantage of them. For example, because I imagine I’ll be moving to the boonies or out of the country, before I leave L.A. I will perform as much as I can, network my butt off, set up as many meetings as I can, go to as many seminars as I can, go to as many concerts as I can, stalk as many celebrities as I can, etc.
10. Wake up every morning and ask yourself “what shall I celebrate today?”