September Check-in

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Permalink

September Report Card: I started with bootcamp and ended with a yoga retreat.

Happy October! I’m a day behind. I’m pretending yesterday was September 31st. Over the weekend, I had all these new ideas to implement on October 1st. Yesterday, I woke up with a cold or an allergy explosion. I’m still not completely decided on what this sneezing and runny nose is. All I know is it made me delay my October challenge until today. I’m still a gooey mess but a little more determined today to execute. But before I do, here’s my September assessment.

My third month of underemployment was fairly productive. Yes, I did binge “Forever” on Amazon Prime and watch some mindless sitcoms. I also hit 1299 on Candy Crush and took up another game, Word Connect. Collin introduced it to me at Wood. It’s fun because we play it together during a slow shift. We are in the 400s on both of our tablets. I’m also doing a vanilla extract project. As far as projects go, it’s pretty basic. I have vanilla beans soaking in vodka. I need to shake the jar once a week for eight weeks. Hey, it’s something to do and I’m getting ready to bake kick-ass Christmas cookies.

I also filled my days with…  

Serving =  15 shifts! Wood continues to be my buoy in the storm. I am able to make money to pay some of my bills. Although the patio season is decreasing, my bills aren’t. I had an unexpected $498 plumbing bill. Yikes! I’m using savings and earnings to sustain my life. My October bills are paid. I’m not behind on anything. I’m proud of that! And I’m grateful for a body that is willing to word hard for me.  

Job Search = 7 applications, 2 interviews, 1 network lunch! I saw a dip in positions that I could submit my resume to. I don’t know if it’s a back-to-school lull or what. Still, I also had two interviews. The in-person interview was a part-time, temporary grant proposal writing position with a theatre company. It would be ideal! I could supplement my serving money with a steady income source. And I would keep it if I got a job before the contract ended. The other interview was for a senior communications position. I studied for three hours in preparation for it. Despite my transparency online with my salary requirements, I found out at the end of the interview that their ceiling was much lower than my basement. Dang!

I also had a wonderful lunch with my friend Bob. I met Bob through theatre blogging. He has impressively navigated his successful communications career. I soaked up all his advice about interviewing. He is an interview guru.         

Workout with Josh = 8 times! Not only did Josh and I do our regular strength training, he gave me a walking workout to incorporate this month. Although I’m always trying to get my Fitbit steps (10K/daily), I’m a stroller. Josh has me doing two days of interval power walking and one day of steady walking. It’s all intended to get thirty minutes of cardio into my day. I’m working on my numbers. Despite being a sweaty mess and breathing heavy, my cardio outtake varied from 14-30 minutes. I think it’s a Fitbit issue, not a ‘me’ issue! 😉

Yoga = 8 classes! I took one studio class, one at-home class and a yoga retreat. At the retreat, I took four full classes and four mini classes. The retreat was a great jump start for my yoga practice. It also helped me develop a meditation practice. October is going be super chill.

LinkedIn = 7 online classes! I’m taking advantage of time and the LinkedIn premium package. This month, I took courses on helping others thrive, pitching yourself, elevator speech, next move, manager to leader, and resourcefulness.  

Digital Content Marketing bootcamp: 3 day workshop! I participated in an intense three day course at University of Chicago’s Graham School for professional development. It’s my fourth course in a year… (first time in my life, I can say ‘I’m a straight A student.’) And I enjoy being in a classroom setting with people from different sectors trying to advance their careers. Although the curriculum is important, the human interaction is even more so. Learning from others’ practical experiences isn’t something you get from online courses.

Theatre Reviews = 5 reviews! I saw and reviewed 5 shows, SHAYNA MAIDEL (Timeline), BOREALIS (House), FRANKENSTEIN (Lifeline), WE’RE ONLY ALIVE FOR A SHORT TIME (Goodman), CAROLINE OR CHANGE (Firebrand & Timeline). Theatre season kicks off in the Fall. I’ll be seeing even more shows in October.

Journaling = 12 entries! I continue to chronicle my journey in my third book, “Unexpected Changes”.  

Playing = YES! I saw two (Eighth Grade, Searching) movies with James and Ellen. I had lunch with Bob and dinners with Abby & Jenny & Dolly & Taylor, Bill & Roger, Ellen, Jen B-B, Rick, Josh, Bill, James & Ellen and Tom.

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 a 1/2 book and read a book.

After I heard James W. Loewen’s interview on NPR, I downloaded “Lies my teacher told me.” I’m about half-way through it and feeling incredibly betrayed by romanticized American history classes. Loewen describes the truth behind Columbus ‘discovering’ America, the Louisana ‘purchase’ and Thanksgiving origin. It’s eye-opening how greed, entitlement and inhumanity shaped our nation.  Startling!  One of my big key takeaways is how Helen Keller is remembered in history. When I think of Helen Keller, I think of an unruly blind and deaf girl who learned to read and write. I didn’t know she was a huge socialist and advocated for blue collar workers who often suffered disabilities from unsafe conditions. She ruffled feathers and perhaps was an original ‘nasty woman.’

I also read the book “Every body yoga” by Jessamyn Stanley. Abby gave me this book as a gift. I loved it! Stanley is a good-size gal and dynamic storyteller. She weaves her colorful tales together with her self-taught yoga practice. Her writing is pure entertainment. Plus, the book has wonderful pictures of yoga poses and flow sequences. The photos feature Stanley and other yogies of all different sizes. It’s a great reference for building my practice.

I also completed 7 online courses on LinkedIn and a three day content marketing workshop. Plus, I watched the “Mister Roger’s” documentary and the PBS series on “Invisible Cities: Cairo, Istanbul, and Athens.” And I watched four TED Talks for career inspiration: multi-potentialite, older career changes, start-up success and relaunchers.

Be an advocate for marginalized populations: I donated both blood and clothes this month. I also schlepped Abby’s three bags of donations to Brown Elephant. The Brown Elephant supports Howard Brown’s free clinics.   

Be kind: Both Michelle and Jen sent me sweet notes of encouragement. Friends and family continually check in with me to ensure I don’t climb into a dark hole. I am 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.

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