life unfiltered, lifehacks, work

Digital Life

My posts have all been instagram for a while. Moving has been hectic. Settling in has been hectic. And while there have been things I could write about, I’ve found that thinking through HOW I would write them has alleviated the need for actually doing so.

I’ve developed a vast appreciation for Snapchat these days. After the kind of clumsy interface adjustment, I’m really enjoying the ability to send short (short-lived) video messages to my friends. I hate facebook’s video integration, so snapchat is a nice option. I’m also using Instagram far more than I would have expected (obviously). Facebook and twitter have taken a deep back seat of late.

I’ve signed on with a temp agency in town. I’d like to get back to some sort of part-time work and I might as well get cracking. We’ve got some travel coming up, so the idea of being able to work when I want to work is really enticing. We’ll see how that actually works out.

We’ve also been house shopping. It turns out, house shopping hasn’t gotten more fun over the years. This was less grueling than previously, thanks in no small part to Trulia. This is not a paid endorsement, but it is a shockingly easy to use app which helped us TREMENDOUSLY. The ability to weed things out of our list, map them and drive to them on our own (before getting an agent) and narrowing what we think is important with live pictures was instrumental. Two days of actual viewing and we’ve got two likely candidates. Excellent.

Our house in Colorado is likely going to close on the 20th. That will be a relief. Worrying about property from a distance is nothing I’d ever like to do again.

The fun part of new homes- furnishing/decor. We’ve gotten rid of so many of our possessions that we’re really kind of starting from scratch, which is exciting. I’m going to make some of our furniture for whichever new place we end up with. I’ve got plans for a dining table, some end tables, floating shelves. I’m looking forward to making some things.

As for today, the husband has developed some sort of cold. I did a mercy donut run this morning and plan to read some books or watch some movies.

life unfiltered, travel, work

Official things are official

My farewell tour of Montana started back in October. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it a full year, not living apart from my husband (I actually like the guy). My goal was to get through another contract year and I made it.

I drove 10 hours to see a concert (in the same state), I toured Glacier, a deer hit my car, I visited Mt. Rushmore and Devil’s Tower, visited numerous state parks, had drinks, did good work, spent time with friends and colleagues. There are worse things than knowing you’re going to leave.

Spring is here and things are just now starting to green up, thanks to the long dry winter. I’ll be going to North Dakota – again, but likely for the last time – next week to pick up my husband before we drive south. I think I’m going to go a little out of my way to Fargo before we turn because, why not?

I looking forward to the warmth. I’m looking forward to hanging out with my guy. This has been a life-changing experience and I’ll never be sorry I did it.

life unfiltered, work

It snowed today.

That’s really where things were destined to go terribly wrong. Today would normally be my day off, but I started out fixing a bunch of company-wide forms and, well, it didn’t get more exciting than that.

Holy cats, it’s been a crazy month. So I’m working from home on a Friday night and having a difficult time focusing so I took a break, had a beer and read my favorite newsletter (TwoBossyDames) and have been listening to a lot of great music (Bad Bad Hats, Walk The Moon, Hey Marseilles, Lianne LaHavas, Eleanor Friedberger).

I’ve read some books, but haven’t caught up to my GoodReads schedule. To tell you what I’ve read I’d have to get up and find my kindle, so you get vaguepost.

My super exciting plan for the weekend includes policy revision, continuity plan updates, and frozen dinners. I know, I know; you’re jealous. The good news is the snow didn’t stick. It’s supposed to get warmer. I might even go for a run tomorrow. For now, this is what the future looks like.FridayWorkNight


books, lifehacks, movies, music, work

#InboxZero – things I love

I’ve been a champ at #InboxZero at work for some time. It’s unusual for me not to get my entire inbox emptied by the end of the week, if not sooner. My personal email is a whole other thing and i’m spending a really lovely Saturday outside with my laptop, cleaning out Google Inbox. This post is going to be a list of all the links that I kept in my inbox, reviewed, and love enough to share.

Body Language and Confidence

You Don’t Need More Free Time

Female Fronted Bands at this year’s SXSW This is a spotify playlist and I’m going to warn you I already bought 3 albums.

Ashley C. Ford on conversations about race and how they go wrong. Required reading for white people.

This is a really fantastic article about grief and pop culture (namely, how it ties to you) and it really resonated for me. I can talk about how my grief after my father’s death affected my life and there are definite pop culture touchstones to that process- two of many: Snow Patrol’s Final Straw and Finding Neverland.

What Successful People Do Before Breakfast.

Life Changing Books – an interesting list and it’s largely populated by books I’m unfamiliar with, which is why it’s been lingering in my inbox

Another post on the Psychology of the Daily Routine. I find this stuff fascinating because 1. I’ve never bothered much to establish a daily routine and 2. I always feel like I’m more productive in the afternoon. Reading the items on this list is making me rethink my days.

Hemingway’s list of must-read literature. I’m a fan of the writer, and I thought this list was interesting and surprising.

Turning the worst team into the best: I read this book not long after starting my new position. It was a practical and helpful guide to take a look at what/how I was doing and how I could best influence the folks on my team.

How a 90-year-old missing person became a hit on Spotify

An online Yoga Festival– I have participated in these and you get access to an amazing number of classes with great teachers that you can continue to view AFTER the conference. A pretty good deal for the price.

Netflix also sent me two important messages. Season 2 of The Returned is available and Netflix has a new show called Love. Those are the Rotten Tomatoes links, in case you care about other peoples’ reviews/ratings. Season 1 of The Returned (which is the French version, if you care) was intense, creepy and super compelling. I’m going to wait until I’ve got time to binge.

RIP Alan Rickman. This interview for Bullseye is great and they spent time talking about one of my all time favorite films – Die Hard – in exactly the way I would hope people would discuss and interview about it. Fantastic. Streamable from the web- no app needed. The subsequent interview with Sacha Jenkins regarding fashion and music is kind of great as well.

Success! Personal #inboxzero achieved.

life unfiltered, work

Knowing Your Worth

When I turned 16, I was super excited because I could get a real time-clock job. I’d been working for years, baby-sitting, filing, helping one of my mom’s friends with medical billling – but this would be a legit job with hours that would allow me to escape my parents intense, super-strict church cult.

I started like a lot of people do, in a fast food restaurant. Predictably the job was not especially fun but I met some really fun people and had a good time anyhow. I learned the magic rule of customer service: people are cranky about food. About nine months in, I found a job at a local sporting goods store and left BK.

I stayed at Dunham’s for the rest of my high school years. I stayed through my first year of college breaks. It wasn’t something I loved, but I enjoyed it and my coworkers. I got extra responsbility early on and began training other employees. The managers gave me an override key, which technically they probably weren’t supposed to do, but they trusted me to do good work.

That first year of college, when I came home every break and worked as much OT as they’d give me, I discovered something strange. The guys I was training on the front end, while having a manager’s override key, were making more money than I was. I’m not sure which one of them mentioned it, and I’m just about certain it was because they were grousing that they weren’t getting paid enough, but I was shocked. Dump a cold bucket of ice water on me shocked.

I went home PISSED about it. Mad. I mean, I had been a good and loyal employee. I was doing one of the shittier jobs (all customer service, all the time) and training guys who were going to go hide out in the shoe department and screw off for most of their shifts. It was a really valuable lesson. The nature of business is to do what’s best for the business. That usually means getting more for less. That’s what they were doing with me.

The next day I came to work, still righteously pissed off, and at my lunch break I requested a meeting with the store manager with whom I’d been working for the last year or so. I explained that I should make more money because 1) I worked hard and added value to the company and 2) was making less than the people I was training. All I was looking for was basic fairness. He didn’t really listen and just said no.

I quit on the spot. The only time I’ve ever done that. I’d had a feeling it could go that way (this store manager was not known for being employee-friendly), so I’d brought my spare uniform shirts with me to work. I dropped them on his chair, walked out and never looked back.

I had a new job before the end of the week.

There are so many things I learned from that work experience. I learned that a good manager is one who helps balance what’s good for the company with what’s good for the employees. A good manager goes to bat for good employees. The company will always look out for itself. And if you work hard, you will always have a job. My dad, a very wise man, always said “It might not be THE job, but if you care and work hard you will always have A job.” He was right and as a result, I’ve never felt helpless. I have always been confident (right, wrong or indifferent) that I will have a job. Most importantly, I learned to stand up for myself and for what I thought was right.

These are all things that I’ve taken with me in every job I’ve had since then. It shaped the kind of manager I became and the way that I advocate for employees.

I’m back home this month and I went into that store today. It was interesting to see what’s changed and what hasn’t. And if you’d told me that store would have such an impact on the person I became, I would probably have called you a liar. If you’re an employer, you should keep that in mind.


running, work

It’s that time of year


It is officially fall. We don’t have aspens in Montana the way they do in Colorado, but the temps have decidedly cooled off. You can tell I’m ready to move to Texas because, for the first time ever, I want more summer.

Fall has always been my favorite season. I get out Halloween decorations on September 1st and leave them up until Thanksgiving. I love the chill in the air, hot drinks, crisp walks and all the smells that come with the season. I cannot remember ever wanting more summer.

The temps in Texas are still more than 10 degrees warmer than here. I’d be okay with that. Montana commonly gets another heatwave before the chill settles in, so I’m hoping for another several weeks of 70+.

I had a really good week at work this week. My team is excellent and gets along smashingly. We had the usual hiccups but everyone got to the end of the week on a very ‘up’ note. I say end of the week, because today was the end of my week. It also means with me out of their hair (read: not interrupting) they’ll all be a little extra productive tomorrow, which also counts as a win.

I got a ton of things wrapped up today, reports sent, appointments finalized, and the other thousand things that make up your job which – when you’re doing them, you are annoyed by and can enumerate to the nth degree – you can’t remember when you go to tell someone what you did with your day. But I left with my desk clear, a smile on my face and my inbox empty. That’s a pretty good week.

I ran tonight. Close to 4 miles. Before MapMyRun ate the workout, I’d had faster splits than expected and I finished the workout not feeling exhausted. So far, so good. Having completed my work laundry list, this weekend is all about the home laundry list. Plenty on the honey-do, and I’m the only honey about.