A Journey to Self-Discovery: Part IV

Well, well, well. Happy New Year!

Here we are, part four of my journey to self-discovery. So, how did I get here? Well, being unemployed since the end of October, I’m happy to say I have accepted a job offer (woohoo!). This piece is really a reflection on my past few months digging through the trenches of myself and figuring out what is important and what my goals are. I saw a great post on Instagram where someone had brilliantly split up their goals in such a simple way that I had to follow suit.

Goal categories:

  1. Home 
  2. Health
  3. Wealth

Home: What do you want this year at home? This can include your relationships with friends and family, larger projects around your home that you want to complete, etc.

Health: How are you going to take care of yourself this year? Your fitness, eating habits, self-care, etc.

Wealth: This doesn’t mean “how do you want to get rich?” Goals like buying a home or a new car, saying more money each month, starting your retirement fund or life insurance, paying off this bill or that loan, exploring a new career, etc.

So, this is how I’m moving along on my journey to self-discovery. Next up, what goals did I come up with and what’s next? Stay tuned! Don’t forget to follow my blog. 🙂

What are your 2016 goals, wishes and wants? 

A Journey to Self-Discovery: Part II

I’ve been reflecting on the last year or so of my life, and what it was like to balance going to school full time, working full time, interning, and trying to keep up with all the things I love (including my partner). I thought this was a great time to talk about what I find to be great self-care, especially in the workplace.

Practicing self-care isn’t easy, especially when it comes to balancing and managing your work life with your home and social life. The reality is, you need to find ways to keep yourself healthy and happy and focus on those things outside of work. The key word here: Focus.

  1. Stop checking your email when you’re not at work. Unless you’re getting paid to do so, it can wait. Yes, I promise it can wait. It can wait until 8:30 am tomorrow morning. It can wait until you finish your lunch break.. You can wait until the weekend is over. I realize this sounds hard to do (or maybe, it sounds easier than it will end up being), but I challenge you make it part of your self-care.
  2. On the same note, absolutely check yourself out of work when you’re on vacation. I promise you, it can wait.
  3. Don’t befriend all of your work friends on Facebook. Sounds weird, right? Well, this is a boundary you’ll be glad you set. You have to be able to separate work life from your social life. You spend 40 hours a week with your co-workers and unless you are great and oh-so-close outside of work, cut the social media strings. It may feel uncomfortable doing this, but you can simply say that its isn’t personal against them, you just prefer to keep the two worlds separate. I promise, people will understand.
  4. Remember that you do not owe anyone an explanation. Are you too tired for a double date dinner obligation or game night with friends? Maybe you’d rather cuddle up with a good book, watch a movie with your partner, or spend that beautiful and empty Saturday binge watching Netflix. Well guess what, when someone asks you to do something, you don’t owe them anything! A simple no is all you have to say and you’re not obligated to explain yourself. In fact, you don’t even owe them a response. We live in such a fast-paced, technology-driven world that people forget there was a time when you had to wait to get home to check your voicemail on your home phone. Now, there is an expectation of an instant response via text or an immediate call back. You do NOT owe anyone this, but you do owe YOURSELF the freedom to binge watch Netflix without judgement!
  5. Get plenty of sleep. Once you start working on the other self-care practices, sleep might come a little easier without so much work and worry on your mind, but sleep is by far important for your mind and body to re-set.
  6. Find something ACTIVE that you love, and take time to do it. Something that keeps you moving whether its walking, biking, running, crossfitting, skiing, hiking or anything else.
  7. Find something relaxing that you love, and take time to do it. Where I live, you can’t always get outdoors, and something might happen that keeps you from doing the active thing that you love. Find something creative and peaceful to keep you centered. Yoga, knitting, reading, making jewelry, or something else. The list here is seriously endless.

Practicing self-care is so very important, especially when you work in the human services field.

A Journey to Self-Discovery: Part I

So this is a pretty big blog post here. Almost three weeks ago, I lost my job. My position at the non-profit I’ve been working at and building a prevention program at lost its funding. I could go into a long explanation of this, but right now, I won’t. I’ve done a lot of thinking and began some soul searching on what is next for me. I have been lucky enough to visit home (Virginia) and get to do some of this soul searching (and job searching) while getting to visit friends and family.

Ya know, it is really surprising how people look at you when they’ve found out you’ve lost your job. It’s as if you’ve gotten a divorce or worse. But really, I’m OK. I don’t need anyone to reassure me that I’ll be OK, either. It’s nice to feel supported and cared about, in fact it’s actually something that I am very blessed to have in my life at this age, but losing my job has been a blessing in disguise. At first, I was devastated, but now I feel that I am being forced to find a new door that waiting for me to walk through it in my career. I finished my MSW in August, and it is being begged to used. Now I have time to self-reflect, and decide what is next for me as I search for what my community needs and where I fit into it.

This is my new journey: Part I.

I just survived grad school…and a torn quad…and an ulu attack

Well, I am back! I just crawled out of my cave known as grad school. I have this on-going list of all of the things I have wanted to blog about, but never got the time to do. I am convinced that grad school prepares you for having children.

  1. You get no sleep, or you get it in short spurts (you learn the value of napping as an adult)
  2. There is a lot of screaming (sometimes its you, sometimes its your partner, sometimes its your professor)
  3. There is a lot of crying (this is mostly you…)
  4. Social time is a thing of the past and its really really exciting when you get it go out
  5. You can never focus on just one thing, since your mind is in 15 different places (note here that I worked, interned, volunteer, went to school and managed to find sooooome time for working out)
  6. The gym no longer takes priority in your life
  7. Your standards of how clean your house should be no longer exist
  8. Putting your keys in the fridge or accidentally leaving the house in your slippers becomes normal
  9. Cry at a drop of a dime, over something that doesn’t seem like its worth crying over, just because its the point at which its time for you to have a little breakdown and cry.
  10. When you come out the other side, it will all seem like a blur. A very worth it blur.
  11. It costs you tens of thousands of dollars that you are hoping will pay off in the long run.

Along this journey, I managed to do quite a bit, which I only wish I had time to share with all of you. That is one of my new goals. To share this amazing journey I’ve had this past year. 2015 has been the year I feel like I’ve found my true Alaskan self. But its been a struggle, as well. Earlier this year (February), I was training for the crossfit games, and tore my quad. I am still in recovery for it, back to doing everything except running like I previously was. As I enjoy the end of our Alaskan summer, I am busy taking the last of my vacations (currently in Juneau), making jam and jelly and canning salmon for the summer. On Monday, the day before I left for my vacation, I managed to slice my finger with my ulu while cleaning it after cutting up salmon to can, and off to the ER I went, near the middle of the night, for my first 4 stitches ever!

Stay tuned, I’m back at the blogging game, and ready to share about my adventures in quad recovery, making fireweed jelly for the first time, dip netting in Chitna, and taking a slice out of life (or my finger for that matter) to make canned salmon for my family and friends!

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Grad school is…time consuming: A list of how to survive it all

I cannot believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted! This must be why my following isn’t very large, eh? My first of three semesters has come and gone, and as we speak I am putting off an assignment. I’ve working and interning, taking on a full courseload and trying REALLY hard to make it my Crossfit Box more than twice a week.

But let me tell you…it’s tough. My plate is always full. But, I am still learning as I go and since working out and staying active is also such a passion of mine, as is success in my internship, career, and school – I am trying to make a list to succeed these next two semesters. It’s still a work in progress:

1. Buy a life planner (seriously, Erin Condren makes one: https://www.erincondren.com)

2. Time management the shit out of EVERY day. Refer to #1 if you need a method.

3. Sign up for an event. I just signed up for the 100k Tour de Cure in May. This means I HAVE to get on a bike and often between now and then.

4. I decided to sign up for our 12 week challenge at my Crossfit Box – SunDog Crossfit. Why do I need more to do, you ask? Because it holds me accountable and helps me set and stick to the fitness goals I have. The reality is, I am less productive, low on energy, and CRANKY when I’m not active as much as I want to be throughout the week.

5. Learning to say yes to going to the hockey game. If I don’t take 2 hours here and there to go to dinner, the movies, a hockey game, out skiing or stepping away from the computer, school, and work for something – I will go crazy!

6. Being in the house with my partner is not the same as BEING with my partner. I make time for him, real quality time. Because he supports me in all of the crazy shit I do in life, so I have to make him part of it.

7. Vent to someone. Have someone professionally and personally to vent to. I love that I have a field instructor that I can pour all my social work troubles on. It’s such a relief for me. It’s also important to have someone personally to talk to when shit is just hitting the fan, or you want to cry because it’s all too much.

8. Sleep whenever you possibly can. I am no longer ashamed of sleeping in, sleeping early, or taking naps.

9. Tell people you know its hard (this is where our tough exteriors get the best of us – everyone thinks we are doing it with rainbows and sunshine and no worries!) I had someone who is also in school tell me how much they couldn’t do what I’m doing. But they have a family and work, too. Relate to them, and remind them of how badass they are, too! We are all in different places taking it one day at a time.

10. Oh yeah – Take it one day at a time and remember that one day, will be the day you are turning in your last assignment and graduating!