Archives for the month of: January, 2017

Since the end of the holiday season at UPS I’ve had a few moments to breathe. The biggest change has been returning to a morning schedule, waking up just before 7AM. This is opposed to going to bed at 4AM and getting up just after 11AM. Those extra morning hours just make me feel so much better and allow me to take care of business without feeling rushed or completely overwhelmed. (Of course, work will eventually pick up at the night job and I’ll return to a partial midnight schedule.)

One of the biggest pros of getting up earlier is the ability to go out during the day between my work for Epic Careering and UPS to meet people. Today, I was able to meet up with Karen for lunch and discuss upcoming and continuing projects for the year. Additionally, we discussed ways to keep everything organized so projects don’t fall through the cracks. I admit, I was dreading the drive on I-76 to King of Prussia, but the change of pace for the day was just what I needed.

When you work part-time from home and part-time in a factory setting, sometimes getting out of the house for a lunch meeting isn’t always possible. Or rather, I should say it becomes easy to fall into a habit of waking up, taking care of easy tasks on the PC, walking the dog, exercising, working, then getting ready to leave for work at the night job, coming home and going directly to bed—depending on how tired I am. (At the night job we used to go out for drinks occasionally on Friday, but this hasn’t happened in almost four years.) Sometimes it’s just fun to get out of the house and meet someone for lunch to break up the repetition of the day.

How do you break up the monotony and/or repetition of your work day or week?

I (L) Helsinki

I L Helsinki by Hans Poldoja of Flickr

My company was closed on Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I enjoyed an extra day of rest and relaxation. Coming back to work yesterday was busy, but I got through it. One thing that I’ve been dealing with lately is a difficult situation with someone I work with. It’s not a close colleague but it is someone I work with on a regular basis, and this particular situation is putting a lot of pressure on me. I want to talk about how I’ve been handling it.

On Friday afternoon, right before I left for the long weekend, I was faced with a situation in which I had to remain the voice of reason. Without going into too much detail, I had to explain a work situation to a person who had misunderstood something I had said via email. I immediately received a phone call and, though there wasn’t yelling, there was a lot of frustration coming from my receiver. First, I took a few deep breaths (one of my strengths in dealing with people is that I tend to remain calm under pressure). Then, I calmly explained what was going on and what I expected from this person. I think my tone did wonders for the conversation–the person immediately calmed down and thanked me for my time and patience.

Yesterday afternoon, I was faced with a very similar situation with the same person. We were on a group call with several people and, once again, I had to speak calmly and explain the situation. I took the moment in hand and let everyone know, through my tone and the information I provided, that I was in control. Everyone thanked me and we moved on to another topic.

Based on these and other situations I’ve been in that required delicate handling, I’ve learned two important lessons: One is to not get caught up in the frustration of the moment. I know that it would be easy for me to just let go and maybe get a little short with this person, but most of the time they just misunderstood the problem at hand. Nine times out of 10, it is not a code red and there is a simple answer–all I need to do is find that answer and provide it. Second is to always be courteous and polite to the person you’re speaking to, even if that person gets out of hand. I have every right to ask someone to stop talking to me in a particular way, but luckily things have never escalated to that level. Usually, a calming voice and demeanor fixes a lot of things. Also, having correct information and maybe a suggestion or two for how to handle things doesn’t hurt either!

What about you, readers? Have you ever had to deal with a particularly sticky situation at work or in another area of your life and needed to remain calm? How did you handle it?

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I’ve been feeling apprehensive and listless for the first week and a half of January. It’s not that I don’t have a full plate of things to do and goals to accomplish; I just haven’t put much effort into getting started. Like MaryKate, I’m feeling deflated. As it is often said, the first step is the most difficult, but also the most important. I realized it would probably help to put many of the things I would like to accomplish into writing. This week’s blog seems like the perfect place to get started.

  • I want to resume old hobbies I left by the wayside. This includes reading novels, writing fiction, and drawing to a small degree. One of the gifts I received for Christmas was a small art tablet and I don’t intend to let that gift go to waste. (I’ve set the tablet up and drawing digital art is a lot harder than traditional art.)
  • Getting back into social media. Twitter is the only platform I’ve regularly used. All of my other social media platforms have gone by the wayside. To be honest, disconnecting from Facebook has been great for my stress levels—especially after last year’s election. I’m not really feeling a strong tinge of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), but if I ever want my personal brand and network to grow, I need to be more active on social media.
  • Tackling that promised backlog of personal website projects. The last time I performed a major overhaul on my site was in February 2014. While I got all of the major components overhauled, a lot was left undone on the site- including the migration of the entire site (not just my blog) to WordPress. Progress has been slow since it’s a personal, unpaid project. Nevertheless it’s something that’s been neglected for far too long.
  • Getting my landlord life in order. Life as a landlord isn’t always easy. On lots of days there’s nothing to do, and on some days a torrent of problems can hit you all at once. I want to rebuild my emergency problem fund, fix small problems around both units, and finish obtaining new certificates that the city recently instituted.
  • Bite into my video game backlog. I realized I only finished one game in 2016 and I have lots of half-finished games sitting around. There are a few games I really want to play in 2017 and I don’t want to start them until I clear out by backlog.

 

I don’t consider these New Year’s Resolutions, since I never follow those. These are mix of goals I want to complete in 2017 and beyond.

659am-by-wolfgang-staudt-of-flickr

6:59 AM by Wolfgang Staudt of Flickr

Happy new year, dear readers!

Usually, I hate this time of year. The holidays are over, the decorations are down (I put mine away yesterday), and it’s back to work as usual. The time from Thanksgiving until New Year’s is my favorite of the year, so once it’s over I feel a bit like a deflated balloon. I’m not letting that feeling get to me this year, though! I have a few tools in my arsenal to get through it:

  • I love to read, as you all may know already, and I always have a book with me wherever I go. Last night, I finished a book I had been reading and decided that, instead of picking up a new one, I would reread one of my very favorite novels. I don’t reread novels a lot, but there is one in particular that I go back to almost once a year. I decided that now is the time–I reread this particular novel because I love the language, the story, and the ending. I’ve always loved it ever since I first read it maybe 15 years ago (yikes!). To bring me out of a “funk” seems like a great reason to revisit this favorite :).
  • I also enjoy all kinds of jewelry–I love being able to choose pieces that reflect who I am and wear them every day. Recently, I ordered a beginner’s guide to making jewelry and I just received it in the mail. I think this week is a good time to give this potential new hobby a try and see if I like it. I’m looking forward to this because it could be the start of something that I might really love to do. I’ve been looking for new ways to be creative and I think this sounds like something great to try.
  • I’m keeping things simple around the house. I’m not trying anything too ambitious in the kitchen and I’m not embarking upon any monumental cleaning/organizing efforts. I’m sticking to simple, comforting dishes in the kitchen and keeping my place neat and clutter-free. I am one of those people that hates clutter and I feel like I’m going insane when I let my apartment get too full of stuff. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself right now and, though this may sound like a small thing, keeping even a small amount of pressure off myself is wise right now.
  • Finally, I’m joining a gym. It’s been years since I’ve belonged to one and at a gym near me they’re having a sign-up deal that is just too good to pass up. Yeah, I know, I’m joining with all the other New Year’s Resolution people and it’ll be crowded, but that’s okay. I’d like to see if I can stick it out longer than they can–and I bet I will!

How about you? Do you feel down around this (or any other) time of year? Do you do anything differently to keep yourself feeling content?

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