Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Trying something new

I had SO MUCH FUN yesterday! I have been wanting to learn more about making jewelry for quite some time, so I finally put it on my Christmas wish list & my pops came through this year. It's put on by this fantastic local fellow, Jay Whaley of Whaley Studios.

I'm taking the 8 week course, and in my first class, almost completed making a beautiful silver ring! I'm really enjoying learning more about the different processes involved with making jewelry & it's been very helpful to have something to focus on something outside of the job search.

They even have a special workshop where you can create your own wedding rings! Maybe I'll whip up something special for Brian over the course of the class. I only wish I could have all of the jewelry making materials, tools and machines here at home!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekend in Big Bear!

Well, we are fresh back from a weekend spent in Big Bear!

The drive up Thursday night was delightfully uneventful - only hit a patch of black ice once! Thank goodness Brian drove, so we were just fine. We brought up SO MUCH FOOD! The truth is, I hate hate hate being hungry, so I tend to over-prepare when it comes to food. Especially given how particular I am about what I eat, its usually much safer if I come prepared with plenty of food options that I can and do eat.

Overall, we had a really great time. I chose not to go skiing/snowboarding due to my lack of health insurance, but it turned out that no one else really wanted to either. Probably since the mountain was absolutely jam-packed on Saturday, hah! Instead, we all went snowshoeing! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed it. We made it about ten minutes before realizing that we should have brought booties for our pup, as evidenced by his poor little paws. One of the fellas realized that there was blood in his paw prints, so a quick paw check told us that his right rear paw had a little tear. He didn't seem to be bothered by it, so we decided to keep a close eye on it and reevaluate soon. Well, less than ten minutes later it became apparent that his paws were going downhill fast! I volunteered to go back with him, since it was early in the day and I knew we'd have a chance to go out again later.

He was having so much fun out in the snow that I literally had to drag him almost every single step back to the condo. I'm happy to report that his paws don't seem to be causing him any discomfort. I'm pretty overprotective when it comes to my furry little man, so I've been keeping a close watch on it. And, since our weekend plans involve some desert camping, I think it's time to finally invest in some booties for the pup pup!

I guess it's a good thing that we need dog food, two birds one stone!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Guys, try not to...

Write a post all about how not to freak out... and then proceed to freak out on your fiancé. I clearly forgot to highlight a very important item:

Don't compare yourself to others!!!

So here is what happened. A previous coworker of mine ( and a good friend!) was let go last week. I talked with her yesterday and she mentioned that she had some interviews lined up this week. I promptly went from being pretty content with my progress so far to being aghast that I didn't already have multiple interviews under my belt.

The reality is that she has more experience in her field, and more contacts. Also, she's spectacular at her job and a fantastic human being! It's completely normal that she would have some interviews lined up already.

Instead of keeping those crucial facts in mind, I totally fear/shame spiraled and got a little bit panicky! And may have taken it out on the future husband. Yikes! Thankfully, about two seconds after something not so nice popped out of my mouth I realized it and apologized. Since he is wonderful, he understood.

SO. Ladies and gents, remember that comparison SUCKS, and try not to engage in it. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How To Not Freak Out Over Your Unemployment

Uhhhhh... I'm drawing a blank here. I am officially on my second month of not having a job and definitely beginning to get nervous!

Turns out... those bills still need to get paid! They don't care that you just lost your job and are busy applying for new ones. RUDE.

I had a great interview last week and am currently waiting on an assessment. Once they send it to me, I can fill that sucker out and hopefully get an offer! If not, I have a few options through a direct placement agency. That I had apparently completely forgotten about until I wrote that down, based how much less panicky I feel right now!

Apparently I need to just write down a list of things to think about if I start freaking out.

DUDE! That's how to not freak out!

1) Write out a list of reasons why you shouldn't freak out to reference if you find yourself going down that fear spiral.

2) Drink/eat something comforting and step away from the job search for an hour or two.
I just had the best cup of coffee, and then tackled the bedroom and bathroom. We just spent a week in Boston for a wedding (New Englanders sure know how to party!) and I still hadn't unpacked my suitcase. It's amazing how just knowing that at least one room in your home is in order will calm you right down.

3) Brainstorm something creative! That book you've been meaning to write, crafty project you've been eyeballing on pinterest, new recipe you are dying to try out - make a plan. I made chili two days ago... and ketchup! I'm always looking for ways to eliminate sugar from the house, since it holds negative nutritional value. At least now our ketchup only has honey in it. Still technically sugar, but I'll take it from a natural, local source any day of the week.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

How To Handle Unemployment


For the first time in my adult life, I find myself without a job! I made some really great moves in the first week or so of unemployment, and I found them to be tremendously helpful.

First, handle all immediate adult tasks: filing for unemployment, depositing your final paycheck, reaching out to coworkers you wish to stay in contact with. [I can't tell you how awed I have been by the incredibly generous responses of friends and previous co-workers - completely blown away! I have been keeping track of all of these wonderful people and plan on doing something nice for them in the near future. Perhaps when I have a job again!!]

Second, do what your brain is telling you to do! For some people, a day or two of disconnecting from those real world stressors and connecting with friends and family is just the ticket. If you are able to do this, I commend you and please, teach me your ways!! I started stressing immediately, and felt much better once I had reached out to crucial contacts I’ve made over the years. My number one priority was getting my resume in working condition. This took me three and a half days, because once it was 'finished' I sent it out to four trusted contacts to get their feedback before settling on a final version. 

Third, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, and add all potential connections. LinkedIn has some truly remarkable resources, and many companies use it to spread the word about jobs as well as accepting applications. My personal favorite way to use LinkedIn is to see if I have any connections with current employees of the company where I am applying. Using this technique allows you to potentially connect with folks and A) get a real life perspective of the company culture, and B) if you are lucky, get a recommendation from that person. Both of my previous jobs have resulted from a personal connection to an employee who was willing to recommend me. 

Fourth, get yourself on a schedule. I thrive on structure, and I knew that without some sort of basic schedule or agenda I would fluster and panic with so much free time! One strategy I’ve been playing around with is a play on the Pomodoro technique. I write out tasks I want to work on at the beginning of the day, and commit to completing thirty minute blocks. One downfall is that I will sometimes get in a groove and do not want to switch tasks. As long as I am doing something productive, I allow myself to work on it for another 30 minute block. 

Of course, I do tend to avoid the least fun blocks, like cover letter writing and job searching. To combat that resistance, I’m trying to complete those early on in the day, so that I can devote my afternoon to learning fun new things on Codecademy or Udemy. 

Later this week I'll share my list of topics I wrote to brush up on. What productive habits did you pick up while unemployed?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fall In San Diego

Well, this year things are looking preeeeeetty strange. Of course, I know San Diego's fall is nothing compared to the iconic, leaf-littered reality most of the country experiences, but this year is really taking the cake.

We usually get at least a decent mix of slightly cooler days in with our perpetual indian summer but not this time around. It's been miserably hot  for what feels like months. For what has been at least two months, considering my recent electric bills! Thank goodness for window A/C units, because it has been hovering between high 80's and low 100's for the last few months, with the exception of two or three days.

It's enough to make me consider moving elsewhere! It honestly just makes me wonder how any politicians can still confidently claim that global warming isn't a real phenomenon. As someone who has lived in the same area for the last 23 years, I can tell you that in my entire memory, it has never been this hot for this much time. How else can you possibly begin to explain that and/or explain things like the polar ice caps melting without even entertaining the idea that global warming is happening?

Scary thoughts, I tell ya! The worst thing has to be reading so many blogs based in the East Coast where it is definitely sweater weather. Just know, that I am so very envious of all of you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Life Lately...

Well, I sure got distracted from writing regularly real quick there, huh?

Just gotta keep pushing forward I s'pose! Might as well start with some of the things I've been up to lately.

I've been reading (and loving!) articles like this one. I find that almost every time I'm getting worked up about something, a reminder to take a step back and look at the whole picture is all I need to remember that my life isn't so rough these days.

The next time you start feeling down about something in your life, I challenge you to pause and really question why you are feeling down? For me, 9 times out of 10 it's because I've let myself get carried away comparing my life to someone elses, which is really just silly. Everyone is on a different path in life and if you aren't where you want to be, getting sick with envy isn't going to help you one single bit!

It can be tough to keep that in mind, but be persistent! The reality is that the majority of us have a pretty darn good thing goin', if we just take the time to appreciate it!

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