Clothing Clean Out

One of my favorite hobbies is getting hooked on concepts and reading as much as I can about them and never following through with implementing them.  This would include everything from prepping to homesteading to tiny house living.  While I tend to dabble in these interests to some capacity (I have a 3 person tent that has never been used, canned applesauce once and do intend to at least vacation in a tiny home hopefully later this year), I think I enjoy being fascinated by the ideas more than anything.  One would think that reading as much as I do on the topics would motivate me to actually move forward with implementing them in my life, but it doesn’t normally.  Quite often I’m satisfied just to find more reading material.

One concept I like to think I’ve actually implemented well in my life is an anti-consumerism mentality.  I admit I’m not good about re-purposing things (Jason does better with that and turned part of an old living room stand into a squirrel feeder), but I stick to a habit of not buying something unless I truly need it or want it.  Even when I want it I like for it to serve a legitimate purpose.  For example this winter I finally bought an area rug for the bedroom.  I had prolonged it for the fact that I wanted it more than I felt I needed it.  Some very cold days this winter prompted the practical notion of the rug helping to keep the bedroom, and my feet, warmer and thus I bought the rug.

Clothing is one item that I can say I very rarely ever buy unless I truly need it.  Working from home certainly helps as I live in sweats and hoodies the majority of the year.  Putting on jeans and a sweater to go out to dinner on the weekend has become my version of “dressing up”.

All of that said I am as guilty as anyone for holding onto clothing that I never wear.  Some is for sentimental reasons such as my 2003 championship track jacket with my name on it as well as my track spikes from senior year.  Once in a blue moon I’ll wear the jacket, but the spikes certainly will never serve a purpose again.  I’d like to think that someday I will crack and eventually get rid of them.  For now though they are a reminder of how much of an achievement it was to quality for the District 3 championship meet as it was the last time I ever wore them.

The other clothing I’ve been guilty of keeping in the back of the closet is dressy/club clothes.  For some reason I’ve just always thought there may someday be an event that would merit wearing them.  I did actually wear the one dress in 2013 when I went on my first cruise though I don’t believe I’ve worn it since.  I’ve always kept old dress clothes with the notion that I may someday have a job that requires wearing them.  Never-mind the fact that I only ever have to wear them for work now maybe once a year.

Perhaps it’s all the tiny home research I’ve been doing.  Maybe it’s just this overwhelming desire for spring and with that wanting to clean out things.  It could even be wanting to get something accomplished other than cleaning the bathroom.  For whatever reason tonight I finally accepted the fact that the vast majority of those dressy/club clothes will never be worn again.  Truth be told I’m sure other than the dress pants everything else is very out of style anyway.  Not that I’m one to care much about fashion, but a lot of the tops were bought when I worked at the Deb Shop while in college.

I was shocked to discover that I had six pair of black pants of which only one differed in being pinstriped.  All but two were put in a garbage for donation.  I also weeded out several club tops, holding onto three “just in case”.  Jean skits, gaucho pants (I’m fairly certain those did not stay in style long but I loved how comfy they were), a dress I wore for my senior pictures and a scarf I’ve never worn all went into the bag as well.  A few other items were included and the bag was finally stuffed.

I know that if I do ever have a real desire to pursue tiny house living someday I will have to fully embrace downsizing everything.  I’d like to think cleaning out my clothing is a good start.

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40 Hour Work Week

You wanna do the minimum amount of work to afford the maximum amount of time doing the thing that you love.

That’s the way I wanna live.  – Will Smith

This week I read a blog post – Read Here – that featured a video of Will Smith visiting Australia and in it he says the above quote.  While some may argue it’s easy for him to say that given his “minimum amount of work” equates to a lot more money than most of us will ever see in a lifetime, it doesn’t take away from the fact that most of us would rather be spending our time doing something other than working.

I remember when I graduated college in 2009 being so anxious to obtain a full time job.  Of course I had the unicorns and rainbows fantasy that I would land my dream job or something close to it, and that I would love getting up every morning excited to go to work.  While that never came to be I was still relieved in 2011 to at least gain full time employment.  Back then Obamacare didn’t exist so I wasn’t able to stay on my dad’s health insurance plan and sufficed with one of the “basically saves you from a life of debt in case something major happens” individual health care plans.  I was finally part of the “real” working world.

Since then I have come to realize that even working jobs that I’ve enjoyed for the most part, being on the research team at Bank of America and now my current position as a workforce specialist at a health care organization, I loathe the 40 hour work week.  Many would argue I have no room to complain.  I work from home thus eliminating the daily commute (though I’ve recently been asked to be in the office most of the day every other Wednesday), I am allowed to work through my lunch so I work a straight 8 hours vs the stereotypical 8.5, and I have some flexibility in my hours which is what allows me to coach track each spring.  I know I am very fortunate and those reasons are why I likely won’t look to change jobs anytime soon unless it’s a position I deem very worthwhile.

That being said, my disdain for the 40 hour work week is twofold.

One – most weeks I don’t require the full 40 hours to complete my work.  I could likely fit it into 30-35 hours a week.  There are some days when I’m struggling to find more to do to keep myself occupied.  I’ve often stretched out work just to fill an extra hour of the day.  Sure, I’m guilty as anyone for browsing the web during my downtime but even that gets dull after a period of time.  I have talked to people in other lines of work who have the same issue.

Two – I firmly believe the 40 hour work week is purposely designed to keep people from having more time to enjoy life, but even more so to keep them occupied and usually stressed to the point where they no longer have the time or energy to deeply think on topics.  The average person puts in his/her 40 hours and lives for the weekends when he or she can indulge in consumerism and/or vegging out.  The former feeds the corporations and greedy CEOs’ wallets where as the later stifles creativity and intellectual growth.

If my second reason sounds a little conspiracy driven, it is.  Jason and I recently watched an episode of Adam Ruins Everything related to the 40 hour work week.  Not only do most people not need 40 hours to complete their work tasks, but in the 1930s when work weeks started decreasing it was predicted that by 2030 the work week would only be 15 hours.  While I don’t foresee a future in which we could get away with only working 15 hours a week, the advances in technology and automation of services should certainly have resulted in many of us needing to work less than 40 hours a week by now.

The underlying problem of course is money.  Well, money and health insurance.  Many people need to work 40+ hours to afford their bills.  I know at my company we’re required to work at least 35 hours a week to be considered full time.  If we work fewer than 35 hours a week then we’re considered part time, and the portion we pay for our health insurance sky rockets.  That means even if I am in a financial position that affords me the ability to work less than 35 hours I’m basically stuck working at least that so that my paycheck doesn’t completely go to paying for health insurance.

Dropping to 35 hours a week is an ultimate goal of mine, and Jason hopes to eventually work fewer hours as well.  We bought our house in the summer of 2015 and have put a significant dent in the amount owed on the mortgage.  We’ve scaled back a lot which can sometimes be hard when you aren’t people who regularly spend money anyway, and anything extra goes towards paying off the house.

Both of us like the work we do well enough, but we like our free time a lot more.  Just this morning I had a really awesome blog idea come to my mind, but because I was working I couldn’t just stop and start writing.  It irritated me.  I did write the idea down, but until I finished work, worked out, cleaned out the fridge and went for groceries I no longer had the inspiration/creative juices going to write about that particular topic.

If I can someday get back from work even 5 more hours a week I will consider it an accomplishment.  Less work means more time to write, read, work out, advocate for the environment and explore new hobbies.  That to me is what makes life worthwhile.

 

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Coach Connections

There are a variety of reasons I enjoy coaching, but one of the top ones is the connections I form with my particular group of athletes.  Not every coach will click with every athlete.  I don’t expect to have a special bond with all of them, but for those I do, it makes for an even better coaching experience.

I liked my high school cross country coach.  She had been a state record holder in her day and was a very successful runner until an injury in college sidelined her.  She often biked alongside us on our runs as she was no longer able to run herself.  She was energetic and enthusiastic.  She just didn’t understand me.  As a former elite athlete it didn’t seem to fully register to her that there were athletes like me who would not or could not ever be anywhere close to as good as she was.  I think she believed that if anyone worked hard enough they could be successful, but there’s a definite difference between a successful runner and a state champion.  I was perfectly happy being a “displacer” on the team as the 6th or 7th best runner (only the top 5 runners counted for points but as a displacer if I finished ahead of one of the top 5 runners on another team it would help my team’s score) and breaking my own personal records.  I don’t know that she fully understand that some of us could enjoy the sport without winning races.

My high school track coach on the other hand was a true mentor.  He understood me as a student, an athlete, and a person.  I confided in him and trusted him more than I trusted any other adult during my high school years.  He never wrote off my teenage stresses and really listened to me.  He was also a superb coach, recognizing each athlete’s potential regardless of whether they were first or last in a race.  While he was a distance coach and not a hurdle coach, he still had plenty of knowledge and I tended to trust his advice over my actual hurdle coach’s.  As a gift my senior year of high school I bought a brick with his name and the inscription “PT Track Coach FT Life Coach” to be part of the bricked area at the stadium.

In my last semester of college I completed a 600 hour internship in my high school’s athletic department.  Part of this time was spent helping to coach the junior high track team, primarily the hurdlers and 4×1 relay teams.  I had already been assistant coaching the junior high cross country team for two years and enjoyed it.  That spring though was the first I ever truly connected with any of the athletes.  My 4×1 relay teams were made up of kids who were both talented and just generally nice and fun to coach.  The boys in particular were especially funny and no matter how crummy my day was just hearing them yell “Coach Myers” as I walked down to the track would make my day better.  They liked to ask personal questions, some of which I had to tell them they weren’t allowed to ask until they graduated high school, but for the most part they respected me and listened when I told them it was time to focus.  Many saw success as well with two of the sprinters setting new school records.  That 2009 team will always hold a special place in my heart both for their level of talent and ability to brighten my day.

I coached another year of cross country after that before I obtained a full time job and had to give up the position.  I never expected to have the opportunity to coach again and have felt blessed to have a job with flexibility in its hours that allows me to finish at 3pm each day to get to the local high school for track practice.

Last year being my first year as a new coach to the program was a “figure it out” year.  I was getting used to coaching at a much bigger school, working with new coaches (2, including the head coach, whom were brand new to the team as well), and just trying to learn as many of the athletes’ names as possible.  I did form a decent bond with the hurdlers I coached, two of them in particular who were sophomores.

This season I’m taking on the role as the middle distance coach.  Last year the primary sprint/hurdle coach went on maternity leave so I floated between the varsity and junior high teams to work with just the hurdlers.  Now that she will be back for this season it was decided I would be a good fit to work with the 300m hurdlers, 400m runners and 4×4 relay teams.  I’m perfectly fine with that as I am more specialized in the 300m hurdles and most middle distance runners are willing to work harder than a lot of sprinters I’ve coached in the past.

Now that I’m my second year of coaching and have gotten to go through a full winter season with some of the athletes, I’m finding my place more and more.  I am more confident in my abilities to create workouts and assert authority if needed.  More of the athletes know and respect me.  I’m finally learning names of athletes beyond just my group of hurdlers and getting to know more about them as individuals.

My connection with my two “favorite” hurdlers, now juniors, has deepened even more.  They have trust in me as a coach knowing that I am there to help them grow and perform better.  I believe they respect me because I am willing to take their input into consideration when it comes to workouts.  I have always tried to coach in the way that I preferred to be coached – by someone who recognizes that not everyone is an elite athlete but that everyone can work to improve.

I have also started connecting more with some of the other middle distance runners.  One in particular is quite talented but whines a great deal and is rather lazy.  She seems to not realize how much potential she has if she would only put the work in to improve.  I have had to call her out for skipping parts of workouts and to date she’s been my most frustrating athlete to coach.

Today I had a breakthrough with her.  I told my group we would be going on a 2 mile run as they needed to build up some endurance before the regular season started.  Immediately she claimed she couldn’t run that far and wanted to go with the sprinters.  I told her she was staying with us and that we would run a nice, easy pace and weren’t worried about the time.  She, myself and two others did stay as a group while two others ran ahead.  Not once did she complain during the run and though she walked a bit near the end, I think she actually impressed herself and said that the run wasn’t that bad.  I told her that I will never ask her to complete a workout if I didn’t believe it would help her improve.

It’s those small moments that mean the most as a coach.  Yes, I love to see my athletes place in meets and invites and to improve their times.  I get an adrenaline rush cheering for them as they compete.  I share in their defeat when a race doesn’t go as well as they had hoped.  Those moments though when I can really get through to them, and help them grow in even the smallest capacity, those are the times when I’m reminded why being a coach is the best job I’ve ever had.

 

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Springettsbury 10k

Saturday was the next to last race in the York Winter Series, the Springettsbury 10k.  I hadn’t raced since the Wildcat 10k in December due to a race being canceled courtesy of bad weather, not feeling well/bad weather for another race (Sickness Slump), and coaching at an indoor track meet during the race prior.  Despite pre-running the course the Sun. before and hating nearly everything about the run (Weekend Winter Woes) I was rather pumped Sat. morning for the race.

I tend to assume most runners feel this way, but great running weather can make such a difference in one’s mood the day of a race.  The rain wasn’t set to arrive until afternoon, and it was warm enough that I didn’t require two layers of clothing though I did decide to go with gloves and my headband after feeling chilly on my warm-up run.  Physically I was a little uncertain given I had only ran one long run (the pre-run) the week leading up to the race.  I did, however, run steps with the track kids during a practice and utilized the elliptical and recumbent bike in the school’s weight room to keep my legs moving.  Mentally I knew nothing could be as miserable as the pre-run so already the race would be better than that.

Springettsbury10k

Pre-race pic – feeling ready to run and happy that the weather was more mild than it had been recently!

Armand (my 70 year old running friend) and I agreed to start out together because he struggles with hills and we wanted to hold our pace back initially to ensure a strong finish.  My dad and Todd took off quickly, but Armand and I kept to our plan and held back even while others rushed to pass us.  I joked that we knew what was coming and they likely didn’t.  The long, steep hill near the end of the first mile was a little more bearable than I expected.  My legs didn’t feel ripped to shreds like they had during the pre-run.  The hills kept coming through the second mile and despite my yelling encouragement to Armand I soon was ahead of him to the point that I couldn’t see him when I glanced back.  Approaching the third mile mark he caught back up to me.  For what he lacks in uphill running abilities he certainly makes up for in his downhill running skills.  He never ceases to amaze me and the rest of our group often jokes that we hope we’re still running at his age let alone running as fast as he does.

The hardest part of the course behind me, I settled into a comfortable race and started to enjoy the country scenery.  I love running races on back roads with limited traffic that allow me the freedom to run in the middle of the road to avoid the camber.  There was a water station just past the third mile mark that I utilized.  I tend to always use them in distances longer than a 5k.  I struggle with hydrating well enough for morning races so it always provides a needed boost for me.  Armand did get a few feet ahead of me since he didn’t take water, but I worked my way back up to running with him.

My first two miles had been around a 9:30 pace, but miles three and four were hitting around the 9 minute mark.  After the four mile mark I just felt energized and strong.  Of all the winter races I had ran, this was the first that I didn’t feel uncomfortable in terms of heating up and cooling down.  My body temperature felt comfortable the whole time.  I did pull my running gloves off to carry, but otherwise I was focused on the run and not sweating or freezing.

I started to increase my pace which is not normally something I would do with two miles to go.  I’ve always been a cautious racer, waiting until I knew that I could truly “go” without worrying about burnout.  I felt strong though and wanted to push it and see if I could hold it.  Armand commented on how strong I was running especially compared to Sunday’s pre-run.  I encouraged him to keep up with me and while he wasn’t running right beside me anymore I could hear him behind me.

I broke 9 minutes at the five mile mark and was determined to push the last mile.  There was a small footbridge to cross in a development and the whole area in front of it was a sheet of ice.  There were two race volunteers there cautioning runners.  Armand passed me at this point.  I quickly turned my run into a “baby quick step” with arms spread wide to cross the ice.  I knew it would cost me a few seconds, but I’m naturally clumsy and wasn’t going to risk going down.  Once I got back on the road I told Armand he was a better “ice runner” than I was.  He told me yet again to go, that I was having a strong run.  I told him not to lose sight of me, that we would finish the race the way we finish our Wed. night runs to and from John Wright Restaurant – fast and strong.

I took a deep breath, shook my arms loose and prepared to kick it as much as possible.  I turned into a development and upon exiting passed the six mile sign.  One final turn in the parking lot and I was striding out as much as possible to the finish line.  My official time was a 54:12 – almost a 9 min mile pace.  Unfortunately my Garmin as well as Todd’s and another runner’s registered the course at 6.1 miles instead of 6.2, but I know that happens and I try to not get too hung up on it.  I ran a strong, smart race even if it was .1 short.

Armand finished close behind me and said he had tried to catch me at the end but couldn’t.  I was fortunate to have him to race with as I think it really helped me to start out smart.  Of all the winter series races I have ran this year, I think the Springettsbury 10k was the strongest hard race I have ran.  I even enjoyed a good portion of it thanks to the scenic countryside.  A chocolate chip bagel at the end was also a nice touch.

One race to go in the series – the Northeastern 5k the first Saturday in March.  After all these longer and hilly races I’m excited to see what I can run when I’m not so focused on the pace and miles left to go!

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Running Stories

“No guts no glory, no struggle no story” – Prince Brathwaite

I used to be really big into reading motivational quotes in high school, particularly running related ones.  My track coach always gave us a sheet of quotes as part of our welcome packet at the beginning of each season.  I loved helping to choose which quote would go on the back of our t-shirts each year even though some I liked, such as “We bust ours to kick yours”, were never deemed appropriate enough to use.

Yesterday due to yet another round of snow/sleet/ice mess schools were closed which meant winter track practice was canceled.  This gave me a chance to put on the DailyBurn workout of the day.

For some reason when the trainer, Prince, said the above quote it just really stuck with me.  I think because I’ve only ever heard the first portion of it, “No guts no glory”, and that in itself was never a quote that really motivated me.  It’s a bit ironic since my dad has said it several times throughout my life.  I don’t consider myself a gutsy person in the least and am not much of a risk taker.  I think that quote speaks more to those who are.

Instead it was the second part “No struggle no story” that really resonated with me.  I thought about how many blog posts I wrote in the past year about training for the Blue-Gray Half Marathon.  I also thought about how many blog posts I’ve read that were written by other runners.  While there were plenty of happy, accomplished posts, there were also ones that spoke of challenges, discouragement and sometimes defeat.  From awful-feeling runs to horrible weather, the struggles really did tell the whole story for each runner.

I reflected on the stories I told my running friends about regarding workouts I did by myself while training.  Quite often even the runs that ended on a good note had a struggle somewhere in them and that struggle was what made finishing the run even more worthwhile.  Many of the runs did not end happily other than to just simply have finished them.  If I went out and ran a flat 5 miles on a perfect weather day it wasn’t worth saying much about other than to simply say I had a good 5 mile run.  If that run was hilly though, or in scorching heat or freezing cold, then it became worth sharing.

Much like an action movie without a well developed plot, easy runs really have no story to them.  That’s not to say they don’t have a purpose or aren’t enjoyable.  I love the easy runs that result in runner’s high and get my creativity flowing along with my adrenaline.  I quite often come up with good blog ideas after a good easy run.

The hard runs though, the ones that push me mentally, making me curse the hills, curse the weather and sometimes even curse myself for being a runner, those runs are the ones that tell a story.  Those are the runs that I remember.  Those are the ones I share with others and eagerly listen to or read theirs as well.  The story-telling runs are the runs that unite the running community – those of us who physically run with one another and those of us who have never met, but who have bonded through our shared passion and with it, our shared stories.

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Weekend Winter Woes

I like to think that for the most part I have been less whiny than usual this year when it comes to winter.  I’ve been outside more which has helped keep any seasonal depression at bay.  My chilblains have been limited to one finger and five toes, an improvement over last year despite colder temps this year, and they have not itched or been as painful as previous years.  I’ve gotten more running in than I have since my senior year of winter track.  I have survived multiple days in a row of sub-zero temps and took them in stride by layering up and turning up the heat.  I dealt with my first legit cold in quite a few years.

All that being said I think winter finally caught up to me this weekend and has made me gone full blown “I hate winter” whiny.  Unfortunately it caught up to Jason as well.  Fri. afternoon he developed classic flu symptoms – fever, chills, aches and a cough.  I kept him company at work that evening (he works 2nd shift and is the only person in the building after a certain time except for the cleaning crew) when he realized the systems were behind and he wouldn’t get out on time.  Like me he rarely ever gets sick so this hit him rather hard.

Sat. morning he still had a very low fever and cough so he decided to stay home while my dad and I made the 40 min trip to Harrisburg to Ashley Furniture’s warehouse to pick up our new couch.  This was the 2nd one that was ordered as I was called weeks ago when the first one came in damaged and told to reschedule the pick up as they would need to order a new one.  The warehouse worker cut open the plastic wrap and cardboard and began helping me inspect the couch only to discover the back part of the frame was either bent or broken.  I was devastated and could’ve cried.  The worker said they could order another one (keep it mind we originally ordered it over MLK weekend) or have a technician repair it.  I called Jason who was livid and the warehouse worker could tell I was frustrated.  He went to the office and came back and said they could deliver a new one for free (normally over $100 which is why we agreed to pick it up to begin with) but Jason and I just wanted a refund.  We ended up having to go to the actual store that night to process the return.  I apologized more than once to my dad who had wasted his time and gas driving his Explorer and small trailer up there to haul it for us.  Fortunately he was chill about it, but I’m still upset by the whole situation as I loved the color of the couch and the chaise portion of it.  I also hate shopping in general so knowing we have to go find something new somewhere else annoys me.

Sun. morning I met my dad and two running friends to pre-run the Springettsbury 10k course that we’re set to race this Sat.  The weather seemed tolerable until we actually started running.  While it didn’t feel as if there was a wind, there certainly was a head wind when we started.  The relief that came when we turned into a development was quickly destroyed by having to run up one of the longest, steepest hills I think I’ve ever ran.  I cursed hills the entire way up and cursed winter for limiting my training and not feeling as in shape to be running that type of hill.  The only perk was having ran it I now won’t have the awful surprise when I race it on Sat.  My legs felt destroyed for almost the whole rest of the run and even the smaller hills felt torturous.

Mother Nature saw fit to add to my agony by increasing the wind speed and adding in snow for the last two miles.  I wished I had worn sunglasses just to prevent my eyes from the stinging.  I kept my head lowered and pushed through each step as best as I could.  If it wasn’t for running with Armand (dad and Todd were way ahead kicking our butts) I likely would’ve walked though I knew that it would just take even longer to get back to my car which is all I wanted at that point.  I can only hope the actual race conditions are much less brutal as the hills will be challenging enough.

The picture below was me after the run – wind burned red cheeks, frozen feeling eyeballs and just overall worn out feelings.

PostSpringettsburyPreRun

The rest of the day seemed to be more pleasant as I came home to take a warm shower and make chocolate chip pancakes for lunch.  Jason’s symptoms other than the cough had subsided and we watched episodes of the X files before enjoying slow cooker Thai chicken for dinner.  Then we settled in to watch the Superbowl.  Although I tend to hate the Eagles I was rooting for them just so that the Patriots wouldn’t win another Superbowl.  I was glad that the whole game was exciting from start to finish as the years that it’s been a blowout ended up boring me.

Going to bed on a high note didn’t last as around 1am Jason woke up with a nosebleed.  This has happened to both of us before as the electric baseboard heating and space heater we sometimes use tends to dry out the bedroom air substantially.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t get it to stop.  I called the doctor’s office to have the on call doctor paged, but when he removed toilet paper from his nose and a huge blood clot came out I made the decision to just take him to the emergency room.  The closest one is less than 10 minutes away but all the lovely snow/sleet/rain mix from the day had created an icy glaze at spots.  My car skid turning from the one road onto the highway ramp and I partially panicked and did actually cry a little after out of fear of crashing.  It’s aggravating trying to safely drive in winter conditions but wanting to hurry as well.

We arrived safely and proceeded to spend the next 3 hours in the emergency room.  My sister said that actually wasn’t a bad period of time to be there as when she went last year she was there 8 hours.  I know patients have to be prioritized on the basis of need and that most hospitals are short staffed, but it was an exhausting experience nonetheless.  Jason was triaged within the first 45 minutes and they had him wear a plastic clamp on his nose which after about an hour stopped the bleeding.  We really just wanted to go home and sleep, but we knew that they would want him seen by a doctor.  The doctor didn’t feel it was necessary to cauterize his nose and around 4:40am sent us on our way.  I had texted my manager that I wouldn’t be starting at my usual 7am but still did end up starting by 10am.

I can honestly say I have not felt this exhausted in a long time and am spoiled in that I almost always get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  I’m surprised I have the energy to blog but knowing I might not get to the rest of the week was motivation to see what I could get written.  Not to mention a vent session was needed to try to clear out the negativity and reset for tomorrow in hopes that the rest of the week will prove uneventful.  Here’s hoping for some good sleep tonight!

 

 

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Struggles of considering a new position

I have been toying with the idea of applying to a position I saw posted at my company last week.  Originally Jason had interest in applying but decided he wants to keep an eye out for openings at the bank he works for instead.  Once he decided not to apply it crossed my mind to consider it.

In March I will have been in my current position for 2 years and in September I will be at the company 4 years.  Overall I enjoy the work I do albeit I don’t need 40 hours to complete it all (my disdain for the 40 hour workweek shall be fodder for another blog rant someday).  The main perks, however, are getting to work from home and design my own schedule within reason.  I had to give up coaching jr high cross country in 2011 when I obtained a full time job as the hours did not allow me to be off work in time to get to practice by 3pm.  I never imagined I would ever hold a position that enabled me to coach again.  It goes without saying that working from home is awesome.  No longer do I stress about bad weather and I live in athletic pants, tshirts and hoodies.  I simply wander to the fridge when I’m hungry and never have to wait in line to use the bathroom.

For these reasons I have never really considered leaving my current job.  I won’t go into details as to why I have some dissatisfaction with the position (you never know who may stumble upon my blog and there’s no certainty I won’t be staying in this position a lot longer), but it’s gotten to the point that I’m willing to entertain another option even if it means possibly giving up coaching, my real career passion, and working from home.

I had to update my resume which wasn’t too painful since it really only required adding my current role.  I did do some better formatting and Googled whether it was acceptable to have 2 pages.  There’s no way of condensing it into one without shrinking the font to unreadable levels but at least there’s only one job and education history listed on the 2nd page.  I tried to include as many “buzzwords” as possible in case there’s any computer scanner that reads it before an actual human does.

The most irritating part of applying for a job though has to be writing a cover letter.  For someone who enjoys writing as much as I do, I despite writing cover letters.  I think it comes down to feeling like it’s professional bullshit.  Instead of just writing as myself I have to make sure to fancy it up to make myself more appealing.  I would much rather be blunt and be like look, I have A B and C skills and you’re looking for that and I’m interested in this position for X Y and Z reasons.  Straight forward and to the point.

I remember years ago after graduating college I did a phone interview for a position with an insurance company and the lady asked me what my dream job was.  I was honest and told her a high school athletic director and gave the reasons.  At the end of the interview she offered me a “tip” and said in the future if I was asked that question to not give an answer other than the position I was applying for.  I was baffled – she asked what my DREAM job was – did she honestly believe that was going to be an entry level insurance company position?

I actually had to Google how to format a cover letter as it feels like ages since I wrote one.  I rewrote portions of it a few times as I felt like it was too formal and stereotypical and my own voice wasn’t really coming through.  I tried to write it how I would speak, but more professional of course.  I’m grateful to have it finished though and I’m sure it helped my writing skills to complete it.  I’m going to have Jason and Angel read it tomorrow just to be sure it’s ready to be submitted.

Now that the hard part of applying is over I am content to sit back and see if fate decides I should be headed down a new path or am meant to stay where I am.

 

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