Tag Archives: gratitude

Happy (Late) International Women’s Day To Our Stay At Home Moms

9 Mar

In honor of National Women’s Day, I was planning on finding a super-empowering TedTalk from some super fabulous woman CEO sharing her story about how she became so awesome.

And I’ll maybe probably still do that, but today, I’m gunna do something a little different.

When you think about International Women’s Day, you think about that female CEO who’s broken through the glass ceiling and now making loads of money.

And to those women… you’re doing awesome. Hopefully I’ll get there someday… if that’s what I want.

But what you don’t think much about are the women who aren’t in an office…

The women who instead of being dressed in kick ass power suits, are likely covered in baby throw up right now.

Mommas.

Stay at home mommas.

They’re often forgotten about when we’re talking about the empowerment of women.

And really, they shouldn’t be.

Because their jobs are just as hard- if not harder.

I was with a baby this weekend. I held it and it threw up on me. And it smelled bad. And I returned the baby to her owner. To her mom. And her parents talked to me about all the gross disgusting things their baby does and how they have to change diapers 54 times a day and wash the baby with a hose because her poop travels out of her diaper.

OUT OF HER DIAPER!

So today, instead of talking about the female executives that I admire, I’m going to do this…

THANK YOU MOMMA BEAR.

Because you stayed home with me my whole life and you dealt with my tantrums and you cleaned my butt and you fed me nasty food that I’m sure I threw up several times.

Thank you because you took me to every single one of my gymnastics and cheerleading and dance practices.

Thank you because you were on every single field trip and I know that most of them must have been super boring but you went anyway because I asked you to.

Thank you because you didn’t send me to summer camp. Because there was nothing that I wanted more than to just stay home with you and my sister every summer. I didn’t want to have to go be social with weird kids that I didn’t know. Even though you threatened us that one year and physically took us there and we sat in the car in the parking lot and we cried, thanks for feeling sorry enough for us that you just turned around and went back home.

You’re kind of awesome.

So for all the mommas out there who think they need a corner office and a power suit to be appreciated, I promise you, you don’t.

You stay at home mommas do so much more than you know.

And I think it’s time that you’re recognized just as much as a CEO.

Because hell, you run a family.

And God knows that’s not easy.

Stay at home mom

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The 5 Most Valuable Lessons Grad School Taught Me

17 Mar

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I honestly can’t believe it. 43 days till I’m done with school… forever!!! There are no words to express how absolutely elated I am. No words at all.  

For the past two years, I’ve been working full time while pursuing my Master in Public Administration degree.

I’ve written paper after paper after paper…

I’ve had more group projects than really necessary…

And I’ve also been sleep-deprived (Dear God I so look forward to getting more sleep.)

So now that this chapter in my life is coming to a close, I thought I’d get drunk and celebrate  reflect on the most important things I’ve learned in Grad School. Because I really have learned a lot.

Not just about my field of study, but about life in general and about my future in the workplace.

And in writing this, I’m really really happy. I’m happy because I DO feel that I’ve learned things.

Two years and way too much money later, it really has been worth it.

1. It’s the quality of your work, not the quantity.

I’ll honestly never understand why some students feel the need to write 20 page papers when the professor asks for 5. I mean, come on… really? 15 extra pages?? Do you have nothing else to do? Some people really think that by writing more pages, they’ll get a better grade. It’s kind of funny actually. Some people think to themselves, “I have no idea what to write this paper about, but if I hand in a really big stack of paper, and write 10 extra pages, I’ll probably get a better grade than someone who hands in 5.” Well…um…it doesn’t work that way.

In both grad school and in the workplace, your teachers and your bosses are more often concerned with the quality of your work rather than the quantity. It’s all about efficiency, people… producing great quality work in the least amount of time. So you can be the student who spends 15 hours on a paper and turns in 15 pages, and yes, gets an A. Or, you could be the student who spends 3 hours on a paper, turns in 5 pages, and ALSO gets an A.

At the end of the day,  who’s more efficient?

It’s no secret that companies want efficient employees. It’s no secret that employers want great-quality work. So if you can find a way to be efficient with your time while still producing great quality, I’d say you’re pretty set in terms of life after college.

2. Importance of time management.

I don’t care if you have the world’s best memory…Nor do I care if you can memorize a whole deck of cards in under a minute. If you don’t have a calendar/planner/phone reminder system, you will fail miserably as an adult.

Like, big time.

Like I mentioned before, these past two years I’ve juggled work, school, my slowly-becoming-non-existent social life, a relationship, a house, crossfit, this blog, and my family.

Miraculously, I’ve managed to keep some of my sanity.

When you get to grown-up status, you realize just how crazy and hectic life becomes.Like, there’s really no time for anything. While in grad school, I’d go to work, then go to school, and by the time I got home, you know what I wanted to do? NOTHING!! Absolutely nothing!

I’ve been living a life of pure exhaustion.

But I’ve certainly found that having a planner helps organize my brain, because without it, I’d have zero idea about what I have to do.

So regardless of how crazy things get, make time-management a priority. It’s super important. Because as you get older, there’s a lot more to your life. More responsibilities, more to remember, more to accomplish. 

But I’m absolutely positive that if you organize yourself you can somehow become a fully-functioning member of society. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

3. Corporate America is very bad at implementing best practices.

This lesson makes me very sad. This lesson also makes me want to punch a giant hole in the wall and the only reason I don’t punch a giant hole in the wall is because I don’t have money to fix it if I did.

But anyway, this lesson that I’ve learned makes me extremely mad. Because I go to school and I read these massive books that are more often than not, quite boring. And then I write paper after paper after paper. And then somehow, throughout that process, I learn things. Through my Public Administration degree, I’ve learned about…you guessed it! Administration! Administration, and leadership, and organizational behavior. I’ve learned about HR practices and what it takes to run a company in the most ethical way possible.

I’ve learned and I’ve studied extensively about what the workplace SHOULD LOOK LIKE.

And then through my work experience, I’ve seen what it REALLY LOOKS LIKE.

Total opposites most of the time.

There’s so much dishonesty in the workplace and there’s a lot of poor leadership. That’s the reality. And it’s hard to deal with in a sense because knowing what I know, there are days when I just want to slap people and say, “Hellooooo?!?!?! What are you doing?!?!?! This is NOT how you’re supposed to do things! That’s not what I learned in my HR class!”

But I don’t slap people at work because that’s also one of the things I learned. You don’t slap people if you want to keep your job.

So what does that mean for us? What does that mean for us recent college grads? It means that we have a lot of work to do. It means that we’re going to see things that we don’t like in the workplace. And really, it’s up to us to do something about it.

Maybe we’re not in the position at this point in our careers to make a huge difference, but one day, when we can make decisions, we’ll need to make the right ones. Because, maybe naively, I still believe that the workplace can be a much better place if we fight for it.

4. People will surprise you.

When you’re in a class that requires you to complete a group project, you spend approximately 5 minutes praying that your group members are smart. So that’s what I did a few months ago and well, my prayer was not answered.

One of my teammates, let’s call her Ashley, had zero interest in the class we were taking. Why do I say that? Well, we had a quiz a few weeks into class and our professor allowed us to use a note card as a “cheat sheet” to write down stuff so we wouldn’t forget.

She was filling out her note card 3 minutes before the quiz.

Let’s see… she also rarely attended class. Then, the day of our group presentation, while our whole group showed up 15 minutes before class…she was late. We almost had to start without her. So obviously, my impression of Ashley was that she was the worst group member ever and that she wasn’t very smart.

A few weeks after our group presentation, we were doing another group project where our goal was to build the tallest structure using marshmallows and spaghetti… one of those team-building, hands-on kind of projects. And as time was almost up, my group had no idea what to do to get the marshmallow to stay at the top of the structure without knocking it down. Point is… Ashley had an idea. And you know what I did with her idea? I didn’t listen to it.

Not a single bit.

Because I had completely written this girl off as my incompetent teammate who shows up late and doesn’t study. So we obviously failed, we didn’t have the tallest structure. And when our professor briefed us on how we could have done better, that same idea Ashley had…that’s what he told us we should have done.

People will surprise you. Good ideas come from anywhere. So you need to be open to listening to them.

5.  Importance of a strong support system.

I’ve had serious panic attacks in the past. Like, I-can’t-breathe-I’m-never-going-to-finish-this-paper-but-it’s-my-own-fault-because-I-procrastinated- panic attacks. They’re not fun. There have been days when I’ve gone to work on 2.5-3 hours of sleep and I look and feel like a  zombie. It’s just like being drunk. Only I’m not drunk because I wasn’t able to go out and drink because I was finishing an assignment.

There have been days when I’ve felt like just quitting half-way. “So what if I’m only 9 credits away from graduation? I’m totally over this.”

And I definitely would have, if I didn’t have such a strong support system in my life.

I have an amazing family that has encouraged me my whole life really, but especially these past two years.  

My boyfriend, who I live with and love like crazy, has endured my mood swings, calmed me down during my panic attacks, and has reminded me that I’m not allowed to stop.

Must. Keep. Going.

So in 43 days when I graduate, I’m going to wear some weird dress/robe thing and I’m going to be handed by diploma, and I’m going to look out into the audience and I’m going to see my family and my boyfriend. And I’m going to feel so eternally grateful to have them in my life. Because without them, I know for a fact that I would have given up. I know that I wouldn’t have made it this far.

Because life in general is just way too crazy and too much for any one person to deal with alone.

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We Really Have No Reason To Be Unhappy

24 Jul

This weekend  kind of sucked.

First of all, we had that crazy idiot who did what he did in Aurora.

This really put things into perspective for me.

Secondly, I was in a car accident. 

Again, this really put things into perspective for me.

Upon entering the workforce, I’ve witnessed a lot of things, both good and bad.

But the one thing that’s been most noticible during my experience with the “real world” is that people are generally unhappy.

People are unhappy about something and/or everything.

ALL.

OF.

THE.

TIME.

This is unfortunate and it’s stupid.

Through my research regarding Generation Y, I’ve been able to find plenty of articles that explain that my generation is the most unhappy of all. During a time in which we’re trying to discover ourselves, we’re faced with so many decisions that need to be made and we don’t know how to make them.

This makes us sad.

This makes us depressed.

Then we’ve got all the other generations…

It seems that at work, complaining about stuff  is the cool thing to do.

“I can’t believe I wasn’t invited to that meeting”

“I hate my boss”

“Jack didn’t cc me on that e-mail. How dare he?”

Really, guys?

If these are the worst of our worries, I think we’re doing okay.

Let’s stop sweating the small stuff, alright?

I think that’ll make the world a much more pleasant place to live in and it shouldn’t take a tradgedy or a near-death experience to realize this.

We should feel grateful for what we have, every day.

So next time you’re unhappy and you’re discussing one of the following:

  1.  how your life is terrible
  2.  how you want to punch your boss in the face
  3.  how your life is over and you have no reason to live

Stop and think for a second.

Then kick yourself for being so dumb.

If you’re reading this, CONGRATULATIONS!

You’re alive and you have eyeballs!

And that, my friends, is enough reason to be happy.

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