Thankful for this…

As I read about the massive layoffs over at my former employer and see former colleagues and friends jumping ship or losing their jobs so close to the holidays, I am so thankful today for being where I am.

Thankful that I noted my extreme unhappiness in January/February as it being time to move on.

Thankful I was able to move on to a position so close to home, with amazing coworkers for a pretty awesome company.

Thankful that I didn’t leave with a bad taste in my mouth – or at least not as bad as others.

Thankful that I’m currently surrounded by a team who helps people every day. The way my colleagues work with our patients is just amazing.

At a time when there is so much uncertainty in our economy, it doesn’t hurt to stop and appreciate those around you. Especially those who believe in you and value you as not only an employee, but as a person. Give thanks today for your job, your colleagues – even if it’s not your dream job, and even if your colleagues sometimes get on your nerves. There are so many out there who are suffering without a job who would love to be in your shoes.

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Life Changes

Today freaders, is my last day commuting into DC. It’s a bittersweet sadness.  I adore my team and am so, so, sad to leave them.

happy hours

 

and races and everything in between.

I still expect to see their shining faces on a pseudo-regular basis but I’m so excited to be working 15 minutes from home, regular hours that won’t change every 3 months. Not being late to Junior League meetings. Enjoying happy hours on the water with hubs when he gets home. And running. Lots and lots of daytime/morning running.

Tonight, my coworkers/friends are joining me at Iron Horse in DC for a farewell happy hour. I know there are going to be tears. I mean, these peeps saw me through hubs and I’s separation thanks to his National Guard training. They’ve been my family and then some for the better part of a year now (really since July when this team was created).

So it’s a slightly bittersweet departure but a welcomed change.

Currently my day to day is:

6-630a wake up (unless I drag my bum out of bed in which case I wake up around 5:30-5:45a)
7:15a –
leave house
7:30a – get on commuter bus
8:30-8:50a – arrive at work
9-6p – work
6-6:25 leave/get on bus
7:15-7:30 arrive home in Annapolis
7:45-8:15 get ready to work out/check mail
8:15-9p run
9p dinner/talk to hubs.blog/watch TV
11-11:30 bed

On other days I’ll have JLA meetings from 7-8:30ish. Those are days when I am least likely to fit in a workout.

This weeks workouts have really been a wash and the scale is showing. It’s only been a 1-2lb differential but I need to fix that ASAP. I’m heading in the wrong direction but sushi lunches out, and celebratory glasses of wine and everything in between have not helped. I’ll still fit in my 3 mile run tomorrow and my 8k on Sunday but I’m considering the rest of this week a boondoggle when it comes to my workouts but I’m okay with that because Monday is a new week, and I have NO EXC– USE to not get up at 6:30 (the same time I’m waking up now) to fit in a 3-4 mile run and still be able to leave my house at 8:30 to get to work before 9a. THATS AN HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTE DIFFERENCE!

Things I’m looking forward to…

*Evening runs with Fleet Feet Annapolis. Including their St. Patricks Day Fun Run! If you’re in Annapolis come out and join me and my pal Sarah!

*Yoga @ Charm City Yoga. I checked out their Hot Vinyasa Community Class last Sunday and just about melted with happiness. I’m so excited to start practicing regularly again. ]

*Not being late. I’m chronically late for meetings for JLA. So I’m very much looking forward to changing that and actually being able to make it to social hours and weekend events without missing out on half the event.

*Running in the AM. I really enjoy waking up, running as the sun comes up and getting my day started right. However, the past year that desire has been coupled with the fact that I am just…not. a morning. person. at all. Ever. So now that I can still wake up at the time my body is used to, I can get up. Go running. Eat breakfast. Watch Morning Joe. And leave at 8:30a. Without rushing around like a freakin’ mad woman.

*Cooking meals I’ve been eating rather unhealthily over the past few weeks, mostly out of the fact that I don’t eat dinner until between 830p-930p on a good night. I’m too rushed in the morning to make a lunch so I usually buy it. My hope is to bring my lunch every day (I don’t want to have to drive to pick up lunch that’s just a waste of gas and money), and start making dinners for the leftover factor! Huzzah!

*More time to blog. My blogging has been slightly lackluster lately because some days I have TONS to say and other days I got nuffin’ but I am looking forward to being on a better schedule. Having time to include more pictures (that aren’t months old ah-hem, this post) and being a better healthy living blogger. Commuting 3 hours/day hasn’t always been the most conducive to being a baller blogger.

*Only 48 days left. There is nothing that I am looking forward to more than hubs being home. For good(ish) (I say ish because the reality is at some point he will likely get deployed. That’s reality but I’m okay with that. Surviving the past seven months has made me confident that we can survive pretty much anything. That being said, he’s my partner and we have a slue of races I’m signing us up for.

I miss him. A lot. Isn’t he so handsome? The Army has done good things to him. More on that later though (it’s a work in progress but hubs is writing a guest post for me on his healthy living changes!)

What’s your day to day like? Where do you fit in workouts???

{Make this friday even happier by voting for me forbest healthy living blogger in Fitness Magazine’s Fitterati awards!}

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Putting Yourself Out There

See here’s the funny thing about goals….

…no one knows what they are, and how to support you if you don’t talk about them. Granted Brian Tracy, whom I became familiar with from my time at lululemon, will tell you that people want to see you fail and to not talk about them. But, I believe the opposite. If you don’t talk about your goals? People won’t be able to support you and help you reach them.

So I talked about them. For the past few weeks I’ve been a big ole mess not knowing if I was on the right path. Not knowing I was going in the right direction. I talked about it at length with the husband. I talked about it to friends. I analyzed, and reanalyzed and contemplated.

I thought I was headed towards something good. I got rejected. Multiple times. I contemplated again and wondered if I would ever have it all figured out. But then I thought about a conversation with my mom recently. My hard working loving mother who had never, in her fifty something years, ever been asked what she wanted to do with her life, was finally asked to set goals for herself. She’s finally working at a company that values personal development and I? Have been blessed to work for two amazing companies that both put a strong emphasis on career development and creating skills that are transferrable.

I realized, my long term career goal hasn’t ever really changed since I finally figured it out. I found my passion (social media and marketing), I know what I’m good at (strategizing and networking through social networks) and I can certainly make money doing both of those things. It’s what I’m meant to be doing.

But the flaw in my system, is that dreams and goals and your dream career just don’t turn up on your door like a Jehovas Witness. You’ve gotta work for them. You’ve gotta be prepared for people to say no. Rejection hurts but in the working world, I’ve learned that you have to have a bit of thick skin to survive. Sometimes, I don’t always have thick skin and sometimes I cry when I get rejected but I’ve also learned – it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be disappointed. We don’t have to be superwomen all the time.

So yesterday I was in lululemon talking to an old coworker of mine who reminded me – to do it now. Just build a site and start courting clients. Then I realized, the old saying from A Field of Dreams is so true. SO TRUE.

If you build it…they will come. 

So I did. It’s a start while I work on rebranding my blog to focus on not just my passion for healthy living as I study for my ACE certification, but also my social media expertise and general geekery. Because my goals excite me, and make me look forward to my future. But if I don’t put myself out there? They’re not going to happen so now’s the time. Big goals equal big risks and even if I eventually realize maybe I’m not suited to be a super freelance social media consultant, at least I will have tried.

What’s your big scary audacious career goal? 

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Making Things Happen

Back when I was at lululemon, one of my goals was to become a certified personal trainer/nutrition consultant.

Ordered today. Scheduling the test for April by the end of this month. It’s happening kids. Pretty soon I’ll be to legit kick butt and take names in my free time 🙂 (and if you want to pay me to do so once that happens, that’s cool too!).

Feels kind of amazing making big strides in the direction of my goals. After all, what are goals if not a little bit scary when you’re going for them?

I am a certified personal trainer by April 2012 with 5 paying clients per week by December 2012. 

 

What’s your big scary goal for 2012???

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Getting back up

The hubs is having a grand ole time at Basic. Which is awesome – I’m so proud of him and excited for him – he has a spark that I haven’t seen in a really long time.

He called last night to give me his address – it was a much needed, albeit very brief, phone call.

After we hung up, not knowing when we’d talk again, I cried. A big fat ugly cry. Then I cooked dinner, turned on the television and opened a beer.

Except I forgot I opened the beer and discovered it this morning when I was putting my lunch together. Whoops.

After licking my wounds from yesterdays rejection and talking to the hubs (for the quick 5 minutes I got to talk to him) – I thought about what I wanted. Where I want to be.

My ah-hem “non-negotiables”:

*I want a job that I’m passionate about. I’ve been so blessed over the past two years now to work for amazing companies, with amazing, inspiring people. I’ve found my passions, my next step is to find a position that lets me explore them and grow.

*I want to work for a company with positive values. Values that encourage employee development, reward and recognize employees for their hard work.

*I won’t settle. I’m not in a bad place now. My position certainly isn’t my dream job but there’s room for growth in the company. I’ve hit a hurdle and when you hit one, as I learned in high school track and field, you brush the dirt off your knees, get back up and keep running.

*Set long term goals. Long term – like 5-10 years from now, I want to be a freelance social media/marketing consultant. I want to be an entrepreneur that helps entrepreneurs. My experience has allowed me to manage communities, manage content, and work with people. I like being around people. I like educating people. This is not only what I’m passionate about but coaching is what I’m good at.

*I won’t ever let my job keep me from doing things I’m passionate about. Like Junior League. Running. Having time with the husband. These are things that I need to have in my life to keep me balanced. If a job doesn’t let you have a balanced life, it’s time for a new job.

Back at lululemon, they encourage you to set goals and create a hedgehog by evaluating what you’re passionate about, how you can make money and what you’re good at where these three intersect is your hedgehog. It’s how you can live your life to the fullest. I’ve figured mine out and even though my inherent goals have changed, as they are wont to do, my hedgehog has stayed the same – I’m still passionate (and relatively good at) about social media, and digital marketing and I can still make money with that.

Now it’s time to brush my knees. Reaffirm goals and passions and go after them. I can’t let the fact that I’m burnt out get me down and keep me from being a rock star. I am a rock star. Now, more so than before, is when I need to shine like one. Because it’s not that I’m super unhappy, I just want more. More challenges, more feeling like I’m at least moving towards my long term goals. Because despite my awesome-sauce company, lately I’ve been in a rut. An all encompassing-drag-me-down-don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed-for-work rut. And I’ve been there before, but at companies that were far less savory than the one I work for now (this one gives a damn about its employees – who knew what a difference that could make!) so I need to be grateful. Grateful that I’m employed, that I work for a company that wants me to grow but right now? Just doesn’t have the right opportunity for me. And I’d rather wait for the right opportunity than just jump at the first sight of land – I’m not afraid of jumping into deep water because I know how to swim, but why swim if you don’t see land? Right? Right.

In the meantime, I will keep shining. Keep running. Keep writing long letters to the husband every day. Keep snuggling the kittehs. Keep my house clean. Keep laughing with my coworkers who really make my life every. freaking. day.

How do you pick yourself back up from disappointment?

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The (Not) Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The not good…

I didn’t get up to run this morning. Will have to run tonight when i get home. I’m really not a morning person, no matter how hard I try. I just love that snooze button so damn much.

The bad

I did not get my promotion I had interviewed for. Which means in about three weeks my schedule will change again, and I won’t have a life for two months. “It’s not you…” they said. But still, the curt words of rejection sting regardless of the reason.

I won’t be going home for Thanksgiving. The raise I was hoping for, won’t be happening.

the Ugly

The news above? Not all bad. Well except the job part that really sucks. A lot.

But the suckiest part of all…is all I want is to curl up in the husbands arms and cry my eyes out and I can’t. I can’t even talk to him. Until Sunday. Maybe. For 15 minutes at most.

As I was told last night by a fellow JLA member, “things don’t get easier” and “you can’t be strong all the time” – this doesn’t bode well for me if I’m a week in and want to break down. But her? I have a lot of admiration for her considering her and her husband have been apart for longer than they’ve been together. Good to know I don’t always have to have it together – that people get it.

God this is going to be awful if he gets deployed. That being said, I’ve got some amazing pals here at work who have surrounded me with love and kindness. And that’s the key to surviving as a military wife I’ve been told – surround yourself with awesome, supportive people and find a community to rally around.

Moving on…

That being said, I need to reevaluate my long term goals. Find my passion again. Think about what I want to be doing and what I am doing and how one can assist me toward reaching the other. Because lets face it, this job – while I love, love love my coworkers and my company…ain’t a dream job.

So tonight, i will go for a run. I will watch something cheesy on television. Drink a glass of wine. And pick myself up from my broken my pieces. I will write my husband a long old skool letter and let myself cry and feel defeated. Tomorrow, when I wake up to do my workup (which I will do!) I will be re-energized and recommitted to being a rock star (which I haven’t done as of late).

In the mean time. I’m going to keep on pushing that ignore button while tears sting my eyes.

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Just Stop

I need to stop.

Stop doing things that I don’t want to do that I think people want me to do.

Does that make sense?

Like for instance, I’m in the process of going through my google reader. I have a lot of blogs on there, half of which are deserted and another quarter of which I don’t even read anymore making my reader often at 1000+. Which I hate. I hate when it gets that high.

But I subscribe to a lot of blogs because I saw them linked somewhere and felt “well maybe I should read that…” Then I don’t.

Dear Heidi,

Stop doing things because you think you should. K?

xoxo

me

Just like when I was at lululemon, I altered my goals to be things that I thought I should be doing. Like being a nutritionist or personal trainer or Iron woman. The thing is, I never had the drive to get there. It sounded exciting when I said it, but a real goal should motivate you to accomplish it.

Newsflash self, that’s not you.

Goals should reflect yourself and what you want right? My career goal? I want to work in social media/marketing/business strategy. I feel very strongly that this is my path and that I’m going to do whatever it takes to get there. I know I need to start studying for the GMAT, I KNOW THIS, but with my schedule being 1-10p? It’s just not happening. However, I also know that there are deadlines for my Business School application. I have a time line for myself as well, I want to have my application and everything in there before Thanksgiving. It will happen.

I’ve always been a “people pleaser” if you will. Afraid of being judged or criticized but ultimately, I’m not going to get what I want by pleasing others or doing things just to make others happy.

So I’m going to stop comparing myself to others – because I don’t run 8 miles a day or eat in every night of the week or sign up for dozens of races. Because everyone has different circumstances and struggles. My struggles? Working from 1-10p on weeknights, balancing work with spending time with my husband with my junior league responsibilities with having a social life. If my schedule were 9:30-6:30? Maybe things would be easier. Maybe.

But what I need to do is prioritize. Priorities equal balance. To do lists. I need to get myself organized again – even if that means for me, scheduling out my day every day so that I make better use of my time.

Dear self,

Failing does not a failure make.

xoxo

me

Sometimes, I need to be reminded of this. Just because I’m not where I thought I’d be at the age of 28, just because my career is not the fabulous career I thought I’d have at the age of 28, and just because my husband and I have spent much of the almost 2 years we’ve been married on an employment rollercoaster does not make me (or him for that matter) a failure. I have goals. That have evolved and finally? I’m proud of those goals because I’m certain I can accomplish them.

Stop worrying what other people think.

So from today on, I’m going to do what I want. Focus on my own goals and not what other people think I should want or do or read or enjoy. I’m going to stop worrying what other people think – not just of my life choices but if I should lose weight, if I spend too much money I don’t have (I don’t…anymore), because it’s my life…and hubs’ and other people are not me nor are they in my marriage or my job.

Do you worry about what others think? How do you focus on yourself?

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Moving on…

So as I mentioned over on my tumblr blog, I have not yet had the chance to leave a job on my own terms.

Job #1. An awful law firm. Small. A boys club. I was the “receptionist” but never really a good fit. The anal retentiveness of them clashed with my own perfectionism and aspirations to succeed in different realms. We parted, on their doing, on a Monday in September, shortly after hubs and I met, because I “wasn’t a good fit.” I gained nothing but a twitch from that job.

Job #2. A temp to perm job. Remained temp. I worked for “labor union rights” as a temp with no benefits. It seemed hypocritical – further hypocritical when they chose not to pay me for the week off they required me to take over the holidays because the office was closed. I eventually left, giving a few days notice to start my job at…number 3!

job #3. An abusive government relations firm with more employee turnovers than the Steelers had in Superbowl 45. My boss was verbally abusive – the effects of which I still struggle with (confidence mostly). I was essentially fired on a Friday afternoon, with no warning about my performance whatsoever. Its versus their. A minor grammar mistake. Whoops? Ahh well. It was…essentially for the best. I still believe it’s because she didn’t want to pay me my bonus which was coming up at the end of the month – fun fact, all of my “teammates” were gone by the end of the following month. Thankfully I was planning on leaving at the end of the month anyhow, and I no longer had to listen to my boss call my coworkers and I “fucking idiots.” Take that in your crack pipe and smoke it.

Job #4. The non profit. Ohhhh the shady, unethical nonprofit. I can’t even begin to go on about this one, so I’ll leave it to your imagination. “Laid off” March 12 2009 – six months exactly to my wedding day. On the plus side, I didn’t have to invite my office to the wedding (since half  of them were jackholes anyhow…I was going to abide by the whole ‘invite one invite all’ to be polite a la Jim and Pam. Thank goodness I didn’t have to do that).

I freelanced a bit on the side. Tried to get a career started. Almost got into grad school (a provisional acceptance pending I take a couple of electives). I won’t count the temp job I lost on my honeymoon. The “contract ended” without reason ever really. I’m still unclear about that. So we moved to CT and I found Job #5.

Job #5 – I thrived. I loved my coworkers. The benefits. The culture. It was what I needed to regain confidence, and regain a sense of direction in my career. The only thing I got out of the previous four jobs was a damaged ego and a lost sense of direction. I was beyond lost…I was broken from my previous four experiences. But this one? I found my passion. I found my calling.

And now, I’m on to job #6. On my own terms. With a renewed sense of self, sense of direction, passion and eagerness to learn and grow. I will always be elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness because ultimately, my lemons helped me grow. I gain more than just a few coworkers with them, I got a family and I adore each and every one of them for that.

But now, it’s out with the lemons, not in a full aspect but in a “Make new friends, keep the old” kind of way. I gave my notice today. There were tears. But there was a lot of “we’re so happy for you”‘s which I needed. I never doubted my decision, it was necessary in many ways, and despite my nervousness walking in today from the bitter windiness, it went swimmingly.

Fare thee well lemons, you were sweet and you will always be family to me. I heart you all like a fat kid loves cake, and I can’t wait to visit and share all my new adventures with you gals (and guys).

But now, it’s on to the monkeys. Not cube monkeys but fun ones. And I’m not gonna lie, I can’t wait.

More blogging this weekend from the great white north. Meaning, we’re headed to Vermont/Connecticut for the week! Huzzah for family time!!!

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Success much?

I was perusing my email when I saw this email come in – my daily horoscope. Today’s kind of hit a chord because it’s something I’ve struggled with for the past couple years.

You could feel anxious about your future prospects today. You might feel that your existing plans are not complete enough, or you could encounter obstacles that shake your confidence. While you may be tempted to toss your plans aside and come up with new ones, you might want to work today on building up your belief in yourself and your objectives. The more you believe in your ability to succeed against all odds, the less shaken you will be by challenges. Simply set aside time to affirm your ability to handle obstacles and strengthen your refusal to be intimidated by anything that comes your way. This will help you feel strong and empowered, even when unexpected challenges come up. {daily OM}

This is funny because I immensely lack self confidence when it comes to my career choices and am constantly changing my mind I feel about where I want to go and what I want to do 5-10 years from now because when I decide on a dream job, I convince myself that I’m not good enough or qualified enough to get it. I need to not be intimidated by failure. Embrace challenges as what they are – opportunities to make me stronger and a better person. I have goals and just because I’ve encountered a few shitbags along the way in my career, does not make me a failure and those people can not and will not hold me back. This year? I will accomplish my career goals. I aspire to become an assistant manager, and later, involved on the regional level. I will get there. I am smart enough. I need to start each day telling myself that.

I’ve realized though that this year? This is my year. I will succeed. I will accomplish my goals. Hear me roar.

ROAR!

Ever have a horoscope that hit a nerve?

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No Regrets

Random fact: I was once courted to run for office. In my small town, in Vermont, a week after I moved to DC. I got a phone call from the committee that supports candidates running for the house. I turned it down, mostly because there was so much change going on in my life at that point that I just…couldn’t go back and I wasn’t ready for a life in public service. Funny, because now a few of my former colleagues have run for office (both successfully and unsuccessfully) and a small part of me, wishes I was in that crowd. Wishes that I had said yes and moved home, and gone for it. Granted my life would be completely different, but the what if’s – especially in this case are intriguing and yet, also… irrelevant. Moving on…

One year ago I moved on from that budding career in politics. I’ll never quite forget the stinging conversation with that temp firm while standing in flippers on a catamaran in the Carribean Sea – the water so crystal blue and the trees in the distance ever so green – Hubs saw the voicemail. I saw the email and called them back.

“I’m so sorry, it’s just not a good fit.”

The contract of a temp-perm job at a lobbying firm in DC had been pulled out from under me. The stability that I had been clinging to the month leading up to our wedding had been yanked from me and we were right back to where we started. Two unemployed newlyweds.

I enjoyed the day but her words “Think about what you really want to do, what’s going to make you happy.” rang in my ears. Clearly politics was not doing it. Something I aspired to for five years. Nights of hard work, lots of papers, and a lot of dry readings with some heartbreaking campaign work thrown in to boot, what I wanted for so long was just not making me happy the way it did when it wasn’t a full time job.

It was on our way back to the main Island, as our trip was ending, that I told hubs I wanted to teach and then said “let’s just move. Let’s move to CT. I’m done with DC.”

I mean, I think I can take a hint that a city isn’t working for me when I lose my job ON my honeymoon (though if there is a place to lose a job, it’s definitely on a catamaran snorkeling trip with a full open bar) so we did. Less than a month later Hubs got a job, and we signed a lease here in Stamford.

The teaching thing didn’t work out – mostly because of financial reasons (we didn’t have the resources for me to take my prereqs to get into grad school) – but you know what? I’m still convinced, more so than ever, that everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, happens for a reason.

Though I’m working my tail off in three jobs, I’m immensely happy. Loving each job, loving my coworkers, and finally working with managers who are supportive and excited about my development and growth – which hasn’t always been the case in the past. Though this isn’t the way I expected my life to turn out, I’m pleased to say I have no regrets. A friend of mine from school asked if I wanted to start up my political blog on his online magazine again, and I thought about it, and then said that I’d love to blog for him, but I’m not sure politics is my topic anymore. While I do still adore following the rat races, I’m happier following it on my own terms and not for anyone else.

The biggest thing I’ve learned in the past year, and I probably sound like a broken record, everything happens for a reason. I had a hard time telling various people where I was working because I was afraid of being judged but really, I have no reason to be ashamed. And why should I be? I’m embarking on a career that makes me happy, excited to wake up to, and has opened my eyes to a whole different path of life that EXCITES me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past five years since graduating it’s that having a job that excites you makes a world of difference.

{After all who wouldn’t love a job where you get to do this??}

Are you proud of where you are in life, even if it’s not where you expected to be? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

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