April showers did bring May flowers… and also more showers.
This month, the weather and my life mirrored each other. I landed a part-time consulting gig with a great organization and I have another budding possibility. I’m delighted! I’m ready for the intellectual exercise of managing projects. I was connected to both of these opportunities through my good friends, Michelle and Bob. I continue to relearn that well-known adage ‘it’s who you know.’ I’m incredibly grateful for all the people that continue to connect me to prospects. And so thankful for Michelle and Bob’s connections that came to fruition.
Those were the flowers! I also had some sad, stormy days.
Two things happened that were shocking and awful. I’m still stunned and sad with sporadic moments of pure helplessness. Yet, I saw a saying yesterday: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
YES! When I’m picking the flowers of life, I’m going to get wet. Dance on!
While the flowers were blooming in the stormy weather, I also had my regular stuff going on…
Serving = 9 shifts! Patio season has started. And I’ve had some very lucrative shifts. The downside is I’m alternating icing my knees and now my right ankle. Yet, I’m persevering! I also took off Memorial Day weekend. I started interviewing for a cool job at the end of April. Since the rounds of interviewing were to be completed in May, I decided to take MDW off. I figured I would be celebrating a new job or feeling sorry for myself. It was the latter. Oh well, dance on!
Job Search = 12 applications, interviews, networking and a consulting gig I attended a Gleacher Center networking event. Over the last year, I’ve been taking classes towards a certificate in digital marketing and integrated communications. I decided to mingle with students and alumni of the program. Sometimes it’s just nice to brush shoulders with people in career transitions. I’m not the only one navigating a job search.
I also starting doing contract work for Children’s Home & Aid. One of my assignments was to support their Champions for Children luncheon. The organization provides vital services for children and families in Illinois. The CHA team operated like a well-oiled machine. I was impressed. From my audio-visual assignment in the balcony, I was able to observe the entire program. I found it incredibly inspiring from client testimonies to the message of resilience from the keynote speaker to the very touching farewell speech given by the retiring executive director.
Workout with Josh = 9 times! Between consulting and traveling, my schedule has been ever-changing. Josh has been patient in working my sessions into alternative slots. I’ve benefitted! The strength training continues to position me to take on the upcoming double, triple and quadruple shifts. The exercises empower me to successfully take on challenging situations.
Yoga = 3 classes! One of my favorite yoga class is Rx yoga with Jane on Wednesdays at noon. My schedule hasn’t allowed me to always get there. I want to continue to prioritize getting to yoga classes. Nothing is better than stretching and twisting the body. One of my studios had a meditation challenge in May. A chart tracked our mediation sessions over the month. I did meditate 20 out of 31 days which has been essential in maintaining my solace in uncertain times.
*2 books! I completed one and 2 halves of books.
I listened to Chelsea Handler’s “Life will be the Death of Me”. The memoir has her signature snarky humor. It also is personal, thoughtful and brutally honest. Chelsea has had a life epiphany. She, with the help of a therapist, realized experiencing her brother’s death when she was nine paralyzed her from trusting people and ultimately having deep relationships. It’s inspiring knowing a wealthy celebrity is working on ‘fixing’ herself. The book is beautiful. I highly recommend listening to it because she is the narrator. Her quivering voice describing loss in her life is powerful and palpable.
I’m halfway through Melinda Gates’ “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World”. Melinda reminds me of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton. Everyone knows her husband but they don’t know the important work the wife is up to. Melinda talks about the importance of family planning, reproductive rights and empowering women on an international scale. She describes her foundation’s cultural research. It’s eye-opening! It broadened my angst for the current epidemic of anti-abortion state laws into a global urgency for women issues. Reality gut check!
I like to balance a very serious read with something of pure entertainment. Jim Gaffigan’s “Food: A Love Story” is a perfect accompaniment to Melinda’s book. It’s his amusing description of foods. Although Jim might have ruined lobster (“seabug”) for me, the light-hearted tour of his favorite foods is playful. And I’m also learning.
JOSH: Was the ‘Juicy Lucy’ burger started in Minnesota?
ME: Actually, I’m reading Jim Gaffigan’s book “Food: A Love Story.” Two restaurants in Minnesota boast introducing the burger. One spells it ‘Juicy Lucy’ and the other ‘Jucy Lucy’.
JOSH: I’m getting the roasted chicken quesadilla.
If nothing else, Gaffigan is giving me interesting nuggets for sparkling dinner conversation.
Theatre Reviews = 3 reviews! “The Children” at Steppenwolf, “Six” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and “Volta” by Cirque d Soleil.
Journaling = 8 entries! I continue to chronicle this journey in my third book, “Unexpected Changes.”
Playing = YES! I had dinner with Bilger, Josh, Steve/Mike/Bill, Scubi, Bilger/El, and Bill. After a Sunday brunch shift, I did some wine drinking and pizza with Collin & his crew. My nephew Matthew came in for an overnight and we saw and loved “Endgame” at the IMAX. Patrick and I went to Megan Mullally’s show and had the added bonus of seeing Nick Offerman. I had dinner and went to an art gallery opening with Smiley, Jason and Roger. I had lunch with Abi/Ken/Jenny and Bill (2). I made three trips to Indiana/Michigan so I had plenty of meals with mom, dad, Jenny, Joey, Kylie and Carlie.
May 25th was the anniversary of my resignation from NRS. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I unexpectedly ended my tenure. And sometimes, it feels like a lifetime ago. Last year, I wouldn’t have imagined my life would look like this. Yet, this is my life. I continue to thank God for *this* life daily. And my mantra this month has been ‘Live this day. Live this life.’