comment 0

How to Work When You Really Don’t Want To

It’s not a secret that I’m a little less than happy with my current job. I try really hard to only communicate highlights with people that I don’t really know, and also to just focus on the things that make it good in conversation. I recognize the power of positive thinking, and the influence of our thinking on our memories. Although my day to day may be really challenging, I also want to look back on this year and think “WOW”. So how do I work towards WOW?

Every day I walk into work thinking “today can be different.” I used to use the word “will”, but honestly the disappointment and frustration that that led to was more harmful than good. I try to start each work day with a positive attitude. I also make a to-do list of both long-term (rolling) and short-term (daily-ish) goals that will help me to leave feeling satisfied. Put simply, rather than focusing on the things I cannot control, I focus on what I can control.

Even though other people still make the day challenging, and even though I feel like I’m simultaneously doing too much and not enough, when I look back on the past few months I really am happy with what I’ve chosen to do. The things that make me smile are a wide variety of moments, but they’re so worth it. 

comment 0

An Introduction to Daily Posts

I’ve recently gotten back into Podcasts, specifically ones that are composed of short (under 20 minutes) episodes that come out more than once a week. It really got me thinking about working in “bite sized pieces” with my writing. This past year has been challenging in many ways. I’ve gotten my PhD, moved to a new state, gotten pregnant, among many other things. It has made writing and/or editing far less enjoyable for me than it used to be. Somehow, it was never unenjoyable enough to just walk away and forget about it. So here we are. Starting a new year, and a new decade, with a new plan. I’m starting out with a week’s worth of short posts that you can read quickly and easily that will hopefully also provide you with some motivation for your day.

comment 0

Wednesday Wisdom: Making Black History

As I’m sure you’re aware, February is Black History Month. Growing up, I think the biggest complaint that I heard was that we got the shortest month of the year. Before I really understood too much, I would just celebrate that we got a month. Although I still strongly believe in celebrating our 28 (and sometimes 29) days of the year, I’m coming to realize some far more important things. For one thing, we cannot just treat Black History Month as a look at the past. The things that happened last week, month, and year are just as important. We are constantly shaping our history, and we need to act accordingly.

On top of always shaping our history, in today’s day and age it seems like there is always someone (usually a white man), who does something racist, but is too afraid of the word “racist” to admit what they have done. This tells me that we should be focusing on the 1800s history, the 1960s history, the 1990s history, and the 2010s history more than ever. On the other hand, it seems like the ally network has grown, but what’s annoying is that allies aren’t saying anything that hasn’t already been said. It’s jut that now people seem willing to listen. I could harp on this, or I could just be happy that we have a voice.

Some people might find what I’m saying depressing, and I completely understand why. For me, I feel like it’s far more important to focus on the victories and use them as fuel to keep going. Nothing will make you work harder than trying to prove somebody else wrong. But nothing will make you work longer than knowing that what you are doing is making a difference. 

comment 0

One Twelfth

Today is the very last day of January 2019. Can you believe that? I am honestly so surprised that this month has gone by so quickly! It’s important to check in with your new year goals every so often (more often early) so that you know how well you’re doing. It’s important to realize that you are either ahead or behind, particularly behind, before it’s too late. So, let’s recap my goals and how I’ve been working towards them so far.

  • Lose weight. I have completed the first week’s worth of exercises for the PiYo/T25 hybrid calendar as of yesterday. The best part? My husband has been working out with me! I have explored many methods of accountability, and although I wouldn’t say that there was anything that didn’t work, there is nothing that compares to having my husband next to me. There is nobody I would rather high five at the end of a sweat session than that man. I’m also eating more vegetables, because that was lacking. 
  • Read 60 books this year. I am in the middle of books 4 and 5 of 2019, and I have to say that I am enjoying them. I’m close to finishing Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynne Barnes, and I’m casually listening to 11/22/63 by Stephen King on Audible. I am honestly really glad I’m starting the year on a long audiobook, because one of the subgoals was to read no more than 15 audiobooks, and ultimately I wanted to limit it to one a month if possible. But, I am a little behind my 5 books/month goal and I am hoping that I can at least finish one of these books before the weekend hits. 
  • Call my friends and family more often. This is quite possibly my biggest failure thus far of 2019. Insofar as I was supposed to call a friend yesterday but didn’t realize that yesterday was the day we agreed upon until today. I also have not been calling my parents or my in-laws as much as I wish I was. The good thing is that my husband is calling home more often (see how making aligned goals can be to your benefit?) so I’m hoping that his example will help me be great. 
  • Knit, knit, knit! Well, I finished the Ravenclaw scarf I had been working on, but I still need to finish weaving in the ends and backing it. I am working on a striped blanket for myself, gloves for a friend, a headband for the shop, and want to start more mug cozies. Essentially, I’m knitting but I’m not knitting as much as I told myself I would. I am putting in knitting time whenever I can and that’s rather nice!

How are you doing with your goals? Have you checked in lately? Is there anything you feel like you need to improve? Anything you feel like you’re doing an absolutely spectacular job of?

comment 0

Oops. Not A Book Review

 

I was supposed to be doing a book review today, but I have basically not read anything this month. (Which is to say, I am right on track with my reading goal for the year but I’m behind where I expected to be). Thus far in 2019 I have read:

  • One Pill Makes You Stronger by Jill Stegman (ARC, 2 stars)
  • One Week of You by Lisa Williams Kline (ARC, 5 stars)
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (4 stars)

Now, I theoretically could write a review about any one of these books. The problem is that none of them really stuck with me. I thought One Pill Makes You Stronger was mismarketed, and could have been good if it was actually a book written for somebody like me. I thought One Week of You was a great light love story, and I had a hard time putting it down, but once I was done I realized how thin it was. And Dumplin’ was great, but I watched the movie on Netflix before even putting the book on hold so all I could do the whole time was compare it to the movie. So you see, I’ve read all these books but none of them made me feel and thus, I am not writing a review this week and I am instead going to share with you my reading lists.

I made four “priority” reading lists for 2019.

  • >4 stars on Goodreads
  • Published in 2017
  • Published in 2018
  • Older than me (based on original publication date)

Of these, I am trying to work across the lists rather than down any single list. I am currently reading Little White Lies (Published in 2018), in large part because Bad on Paper Podcast is reviewing it this month and it was 100% my cup of tea! I also have Words on Bathroom Walls (Published in 2017) checked out from the library, so that’s next up on my list. Overall, I have a total of 8 of the books in my personal library, and although that wasn’t at all a motivator when making these lists, looking at them later makes me wonder what my subconscious may have been up to ;).

Although the actual book review won’t come until later (maybe next week, maybe further delays), I am curious as to how you make your reading lists. Do you strictly go based on book club reads, do you try to work through your to be read shelf, or something else entirely? Do you just walk through the library and pick out a cover that speaks to you? Whatever it is, I am dying to know! Drop me a note in the comments, and happy reading!

comment 0

Finished Object Friday!

img_0065

I recently finished these gorgeous mug cozies and sent them straight to my Etsy shop! Thanks to some wonderful family and friemily they’re already almost sold out! I’ve noticed that lately I have been on a huge braid kick, and this was no exception. The only downside is that because these are knit in a colorful yarn, with two strands held together, the pattern doesn’t come out nearly as much as I would have liked. I was able to share the pattern with a friend, who knit in a single strand with a uniform color, and this is what it looks like if you do that.

The yarn I chose is a yarn I’ve had in my stash for forever. It was one of, if not the first, yarn I purchased with the intention of making something for my Etsy shop. However, every time I started knitting with it I just wanted to barf at how the color came out. It was such a relief to find something that the yarn weight worked perfectly for and the color was actually quite gorgeous.

Most of the patterns that I get, I grab from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns (s/o to then boyfriend, now hubby for winning my birthday/Christmas 2016/2015). I almost always make some modifications, though. I have also started this headband, but because I didn’t want the braid to go around the length of the headband, I had to sit down and figure out (a) how to convert the pattern to knit in the round, (b1) how to alter the number of stitches for width, (b2) how to make the repeat look seamless, rather than like an edge. I restarted this project three times before I was finally able to get it down. But now, I have one completed headband and I am working on a second today. The dark taupe headbands will hopefully be up in the shop by the ned of this upcoming snowy weekend, and then I’ll get to work on another color.

img_0081

Bonus content:

img_20190113_104543_4524917572958291440243.jpg

My Ravenclaw scarf is coming along great! I abandoned the double knitting idea and I am so glad. I have been able to power through this project as a result. It’s a 300 row pattern, and I am on row 225. I set a goal for myself to be done with this by January 27, which is exactly 364 days since I placed the online order (Webs Yarn Store) for this yarn. Even though we didn’t get the yarn and the pattern set until February, I personally felt like I really needed to do this for myself. I also had a wedding in there, and my dear friend was kind enough to see my stress and tell me to take a break from his project. Also, I totally lied. I set the goal because I restarted on December 27, I had no idea I purchased the yarn on January 28, 2018 until I started my taxes! (But admit it, the former explanation is way better, isn’t it?)

Are you binding off or casting on right now? Are there any patterns that you’re finding you are completely drawn to? Let me know in the comments, follow my Instagram page, and my Etsy shop!