Archives for the month of: November, 2016

Recently, I was describing to a co-worker how eventful my life has been in recent days. Her reply to me was, “If you didn’t have bad luck, you’d have no luck. At least you have a positive outlook.” In short, I was hit by a series of financial blows, but I was taking it all in stride.

First, I recently bought a washer/dryer unit. Upon having it installed, I discovered my utility room’s drain pipe was clogged. While having a handyman look at the pipe, we went out back to the main line and discovered my house had been partially damaged in a recent wind storm. My home’s siding was blown off and strewn around the alley. My downspout pipe had become disconnected from the gutter and had gotten tangled in a satellite dish wire. We set the appointment to fix everything on a Monday morning.

The Sunday before the appointment, the Sunday that just passed, my car wouldn’t start. I had been driving it for most of the day, but it decided to give out at a gas station. I ultimately had it towed to an automotive shop and left it for the next day.

Before this, my mother’s oven circuit board had blown on the day before Thanksgiving because the electrician we hired to fix a problem made it worse by improperly wiring the circuit breaker panel.

In spite of the problems, I found myself in a thankful mood because I looked at the situations with a glass half full approach.

  • The drain pipe in my utility room was fixed by running a snake. At one point I feared the pipe would have to be widened or I would have to install a utility sink. These scenarios didn’t happen.
  • Thanks to the incident, I was prompted check out the back of the house where I discovered the damage. The downspout was fixed before a series of heavy rainstorms moved into the area. Better yet, the spout itself was caught on wires and didn’t fall and break.
  • I had been having car troubles about a month ago, but the mechanics couldn’t reproduce the problem. Thanks to the car not starting, they were able to pinpoint and fix the issue. Also, the incident happened on a Sunday, so I didn’t miss any time from work.
  • Thanks to my mom’s oven circuit board going, we had Thanksgiving at my house. It was the first time I’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving at my own home.
  • I’m also happy I had the savings to pay for many of the issues I had, except for the car. (I had to use my credit card, but I fully intend to take advantage of my holiday bonus points.)
  • I’m also thankful that I’m able to work overtime at work, to rebuild some of my depleted funds.

 

Have you ever had a series of problems that you were able to take in stride, and see the positive instead of the negative?

horseshoe-by-meredith-rendall-of-flickr

Horseshoe by Meredith Rendall of Flickr. A hung horseshoe is a sign of good luck.

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With the holidays rolling around, there is also another event that comes around this time each year: self-evaluations at work (at least at my work). I always get nervous before having to complete these–it’s so hard to think about my performance and whether I met expectations or exceeded them; or if I bombed and didn’t meet those expectations at all. I’m finishing my self-evaluation up tomorrow and I’m feeling better about it (as usual). Once I let go of all my insecurities and that inevitable small, inner voice that sows seeds of doubt, I realize that I am doing pretty well. I am hard, conscientious worker that cares about what I put out into the world.

Luckily, my manager gives all of us in his group a lot of time to fill out our self-evaluations so I really try to take advantage of that. I answer one to two questions a day so I don’t feel overwhelmed during the last week because I kept pushing it off until the last minute. This enables me to sit back, relax, and really take in the questions: have I truly participated in everything I could have this year? Am I working towards my own self-improvement by taking advantage of what my company offers? How am I performing in my day-to-day activities? Is my correspondence as professional and helpful as it could be? As painful as it may seem to direct these questions to myself, I find them extremely helpful. I am able to really see who I am in my workplace and, by extension, how my colleagues and managers view me.

I am very lucky to work in a company that promotes self-improvement for my career–whether that is with this company or another. This company just wants to make sure it nurtures a sense of pride and responsibility in their employees that carries over into their daily tasks and, therefore, into their career as a whole. The other positive aspect of these evaluations is, once I have finished filling mine out, it’s time go home and enjoy Thanksgiving :).

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and friends!

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The holiday season is nearly here and for me it is one of the most stressful times of the year when it comes to working. In about two weeks I will have to face increased volumes of work, which is typical in the shipping and logistics business. In addition to that, I will also have to contend with increased travel times thanks to traffic and holiday shopping madness. If I think about the holiday season too much, I often find myself overwhelmed. Fortunately, I’ve also been thinking about ways to decrease my stress.

  1. Rest- Getting adequate amounts of sleep tends to help me recharge. Whenever I don’t rest enough, I often go through my days feeling unfocused and unproductive. It’s amazing how much better I tend to feel when I get proper amounts of sleep.
  1. Preparation- In order to combat traffic and a lack of parking at work, I tend to leave out earlier than normal. For example, if it takes me a half hour to get to my job, I usually leave out  50 minutes early. However, during the holiday season, I may leave out an hour and a half earlier. This helps me not worry about getting to work on time. As a bonus, I’m also able to find parking before the shift. (My job tends to hire a lot of extra help for the holiday season.)
  1. Enjoy the holidays- When worrying about preparing for the holidays and all of the hard work that comes with the season, it is easy to forget about the joy the holidays can bring. Taking a moment to appreciate the holidays and spending time with family and friends can help alleviate stress. After all, one of the best aspects of the holiday is spending time with friends and family.

Do you stress out about the holiday season? If so, what do you do to cope?

Hello, lovely readers! I will not be posting anything about the election except to say: thank goodness it’s over. It was draining to continually read about, hear, and see such negativity from all sides. Anyway, I wanted to talk today about working together at your job, school, and in your relationships. I’m an introvert and sometimes I spend so much time by myself that I think I can do anything on my own, but that’s not 100% true. I can do a lot of things on my own–things I never would have thought of before and that makes me proud of myself. There are times, though, when it is necessary for me to reach out to others for help, even if it’s difficult. It’s hard to ask for help; it can feel demeaning, but that’s not what it should feel like.

I reached out to coworkers recently to help me with various parts of my workload. I was feel overwhelmed and I needed someone else to help me through, and I’m so glad I asked. No one hesitated to give me all the help they could offer and if someone was also busy, that was okay too. We’re all human and there’s only so much we can do at a time! I also reached out to some close friends recently. I was feeling run-down emotionally and it was so comforting to just talk, laugh, and have a good time without any pressure. I didn’t even talk all that much about what was bothering me–it was enough to just be with them.

No matter what the situation is, you should feel comfortable reaching out to friends, family, or coworkers for help. It’s healthy to realize and accept that we all have limits. We are not perfect and it’s okay to not be able to handle everything life throws at us. Don’t be embarrassed–reach out!

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