Wednesday, 22 February 2017

What's Up Wednesday: February 2017

I had anticipated moving and starting a new job to be overwhelming...but I still under estimated just how overwhelming it would be. I really got thrown into things and in the past 3 weeks have finished work on time exactly once. But I'm carving out a bit of time tonight to fill out the What's Up Wednesday questionnaire because I know that I'll want to look back on it once things calm down! 

What I'm Eating This Week: My meals have been just as chaotic as life this month. I've mostly been invited out to eat as I get to know co-workers and community members so I haven't been doing much cooking myself. I did make some veggie pad thai to have for lunches and I'm thinking that there will be pizza in my future on the weekend!

What I'm Reminiscing About: I haven't had time to reminisce this month!

What I'm Loving: I had to think hard about this one. I guess I'm loving the security of knowing this is where I'll be for the next couple of years. Having that consistency will help me budget better, figure out some long term goals and be able to focus more on the present moment opposed to worrying about finding a new job in 6 months when that contract ends. 

What I've Been Up To: Just trying to keep my head above water.

What I've Been Dreading: I haven't really confronted the reality of not being at camp this year (or next year) and I know that's going to be rough. 

What I'm Working On: Learning how things are done around here. Figuring out a good rhythm to my day/week/month and balancing work and life. 

What I'm Excited About: I made it through the first month! It's been hard but I'm hopeful that from here things will get easier. I no longer feel like I'm going to burst into tears at any given moment because everything is just so overwhelming so I'm glad I'm over that hump. 

What I'm Watching: Scrubs! It's been my happy little escape this month and I'll be sad when it's over. The verdict is still out on whether or not I should watch the 9th season, I've heard it's pretty terrible. 

What I'm Reading: I intended on starting Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson but I didn't get any farther than borrowing the e-book. I don't have cable/satellite in my apartment which means I can't easily access the 6 o'clock news every day so I've also been making more of an effort to read the news online. 

What I'm Listening To: I've been listening to "How Things Work" podcasts on a fairly regular basis. 

What I'm Wearing: My go to outfit is usually dark pants and a sweater. When I'm not in the office it's been lots of jeans, t-shirts, cardigans and scarves. Currently I'm wearing pyjama pants and a Cabela's t-shirt because I'm aiming to be in bed by 10 p.m. 

What I'm Doing This Weekend: The last two weekends I've had previous commitments so this weekend I am looking forward to staying in bed until 8 maybe doing some work on January in my Project Life album and depending on the weather my mom is planning a visit on Saturday. 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Moth: Settling into more of a routine. February has been off the wall in terms of schedules and planning. Most days I leave my apartment at 7:45 a.m. and don't return until 7:00 p.m.. It's definitely not what I had envisioned but I'm hoping that it's just a result of the transition and by the end of March my days will start to look a little more manageable. 

What Else Is New: It feels like everything is new this month! I want to add blogging back into my weekly routine because I know that I'll regret not documenting the beginning when I look back on this time. It just hasn't been something I've felt particularly compelled to prioritize with so much else going on. 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

February Life 2017

Personal Life// January was a weird month because there were clearly two different outcomes. Now that I know the outcome February is going to be a weird month because there's going to be a lot of new-ness. I like routine but between training and moving and the learning curve I realize that won't happen instantly. I'm going to do my best not to let myself get stressed and anxious but it's probably going to be easier said than done. I know that the first two weeks (and really the whole month) is going to be the hardest so if I can get through that things will start going smoother. 

Hobbies// I completed my 2016 Project Life album and have made a start on 2017. I'm still going the monthly route which is a choice I'm happy with. I'm anticipating getting 'behind' this month but I'm not worried. I am a big fan of using my Happy Planner so even if I get behind on Project Life I know that I still have that creative outlet. Bonus being that keeping up with planning will be helpful when I do get to catch up with Project Life. I don't have a great internet connection so I'm anticipating getting through a book or two. 

Career// I have one of those now! Officially! It's going to take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to transition between myself and the person leaving. They are leaving the position but not the organization so there's sort of a big domino effect happening. It's not what I had in mind but it does come with stability and isn't on the other side of the country. So I'm going to focus on the good parts and get through the rest. 

Spirituality// I'm still following through with my bedtime routine consisting of three thankful thoughts, question a day journal, Savor devotional and journalling. It sounds like a lot but most nights it doesn't take me any longer than 20 minutes. The past two weeks or so Savor has been disappointing. I'm not a mother or a wife and a lot of the blurbs have been related to those topics. And the past few days have involved the term 'hustle', which I despise. So I've skimmed over them but haven't really taken anything away from the readings. I'm contributing a lot of my journalling success to the fact I didn't make any rules for myself. Some days I write three sentences and some days I write three pages.

Health// For the first three weeks of the month I didn't drink any pop, only water. And then birthday week happened. And I sort of fell off the rails and returned to having pop a few times a week. I'm not being too hard on myself though because I still drank lots of water, I only drink one cup of coffee a day and I do think treats are ok in moderation. My attempt at doing a yoga challenge lasted three days before I got bored. 

Goals// I accomplished 2/3 of my January Goals. I ended up reading two books and I watched one documentary. I didn't try any new recipes or restaurants though. I had lunch out for my birthday but it was at a restaurant I'd be to before and the other three times I ate out this month were at Subway and A&W where I had my standard order.  As far as February goes I'm a little hesitant to start placing demands on myself. Surviving February is really my own priority. 

Linking up with Gretch & Kristen!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Onwards & Upwards

If you've been reading here for any length of time you'll know that since finishing university almost five years ago (holy cow, I feel old!) I've only ever worked contract jobs. My summers were always spent at camp where I worked as the assistant director. My winters were most often spent working a super boring, well paying office job. And my springs and falls were a mix of the two depending on that years budget for both organizations. Towards the end of this summer I knew something needed to change. I was exhausted from bouncing between jobs and totally switching gears every 4-6 months and I needed something more consistent. So I started looking.

More than anything I wanted to stay in camping. I had a degree in camping. My entire existence revolved around camp. As much as I hated the thought of relocating far from family and friends it was a sacrifice I was willing to make. I applied to and interviewed for jobs in almost every province, plus a couple of states. And none of the worked out.

Sometimes I made it to second round interviews, sometimes I sent off an application and never heard a word. To say I was disheartened and discouraged would be a massive understatement. One thing that I kept coming up against again and again was candidates who had prior experience with the organization. So when I saw a posting in early November with a non-profit that I have been interested in for years and that is known for hiring from with in I didn't bother applying. And then I got turned down for a position that I thought I had a really good chance at. And by got turned down I mean that I had an interview that lasted an hour and a half, they seemed really pleased with my answers, discussed setting up a second interview and potential start date. And I never heard from them again. 

Reluctantly I quickly changed a few words on my cover letter and resume to make them less campy and sent off my application to the previously mentioned non-profit. Weeks went by and I didn't hear anything. I assumed that they had an extensive pool of internal candidates and/or they couldn't see how my camp experience would translate to the position they were trying to fill. 

I reached out to camp and said that I was essentially done with the job search, I would most likely be returning to my role as AD in the spring (or sooner depending on the budget). After much discussion the decision seemed obvious. All of the no's were clearly an indication that I was supposed to spend another summer at camp. The day I was planning to publish a post announcing my decision I got an e-mail from the non-profit offering me an interview. 

I accepted and felt confident that I did a good job, but knew that most (or all) of the other interviewees were internal, I wasn't expecting anything to come of it other than give me something to do on a Thursday morning. 

I was pleasantly surprised when I was invited for a second interview. This one was entirely scenario based. Again, I was confident in my responses but knew that I probably could have done better with more direct experience within the organization. 

And then last week I got a job offer. If you had of told me at the beginning of all this the end result would be a position with an international non-profit for disabilities as human resource coordinator I never would have believed you. I also wouldn't have believed you if you told me that instead of trekking across the country or continent I'd be relocating two hours from home. 

My first day is Thursday and I'm still not entirely sure what I'm getting myself into, but I'm trusting that this is the way. The next few weeks will be full of change and transition and general chaos so stay tuned for many tales of adventure. 

Friday, 27 January 2017

Weekly Favourites


I mentioned in my What's Up Wednesday post that I had finally given the avocado for breakfast trend a try. I wouldn't consider it a life changing experience but I have been enjoying this newly discovered breakfast. It consists of an everything bagel, bacon, cheddar cheese and avocado. Breakfast is my least favourite meal of the day but I attempt to eat it because apparently it's important. I probably have a success rate of two or three times a week. Maybe someday I'll be a breakfast enthusiast. 

I feel a little obligated to include an update on the job front, especially since it's positive. I've been interviewing for a position all month (not even exaggerating). Earlier this week they officially offered me the position. I'm meeting with them on Monday to discuss details. Hopefully everything will come together and I will finally be done with job search stress. (And can move on to moving & starting a new job stress!) 

It has been extra dreary outside this week. The weather has shifted between snow, rain & freezing rain with lots of high wind. Coffee has become a top of my favourites list this week. When I first got the Keurig I was much more adventurous with my coffee choices. Now I usually stick to McDonald's brand with the occasional Starbucks or VanHoutte thrown in depending what's on sale. What are your favourite coffee pods? I think choosing McDonald's Coffee over Tim Horton's coffee might make me a bad Canadian but I think I make up for it with my love of Ketchup Chips. 

I spent an entire afternoon this week sorting through my stash of scrapbook paper. I got rid of anything that was too tiny to ever be useful. Since I've converted to Project Life my 12x12 papers were essentially useless, so I cut a bunch down to 4x6 which will make it much easier to incorporate them into my PL albums. I need to come up with some creative ways to use PL cards because I have way too many. I'm thinking I will use some as Valentine's Day cards and search Pinterest for more information.

I may not be interested in the antics of The Bachelor but ask me about almost any TLC show and I will happily have an in depth discussion. Whether it's the latest news from the Brown family or the adorableness of the Busby's, the fascinating psychology behind My 600 lb Life I can carry on a conversation. I have abandoned the Duggar's, but only sort of. I don't watch the show but I read up on their happenings from time to time. I like to think I'm not alone in my love of TLC, but I'm also pretty certain most folks choose to ignore the world of TLC. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Word of the Week January

If you've been reading around here for awhile than you probably already know about my 2017 system of 'Words of the Week'. If you're new around here I'll get you up to speed. Instead of choosing One Little Word for the year, I chose 52 words. One for every week of the year. When I decided to use this strategy I didn't really know what it was going to look like and even a month in it's still evolving.

I choose my word (from this list) on Saturday or Sunday. I don't have any particular strategy for choosing a word. I pick whatever one happens to be speaking to me or a word that I think might relate to the week ahead. Then I search for a quote to go along with that word. It's a simple way of reflecting on the words and figuring out how I want to focus on it for that week.

I write my word and quote in the sidebar of my planner so that I see it everyday. 

For the first week of the year I choose the word abide and a quote that reminded me that when things are confusing and uncertain faith remains. And abiding in that faith that things will improve or work out the way they are supposed to is the best way for me to handle the unknown. It ended up being good motivation to take a few leaps and trust where I felt God was leading me. It was a good way to start the year. 

Thanks to some of those leaps I chose flow as my word for the second week of the year. As in, go with the flow. Little did I know that just when I thought I had a plan for how things were going to go I was an offered an interview with an organization that I had applied for weeks ago and wasn't expecting to hear anything from. And so plans sort of changed but I went with the flow. It was the perfect word for the week and even though I didn't have any particular reason to choose it 'flow' was exactly the thing I need to focus on that week. 

Last week I chose spark. I thought it would be a fun word for my birthday week because I associate sparks with candles and the beginning of something. It ended up being the word I connected with the least. I'm not sure if it was because I had other things going on that week but I wasn't feeling it. Possibly one of the best things about this Word of the Week strategy is the ability to let go of a word when you're not connecting to it the way you had hoped.

This week I'm embracing joy. This was a very conscious choice because I'm expecting to hear back about that job interview this week. And regardless of the outcome I want to choose joy. There's not a lot of excitement happening in my life right now and it's impossible to make plans when I'm never entirely sure if there will be an interview (or a job) around the corner. So my focus is choosing to find joy in all circumstances. Just because the situation may not be joyful, doesn't mean there's not joy in there somewhere. 

Originally I had thought about making a 6x8 album to document my words but I realized that wasn't something I wanted to commit to doing all year. So for now my words are documented in my planner and in my journal. I'm not really creating any rules around my words, I might continue to choose a quote for the week but I might not. My only requirement for myself is to choose a word for the week. So far I haven't wanted to carry on a word from one week to the next but I'm not ruling out the possibility of that happening. 

If you chose a word for the year are you sticking with it or has the initial enthusiasm wore off?

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

What's Up Wednesday - January 2017

My goal for the year is to participate in this link up every month so I have a consistent way to document the little currently things. So, let's get started with what's been going on in January!

What I'm Eating This Week: I finally gave the avocado for breakfast trend a try and enjoyed a bagel with bacon, cheddar cheese & avocado. It wasn't life changing but it is a good way to get more veggies (fruit? Someone let me know where avocados belong ) Also on the menu tacos, pasta & broccoli with Alfredo sauce, homemade pizza and sausages & rice.

What I'm Reminiscing About: I guess I'm just sort of reminiscing about everything that's happened over the last few months. 

What I'm Loving: Planning! You can check out my first month using my Happy Planner here

What I've Been Up To: This month I celebrated my birthday and got back into the swing of things after Christmas break. A lot of the month revolved around job searching and multiple rounds of interviews. And it looks like things are taking a turn in the right direction! But more on that later. 

What I've Been Dreading: I'm not great with change and I do believe there is lots coming my way. It's not the worst kind of dreading but the idea doesn't excite me. 

What I'm Working On: The past few days I've been busy completing paperwork for a Spark/Brownie sleepover in February. The girls will be there for less than 24 hours and there is still a mountain of paperwork that needs to be completed and submitted. 

What I'm Excited About: February looks like it's shaping up to be a pretty great month. I have concert tickets, a sleepover with my favourite girls and Valentine's Day. February is my favourite winter month because it goes by pretty quickly and then March feels so much closer to spring. My grandparents are also getting a puppy next week so that's exciting! 

What I'm Watching: I started the month watching Lock Up and being fascinated (and disturbed) my the jail/prison system in the US. Then I switched back to Friends because that never disappoints. I also watched Audrie & Daisy, which if you haven't watched it yet, you need to carve out some time and make that happen. I also sort of started watching Master of None and Scrubs. I'm looking for a good sitcom to watch so if you have any suggestions let me know. 

What I'm Reading: Currently reading Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. The history is fascinating, although the story is a little choppy. I'm only about half way through but I'd still  put it on my recommend to friends list.

What I'm Listening To: There have been multiple times this month when I've found myself listening to Run Devil Run by Crowder on repeat. Mostly though I listen to Friends for background noise.

What I'm Wearing: Fleece lined leggings and comfy long sleeved tees. I know I've already mentioned a few times that I found the most amazing leggings at American Eagle just before Christmas. They have pockets. I bought two pairs. 

What I'm Doing This Weekend: List making is the first thing that comes to mind! 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Moth: I love Valentine's Day and I also happen to love Groundhog Day. And starting a new adventure

What Else Is New: It's been a mostly regular month around here!

Who Is Your All-Time Favourite Bachelor?  I've watched exactly one episode of The Bachelor, last year when I was on vacation with my ex's family his mom and sister were into it. I was kind of horrified by the whole thing. I still can't understand why girls volunteer to participate and why they behave so terribly on the show. I'll take my reality TV in the form of Survivor and Big Brother, please and thank you. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Happy One Month, Happy Planner!

I decided in the fall that I was going to give MAMBI's The Happy Planner a try for 2017.  I've been using my Happy Planner for a full month now so I thought it was time for a little update. My two biggest concerns were the vertical layout (although, they are available in horizontal) and the disc bound system. I can officially declare that I am in love with vertical planning! I'm not sold on the disc bound system though, I'm indifferent about it and still worry about it holding up over the course of the year. I didn't realize when I bought this particular planner that it was undated, which I don't particularly enjoy, but I did buy a set of Heidi Swapp numbers meant for her memory planners and used them in my Happy Planner so I made it work. Speaking of stickers...

I don't have any interest spending $30 a week on stickers to decorate my planner, it's just not going to happen. I did purchase four of the Happy Planner Value Sticker Books because with coupons they are pretty affordable. I probably spent about $45 on all four sticker books and after using them for almost a month I've hardly made a dent in them. I was tempted to pick up the 'Faith' sicker book as well but it is really similar and contains a lot of duplicates when compared to the 'Quote' book. I did order some gas pump, birthday and Canada Day stickers from Etsy because they aren't included in any of the books but I don't have any plans to order more Etsy stickers anytime soon. 

I use my planner for daily to do's, paying bills, appointments/meetings and for recording three thankful thoughts each day. I  decorate my planner but it's still incredibly functional. 

My first attempt was very clearly a first attempt. I wasn't sure how I wanted to use the boxes if I wanted to go all out in terms of decorating or if I wanted to keep things mostly pen. 

 Week two was actually the first week of 2017 and I got a better feel for how I wanted to use the boxes but was still working out what I wanted to keep track of and how I was going to go about documenting things. 

I didn't start to feel like I was getting into the groove of things until week three. 

And week four was also noticeably improved. I'm not going to win any awards but I'm also not trying to. I need my planner to be a place where I can keep track of life things, Guide things and interviews. With any luck eventually I will also get to use to keep track of work things but that's a different topic. 

My life doesn't work in a way that I can sit down on Sunday evening and plan out the whole week. Last week for example I ended up with an interview, lunch with my grandma and some e-mails about Guiding paperwork. I do start my week on Sunday though. I choose my Word of the Week (more on that soon!) and record anything I know will happen. I stick in a few decorative stickers and checklists and go from there. 

This is how my week looked last night:

Are you experimenting with a new planning system this year? So far I think I made a good choice, but there's still lots of 2017 left! 

**Incase you're wondering, I wasn't compensated in any way, shape or form for this post. MAMBI has never heard of me and probably doesn't really care what I think of their products.