Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Charity

If the saying goes that "charity begins at home" then perhaps, in the most literal sense, companies and businesses should leave it there! Or at least let their employees do so. 

Not only does this time of year bring on the seasonal color change and pumpkin spice overload, but the dreaded annual giving campaign. Don't know what I'm talking about? Many companies have an annual charity donation drive wherein they request their employees to donate to the charity or organization of their choice. That sounds wonderful, doesn't it? These drives and campaigns are a great reminder for some to give back to their communities and for most, it drives camaraderie and feel-good emotions. Of course, let's not forget that the larger the donations and numbers of participants allow the company at hand to look great to the community for being charitable and having charitable employees. 

Despite the benefits of this organized event, I absolutely hate this campaign! Let me clarify. I hate the nagging emails that (although the drive is supposed to be anonymous) single out those who choose not to give via this drive. I hate the phone calls that speak to specific names asking why they haven't donated yet. Quite frankly, I find it nothing more than bullying. Every year at this time I can count on resentfully and reluctantly giving in and donating via this campaign to avoid or lessen the bullying tactics that comes with it. Yep. I resentfully donate so a company, a team, and the powers that be can look good to the outside world by having a certain percentage of their employees involved in this "charitable" event. The harassment and resentfulness that accompanies my donation takes any joy possible out of something that should be a positive experience.  

Let it be known, that I happily give throughout the year to numerous causes that are close to my heart. I support others in their fundraising endeavors and partake in organized events and fundraising of my own. I do not need nor do I want to give to charity just so a company can look good on some list of "Best Employers" or the Dow Jones. In this instance, the benefit of my donation does not emotionally outweigh the negatives! No one should be guilted into donating, and if a company is to be seen as a charitable organization than perhaps the focus on giving should be throughout the year and not at one focused time all in the name of self-notoriety. 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

DC

Looking forward to seeing this, this weekend...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rainy Day

Paris Street; Rainy Day - Gustave Caillebotte

It's officially "wet pant leg season". While I think my 5'4" frame is pretty average, I am obviously short. Or have short legs. Or the pant industry is involved in a world wide conspiracy of making legs too long. It's probably that last one. I'm sure of it.  

It never fails, every rain fall the bottom of my pant legs get wet from dragging along the ground. I try to roll up my jeans or pants in a not-too-obvious cuff, but usually by the time I remember to do so, they're already wet and uncomfortable. I don't care to wear the oh-so-popular rubber boots as a preventative - they're just not my style. I'm pretty sure the solution to rainy days like this are for me to stay put. Yep. Remain dry and warm, with all the comforts of home, curled up on my couch, under a cozy blankie while watching a classic movie. 

Sounds good to me.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

You Gotta Hear This!

I love Audible! I seriously think finding this app, wherein you download and listen to audio-books via your device of choosing, has saved my life! Or, at least some of my sanity!

Listening to books in the car versus the obnoxious radio and commercials helps me feel productive. I don't get bored and end up with the temptation to look at my cell phone while driving and it's like having a "friend" to listen to while dealing with my daily commute!

I have most recently finished the novel "The Good Daughter", Cheryl Strayed's, "The Wild" and am currently listening to "The Zookeeper's Wife". Each book, so far, has made it exciting to get into the car versus dreading sitting in traffic. Now, I can't wait to sit down, buckle up and hear more of each author's stories. I'm not depressed listening to current affairs, and I feel like traffic jams aren't as frustrating as they used to be! I can't wait to download some more books - any recommendations?


Right now, I'm somehow intrigued with and have the story of Nikolai Tesla pending on my wish list...


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Before I Die

I recently went on a segway tour and while it was fun in its' own right, it was our tour guide that prompted me to write this post. Well, him and a huge sign...

As we talked about why we came on the tour (to experience something new and different) I mentioned that I had a habit (and even a blog at one time) of challenging myself to do "scary" activities. As someone with seemingly no balance, trust me, the idea of riding a segway successfully was quite scary!

When I mentioned by past blog, "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", our tour guide Matt asked, "why don't you start your blog again?". Yeah, I thought, why don't I? I miss blogging, but I just don't make/take the time for it these days. I still do the "crazy" adventures though, so what would be so hard about writing them down? I don't know. It wouldn't be hard. It would just take time, effort and commitment of course - all things that I don't seem to have at this point in my life. At least not on a daily basis.

Later in our tour we came upon a snack shop and stopped for a break. It was then that I saw the sign in the photo above. It was a common space chalkboard for passer-byers to write down the things they'd like to achieve before they die. Tasks included various items such as skydiving, impacting lives, and meeting famous people. It was then that I thought, I don't have to do things and write about them on a daily basis versus just enjoy life, achieve what I can when I can, and write about them. Duh. What a simple concept. So yeah, it's basically creating a bucket list and writing about it when I can.

So what is it that I want to do before I die? There are solid, measurable concepts and then some more fleeting. Sure I want to impact lives - but how can I measure that? Below is my "scary" list of things I thought I wanted to tackle in 2011. Most of the items have been marked off, while some are still outstanding, and some - I'm not even sure why I put on the list in the first place! (What was I thinking?). I've highlighted any un-achieved items in yellow, and out of those, bolded the things I'd like to still attempt going forward.


So, here's to new blogging subject matter and achieving the things I'd like to (hopefully and God willing) "Before I Die". Keep scrolling...


2011 - Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You
Get rid of old clothes

Use Keurig
Weigh myself
Write letters
Get new glasses
Make dentist appt
Conquer stairs
Get fitted for a bra
Bake cookies, properly
Try tiramisu
Deal with toilet tanks
Learn to handle crickets
Run for the Cheetah
Commit to one event per month
Say no
Complain
Wear long necklace
Eat dessert first
Tell a secret/write to PostSecret
Try new exercise class (Zumba Tone)
Post a photo wearing no make up
Say hi to 100 people
Introduce myself to a neighbor
Jog 5K
Rock/wall climb 
Finish something you thought impossible
Balloon ride
Draw and share
Enter a contest
Ask for a raise
Talk to a stranger
Shave Keesha
Travel alone
Eat alone
Flying lessons - a bit too expensive!
Horseback ride/lessons
Train to work - I moved and don't need to anymore!
Buy the sassy shoes
Try a new recipe
Wear shorts
Wear skirt/dress to work
Sing karaoke
Dance
Call instead of text
Theater/theater tour
Volunteer
Shop Whole Foods
Sears Skydeck
Take advice of a stranger
Go to the beach (in a swimsuit)
Go to bar alone
Motorcycle class - not very practical!
Learn to bartend

Take dance lessons
Stay in a haunted place
Hike a mountain
Attend a Present Moment Workshop - they closed so no change now!
Learn sign language
Car maintenance - let's trade this in for bike maintenance?
Raise $1000.00 for charity
Sell art on consignment
Ride mechanical bull

Ask for help
Throw a party, invite friends - ok, I've kinda done this but...
Swim with a dolphin
Trapeze - umm, just no. I have zero interest in flopping around a net!
Go a day without my phone 
Pole dancing lessons
Go to a psychic/get my fortune told
Parasail

Order the hottest/spiciest thing on the menu
Design my own jewelry
Spend an insane amount of money on one item - pretty sure my wedding counts!
Take a mud bath/spa treatment
Get a make over
Don't watch television for week
Do something imperfectly with comfort
Water park
Watch a scary movie
Find a new job - not sure I can/should due to needed flexibility!



2017 Before I Die
Share a secret and mail to Post Secret 
Hot air balloon ride
Enter a contest
Learn to bartend (take a mixology class)
Learn bicycle maintenance 
Sell art on consignment
Ride a mechanical bull
Throw a party
Get my fortune told
Parasail
Get a make over
Hike Picahco Peak, AZ
Attend Cubs Spring training
Tackle Hustle Up the Hancock (again)
Snowshoe (more)
Hike Starved Rock, IL
Kayak a glacier
Whale watch
Travel: Germany, Spain, Italy, Egypt, Switzerland, Alaska, NY, San Francisco
Complete the Bourbon Trail, KY
Finish the AFI's top 100 movies list
Make a difference

I'm sure this list will continue to grow, it always does! One thing leads to another and before you know it you're hiking a state park in Michigan in snow shoes, in -30* weather! Happy October and cheers to living and doing!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Massage

I had a deep tissue massage after work the other night and it was amaze-balls! I fell asleep through part of it but I'm assuming that part was just as amazing as the rest of it. I have a lot of chronic muscle tension issues that far exceed that results of poor posture or sitting at a desk all day so I'm always "tight" and feel tense. I constantly have to remind myself to relax and the worst part is, I get chronic tension headaches that can last for weeks at a time because of it. Chiropractic care and OTC drugs seem to have done little to impact this as of late, but thank heavens for deep tissue massages and my girl, Elizabeth! I seriously feel 10 years younger when I walk out of the spa. It's amazing. Can't wait til my next appointment!



What have you done for yourself lately?



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Make Good Choices

Last night I begrudgingly attended a fitness class at Orange Theory Fitness. My friend signed me up for it, probably knowing I'd never get the motivation to do so my self. She was right. I've been struggling with some poor health habits as of late and she took charge. I'm thankful for that. The class was fun, surely a challenge, and felt like an accomplishment to complete. It was a great mix of cardio and weights, just what I need. I left feeling refreshed (tired and sore, but somehow refreshed) and feeling like I could tackle the world.

The workout schedule that will work best for me, is probably Tuesday and Thursday nights. That's when I will have a gym buddy to help keep me accountable, and those days generally don't/shouldn't interfere with other on-going scheduled items. Except, for tomorrow. Of course. I'm currently signed up to volunteer (for the first time) with the local Park District, which is something I've been struggling to add to my schedule. Volunteerism that is. And sure enough, I now I find myself conflicted with competing priorities. Gym, or volunteer?

Ok, sure, there are other days that the gym is open. But I can tell you right now, the volunteer spot is getting the boot. I definitely feel guilty about cancelling but I also feel like I need to strike while the iron is hot and get myself on a solid workout schedule. Not sure about you, but motivation is a fleeting commodity in my world. So, that's that. I've just cancelled my volunteer spot in order to go to the gym. 


I'm sure a "normal" person would have kept their commitment, and went to the gym a different day. That seems pretty logical. But the fact is, I know what works for me, and this is it. So I'm putting my health first. In reviewing my calendar of "to-dos" and "want to dos" this brings up an entirely different, but related topic. There's simply not enough time and availability in my calendar to do all the things I want to do. 

As I cancelled this volunteer shift, I searched for a replacement opportunity. There are numerous upcoming events but none that fit my current schedule. At this point, I'll be lucky to volunteer by Christmas. (thinks to self, maybe I can be an elf? Ugh.) Sure, I keep myself busy with planned activities, but there are also a lot of responsibilities that preclude me from doing a lot of things I'd like to. And that, quite frankly, sucks. Yes, "adulting" sucks. Oh well. It's life.

Cheers to a good workout.
Cheers to putting myself first.
Cheers to figuring "it" all out someday!