Reasons to get out of bed…

Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Cha-Cha-Changes!

Hello again! Since my last post, I’ve had a major life change. Ok, maybe not MAJOR, it certainly wasn’t this major:

I can't believe she's already 16 months old!

I can’t believe she’s already 16 months old!

and I didn’t go through “the change,” I’m only 32. But I got a new job! I was at my last job for 7.25 years (so leaving it feels pretty major). It was my first, real, adult, corporate job. But it was starting to feel like this:

Work Life Imbalance

So I ventured out and found a new job! The new job has a commute that’s 35 minutes shorter (in each direction) and offered almost double the pay… so obviously it was quite appealing. It’s the same type of job tasks but a completely different industry. I have a lot to learn and my miss my last set of coworkers, but I’m really excited. I’m really hoping to feel like I have more free/fun time. And more time to blog! I hope you’ll be hearing more from me soon! ūüôā

Back to Work

That’s right! My maternity leave is over and I’m back to work (and will be back to blogging, too).

First, I need to say that I was tremendously blessed with a maternity leave that lasted 3 months and I was paid 100% of my salary. My company rocks in a major way and I wish more mothers could be equally blessed.

I’ve been back to work for 2 and a half weeks now. I came back on a Thursday as recommended by my HR rep. When I was pregnant, I was convinced that I wanted to come back on a Monday. She suggested that I return on a Thursday or Friday because it makes leaving the baby a little easier, knowing that you’re so close to the weekend and seeing the baby all day again. My HR rep was 100% correct. It really helped!

My first day back was odd. I wanted to just hide out at my desk and avoid the trouble people. (I’m tech support for over 50 people… you can’t like everyone, right?) Instead of getting to hide out, I was slammed with meetings – so strange! But it wasn’t bad and it stopped me from spending the entire¬†day looking at pictures of baby. Although, I did look at them a TON and watched a 30 second video of her laughing at least 6 times… sooo… yeah… maybe it was good that I only spent about 2 hours at my desk…

I hate when my coworkers ask me how I’m doing being back at work. If I don’t say I miss my baby, I’m a terrible mother and if I don’t say I missed (at least some of) my workers, I’m kind of a dick, right?

So here’s the truth. I really miss the baby. No one at my office is so excited to see me that they smile with their entire body – no one is smiling so hard that they kick their feet! However, I can’t be a stay at home mom because I have too much student loan debt. Heck, I can’t even afford to¬†reduce my hours! Ideally, I’d like to reduce my hours, but oh well. On the other hand, my baby gets to spend all day with my parents because Dr Daddy’s office is attached to his house and my mom is his receptionist. My mom is the baby’s primary care person during the day and that’s great! My mom and my baby love each other. The first day away from the little girl was rough but knowing she was with my mom made it easier.

Plus, I like being back at work. It’s nice feeling good at something tangible. Having my coworkers happy to see me because they missed my skill set is super! And I love my baby, but being able to use both my arms is welcomed again. Baby girl insisted on being held for most of my maternity leave. – which was a little rough when I wanted to do anything beyond baby snuggling!

So I’m back to work and enjoying spending time with the baby when I can (she goes to bed at 11 when I do… so I still see her plenty!)

All in all, I would say life is good!

Now… I just need to get back to running…

We're ready to roll! (These sunglasses cost 98 cents and totally crack me up!)

We’re ready to roll!
(These sunglasses cost 98 cents and totally crack me up!)

Master’s Degree, Earned!

Wow, it’s been a really long time since I’ve written a post (or even read posts from my favorite bloggers, but I’m starting to catch up)! I’m sorry for the long absence!

What did I do in that time? Well, I wrote, revised (4 times), and defended my Master’s Thesis! Whoa!

In reality, my Master’s Thesis was a project with a reflection paper. In the fall, I wrote a play with a community theater group (I led a bunch of creative sessions, took all of the work they created, and blended it into a cohesive script). It was a great time and I would do it again in a heartbeat. So the thesis project was actually directing (and further editing) that script (the play also went up this weekend, talk about exhausting). I wanted to do a project because I felt like that’s the type of thing at which I excel. I can do research and formulate a creative paper, but that’s not my strong suit. Meeting with people and creating something theatrical is what makes me happier. Ironically, I want to teach dramatic literature.

My cast, taking a bow

Also ironic: my final reflection paper (including two appendices – the first draft of the script and the production draft of the script) ended up being 104 pages… what was I saying about not wanting to write a paper?

This past month was ROUGH! To relate it to running terms, I feel like the first year and a half of the program was similar to a few 5ks¬†at a 12 minute pace. This last month was like a marathon at a full-out, sub 6 minute,¬†sprint. It’s not entirely true though, that’s just a symptom of a faulty memory.¬†If I really think about, last semester was brutal and I was stressed all the time. The first half of this semester was no cake-walk either and I was always nervous about falling behind on work.

In early¬†March, my wonderful boyfriend was asking about planning a graduation party. At the time, I really felt as though I didn’t deserve a party. I felt like I¬†really hadn’t done anything special that was worth¬†celebrating. Yes, I was about to finish my Master’s¬†program, but I had really enjoyed the time I spent in most of the classes. Most of it (especially to a faulty memory) was fun!¬†I’ve changed my opinion on that in the last few weeks though. I have worked my butt off! I really do feel as though I have earned something. Although, now I really just want to take a nap!¬†

Typically in this blog I try to talk about motivation. So what motivated me through this sprint? If¬†I didn’t get my thesis in on time, I would have had to pay $900 for a continuing ed credit over the summer. I’ve already paid¬†over $40,000 for this program and I certainly wasn’t going to finance nearly 1k additional on my own. I was going to finish on time come hell or high water! Luckily for me, my thesis committee is AWESOME and they would edit and return my drafts so quickly and they would even send them back on weekends. They were so good to me! If you haven’t read about my love for one of my professors, you can check that out here.

Going for the thesis defense was so intimidating! The only person I’ve ever talked to about a thesis defense was my best friend who got her PhD in Math. She had to do a whole Powerpoint presentation and everything! I was so nervous!

Luckily for me, though, I had the most amazing thesis committee in world. As soon as I sat down, my committee chair basically said: “We’re not going to be mean to you. It was our job to prepare you to this point, so if we pick you apart, all we’re doing is pointing out how poorly we did our job.” She rocks! They asked me a few follow-up¬†questions to my paper, we talked about ideas and advice if I were to do this again, we talked about my stumbling blocks and how they would have dealt with them, and when it was all over, they gave me a cupcake! I think that’s a good sign. Plus, it’s a sign that I had a really awesome committee!

Not the actual cupcake, but similar...

I’m so thrilled to be done!

But then there is the question: now what? I like to stay busy… so I guess there is a lot of running in my future!

Sunday Morning Snark – Focus

I’ve written 40% of my graduate thesis, but I feel like this:

If you’re looking for something fun to distract you, may I suggest the web comic Angry Little Girls? It’s where I found this cute cartoon.

Good luck if you’re trying to have an industrious Sunday!

Sunday Morning Snark – Friendship

To counterbalance yesterday’s motivation, here is today’s snarky picture. My weekend is still all about seeing friends and nothing has cancelled, but I sure do feel this way sometimes:

Have a great Sunday!

Fundraising Recap – So Far

This post is for Jill, who asked how my fundraising e-mail went (as mentioned here).

First, thank you to Jill and Stacy for commenting on my last post and telling me to just send my fundraising e-mail! As soon as I saw those comments, I hit send.

To be honest, I’m bumming a little. I’m psyched to have raised a little over $300. I have 13 donors (and thanks to Stacy – friend and reader, she commented on the post linked above – for being my first sponsor!). So why am I bummed? Well, of those 13 donors, only 2 are from the pool of 60 people who I directly support at work. I think it’s a little lame that so few of them donated considering that I do things for them all day long. Part of me wants to say “oh, no, I can’t build that dashboard or pull those metrics for you right now… but¬†have you seen my fundraising page?” But I don’t have the testicular fortitude to withhold work as a bribe.

Also weighing on my mind is the fact that about this time last year, one of our sales reps participated in a triathlon. He sent around a similar fundraising e-mail and within 3 days, our coworkers had donated 1k. I wanted to ask him how he managed to do it… but he was let go on Thursday (the downside of not landing enough sales when you’re a salesman). So that’s a total bummer all around.

Oddly, I’ve had a bunch of people come over to me and congratulate me for running a 9k… one guy even said he had heard a rumor that I was a marathon runner and this must be a piece of cake for me!

But none of those people donated… That’s weird, right? To go out of your way to find me and talk to me about it, but not even donate a dollar?

Maybe I’ll send out another e-mail to my co-workers closer to the date or put a link to my fundraising page in my e-mail signature¬†block.¬†

Or I’ll move on to harassing my friends/family/loved ones/poor souls who foolishly gave me their e-mail addresses over the years…

I’m sure I’ll get there, I just need to get creative about it!

Nervous to Ask a Little Question

I work for a company of about 350 people. I directly support about 60 of those employees and thanks to the company softball team and simply having worked here for 5 years, I would guess I know another 30 Р40 people in the building, maybe more.

I am also one of those people who supports EVERYONE’S stuff: “Your son, the Boy Scout, is selling holiday wreaths? Of course I’ll buy one!” Same goes for:

  • Buying daffodils for the American Cancer Society
  • Buying Girl Scout cookies
  • Buying pies to support Pie in the Sky¬†– a food bank-like¬†fundraiser
  • Donating to someone’s triathlon
  • Donating to someone’s marathon run
  • Donating to someone’s push up challenge to raise money for a food bank

You name it, if someone’s pushing it at work, I’m supporting it.

So when I signed up for the Run to Home Base (aka the Race to Home Base because I like things to rhyme) and I was informed that I would have to raise $1000 (or pay 1k if I couldn’t raise it), I thought “Well I support everyone else, I hope they’ll support me.” (Side note, to any of my friends who I haven’t supported in the last few months – this is why! I feel terrible not supporting you and donating to your causes, but I told myself I wouldn’t support anything until I find out if I’m paying the whole thousand for this event.)

I was planning to send out my little e-mail to my coworkers on March 1st. Now, on the 13th, I still haven’t sent it out. I’ve written it… and reread it… and reread it… about a dozen times, but I’m nervous to send it out. Thoughts I can’t seem to shake:

  • Have I said too much?
  • Have I said too little?
  • Have I just not made it sound like a worthy enough cause?
  • Should I send out the form letter suggested on the website instead?
  • Does the form letter sound too much like a form letter and should I go with what I wrote?

Bah! I suck at this…

Are any of you good at this? Do you have any general suggestions? Should I just “man up,” send it out, and not worry about it? Clearly, I’m overthinking it a bit!

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