Balance

My sister starting her own blog/diary reminded me that I’ve been doing terribly at updating this. I enjoy writing, and while I often think I don’t have much important to say, I have to remind myself that one doesn’t always need to say the important things. The little things matter as well.

It is all about balance. Weighing what is important in one’s life. My new job has been a challenge to balance over the past 3 months. It has been intense. Besides one coworker, every other coworker including the management staff of 3 have either moved, given notice, or been promoted. There’s been new hires, and a changing of the guard so to speak. I haven’t been 100% happy with everything, I’ve come to realize that the equilibrium is slightly off. With a slower season approaching, part of myself is hoping that it rights itself, but part of me isn’t sure this is going to end up being my career path. I will say I’ve never worked with so many amazing people. And I still support the company 110% – even to the point of probably saying I can’t imagine ever renting from a different company. They have shown me how important excellent customer service is to me, and vital ways to make sure that it stays in the forefront of everything they do.

My bf and I are also trying to find balance in other ways. In healthy living for example. We are slowly adjusting ourselves to going to bed earlier, waking up earlier. Eating healthier, not drinking as much. I’ve lost 10-15 lbs in the last few months, mostly because of this job and the fact that I’m on my feet, constantly running around. I’ve never worked harder or longer hours.

So it’s not all bad, but not all good either. Finding the balance has been tricky.  I’m not even convinced that finding the balance is not solely changing one’s actions, but it can also be changing one’s mindset. For example, I always thought I’d have a desk job for my career. But I’ve come to realize I enjoy movement in my work. It’s kept me active, helped me lose weight, and I feel so much better about myself. And when I do get a chance to sit down at a desk for computer work, I enjoy it that much more.

So here’s to balance, and trying to find out who I am and who I want to become!

PicsArt_04-23-08.56.28

Advertisements

Optimistic

IMG_1055I’m feeling optimistic about my current job search. I’ve had acouple of interviews under my belt, a couple more scheduled. I have references ready, and am getting better at articulating what I’m looking for in a position, as well as explaining my previous job experiences and skills. Today I got the letter in the mail from the unemployment office advising me that I’m eligible to receive unemployment benefits, and the check has been cut and is on it’s way.  I also recently had an idea and went out and bought a spiral-bound notebook so I can jot down pertinent interview information. I’m going to try to keep in next to me this weekend, so when I have a question I want to ask a potential company during an interview, I’ll have all the questions handy, as well as the interviewer’s name  and contact info. I love my lists and writing important ideas and tasks down helps me keep focused and on track. 

I can’t say that I’m not enjoying being able to sleep in a bit every morning. I enjoy not having many time pressures, or work stresses. But currentlyI’m working on networking, building relationships, and finding new friends. I know my next job is out there. I know someone will be glad to hire me, and I’m excited to soon be able to put my skills and experience to use, and hopefully gain new ones. 2014 is going to be a great year!

Photo: Taken by me at Pittock Mansion Jan 2014

Life’s Twists

Photo0035

Life has its bends and turns on its path. Last month, a life twist occurred and I left a company I had been with for almost 3.5 years. My department had gotten toxic (really had been the entire time I’d been there). After being pushed and pulled and put where I didn’t want to be, and performing job functions that were below my skill and experience level, its finally time for me to concentrate full-time on finding the right fit, the job, the career, and the employer. I put my heart and soul into my work. I am a career woman. I love working, I love waking up early 5 times a week to get dressed for work. I love talking with coworkers, beating deadlines, trying to make my workplace better and positively build my company’s reputation. My old job just wasn’t a good fit for what I was looking to do. Well now I’m focusing on getting the right job.

I’m getting countless requests for me to be a collector again, and while I loved collecting, I’ve decided I don’t want to only do collecting for 40 hours a week. I want to work on my office skills, I’d love to eventually be an office manager. I can’t wait to utilize the accounting classes I took in college in the real world, learning how to apply what I learned.

Time for new opportunities, new adventures, new coworkers. A new place that will recognize my experiences, reward my efforts, and provide insight into how I can be a better employee. For now, my current job is sending out resumes, tailoring each cover-letter, scheduling interviews, and networking. Trying to enjoy each of life’s twists.

Boring Obits

I’m young. And if there is one thing young people don’t want to face, it’s death. It’s too far off. We don’t need to worry about it. It’s way in the future – for me, it’s probably (hopefully) at least 60 years from now. Life has a way of being darkly humorous at times. Humorous in the fact that my job description requires me to identify dead people. All day, every day. It’s gruesome, sad, somber, and depressing. I see suicides, car accidents, freak accidents, murders, people that weren’t discovered for days or weeks over and above the luckily much common “natural deaths”.

Okay, okay, before you go too far and my readers get the wrong impression of me, you should know I work in a bank. So it’s not like I actually “see” the deaths, but I do get hundreds of death certificates across my desk. My job is to make sure our customers are dead. Well, that’s my own very sarcastically snarky way of describing it. It’s not exactly accurate, but let’s just say that the bank needs to be able to “prove” that someone is deceased for legal and monetary reasons, and that’s what I do. See if I can prove someone has deceased by procuring death certificates, obituaries, and other means.

Five years ago, if you showed me an obituary, I’d shrug and say, “that’s so sad” and then merrily move onto the next TED.com video (if I wasn’t at work, because of course I’m a productive employee who gives her company her compensated 8-hours 5 days a week). Like this article – I’d roll my eyes and find something else to do. For those of you who didn’t click the link, it’s a random obituary from some newspaper’s website. Trust me, it was random, I haven’t been scouring obituaries for hours trying to find the “perfect one”.

Image

The man’s name is Tony Bellamy, from Kingsport, Tennessee (see dashing man above). He passed away September 17th, 2013, just a few short months ago.

Now this blog post may not exactly follow the rules of the Daily Prompt, but I’m enjoying writing it, so – yeah. The obituary could be boring to just about anybody. But reading it, my mind has questions. The man was not elderly, he was 58. And he died in a car accident. A 2-second google search brought up this article: “Second person dies as result of fiery Kingsport crash“. The article details how Tony was driving with his wife and his son when he was hit head-on by a woman driving and estimated 104 mph. Witnesses of the crash were able to pull Tony and his family from flames from both vehicles, but Tony died in the hospital 3 days later.

Confession time – Tony’s was not the original obituary I read that got me puzzling and wondering. It was this one – his mother – Inez Bellamy (pic below from her obituary).

Image

This is the inspiring one. Born in 1920, she died at the age of 93 on October 15th – less than one month after her son passed away. That isn’t the inspiring part. From what I read about Tony, it seems he followed in his mother’s footsteps. He was a computer enthusiast like his mother and had owned his own store – more importantly, he seemed to really care about people. These kinds of stories make it personal to me. I can’t read death certificate after obituary after death notice and not try to see who these people are, and what kinds of lives they led! These people are inspiring, and motivating! She had a 70-year marriage! This woman worked on the first electronic computer! She didn’t even retire until she was 70 – she was a go-getter! She obviously loved learning and challenges – her obituary talks about how she was passionate about new advances and technology and “amazed family and friends by championing ideas that were ahead of their time”. Being a woman in that field which probably changed faster than many other fields is not easy, especially in her era. I wish I could have met her, she sounds like a dynamic woman who made things happen. I couldn’t miss the fact that she was musical as well – a woman who used both sides of her brain! She fought an up-hill battle where still there is a significant gender gap (read this if you’re more interested). She obviously was an icon in her family, friends, and coworkers, and someone many people looked wanted to emulate.

It’s a terrible tragedy that Tony died in that freak car accident (and I sincerely hope his wife and his son make a full and speedy recovery). But his story is important. His mother’s story is important. My own story is important. But I want to make it important, not just for me, but for other people It was not easy for Inez to be the woman that she was.

That’s the kind of person I want to be. When I die, I want to have an obituary that reads like hers.

I guess the moral of the story is “Don’t have a boring obituary” – people can be inspired and motivated by what you accomplished! Maybe I’ll make that another of my mottos to live by. Yeah, that sounds good.

Is your obituary going to be inspirational?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/daily-prompt-connection-2/

Daily Prompt: Cheering Section

 

The Last Leaf

Photo credit: Bright Moments Catcher 

Mentors: I’m blessed to say that I have some pretty amazing, intelligent, and supportive people in my life. But I’m going to pick just one for this post.

I have a mentor, a senior leader at my work who has been absolutely influential in helping me out this last year. This year hasn’t been easy for me career-wise, but I know that I’ve probably grown more this year than any other year mainly because of her. I feel like I have learned so much from her, and not just what she’s said, but from her example. She’s allowed me to vent my frustrations, encourage my growth, and accept my ideas of change and improvement within our place of employment. And the awesome thing is, I know I will continue have her as a resource and to pick her brain for tidbits and pieces of knowledge.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/daily-prompt-support/

Being an Introvert in the Workplace

Video

One of my absolute favorite websites is Ted.com. I highly recommend it – if you have 10 minutes and you want to be wowed, fascinated, or learn something new, or listen to something you know nothing about – this is the website for you. Every time I watch a video, I come away with a different perspective on that particular topic.

I watched this video solely because I saw it advertised at my library. The video shows Susan Cain presenting on a topic called: “The Power of Introverts”. I’m an introvert, and I’m trying to get into leadership within my company, and seem to take leadership roles elsewhere. As the oldest of seven, I was put in a leadership constantly growing up helping my mother keep the household running.

My boyfriend has been high-up leadership in restaurants for a long time, but he’s the extrovert. Don’t get me wrong, I can be out-going if I desire, but that’s not my tendency.

I’m part of a development of leaders program at my work, and through the course, classes, and the final project which we are right now working through, analyzing myself, thoughts, and actions, I’ve figured out that I don’t “have” to lead, but I end up leading if I don’t see the project moving forward. So I’ll delve in and do what needs to be done, delegate when necessary, etc. But as soon as that momentum is caught up by the rest of the group, I step back, and see where they take it.

That’s what happened with our final project. We are tasked with organizing and running a fundraising project with only 3 hours of meeting time (8-person group). It’s not as easy as you’d think, especially when approvals and proposals have to go up at least 3 levels of management. The first two weeks, albeit our management was gone on vacation, but it seemed we didn’t get anything accomplished. All our brainstorming was going around in circles. Finally we sat down to a meeting and I had a list of what I saw us doing, and told them up front that this is what I saw us doing, proposed splitting us into groups with a leader, and they were responsible for finding out the information we needed and getting back to me. Voila – that worked. We got our proposal pretty much completed, and then I went on a vacation for a week. By the time I got back, not a ton extra had been completed, but the proposal was presented within a couple days and we got a resounding approval from our management. Now I’ve stepped back a bit, but I’m still vocal via emails and such, but now that our team has the event underway, I’ve realized I’m still the informal leader. I still get asked for my opinion or for status updates. I’m really okay with that. I’m glad the rest of them are stretching their wings and owning their own parts of the project. I was telling my very extroverted been-a-leader-for-longer-than-he-can-remember boyfriend that being an introverted leader is probably more of a challenge. It takes guts to not micro-manage and let your team try to take on the individual tasks, while trying to keep everything on track and calm down the type-A personality because certain parts aren’t done according to when they wanted it to get done. I’m okay with helping out and not being in the spotlight. It’s really okay to not be extroverted, and just because you’re not, doesn’t mean you won’t do well in leadership. It’s just a different style.