Write It In Pencil

Never say never.  We’ve all heard it before.  I’m finding that my goals and plans are shifting.  Not in a bad direction just one I hadn’t expected.  I completed a degree and now find myself compelled to pursue a different interest.  Luckily, it won’t require another degree but it will require some studying, work and sitting for a test.  I’m up for it.  I’m passionate about it.

This past year, I’ve led a project that could be described as a nightmare or a complete bear.  As we know, when you’re on a project, you’re working with others.  I’ve always known that I’m pretty analytical.  That worked to my benefit.  My manager told me that I’ve done a great job and thinks I’ll be great in the role that I plan to pursue.

Presently, I’m on medical leave.  My doctor made it seem like I would be bedridden for the first two weeks.  It wasn’t quite that bad but I knew I had to get things organized before my surgery.  Reaching out the company that manages STD was easy.  I woke up the morning after my surgery and had a voicemail telling me my leave was approved.

I also felt like the mom who was leaving her newborn with a babysitter for the first time in terms of how I probably over-documented what few things were left on my desk.

My last day of work I found out one of my old work buddies was having a similar surgery, on the same day, same hospital with the same doctor.  I immediately, got her a card and placed it in my suitcase.  I also asked my mom to hand deliver the card.

My mom’s birthday was a little over a week after my surgery.  I gave her her present early.  Mainly out of fear it wouldn’t meet her impossible requirements for a black purse.  I’m serious.  If you were to ever shop with her for a needed item, you would think she wants something that might not be created yet.  She loved it.  Well, she thought it was too expensive but I told her to not worry about it.

I also got a card and asked her neighbor if he would pick up a to-go order for my mom’s birthday and gave him the money.  I was going to be staying at my mom’s and wasn’t cleared for driving.

In thinking about cards, I also got Valentine’s Day cards for all my people at once.  I just got cleared to drive today, but I just thought I was going to be crawling around on all fours begging for pain meds.

I also cooked up food prior to my surgery and froze it and then dropped it off at my mom’s.  This didn’t sit well with her.  She felt that I was suggesting that she wasn’t capable of taking care of me.  Or rather that she couldn’t cook.  Not in the slightest, I knew that I was going to be a burden (she hated me saying that) and wanted to lighten the load.

A few days ago, she asked me when I became such a meticulous planner.  The only things I typically planned before this were my menu for the week and vacations.  I told her my most recent project.  I told her it was insane.  I told her if I didn’t analyze/plan I like, my name would have been mud.  Especially since it hasn’t reached completion and they’ve already started on 2014…

That last sentence sounds bad but there are truly extenuating circumstances!

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Revisiting My Blog…

I’ve taken a very long break from my blog.  I’ll blame it on school and life just being hectic.  I feel compelled to revisit it due to recent activity and epiphanies I’ve had.

I’ve finished school, waiting for my degree to come in the mail.  I don’t feel like participating in another graduation ceremony.  I highly doubt that I’ll even pursue a career in Health Promotion.  I completed an internship that I enjoyed. I received rave reviews from my manager and others I worked with.  And then my manager gave me an odd, biased review.  It took me by surprise, so I countered a few points and then I just let her finish so I could go home and pack for my pending vacation.  I was pretty pissed.  I couldn’t even talk about the results for weeks.

In addition, I’m not willing to start at an entry-level position and potentially take a pay cut.  I’d take a pay cut if it was a matter of no job versus a job, but I have a job that I’m enjoying.   I’m sure some would suggest that pursuing this degree was a waste of time and money.  It wasn’t.  It’s something that I’m interested in and I’ll still use it some capacity, even if in a volunteer capacity.  Did I mention that my company has a tuition reimbursement program?  Awesome perk!

Hunkering Down for 2012

The start of a new year means many things to many people.  For me, it’s filled with a tinge of anxiety and a lot of excitement.  Tomorrow, I start my internship, in addition to working my regular full-time job.  I’ll go in a couple of hours earlier to my normal gig, so I can average about 2 hours a day at my internship.  This makes me nervous.  I fear over-sleeping.  I figure after a couple of weeks, I’ll have made the adjustment.

Other than the tinge of anxiety, I’m exciting about the internship.  I love my major, Health Promotion.  I look forward to working and learning with the department.  I also graduate in August, so I’ll be wrapping up my internship and schoolwork at the same time.

I would stress about being concerned about being able to get all of my work at my regular job done.  I usually work late by choice, so it’ll be an adjustment (for my management) when I don’t for 8 months.  Note: I’ll log onto the network after hours.  I’ll also take a few classes during the year.  I’ll won’t use any vacation time during this time.  Sigh…

To get through the chaotic schedule and the pain points, I’m doing my best to focus on the good things ahead for me in 2012 and beyond!

Onward and upward!!!

Angel Trees and How I Chose To Believe People Accept My Gifts

I’ve chosen a child from my church’s Angel Tree a few times.  The first time, I went all out.  I bought like I was buying for my own child (of which I have none).  I had a lot of joy in purchasing my gifts. 

My friend/coworker/church member assisted with the Angel Tree last year.  She discussed the a multitude of issues: individuals failing to bring their gifts prior to the time that parents were to pick them, parents being upset that one child received more than another (sometimes children in one family are given to different individuals), and then there are those who just aren’t appreciative at all.

The families are usually invited to the church on a Wednesday night for dinner, then the parents receive their gifts.  I’ve never gone to witness this.  My mom and I bought gifts for a child.  Shopping with my mom has always been painful, so within 10 minutes, I was irritated.  If she had been anyone else, I’d have gone off on her.  We finally accomplished our goal and got out of there.  We ended up at three different stores.  I’m trying to avoid having a flashback. 

My mom went to the church tonight.  I’m not sure if she wanted to see the family or just watch everyone.  There were 399 kids on the Angel Tree this year.  Pretty ridiculous to me.  But no one is asking.  I opt not to go.  I’d like to live in a world where the family would accept my gifts and be grateful, end of story.  If I was aware that they weren’t, I might snap, grab my bags, curse said parent out and put the money back in my account.

When it comes to Angel Trees, ignorance is bliss…

Online Dating Profile Tips for Men

I’ve read a few profiles that are nice.  By that, I mean I think it sounds like it’s a snapshot of the individual’s personality.  It doesn’t mean that I’m interested, it’s just seems well composed.

As for the others, you need the following:

  • A picture, not a picture that you took of yourself in the bathroom mirror.  If you need a picture, tell a friend that you need a nice picture for Facebook.  Or be honest and say it’s for your dating profile!  On my profile I state that no picture = no response.  I’d be lying if I said that physical attraction didn’t matter.
  • Be honest.  But sometimes there is such thing as over share.  I don’t want to read about farts in your profile. 
  • Try not to be too negative.  I understand, we all know what we like and don’t like.  When you end up with a bulleted list, I’m thinking you will remind me of Larry David.  I love his character on Curb Your Enthusiasm but I wouldn’t be able to tolerate him.  You’ll get this information in a few email exchanges or phone call.
  • Think about your expectations.  Are they realistic?  One profile requested a submissive woman and went onto say that he wanted her to pleasure him sexually.  I don’t know any submissive women.  I don’t think that woman exists.  Honestly, any woman who goes into a relationship trying to be submissive, will ultimately turn into a crazy person/murderer.  It’s not healthy!
  • Be cautious about your mention of sex.  I think most women assume that men enjoy sex.  We assume that if you have a penis, you will want to use it at some point.  We don’t need you to go into detail.  If that’s your primary focus, there are certain sites, you should focus on.
  • Copy and paste your profile into word.  It can catch your misspellings and grammatical errors.
  • Ask for feedback.  Have a friend or a someone of the opposite of sex take a glance at your profile. 

I love my profile.  I often get great feedback from other guy’s that they enjoyed reading my profile.  Right now, I’m trying to figure out what does my ideal guy look like.  Not physically but I wonder about personality and interests.  Right now, I think I’d like an active, researcher-type from one of three nearby cities.  As for other cities and towns, I’ll think it about.  There are other things I’d like but I think it’s best to be flexible.  Who wants to date a carbon copy?  Remember that episode of Seinfeld when Jerry was dating the female version of himself?

Thanks to the Guy from Heart and Soul magazine

Over three years ago, I was desperate to change jobs.  Desperate.  Right as I was editing my resume and cover letter, things started to shift.  Fannie Mae and Sallie Mae bottomed out.   A few weeks later I went to a large job fair that was part of the Black MBA conference.  There were tons of employers.  Unfortunate for me, most of the employers were looking for new MBA grads.

So taking a break, I decided to use my strengths, don’t focus on the employers looking for general MBAs.  I also have a MHA and had been in the healthcare industry since I finished undergrad.  I received a lot of positive feedback after this shift.

Before I switched up my approach, I went to a table for Heart and Soul magazine.  The guy there looked bored.  He didn’t have a lot of people coming up to his table.  It’s not the most popular magazine for black women.  But I wanted a free magazine.  I threw a resume at the guy, and he looks around (no one was around) and he tells me, things are going to get worse.  If I were you, I’d stay put.  It’s going to get really bad.  By the way, Fannie and Sallie Mae had booths set up.  I joked that only a loser would even seek them out. 

Needless to say, I’d stayed put.  I’ve finishing up another degree that believe it or not, does have marketability.  Health promotion.  Provided that everyone continues to be overweight/obese with multiple co-morbidities, I’m in business.

A couple of nights ago, I watched “Too Big To Fail” very enlightening.  Watching the timeline during the movie, I thought of the Heart and Soul guy. Continue reading

My Quest To Reach A Healthy Weight

The CEO of my company has challenged us to focus on our weight.  If your BMI is 28 or higher, in order to receive the maximum incentive towards your premium for 2013, you’ll need to lose 5% of your body weight.

I’m focused.  I’ve lost inches since preparing for my 10K.  I’m planning to train for my first half-marathon on April 1.  My best friend wants me to run one with her in Baltimore mid-October.  My weight assessed in September.  I’m thinking if I stay focused, I should lose the weight.

I went a step further and despite not loving the concept of BMI, have decided to see if I can reach my healthy weight.  This will require that I lose about 25 pounds.  I think I can do it.  Although, I didn’t quite reach this weight years ago, my mother staged an informal intervention after happening to witness me changing shirts.  It was a little too much collarbone and rib cage for her.

Admittedly, back then I was all about weight loss through starvation and lots of exercise.  Did I mention that I would pass out by 8:15?  Would get home from the gym and lay on the floor and hope for energy to get in the shower?  Would hope for sleep in order to avoid hunger pains?

I was crazy.  But I’m in a better place now.  So onward I go!