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Showing posts from October, 2017

Learning The Hard Way

I try to do most things right.  I drink a lot of water, I am very active, I sleep on a regular schedule, and I eat a decently healthy diet.  So I have always kind of shrugged it off that I had my little vices, like my addiction to Diet Pepsi, because I am already doing so many things right that what is one little thing?
I have always had an addictive personality. I have trouble moderating things.  I can’t just allow myself one Diet Pepsi a week.  Then it becomes every day, then twice a day, and the next thing you know I am swimming in a chemical cesspool.
I remember back in high school, I would walk to school sometimes with a coffee in one hand and a Pepsi in the other.  I went off of liking coffee at some point in my late teens or early twenties and have never enjoyed it since then, but the Pepsi fascination stuck.  I eventually switched to Diet, which I loved even more than regular, and that continued on until I was about twenty-two or twenty-three.
I have always had some level of …

The Impact of Encouragement

When I created my Day Zero Project list, I created a long health and fitness section.  One of the goals I included on my list was to complete a half marathon in under 2 hours and 55 minutes.
Prior to creating the list, I had three timed half marathons, one at 3:10, the second at 3:08 and the third at 2:57.  I am not a runner.  I like long, hard endurance walks, but even as of yet, I have never run a full mile in my life.  During half marathons, I attempt to run about 20% of every mile, but usually, by about mile 10 or 11, I am pooped and can no longer run!
After my third half marathon, when I finally got under that 3-hour mark, I was elated.  I was almost sick at the finish line, I was exhausted and wobbly, and I was jittery for quite a while after it was over.  So adding to my list a goal that would require me to do even better and work even harder seemed like a stretch to me.
I was just able to check this goal off of my list, and I am thrilled about it.  Not only because I actually…

The Teacher Who Changed My Life

I was telling the story recently of the high school teacher I had who truly changed my life in a tangible way.  I had no way of knowing at the time but had it not been for her, I would never have ended up a graduate level student getting a business degree in Management.
I was a total dunce at math starting in about the tenth grade.  I was starting to struggle, and they kept trying to teach me visually, and I am not a visual learner.  By the time I reached twelfth grade, I was dancing the line between passing and failing and it was a terrible mess.
Mrs. B was my math teacher, and she would have described herself as a little kooky.  She had funny farmyard analogies for remembering concepts which seemed ridiculous until they came back to you during an exam.  During the mainstream senior level math class, I struggled and ended up passing only with four percent to spare, but Mrs. B saw something in me.
She came to me after class one day and said she thought she understood why I struggled,…

Food is My Favorite

I love food.  I was talking to my friend the other day about utensils, and we both agreed that we enjoy eating with cutlery as opposed to eating with our hands, but if the need arises, hands are fine.  I finally said, “Food is such a high priority to me that if I was required to bend forks with my mind in order to eat, I could probably do it.”
My mom has a four year post-secondary education in cooking, so I grew up eating well, and despite a small period in my life where I wanted to eat only PB&J sandwiches for every meal, I did grow up to have a diverse taste for food.  I am not a picky eater at all, and I am always willing to try something new.
The trouble with this, of course, is that it can definitely interfere with my goals of being fit and healthy.  Sometimes I wish I was picky so I could at least have the desire to say no to food!
Since I started counting my calories last year, I have become a little more discerning.  I love cake.  But not all cakes are created equal.  Cho…

My Germaphobia

I hate it when people come into my house without taking off their shoes. I know that for most people where I live this is a common thing, but I think it's disgusting. Think about where your shoes are in a day? They touch the floors of public bathrooms, they cross parking lots, maybe at a sporting event where drinks are spilled in the stands, they cross streets and they collect whatever dirt and debris are found in your workplace.
I think it's perfectly reasonable to not want all of that on my rug at home, where I put my clean bare feet, which then slide into my bed at night. Perfectly reasonable!
But I do know my obsession with cleanliness borders on being a disorder. When other people tell me they are germaphobes I just smile. Sure they are.
I have been lucky that my husband has conformed to my hygienic needs. Not only that, so have my dogs. As puppies, the very first behavior they learned was to come inside one at a time, lift their paws and allow me to wipe their feet with…

Giving Feels Good

We received an email at work recently about the needs of some of our colleagues recently affected by natural disasters; from the fires in California to the hurricanes hitting our coasts, many of our employees have been displaced and found in need.
Our organization has set up a relief fund specifically to help our own and encouraged us that if each employee gave only $5, it could make a tremendous impact for these people.
In my department, we have a lady who is all in, whatever it is. She is engaged, she is fun, and she is always on board. She called me over last week because her security level on the computer won't allow her to access the web page to make a donation. So I brought her to my desk and got her all set up to do what she wanted.
As she navigated her way to the correct page, she was chatting about how important it is that we help one another. She talked about some negative feedback she had heard, someone saying, “I already gave and I'm not giving any more.” She was …

Boss's Day

A head’s up to everyone reading this, next Monday, October 16th, is Boss’s Day!
I have had numerous different bosses over the years, and I have worked hard in myself to not allow the quality of my boss to impact my day or my personal life.  But there is no question, a great boss is hard to come by and makes a big difference!

I had a great pleasure once several years ago to have an interim manager who, despite his short tenure supporting our team, made a great impact on me.  He was empowering, he had a great philosophy on sharing knowledge, and he was incredibly supportive.  Even after he left, I would think to myself, “what would he suggest in this situation?”  And I could imagine him leading me with questions to the resolution.  I have never had another boss who combined data analysis and inspired leadership so well.
I’ve talked before about how having terrible bosses have been great learning experiences for me.  I have developed my own personal leadership style by emulating the th…

Change on the Horizon

I have always embraced change. I find change refreshing, and yes, sometimes a little intimidating. But I don't like to let the cobwebs of routine grow all over me if I can help it.
I am now embracing a new change with my job, and I am so excited about it!
It is something totally new for me, and while my past experiences will surely be an asset, it will be all new territory. All new people, and all new opportunities. I am so excited to take on this challenge!
I feel like I am going somewhere that I will be needed, and I like that feeling. I want to be able to offer my talents and abilities to a place in need and I find that most energizing of all. I wake up a little better in the morning feeling like I could make a difference.
Of course, it is a major challenge to take on while in one of the hardest school terms I have faced (I am currently in Finance 500), but there is something to be said for learning to cope with a lot of change all at once. I feel like, in a few months time, I…

The Friend of a Friend

People always make jokes about how great the Internet could have been but we’ve ruined its potential with memes and fake news.  And there’s no doubt, I’ve witnessed plenty of bad coming out of the Internet and social media.  But there are good things, too!

The best thing to ever come out of the Internet for me was, of course, my husband.  That is a story all its own.  But the Internet has given me other great relationships, too.  I met who I referred to as my “adopted grandfather” online, and through him we became friends with one another’s family, and even though he has since passed away, I try to stay in touch with them.  And some of my very best friends that I have met in the various places that I have lived are now people I communicate with primarily via the email.  One of the girls I went to high school with is one of those friends, and through her and the web, I have made another good friend who did a great thing for me this past spring!
My friend introduced us via Facebook a n…

Happy Customer Service Week

This week is Customer Service Week, and so those of us who have functions that touch on customer service are celebrating.  And not just celebrating, but reflecting on the things that make our jobs interesting, difficult, or special. 
I never wanted a job in customer service, but for the past eight years or so, every function I have worked has touched the customer in some way and has had me interacting with them.  My customers are a diverse group of people, from attorneys to the general public and clients of our business.  I have had a lot of practice in listening actively to issues and trying to demonstrate compassion while taking action on their issues.
However, not a day passes that I don’t learn something new.
The first time I had to deal with an angry customer I was nervous, but soon learned that by listening carefully and empathizing with their issue I could turn a situation around.  Once, by simply apologizing to a customer for an error made, she backed off from wanting to see…

My Fitbit Ionic Review

I am pleased with my new Fitbit Ionic!
I had pre-ordered it back in August and received it on Friday last week, so I got to test it out all weekend, and I have to say it met my expectations!
First of all, it has a more comfortable fit than the Fitbit Blaze that I have been wearing for the past 18 months.  While similar in appearance, it has a slightly better way of fitting.  Not that I ever found my Blaze uncomfortable but this is an improvement!
The display is clear, and the menu options are easy to use.  With minimal effort, I was able to sync my Skull Candy Bluetooth headphones to the Ionic itself, and then using the Windows 10 app on my laptop, I was able to transfer about 5 hours’ worth of music directly to the Ionic itself, meaning I can work out with my music without need of my cell phone!
Part of my Day Zero Project is to complete one half-marathon a month for 12 consecutive months.  So, since I had been putting it off all of September, on Saturday morning I headed out to the…