Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010 Goals

After some discussion with friends, I've decided that making goals instead of resolutions would be a much more productive and less stressful way of approaching change. I feel like a resolution is something that I have to change immediately while a goal is something I can work toward accomplishing.

Here are a few of mine:

1) Take advantage of being unemployed: Finish renovating my bathroom; organize; detail clean; read books; relax; spend quality time with friends; make new friends; cook healthy, delicious meals; share the meals; frequent the gym; learn good sleeping habits

2) Complete a triathlon: I did a sprint a few years ago and also was on a relay team for a half Ironman. See #1.

3) Lose weight: I know that sounds cliche but all the stress I put on myself during grad school and at work did not do pretty things for my health. See #1 and #2.

4) Believe in myself: I've been trying for 29 years to do this. Maybe this will be the year..

Monday, September 07, 2009

short or long?

Either way, my hair desperately needs to see scissors. Make a comment and vote.

with long hair

with short hair

Monday, July 27, 2009

aspiring domestic diva

I've had it out for the ultra-feminists lately. They've really messed things up for the rest of us regular feminists.

I'm glad for the rights that I now enjoy. I fully realize that women have gained some of these rights in the fairly recent past.

But I think the feminists should have stopped while they were ahead.

Before I go any further, let me clarify: I know that women often times HAVE to work; some for a short time, others for a lifetime. You gotta do what you gotta do.

I do not think that women were designed for this working outside the house thing.

Yup. I just wrote that.

Before you get all worked up, let me explain.

As a little girl, all I wanted was to get married and be a mom. Like many girls, I had dolls and a play kitchen set. Unlike many girls, my kid sized table had a tablecloth and napkins that matched the decor of my room. And very unlike other girls, I made my own washer and dryer out of looseleaf paper and scotch tape.

Then I went to school. And just so happened to be quite good at it. So between academics and all those other activities you're supposed to do in order to be "well-rounded" I got swept up in being smart enough and good enough to be anything I wanted when I grew up, so long as it involved several advanced degrees.

Somehow in getting those advanced degrees* it occurred to me to include a husband and a family in the equation. Which pretty much meant that I decided I was going to be Super Woman.

I was going to have an amazing, fulfilling, successful career AND be an attentive wife AND be the mom with homemade cookies.

My first two years out of school, I worked hard at my career. Got there early and stayed late sort of hard. I ate all three meals at my desk some days. Friends were for weekends only. I was determined to be a licensed architect by 30. ** Yes, I was tired but it was worth it, right?***

Fast forward to now and the "economic downturn"... Instead of letting anyone go at work, we all took pay cuts. Since I get paid by the hour, this means that I now work fewer hours.

At first, I was pretty upset. I still miss the rest of my paycheck. But I now have an extra day off each week and I only have to put in 8 hours each day, leaving me with plenty of spare time.

Over the past several months I have: tiled a shower, baked several cakes, made cards, organized some of the house, run tons of errands, cooked some amazing dinners, baked bread, cleaned the dog/cat fur more regularly, made my own household cleaners, etc.

I have felt more like myself than I have in years. It's an amazing feeling to feel like yourself. I'm really happy when I'm cutting veggies or painting something or straightening up the house. And if my activity does something to help someone or brighten their day, even better.

Which got me to thinking... maybe the dream I had as a little girl wasn't so crazy. Maybe this was what I was meant to do.

Many of my friends (myself included) are quite good at their jobs. We patiently deal with clients each day, create order out of chaos, juggle super human workloads and get people to play nice. As women, we're nurturing and that's what makes us great sales executives and project managers. We're motivated by a job done well and efficiently and not as much by the dollar.

As a result, we're tired and stressed. Worse, we're left feeling unfulfilled. This brokenness starts to spill over into all aspects of our lives and that cannot possibly be a good thing.

Which brings me back to my point. While we're clearly capable of doing all kinds of work, we're simply not designed to do it at a 9-5 job.****

Please join me as we start a revolution. We are aspiring domestic divas. We will be the women God designed us to be.

We will go to college, graduate, and get jobs. We will not lose ourselves in work or have jobs that leave us drained.

And when we're at home, we will not be ashamed to admit that we like cooking or keeping house. We will not be ashamed of our ability to throw an impromptu dinner party or sew cute pillows.

And when we get married... watch out, world!

I would like to suggest that an aspiring domestic diva work less than full time after she gets married. She can bring in some extra money to be set aside for the future but still have the time and energy to care for her husband and her home. We will not be ashamed to admit that we like having a decent meal ready for the husband when he gets home from work.

And when there are kids, we will not be embarrassed about wanting to spend as much time as possible with our children. If we're lucky enough to be able to stay home full-time (or even part-time), we will put all those job skills to good use: We [will] patiently deal with [kids] each day, create order out of chaos, juggle super human workloads and get people to play nice.

We will not feel as if we're wasting our education or that we've fallen off the career ladder. Everything we're doing now is simply training and experience for our careers as domestic divas.

An aspiring domestic diva is smart, capable and talented. She cares for those around her whether friends, a pet or a husband and kids. She is who God made her to be and not who the world wants her to be.

I'm excited to tell you more about this revolution. Stay tuned...

* In case you care, I have degrees in Journalism and Architecture. I work for an architecture firm.
** This could happen if I would study. People watching is more fun.
*** However, very difficult to add "husband" to the equation if you're so busy working that you don't have the time or energy to be social.
**** For those women who truly enjoy their careers, good for you! A woman's perspective is much needed in the workplace.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

living single

I should start with this: I've started this post a few times but never posted for fear of offending people. So I apologize in advance if anyone is offended.

I love my life as a single woman: I have really amazing friends. I own an adorable little house. Riley and Linus are really good roommates.

Yes, it's hard sometimes to be single. But I'm hopeful that will change one day.

What's bothered me lately is this: Married women often make me feel like I don't matter.** (Yikes! There, I said it out loud.)

They talk down to me. I feel like some stupid college kid even though I'm about the same age.

They prattle on about their lives but rarely appear interested in mine. I guess since I don't have a husband, nothing in my life is worth mentioning.

Perhaps this seems ridiculous.

But I'd really like to get to know some of the married women around me. I realize that I can't be best friends with them but I would like to be better acquainted. Besides, diversity is what makes life interesting. If we put the obvious married/single difference aside, I'm sure we'd find that we had several things in common.

I could make a better effort to get to know some of these women. But it's hard after you get shut down so many times.

So I find myself drifting further and further into the single's club. ***

** There are married women who I love dearly and don't know what I'd do without them.
*** Y'all are awesome!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Finding a Voice

Several months ago, it was conveyed to me that much of what goes on in my head is worth sharing.

This had never occurred to me before.

I've been thinking alot about that over the past few months and finally got around to talking about it with Traci and Julie. I'm still thinking about it.

Here's the scary part: Essentially, I've been telling myself that I don't matter.


The more I think about it, the more I realize how little I use my voice: I don't often offer an opinion in a conversation, even with friends. I rarely call anyone for a chat. I'm resistant to Twitter, blogging, Facebook, etc. I simply cannot imagine that anyone could possibly be that interested in what I have to say. Even in discussions (i.e. times when opinions are being tossed around), I just don't think that anything I have to say will contribute very much to what's already being said.

I can't actually think of a time when anyone came right out and told me that what I had to say didn't matter. It's difficult for me to verbalize what I'm thinking sometimes and there have been some awkward moments on my part but still, no one has ever told me to stop talking.

The work I do all day long involves throwing ideas around until a solution is reached. I'm friends with people who love to think. I would like to participate but I just can't seem to get myself unstuck from saying nothing or acting like I don't think.

So if I don't feel like I have anything to say, then why I am writing this? In part, maybe it's that by sharing I'll realize how ridiculous it is and will be able to convince myself that I do have the right to have a voice.

I've been told numerous times that I'm passionate, intelligent, and talented. Assuming that's true, then I'm not living up to my potential by keeping my mouth shut.

My desire is to help people (more on that another time. that's a post of it's own). What I'm realizing is that in order to do that, I need to find my voice. If not ultimately so I can talk about myself all the time, then eventually for the greater good of other people.

As I was looking up a quote from Gandhi (We must be the change we wish to see), I came across this one:

"The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within."

Smart guy that Gandhi.

Monday, September 08, 2008

ballet and theatre

I love, love, love ballet and theatre. Yet for some reason, I never go. Here are some shows I'd like to see:
Carolina Ballet

Broadway Series South

Theatre in the Park
A Christmas Carol

Playmakers Repertory Company
The Glass Menagerie

burnt out

I've officially reached burn out.

I've been insanely busy before. I've been pretty tired before. I've juggled more things than should be possible. I've dealt with devastating family issues and still kept going. I did it all and then some and still had plenty of energy to do more.

But the past few months have been pretty rough. I've been beyond tired. I can't remember the last time my head or throat didn't hurt. I've gained weight. I'm disorganized. I don't make my bed every day.

There have been a few times lately that I've truly had a chance to relax. Each time I've thought "This is what I'm missing. This is how everyone else must feel most of the time."

So I'm getting back on track by slowing down, relaxing, and learning to say no.