Archives for posts with tag: life

Today I’m reflecting on a one year anniversary. On June 12, 2017 I became a full-time employee at my night job (although I had to pass a 30-day trial period). It’s amazing how quickly the year has flown by and how different my outlook has become. Prior to becoming full-time at work, I had never spent a long period of time working 40 hours or more per week. Those hours were often seasonal and tied to the holidays or summer. Periods right after the holidays and in the spring were often quite lean. To make up the gap in pay I often worked two jobs, sometimes with freelance work on the side. (That’s how I originally met Karen.) Until last year I began to doubt that I would ever work for a single company and bring home a sustainable wage.

Making the transition from part-time to full-time was actually more difficult than I imagined. First, I had to get used to not being able to leave early on some evenings. That meant balancing out my free time each day. Naturally, some days were more productive than others. Ultimately, the routine work schedule was a stabilizing force, as I knew when I had to be at the job and when I could expect to leave. The second hardest part was waiting for my vacation time to return. It is not easy to go from four weeks of vacation time to none for about a year. To fill in the gaps I took paid days off, which helped a lot.

More importantly than time off, was the fact that I had to play catch up on all the years I went without having a full-time wage. That meant saving extra money for retirement, filling up the savings accounts for emergencies, and paying off unnecessary debt. While I’m on the right track with savings, it will be a while before my unnecessary debts are paid off. Although doing so now is better than never getting started. Ultimately, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work full-time.

 

Have you ever been in a situation where you had given up hope on becoming a full-time employee?

Kalender 2018 mit Kugelstift und Laptop by Marco Verch of Flickr

Kalender 2018 mit Kugelstift und Laptop by Marco Verch of Flickr

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Coming up next month is a big-to-me event: I’ll be turning 30! I went back and forth with myself about whether or not I would write a post about this big birthday milestone, but why not? I’ve talked to some people that said they dreaded turning 30 and others who celebrated it. I identify with the latter group; I’m so ready to be out of my 20s. I think because by the time I turned 28 and then 29, I felt like I was moving forward in different ways than I was in my 20s. I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but I’m really getting to know myself and what I like, don’t like, what my dreams are, and how I can work to achieve them. Someone recently told me that she believes a person really gets to know and understand themselves in their 30s, and I’m already starting to feel some of that.

I’ve always been pretty shy and quiet but within the past few years I’ve slowly been gaining more self-confidence and a sense of authority on some things. I don’t feel uncomfortable speaking up at my job anymore; I’ll have been here for 3 years in August (I can’t believe it!), so I feel that I have the right to speak from at least a little bit of experience! I’ve also been making new friends through work and through my other friends. I have a few close friends from growing up, high school, and college that I treasure, and I’m able to make friends with whole new and different groups of people. Not that I couldn’t do that in my early 20s, but I feel as though I’m cultivating deeper, longer lasting friendships now.

One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed recently is that I’m completely comfortable with how I spend my time. Maybe one night I come home after work and want to do nothing–that’s okay! I can sit in my sweatpants, eat dinner, and stare at mindless TV all night if I want. Or, what if on Saturday I want to run around doing errands, hanging out with friends, and more from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to sleep? That’s okay too! I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything or trying to be someone I’m not. That feeling, probably more than any other, is so liberating: I’m becoming me.

I’m excited for what’s ahead and I can’t wait to start this next decade with all of you, dear readers!

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Sometimes adversity can strike when you least expect. During those times your outlook can determine if the event is overwhelmingly negative, or just a temporary setback. Fortunately, my latest round of difficulties wasn’t anything I could consider major. About two weeks ago, my water heater broke. It started with a weird hissing sound and began to leak a few minutes later. I shut off the supply of water to the tank and called for help in draining all 30 gallons of water into buckets. We finally ended up connecting a hose to let everything drain into the bathtub. I knew the water heater was old and would eventually have to be replaced, but the fact that it suddenly decided to go without any warning signs was stressful. If the water had begun to leak an hour later, I would have been on my way to work and unable to stop the leak before it did major damage.

Needless to say, I was extremely thankful that the water heater decided to die when it did. I was also grateful that on the same day, I received my tax refund. I wanted to use the money to pay off business taxes to the City of Philadelphia, make some minor repairs to the car, buy myself a new digital camera to replace my 11-year-old one, and save the remainder of the refund. With the unexpected expense of replacing a major component of my home, my plans were somewhat derailed. However, I could have let the incident get me down and mope. Instead, I’m glad the incident wasn’t worse than it was and that I had the extra money for the said expense. Gratitude isn’t always easy, but it really can brighten your mood at times.

 

How do you view your setbacks? Is having gratitude always possible?

Gratitude Wall at TEDxBuffalo by Purdman1 of Flickr

Gratitude Wall at TEDxBuffalo by Purdman1 of Flickr

 

 

 

 

This week is starting off a bit rocky for me. I got very little sleep during the past two nights and it’s really taken a toll on me during the day. I tend to have a little more trouble than usual getting to sleep on Sunday nights (probably due to the stress of the weekend ending and the work week beginning), but this past Sunday was brutal. All told, I probably got four solid hours of sleep, but that wasn’t necessarily in a row–I kept waking up and it took me ages to actually fall asleep in the first place. Last night, I slept at my grandmom’s because I had to get up bright and early this morning to take her to the airport (I swear, that woman has a more active social life than I do :)). My sleep was uninterrupted for the most part, but I did not get nearly enough (I had to wake up at 4:30! I didn’t even know that ungodly hour existed!). The upside is that I get to leave work early this afternoon since I came in much earlier than usual.

Needless to say, I’m not exactly brimming with enthusiasm today. I have a to-do list that encompasses everything that I need to get done, from small to large tasks, tasks that must be done immediately, and larger, more time-consuming tasks that must be completed over time. I revise it every day throughout the day and edit it so I have a nice, clean to-do list to start the day with the next morning. Today, I was able to pare the list down a bit to the essentials so as not to overwhelm myself and, also, to minimize errors on my part. I know that if I rush or frantically try to get a big task done in my current exhausted state of mind, I’ll make mistakes that I’ll want to kick myself for later. It’s important to give yourself permission to be tired or overwhelmed while you’re at work, as long as you work out ways to overcome it or deal with it in a healthy way. For me, that’s doing what absolutely must get done and not overdoing it with any extraneous tasks that can wait until tomorrow when I’m (hopefully) much more alert! I’m finishing up my necessary tasks for the day and when I leave in a couple of hours, I’ll still have accomplished something at work.

I know it’s hard to go easy on yourself sometimes, especially when a lot of us are our own worst critics. It’s important, though, to give ourselves some slack every once in a while if we’ve had a bad day or week, are struggling with something personal or professional, or if we’re just unusually tired (or not feeling well). This contributes to a healthier overall state of mind that’s necessary to keep us going every day; this way, we can achieve our dreams and take measured steps toward success.

How about you, readers? Do you cut yourself some slack on days when you’re just not up to work?

20180410_131520My own personal work planner.

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