Archives for the month of: February, 2018

I wanted to take the opportunity in this post to recognize that things are going well for me right now and to express gratitude for them. I read a blog post recently about the importance of gratitude in your every day life and how keeping it in the forefront of your mind at all times will inspire a greater sense of positivity. I’ve been trying to do that these days by writing down what I’m most grateful for, either right when I wake up in the morning or before I fall asleep at night. It’s done wonders for me recently.

Before and during the holidays, I was really slacking on my exercise and as much as I didn’t want to admit it, it was really affecting me. Recently, I’ve made it more of a priority and, just as a small example, I make myself walk on the treadmill desk at work every day. It may seem like a small thing but I feel amazing when I’m finished–I just walked a mile at work without having to leave the building! Although I was wary of the open office plan at first, this is definitely one of the perks. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to exercise at work even just a little bit.

I’m very grateful for kind, helpful public transit employees. If you know me in real life, you know that I complain about the train a lot, even though I have to take it every day. It’s expensive, not always reliable, and sometimes the employees are not very nice; however, one employee that has been a regular on my morning train has changed my outlook. She is extremely friendly (always greeting us all with a smile and a “Good morning!”),  helpful (she communicates exactly what is going on if there is a delay, even if we are stopped for just one minute waiting for another train to pass. I can’t express how helpful that is. A lot of the time, other employees won’t say a word and will outright ignore you if you ask what’s going on), and she genuinely cares that she does a good job at work. I wrote a commendation to the company yesterday because I wanted them to know how much I appreciate her.

My youngest sister and I took my grandmother out for dinner and drinks last Friday and had a sleepover at my grandmother’s. I’m so grateful that, at almost 30 years old, I still have my grandmother around. I had 2 sets of grandparents, 1 set of great-grandparents, and 1 great-grandmother around until pretty recently and they all played a major role in my life and my upbringing. So, spending time with my grandmother now is pretty special.

These are just a few things I’m grateful for recently, how about you? Also, do you keep a gratitude journal or something similar that you write in every day? Does it help you?

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I apologize for my post being a day late. Thanks to a tight March 1st deadline regarding my work as a landlord, I don’t have much free time outside of my full-time job. That said, I’m taking a break from work-related topics to discuss an epic event that occurred a little less than two weeks ago. (It has a happy ending.)

On a cold and rainy Saturday night I noticed a wandering poodle puppy in the parking lot. The dog was completely alone so I called out to it. The poodle came to me. Upon closer inspection I noticed that she was well-behaved and was obviously someone’s pet. Unfortunately, she wasn’t wearing a collar. I couldn’t leave her alone in the rain and so close to a major intersection—I didn’t want to risk her being hit by a car. I took her home and decided to search for her owners in the morning by calling local shelters.

The next day I started with PAWS, the animal shelter closest to where I found her. They didn’t accept dogs from the public, but they could take down her information in case the owners called, and they could also check her for a microchip. I then asked them to make a note that I would be taking her to ACCT Philly (another shelter) if she wasn’t chipped. If we couldn’t find her owners, someone would be willing to adopt a well-behaved puppy. Right after I hung up with PAWS, I took her picture and posted it to a service called Pawboost, which uses Facebook to send out missing dog alerts. I detailed my plans to have her scanned at PAWS for a chip and to take her to ACCT Philly if there was no chip.

Not long after I sent the alert out, PAWS called me back. They had father and son who were searching for a dog that matched the description of the poodle puppy in my possession. They told me her name was Lana. I drove Lana to PAWS and she was indeed their dog. The father offered to buy me a gift card as thanks, but I declined. Knowing the pain of having my own dog run away on several occasions and the joy that came with strangers taking the time to return her, I was happy to do the same for someone else. In short, I was more than glad to pay it forward by simply seeing Lana go home. Both of our epic weekends had a good outcome.

 

Have you ever had your weekend derailed by unexpected plans? Did those plans work out favorably?

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Lana waiting in a cage, and Star, my own dog– who was insanely jealous.

I have been swamped at work lately! It’s been going well, though; I’d much rather be busy than bored. My new assignment is working out and everything is starting to come together. I’m getting myself organized and I’m starting to feel like I’m swimming instead of slipping underwater! The longer I work in the academic publishing field, the more I realize how important organization is to me, not only in my career but in my personal life.

One of the things I started doing almost every weeknight for the past year or so is laying out my clothes the night before work. I can’t tell you how much of a difference this makes in my morning–I’m less stressed because I already know what I’m wearing that day. Because it makes my life so much easier, I’ve been forcing myself to do this every weeknight so that I can save time getting ready in the morning and face my day with little to no pre-stress!

I also do the same thing with food, though this is less strict for me. I try to plan my meals ahead of time when I go food shopping, and then figure out my week based on my meals once I get home. I don’t know about you, but I’m at my most cranky at the end of the day when I walk in the door after work. I’m tired, I’m trying to de-stress, and I’m thinking about everything I still need to do before the day is over. Oh, and I’m usually starving. The last thing I want to think about is preparing an elaborate meal for myself, so I make sure that I’ve prepared the night before or that morning. I’ve either defrosted something, food is waiting for me in the crock pot, or I have some sort of plan for dinner. This also prevents me from overeating and staying healthy.

I remove clutter from surfaces I use all the time, such as my coffee table and bedroom dresser (and floor…). I hate clutter–it puts me in a frame of mind that I don’t like, so I’ve been trying to be more minimalist with my things recently. I don’t know if the open floor plan at work is seeping into my home life, but the lack of stuff is one of the things I like the most about our office. It’s much harder for someone to keep too much with them all day since they have to lug it around and put it away at the end of the day.

I’ve found that the more I organize things to suit my needs, the happier, calmer, and more productive I am. What I outlined above doesn’t work for everyone (I know–one of my closest friends swears she actually thinks more clearly when she’s surrounded by her work), but work out a system for your life. It helps!

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I’m finally taking my first vacation since August 2017. Unlike August, this vacation isn’t attached to any conventions or traveling plans. I’m just at home relaxing and reinvigorating my mind. For the past two days (Monday and Tuesday) I’ve been using the time off from work to catch up on one of my favorite hobbies, video games.  However, I’ve been using my vacation to leisurely catch up on errands and other tasks. It has been nice completing chores and needed tasks without having to worry about getting everything done before work or jamming said tasks into the weekend.

 

During the first half of my week I’ve been able to:

  • Finally take my car in for its PA state inspection. My inspection tags expired at the end of October and I had been driving around with expired tags for three months. No need to worry about my tags for another year.
  • Repair and organize a few things around the house.
  • Get laundry done. Including taking larger items to the laundromat.

 

For the second half of my week I plan to:

  • Finally cleanup email inboxes and unsubscribe from newsletters that no longer interest me.
  • Do my federal, state, and city income taxes. Since I’ve become a landlord the process has become complicated and time-consuming, but not impossible to do on my own.
  • Start the process of revamping my personal fan site. Unfortunately, because a few important tasks have been packed into my week off, I won’t be able to exclusively work on the site. At the very least, I do want to start the process.
  • Update a few of my social media profiles.

 

I fully plan to achieve most of, if not all of the goals I set for myself during the week. At the same time, I plan to take a few hours here and there to enjoy hobbies without feeling guilt or worrying about work.

How do you spend your time when taking a vacation from work? Do you fill it with chores, errands, and side tasks? Or do you take a break from everything?

The Beach is Calling by Eyesplash of Flickr

The Beach is Calling by Eyesplash of Flickr. Being on the beach is what comes to mind when many people think about vacations.

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