I’m an old Millenial, but I’m a Millenial nonetheless, so please spare me the eye roll when I talk about passion at work. As a rule, logic dominates my thought processes, so I never expected to find a day job that was a “dream job.” (Those expectations died with my dreams, in chronological order, of being an Olympic gymnast, an actress, and a sports broadcaster.) Still, as I’ve moved forward, backward, and sideways in my career, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that despite my general contentment in my work these days, I’m not “feeding my soul,” as one colleague put it. Determined not to be stuck in a rut, I’ve used these tactics to find passion at work even if I’m not living the dream:
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One of the realities of life is that bad things happen. With any luck, we can avoid these scenarios as much as possible. However, someone in your life will certainly experience unfortunate events, and it’s in these difficult times where we can shine the most as friends.
I had been feeling a little defeated lately about having no energy and being out of shape. I’ve been thinking about it for months. So naturally, I waited until the very end of summer to decide I was going to challenge myself to follow a workout plan. I even planned to do it in August and then pushed it back thinking positive parenting was an easier challenge to stick to than this–and that is saying a lot!
I wanted this to be a story about how I successfully implemented just a few key exercises and made this lifestyle change for the better. It seemed so simple. But I failed. I totally, utterly failed at this challenge. And I honestly thought about either skipping this blog post or bullshitting my way through it, but in my pursuit of authenticity, here is my story of failure.
True story: I am the least crafty person on the planet. Okay, well, maybe not, but I definitely rank in the lower-than-average realm. I am not a creative person and spending what little free time I have doing arts and crafts does not sound appealing. Nor does the post-craft cleanup. But we can’t spend every weekend day at the park or out somewhere, and I know that a little variety is good for my kids’ development and imagination. So reluctantly, I set out in search of easy, mess-free(ish) crafts that didn’t require a trip to a hobby store and that I was least likely to screw up. In addition to meeting my high standards of clean, interesting, and using on-hand items that I didn’t need to go out and purchase, I also needed to come up with things that could entertain a four-year-old and one-year-old at the same time. It was a tall order. Read on for a few of my attempts.
Katherine (Kat) and I have been friends since the beginning of high school. This girl is gregarious, generous, kind-hearted, funny, and has an insane work ethic. A few years ago, she and her husband made the decision for him to stay home with their beautiful daughter, Riley, while she continued to work. Not only does this woman have fantastic advice as an ambitious and successful professional, but her husband, Greg, is just the coolest dad with tons of interesting experience to share, so I decided to do a joint interview to get the best of both worlds.
If it hasn’t been established yet, I like things to be as easy as possible. It is nearly impossible for me to stop on the way to whatever event I’m going to to pick up a bouquet of flowers or a bottle of wine. And don’t even get me started on Saturday morning birthday parties. There’s zero chance I can pick up something during the week, and trying to buy a gift with a toddler and baby in tow on the way to the party is a recipe for disaster. (Seriously, taking your kids into the Target toy aisles is for sure a method of torture.) To make my life easier and to minimize the risk that I’ll be the a-hole that shows up empty handed to a party, I keep a little stock of grab-and-go gifts so I’m always prepared. Here are a few things I keep in the house so I have something for every occasion.
I’ve always been pretty outgoing. I’ve made friends relatively easily, and I have a large and diverse set of interests that makes it easy for me to connect with many different types of people. However, as a post-higher education adult, I have mentioned on many occasions how difficult it is to make new friends when you’re not forced into a college classroom, a sorority house, or a weekly Friday house party. But friendships are so essential to good mental health, so it’s important to go out there and forge new relationships. The problem with making friends as adults is that everyone’s schedules are vastly different. And when you work full-time, it’s exacerbated because you have so little free time to begin with. But it’s not impossible. I’m fortunate that my closest friends have been in my life since high school or even earlier, but I’ve made some truly awesome friendships even post-kids. Read on for a few tips for creating meaningful friendships even in the crazy life of a working parent.
A few months ago, we went on a family vacation for the first time in three years. And since then, we have had the opportunity to go on a kid-free trip to New York. So when my husband’s best friend gave us two months’ notice for his wedding in France, I figured due to time and cost, we’d be sending my husband alone. My parents had already agreed to watch the kids for our trip to New York only three weeks earlier, so I was confident that even if I could take the time off work, we wouldn’t have a plan for the kids. But my incredible parents agreed and we were able to buy my flight with frequent flyer miles, so off we went for a very quick trip to France.
Planning a wedding? Or an elaborate party for your child’s first birthday? Maybe a milestone birthday for your spouse? You’re probably hiring vendors either without a contract or without reading the contract before you sign. While most vendors are legit, here’s what to look for in vendor contracts in case of a disastrous experience.