After sittin around in Atlanta and not being able to get anything done around the house, I’ve been a machine this week. I completely reorganized my kitchen cabinets, scrubbed the bathtub on my hands and knees, and got rid of some old clothes while improving some of the cheap hangers in my closet.
And I put every CD I’ve ever owned into iTunes. This.took.forever. But it was a fun project because I got to listen to some classics.
I’ve also been shopping! For secret wedding things…
I had an empty pot from my grandmother, so I filled it with this guy!
Oh, and I’ve also been enjoying having TV again. House Hunters has been on continuously:)
What have you guys been up to?Read More
Sooo, now that my internship is complete, I promised an update. Have I taken back my twenties yet? Nope. But, recently, I’ve been feeling a lot closer to the kind of daily life that I’ve been striving for (especially when the weather warmed up). Unfortunately, I feel a little stuck right now because my career path is in limbo and my internship didn’t really help me narrow down the options – it only ruled out school psychology.
But, I definitely made some process in terms of adjusting to full time work (although I’d obviously rather have flexible hours or work from home:))
This is what I wrote on my first day of work back in September and in bold are my reflections on how I did with each goal:
“My mission on Taking Back my Twenties is not to complain, but to take charge of my life and find ways to make working days more enjoyable. Part of this means making life at work more comfortable. I have a few ideas about how I’m going to accomplish this, so I made a list of goals. Most of the things on this list are common sense, but they tend to be easier said than done, which is why I’m going to need reminders…
1. Think about food ideas before weekly grocery trips so that I can incorporate leftovers to make lunches more interesting. And, pack plenty of snacks!
2. Pack my bag, lay out clothes, and make lunch the night before.
As for numbers 1 and 2, I did well keeping up with meal planning, but I rarely made dinners that yielded leftovers I could take for lunch. I tended to make meals for two to minimize waste and then would remember I could take them for lunch. I did well packing my lunch the night before, but I NEVER picked out my clothes. It wasn’t really a problem though, because I usually brainstormed in the shower and dressed like an eskimo all winter.
3. Get in bed 30 minutes before bedtime so I have a chance to wind-down. Since I’m a night person, I tend to get energized before bed and then I have trouble falling asleep right away.
Number 3 didn’t go so well as I always stayed up until the last minute and then had trouble falling asleep. I was pretty much tired every day for the whole year:(
4. Pick one day a week to skip the gym and work late to reduce the amount of work I have to do on weekends.
Although I did skip the gym one or two days a week, it was because I had to babysit, not because I was working late. I really didn’t end up doing much work on the weekends, which was fine with me.
5. Keep a pair of old flats and a sweater at work for comfort.
Yeah, I didn’t do this at all and was freezing on many of the shoulder season days when the heat would be turned off. I also got bad blisters a few times when I didn’t have back-up shoes.
6. Get up 15 minutes earlier than I actually need to so I don’t have to rush in the morning. I hate.rushing.
Also didn’t happen, I was frantic most mornings, especially when I tried to go to the gym before work.
7. Get organized and take the time to stay organized! Once I know what my case load will be like, I want to create an organization system that makes my life easier so I don’t waste time looking for things.
I did pretty well with 7, although I must say I think it will be 100 times easier to stay organized when I actually have a desk or computer to call my own.
8. Think of each day as a learning experience and not just a list of tasks that I need to get through.
I did OK with this one. I never really minded being at work, especially because I was working with a bunch of friends. But, there were definitely times that I just viewed work as a bunch of annoying things that needed to be crossed off my list. But, it was a great learning experience.
I’m excited to see how my next work experience differs. I’m hoping that making money and being more independent (aka, not an intern) will really change my outlook.
For those of you who have been working for a while now, do you have any advice for things I could do differently in the future?Read More
Hello, Hello. I’m just getting around to posting because I’ve been busy as a bee today. Matt was out of town at his 5 year college reunion so I had planned on doing a lot of lounging around. I started the lounging with a rum, triple sec, and lemonade cocktail creation (the only options in house) on Saturday, which was surprisingly fantastic.
And a good ole helping of veggie burger + fries for dinner.
Plus some amazing graduation cake from the freezer.
And then I got tired of lounging! I ended up tacking a million projects this weekend, and I finally feel like I’m on top of things. While I missed hanging out with Matt and doing fun things like eating out and drinking pints, I feel like I actually took advantage of free time for once and didn’t waste away on the couch. I used to be more of a project person, but since beginning to work full-time, I’ve found myself craving couch time even more than I used to and I haven’t been very productive on weekends since last fall.
My apartment was a mess, as I sorted through three years of graduate work. I kept the most important things, but took three bags work of paper to the recycling bin.
Looking back, I did a TON of work for this degree!
I also sold my couches this weekend, so when I was ready to take a lunch break this afternoon, I realized there was no where to sit.
So I had a picnic. It was fun at first, but got old quickly.
I ran a bunch of errands this afternoon, including recycling my broken dvd player and old running shoes, returning a pair of flats that gave me horrific blisters, and hitting up the grocery store. Warmer weather = summer salads. This was phenomenal….simply goat cheese, raisins, strawberries, and banana chips in honey, balsamic, and olive oil. I loved it so much, I made the same thing for lunch tomorrow with the addition of cinnamon almonds. Piling spinach high with sweet stuff is about the only way I’ll eat it…
And luckily, I thought of this solution for the living room. It actually wasn’t bad.
Seeing my apartment half empty is making me a little sad:( But then again, all the open space is making me excited for the increase in square footage in the new place.
After a hectic May, I’m organized and ready to finish these last two weeks!!!! Night.Read More
A little advice from my experienced sister, aka katheats
When Larbs asked me to do a guest post for her this week about making the most of life while working at a desk job, my immediate answer was “But I don’t work one! I left mine for a different career!”
But then she reminded me that last year I completed a six month dietetic internship, where I had to work full time in four different rotations while still keeping up with my other fulltime job as a blogger and writer. And I still enjoyed life!
Similarly, when I was an account executive at a public relations firm before I went back to school, I may have not loved my day job, but my life felt pretty balanced.
So you might love your job or hate it. You may not get to decide how you spend your 40 hours at work. But you can choose what you do the rest of the time you’re alive. Here are a few of my tips to making the most of the hours you are not at work.
Have your exercise done by 5PM. One of the keys for my happiness was the freedom to leave work in the evenings and do “adult” things like meet a friend for a drink, go out to dinner on a weeknight, or simply enjoy a nice relaxed evening at home with my husband. If you have to rush to the gym and spend an hour with the other sweaty monkeys there, you’ll miss out on the rest of the world’s evening activities and feel left out! If you can’t fit in exercise on your lunch break or streamline it into your day with multiple walks or hiking up and down the stairs in your building, my advice is to workout in the morning. Here are some KERF tips from way back when! It’s not fun, per se, but it’s not all that bad. Use visualization to help picture your day when your alarm goes off. And be sure to get in 8 hours of sleep! Getting up at 5 to exercise (even if it’s just a YogaDownload.com session on your bedroom floor!) will never be fun if you stay up too late.
Which brings me to point #2: Save TV for the weekends. Yes, it’s fun to discuss last night’s shows with your coworkers in the morning, but TV is the biggest waste of weeknight time. Pick one night a week for your very favorite “can’t miss it” show to watch live. But save all the rest to watch online or via DVR on the weekends (bonus points if you fold laundry or do your weekend cleaning while you watch!)
Speaking of cleaning, Set up systems that work for you. Put your cleaning supplies near the things that need to be clean. For example, Method wipes next to your sink. Every morning when you get out of the shower, wipe down the sink and perhaps the bathroom floor. Then you won’t have to clean on Sunday! Similarly, put all of your bills on auto billpay. (Have you ever used your banks online billpay? It’s a lifesaver!) Unsubscribe to any emails you don’t LOVE to see arrive in your inbox. Go ahead and sort mail when you get it – recycle the junk and take letters out of envelopes, then recycle those. When it’s time to go through the important stuff, you’ve already gotten rid of the excess paper. Also, unsubscribe yourself to those catalogs that go straight to recycling so you won’t even have to see them! Mentally prepare extra portions of dinner so your lunchbox will practically pack itself with leftovers. The more mundane tasks you can automate, the less you’ll have to do.
If you are so lucky to have a spouse, partner or roommate who cooperates, enlist them for a little teamwork. Figure out what tasks and what time of day work best for both of you and offer to swap. For example, if you work late on Tuesdays and they have dance class on Thursdays, see if you could do a double lunch pack for each other those nights. That way you won’t have to come home late and still pack a lunch. During my internship I asked Matt to pick one night a week to make a soup for me, and put those right into my calendar. Or perhaps your mailbox is far away to pick up the mail in the evenings but the trash take out is on your way out in the morning for work. Set up a deal with your roommate so you both don’t have to go to the mailbox every day. The more tasks you can share, the less each of you have to worry about. If you live alone, see if you can recruit a friend at work to do a lunchbox swap or a neighbor who will mow your grass every other week if you alternate and mow theirs too.
Use a meal plan. The number way secret to healthy eating is a meal plan. If you don’t have healthy food in the fridge, you won’t eat it. And there is nothing worse than coming home from work hungry and not having a clue what you should make. If you have any inkling on what’s for dinner, you can double up and make extras one night. Chop all of your carrots at once and get the cutting board out only once. Double up on rice one night and put it in your soup the next. If you don’t have a plan, these little time-saving tweaks are harder to realize. I swear that the easiest lunchbox to pack (other than leftovers from dinner) is a salad. Much easier than a sandwich! And never, ever pack your lunchbox in the morning. It’s way too stressful of a time to put thought into an important meal! I packed my lunch before we made dinner each night so the cutting boards were about to get dirty anyways. And if you’re strapped for breakfast making time, you can make one giant batch of stove-top oatmeal to reheat during the week!
Lastly, and this one should come as no shock, keep yourself super organized. Use whatever tools you like. I am partial to all of Google’s organization tools – Calendar, Tasks, souped-up Gmail because they are accessible anywhere, but figure out a system based on what you prefer. [I’ve got tips for all of these in my NERD KERF video section!] Delegate tasks that can wait to a “weekend list” to look over on Sunday morning instead of worrying about something late on a Tuesday night. If they are no longer important to you on Sunday, they aren’t worth your time. Set up a multiple inbox in Gmail so you can sort important and unimportant emails as they come in. Put your meal plan right into your Google calendar.
One final thought: don’t make your life harder than it has to be. If there are things you hate doing that are somewhat optional, figure out a way around them. If they aren’t optional, figure out a way to make someone else do them! Or shift where you put them in your day. Think outside of the box – things don’t have to be done the way you’ve always done them.Read More
Today was essentially the opposite of yesterday – I quickly knocked out the gym and came home and got sooo much accomplished! There’s been a pile of reject clothing in the corner of my room for a while and I finally got around to washing all the items so I can get rid of them! While I was on the project, I also cleaned out some other areas and ended up with three huge bags of old purses, shoes, and clothing. Now that I know what my future living space will be like (the closet space isn’t great, despite a lot of square footage), I want to try to cleanse some of my junk to avoid having to move it.
I also cleaned the bathroom, caught up on dishes + emails, and prepared for an IEP meeting in the morning.
And the best part of every night? dinner. (Well, aside from hanging out with the bf;)
He actually worked late today, so I made a simplistic dinner for one – roasted carrots + potatoes over rice with a leftover walnut-lentil burger.
Dolloped with bbq sauce, of course.