The Broken Promises of Multi-Tasking

I read somewhere once that the number one most used word on LinkedIn profiles was “creative.”

I chuckled at the irony that with millions of people spouting off about how ‘creative’ they were, they couldn’t come up with a more interesting way to talk about that fact.

I’m fairly certain my LinkedIn profile says “creative” somewhere, so I’m not condemning the idea in the least, I’m just recognizing the irony.

The article in question (which I didn’t even try to find because it was so long ago that I read it) also mentioned a few other traits that people commonly used to describe themselves in a professional sense.

One of them was ‘multi-tasking.’

I used to think being good at multi-tasking was the ticket. It was the thing that would make me stand out as the best.

Continue reading The Broken Promises of Multi-Tasking

It’s Time for Change

I hate confrontation.

I have opinions and ideas but if I sense that the person I’m talking to maybe doesn’t agree or has a bit of hostility regarding the topic, I’m typically pretty fast to jump ship on the conversation or trade it in for banter about the weather.

I like to think that’s just my Midwest manners kicking in.  My mother raised me to be kind, courteous and understanding. I like that aspect of my personality.

I’m also extremely empathetic. I can feel ALLLL the emotions. Tears magically form upon hearing about a sad or difficult situation someone is going through. If you’re looking for someone to cry with you, I’m your girl. Ashley and I sometimes discuss that I’d like to be a doctor or health professional of some sort but I just couldn’t handle the emotional aspect.

Anyways, enough about me.

I’m sad today. And I’m tired.

Tired of our news stories being dominated by the latest mass shooting.

Tired of hearing the stories of innocent, unsuspecting individuals spending the final moments of their lives in terror before having them abruptly ended for no logical reason.

Tired of nothing changing.

Continue reading It’s Time for Change

31 Days Left in 2015

December is upon us! What. The. Heck.

Where did 2015 go?

Seriously.

I love December. It’s always one of my favorite months of the year. The holidays are a wonderful time of celebration, my house is decked with holiday decor that I love to look at, the days are crazy short (perfect for curling up with many books in the evening) and the work is chugging along in that “gotta get this stuff done” pace that I love.

Sometimes I have an annual December existential crisis.

(Though one could argue that simply by being a massive over-thinker, I’m perpetually in a massive existential crisis. At least I have been since I graduated college)

The crisis is usually due to the fact that the year ends and my birthday occurs within just 9 days of one another.  January feels like a sparkly, magical clean slate. A new year in my life, a new year on the calendar, let’s make some magic.

Right? Right.

I wasn’t sure what the heck I wanted to write about this morning, so I sat down and started writing in my Day Designer, planning my day/week.

I mistakenly flipped to the front section, which has a bunch of worksheets that I completed last January – stuff like what are you dreams for life and what is your purpose and what not.

These worksheets are fun to look at. I peak at them regularly throughout the year. Sometimes I check things off as I accomplish them of cross them off as I realize that I had no love for that particular goal or idea any longer.

Usually when December sets in, I panic that I haven’t reached enough of my goals.

This year, I’d say I’m batting at about .500 for goals.

Most of my goals for this year were financial and while I did reach some of them, I also bought a house in the middle of the year, which really threw a number of them off (but I don’t regret that – it just wasn’t something I predicted happening at the start of this year). 

That last part is probably the best thing I need to remember when I look back on goals I set at the start of the year. There is a lot of things that happen in life that you can’t predict or plan for.

I didn’t plan for my house to get robbed or my blog to get hacked or to be super stressed out a work for several months in a row. Those things sucked.

But I also didn’t plan to take three trips with my awesome family this year, or to buy a house that I really love, or to adopt Sadie and Kona. And those things rocked.

So I suppose what I’m saying here is this:

Let’s make sure we enjoy the end of the year. Even if we haven’t reached our goals for 2015.

Because chances are good that a lot of great things happened that we couldn’t have predicted and those things would have been great goals, had we known to plan for them.

Here’s to 31 more days of 2015 and making the absolute best of them. 

How to Get The Most Out Of Black Friday

I’ve been seeing a LOT of talk online about today.

Black Friday. The most evil, consumerist day of the year. The day we all forget what Christmas is really about as we stampede through stores on a race to the least expensive piece of technology or the hottest gifts of the year. The day we forget all about the blessings we celebrated just 24 hours prior as we claw for more, more, more.

I’m about to head into the office for work in a few minutes here so even if I wanted to shop, I couldn’t.

But I’m not here to add to the condemnations of today.

I don’t care if you shop today. I don’t care if you shop Monday. Hell, I don’t care if you spend your whole life shopping. The reality of it is that without people spending money, the economy ceases to propel itself forward. So I’m not going to tell you not to shop today.

Continue reading How to Get The Most Out Of Black Friday

A New Approach to My Closet

One of my friends, Dacy, is a personal stylist.

Her style is so impeccable – every time I see her I think, “man, her style is exactly the kind of style I want to have.”

She’s also a very big proponent of mindfulness, intentional shopping and simplicity.

When she started talking about her Capsule Wardrobe and #project333, I was super intrigued, so I gave it a shot in the middle of October.

It is awesome.

Continue reading A New Approach to My Closet

Sadie’s Life Lesson for the Weekend

Ashley and I loaded up the puppies on Friday and headed to Iowa to celebrate Thanksgiving with our parents this past weekend.

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. I love that it’s all about coming together with the people you love and there’s really nothing to it beyond a delicious meal, lots of conversation in the kitchen and a few days of enjoying each other’s company.

Our house was pretty crazy this year compared to last year due to the addition of three puppies into the family.

Sadie and Kona (mine and Ashley’s puppies) are 7 months old now and Bella (my younger sister Jessica’s puppy) is 3 months old.  Sadie and Kona clock in at 35 and 29 pounds respectively while Bella now weighs a whopping 2.5 pounds.

Throw the world’s greatest old Golden Retriever, Libby (she’s 12 years old now) and 8 inches of snow into the mix and let’s just say it was an entertaining weekend.

Continue reading Sadie’s Life Lesson for the Weekend

The Most Interesting Thing I’ll Do This Year

One week ago today I word-vomited all over this post.

I said the things I have been quietly worrying and thinking about for months now. It was nice to get it off my chest. It was nice to put it out there and hear whispers of “me too” from people in various parts of my life.

Beyond that, it was nice to put a stake in the ground and say forcefully, “onward.”

This week I sat down for a couple of hours and dissected the list to actually make it actionable.

Continue reading The Most Interesting Thing I’ll Do This Year

Shedding Light on Blind Spots

Yesterday I attended a big Digital Marketing event here in St. Louis for work.

It was an impressive event – over 300 people in attendance, very well-done visuals on a bunch of screens in Ballpark Village, accomplished speakers, etc.

I have been to many of these types of events in the past and they’re always interesting – agency-types get up in front of the crowd and talk about innovative campaigns they’ve seen done for major brands, the wealth of data we have available to us as digital marketers and the brilliance of the Internet in helping us “connect” with consumers.

Continue reading Shedding Light on Blind Spots

What Brought Me Back to Writing

When I was in Colorado a few weeks ago for vacation, I read four books in five days.

I felt kind of silly when I was packing said books into my already 50 pound-plus piece of luggage (which, I know, is ridiculous) but I always go into a vacation hoping that one of my main activities will be reading.

The books were nicely balanced – two memoirs, two non-fiction books.

One of the non-fiction books (Me Before You by Jojo Moyes) made me cry and left me feeling sad but happy I experienced it when it was over. The other (The One & Only by Emily Griffin) didn’t make me feel anything at all.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler and Why Not Me? by Mindy Kahling were the other two on the list – devoured damn near in one sitting each.

The combination of reading these two, plus the book I’m currently reading, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, is the reason I started writing again.

Continue reading What Brought Me Back to Writing