August Check-In

Monday, September 3, 2018 Permalink

August Report Card: SWF ISO J-O-B! 

I completed my second full month of underemployment. This month was a little harder. I had moments of angst over the future and sadness about the past. My gratitude door came in handy to help me thru all that emotional chaos. Since my resignation, I’ve written at least three things I’m grateful for daily. The physical, colorful post-its remind me how blessed I am in love and support. I’ve had so many people reach out to ‘check in’ with a phone call, text or an outing. After a yoga session where I had trouble quieting my mind, I received simultaneous texts from three of my favorite people. The subtext of each text offering positive vibes for a struggling friend. I felt the connectivity of my large team of supporters.

Although I was pretty productive this month, I fell into not one but two “Friends’ marathons. (Solace can be found in the familiarity of sitcom reruns.) I also hit Level 1233 on Candy Crush. And I filled my days with…  

Puppy sitting = 5 days! I helped take care of my niece, Dolly. Our san bernedoodle is a fluffy, joyful muppet. As a puppysitter, I also was in the area for a game night with my human niece and nephew (Grace and Matthew), dinners with my parents, sister and gal pal Sue C-F.  

Serving =  14 shifts! Wood has been my lifeline! Not only is it paying my bills, I enjoy the community of the crew. The increased server role is taking a toll on my body. My back, knees and feet are letting me know this isn’t a long-term solution. Still, I’m so happy for the work so I stretch, ice and pop Advil to coax myself thru the shift. 

Job Search = 18 applications, 2 interview, 1 network dinner! I continue to find many interesting career opportunities to submit my qualifications. I am, in particular, focused on a position that would take me into a completely different arena. In that role, I feel I would not only make a difference in the world but also learn and grow as a professional and a citizen. I had an educational dinner with my friend Dave, who recently took early retirement from his corporate job. Dave provided tremendous insight into the interviewing process.

Workout with Josh = 10 times! Josh pushes me to channel my internal warrior. He’s helping me power thru the physical and mental aches and pains of underemployment. He firmly and gently encourages me to get over my emotional obstacles. Whether it’s getting me to do more lunges or telling me to get out of the house and be a tourist, he focuses me on using this transition time for self improvement.

Yoga = 2 classes! I took classes with Jane, one of my favorite instructors. Dave and I did a basics class pre-dinner. And the next week, I took an Rx class to help my back.

LinkedIn = 7 online classes! I really like the premium package for LinkedIn. I’m able to take limitless online classes on a variety of subjects. This past month I took courses: hire, retain and grow top millennial talent, leading like a boss, working with creatives, rebranded organization, executive presence, leading change and making recruiters come to you. Each class is 1-2 hours with plenty of information. I’m taking notes and learning a lot.    

Journaling = 19 entries! I continue to chronicle my journey in my prospective third book, “Unexpected Changes”.

Playing = YES! I saw five (Incredibles 2, Mama Mia 2, Rich Crazy Asians, Miseducation of Cameron Post and BlacKKKlansman) and half (The Fugitive- rained out) movies with James, Ellen and/or Abby. I had lunches with Shawn and Maryam and dinners with Sue CF -2, Bill, Dave M, and Steve & Mike. Jen was in town so there was a dinner party (Bilger) and a BBQ (Maryam & Keith). I also attended BBQs at Michael & Joe’s, Bill & Roger/Ellen’s. I celebrated my nephew Matthew’s birthday with a 3 hour wait for one of the top ten burgers in the country (#mymomwatchestheTodayshow ) at Aux Chaval. I strolled the Riverwalk with Bill, participated in the Lifeline Theatre bingo fundraiser and reviewed a Babes with Blades play. I also saw Josh onstage in Cut to the Chase.

I like tallying the month up. It makes me grateful for the time, the people and the experiences. When I’m working, productivity is easier to gauge. In this transition phase, feeling I’m accomplishing -something- is important to me. Even if the goal is just to turn off CNN and go out into the real world to spend time with a friend or a puppy, these are life experiences to cherish.    

As far as my 2018 goals…

Student for life: I’ve listened to 2 books and read 1/4 book.

At my mom’s recommendation, I’ve listened to “Small Great Things: A Novel” by Jodi Picoult on the subtle art of racism. Picoult weaves together an interesting tale of ordinary lives confronting their belief systems. A black nurse, a white supremacist and a liberal lawyer grapple with a life altering moment. Every perspective is a learning opportunity. I highly recommend this book. Please note: listening to it as an audiobook is hard during the horrible rants of the white supremacist.

I completed “The Yamas and Niyamas” by Deborah Adele. Abby gifted me an absolutely, perfect book for self exploration. I savored it. I read a chapter and reflected on it for a day or week and journaled on the principles and how they impact my life. 

I’m finishing “The First 90 Days” by Michael Watkins. Since I haven’t started a new job in fourteen years, I wanted to explore how I can onboard as effectively and efficiently as possible. This book is bursting with great information for stepping into a new role or new organization. I feel armed for my next big adventure.

I also completed 7 online courses on LinkedIn and signed up for a three day seminar on digital content marketing in September. 

Be an advocate for marginalized populations:  My sister Jenny allowed me to accomplish this goal again this month. While I was puppysitting, she received a volunteer assignment to shop for a homeless shelter dinner. I volunteered to do it for her. The ingredients were crazy! 35 lbs of hash browns, 25 lbs of cheese, 5 lbs of butter, 4 gallons of milk, etc. The experience opened my eyes to the busy people who volunteer to help marginalized populations, like the homeless, with important yet mundane tasks like grocery shopping.

Be kind: I continue to be the recipient of so much kindness. So many wonderful people are helping me through this difficult situation. I will continue to pay it forward for the many blessings I’ve received. I recently caught an NPR snippet featuring President Obama. He was telling a classroom of students that the happiest people serve a higher purpose themselves. I believe that is very true! And that ‘higher purpose’ can be as simple as a random act of kindness.

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