This week, as I sat at my cluttered dining room table scrolling through Facebook on my phone, I came across this interesting Buzzfeed article, I Lived By The One-Minute Rule For An Entire Week! More out of boredom than interest, I tapped on it. Turns out the One-Minute rule is the rule that: "If it takes less than a minute, just do it right now." Huh. Sounds like something my mom would say. According to Natalie Brown, the writer of this particular post, she has made small changes throughout the week like putting things away right after she's used it and making her bed in a minute, as well as bigger changes like starting out to put away a few dishes but then decided to just wash them all instead because she's already kind of doing the chore (though that one was driven more by laziness...). She stated at the end of the article that she will continue to abide by the one-minute rule.
I clicked off of the article after reading it and looked up from my phone. On my table, there were 2 dishes from dinner, a bunch of books and papers, two open folders of rep and scenes, and a ton (and I mean, a TON!) of colored pens. It was a total mess. So thinking of what I'd just read, I thought, "Well, closing my folders and putting them back on the shelf takes less than a minutes, and I don't even have to get up." And then, once that was done, I thought, "Hmm. I could just scoop up these pens and put them in a jar." So I did that also. "Just stack the books and papers on your shelf so the table looks kind of clean." Done. "Now the dirty plates are bothering me. They're taking up the whole table." So I brought the plates over to the sink and plopped them down. And then, because I was already there, I put on some gloves and scrubbed them and put them in the dishwasher. And, because my gloves were already on, I decided to scrub the stove. In 10 minutes, I'd cleaned my whole kitchen and dining room.
"Well, that worked brilliantly, and now I'm in a cleaning mood!" I thought to myself. I walked around my apartment looking for other things to clean. By the end of the night, I'd done 2 loads of laundry and cleaned my bathroom. This trick is awesome!
No, granted, it's not really how this trick is supposed to work. It's really for those little annoying things that you could do now but usually leave it for later. The next three days, I actually used the trick how it was intended to be used. For the first time in my life, the bed was made every day, the bathroom sink was wiped down at the end of the night, and things I've used returned to their homes after their useful fieldtrips.
So, I'm here to tell you, try it. Just try it if you're like me and get annoyed by the never-ending mini chores. Just take one minute and put that pen back, or load your laundry, or throw out that take-out from 4 days ago. Future you will be so much more productive and happier because past you decided to take one minute to do what we all hate to do.
P.S. If you are a naturally neat person, and you don't need the one-minute rule to be productive and keep the house clean, well... we're not all amazing like you, but we're working on it.
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I went to my first real life NYC musical theatre audition this week and it was terrifying. I would like to preface this story by saying that I have indeed auditioned before. (That's how I got into college...) But I haven't done a lot of musical theatre auditions, and I've definitely not auditioned for a production that's not community theatre.
I got up at 5:45am that morning to catch an early train into the city, since I currently still live in New Jersey. I arrived at my audition location an hour and a half before my audition appointment. Better too early than too late! Other auditions were already underway, so the halls were filled with people. I sat myself down in a comfy chair and put on my headphones while I looked at my audition song for that morning. As I sat there, I started to notice that everyone seems to know each other. And everyone had professional headshots. And a huge audition book. And were fearless.
45 minutes before my audition, I started to get restless. At this point, I just wanted to get my audition over with. I don't remember being this nervous for anything in recent memory - not even for my recitals. Finally, ten minutes before my appointment, the casting team showed up. They were amazingly kind and nice and brought us snacks. I was second in line to go in for the day.
I stood there bouncing on my toes while the girl before me sang her cut. And then I went in. I said "hi" to the accompanist. Gave him the spiel about tempo and the like. I planted myself in front of the casting table...
And I forgot my name. I literally forgot to say my name in the slate. So, after an awkwardly long silence, I announced my song, sang it way too fast, said thank you, and ran out of there.
On the train back home, I looked up law schools I could apply to. I texted my friends about what happened. Gosh, why didn't I choose something normal to do with my life? But just as I thought that, another voice in my head piped up: I mean, it can only go up from here!
And that concludes the story of my first big girl audition. I hope you laughed at it, because it is hilarious to me. And hey, at least I can rest easy knowing that however the next audition goes, it will be better than this one.
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Chinese New Year is probably the biggest holiday in China. Sometimes referred to as the Spring Festival, it marks the beginning of a new year according to the lunar calendar and welcomes in a new zodiac mascot. Since Chinese New Year is next Friday, February 16th, I figured it would be fun to share some stories I remember about this holiday as well as some traditions.
Although I spent most of my childhood in California, there was a brief 3 year period when I was in China. This is due to my parents' desire for me to at least have a basic grasp of the Chinese language, and it's the reason I am bilingual today. (I only speak Mandarin at a 3rd grade level, but it still counts!) I left China for good when I was 9 years old, but the memories of the red envelopes and firecrackers have stuck with me ever since.
Chinese New Year usually lands somewhere in February, though it can sometimes occur in January. Each year is named according to one of the 12 Chinese zodiacs. If the animal is identical to the one from the year you were born, then it is said that you will have good luck all year. So, no matter how your life is going, every twelve years, no matter what, you should theoretically be able to have a fantastic year. 2018 is the year of the dog, which symbolizes loyalty.
Growing up, the most iconic thing attached to this holiday was the national broadcast of the Chinese New Year Celebration on CCTV. Preshow started as early as 4pm the day before and the actual program started at 7 or 8 pm, right around dinner time, and continuing until after midnight. It is a massive event filled with skits, musical performances, and acknowledgements. Many of China's most important celebrities show up to perform in the show. In recent years, the overseas celebration program emerged to give those not able to return to mainland China a taste of home.
This holiday is all about gathering with your whole family and eating lots of food. I found out young that a lot of families eat similar things during Spring Festival. When I asked my mom about it, she explained to me the meanings of the dishes. There's almost always fish, which in Chinese sounds like the word for abundance. It carries the hope that you will have an abundance of everything good (primarily money) in the next year. Since the Chinese word for left-overs also sounds like fish and abundance, people will purposefully leave a bite of every dish on the plate. Dumplings look like traditional gold bars, so they're eaten to bring you money. Some families will have sweet sticky rice balls filled with anything from black sesame paste to peanut butter in hot soup for dessert, symbolizing togetherness and reunion.
Chinese New Year is also most Chinese children's favorite holiday, beating out Christmas and New Years. Not only do they get their long winter break during this holiday, they also get red envelopes filled with money. At the family gathering the night before Chinese New Year, children are told to wish their elders happiness and health in the new year. In return for their wishes, the adults give the children money. I've also heard that red envelopes are given out to "hit them over the head with money" so the children will grow up slower.
Finally, I remember that all over Beijing, right when the clock strikes midnight, firecrackers would go off everywhere. The purpose of this is to scare off a mythical monster named Nian that would come into town on Chinese New Year to steal anything from children to live stock. After the climactic firecracker show finishes, people would return to their homes and go to sleep. The next day, on new years day, people would put on new clothes to signify the arrival of the new year.
Although I haven't spent Chinese New Years in China for almost a decade now, I still remember it fondly from when I was little. Now, thinking about it, it is a great holiday. It ensures that you end and begin each year with your family. So whether you celebrate this holiday or not, I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about this holiday. I hope the new year brings you joy and happiness, good health, and good fortune. Happy Chinese New Year! 春节快乐，万事如意！