Sunday, February 12, 2012

Goals and Goods

Here's an update on my 12x12 in 12 goals. I haven't touched on all 12 original goals just yet (hence the odd numbering), but I'm improving!

1) Schedule and attend a minimum of 12 monthly chiropractic visits.OK, so it's only February, but I've been to the chiropractor a number of times already in January (sadly) and made and attended another appointment this past Wednesday - yay me!

2) Volunteer 12 times (in any capacity) throughout the year.
I just got set up for a volunteer orientation at Lincoln Park Zoo and will be attending it in March. For the month of February however, I'm super duper excited to be volunteering with one of, if not my favorite cause, The Cheetah Conservation Fund! Africa here I come!!! (Well, some day!)

4) Face and conquer 12 fears (at least!).
I am signed up for a triathlon! My check has cleared and I am "in"! The triathlon isn't until June, but this is definitely a scary thing for me. As this particular triathlon replaces swimming with kayaking, I am looking into taking some basic lessons as I don't want to flip the dang thing over on event day! Also, I sent in an application to become a AKC (American Kennel Club) CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test evaluator AND I will be testing for my CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed) certification this Fall. I have a lot of prepping and studying to do before hand!

5) Attend or go to 12 new places.
I'm contemplating going to an oyster bar restaurant, but find it very scary (OK, maybe more gross then scary?). Anyone out there actually like oysters?

6) Participate in 12 events (one per month) throughout the year such as a 5K, charity walk, etc. January I did the New Year's Day 5K, and I JUST finished the North Shore Love Run this weekend! I'm super excited that they cut this run down from a 4 miler, to a 3.1, but have to admit the wind and the cold were painful for both events! Brrrrr!!!

8) In efforts to make more friends, meet and talk to 12 new people!
I've officially be-friended more students from my ASL  (American Sign Language) class and met some really cool girls through my Meetup group! I'm excited about the opportunities ahead to hang out, but know forging lasting friendships will take time.

9) Learn some new things, by taking 12 new classes/seminars!
I took a painting class/session and a hand building pottery class and they were both awesome! At first, I was intimidated by both, but I love my painting and found it to be very relaxing. I wasn't quite sure what the pottery class would bring, and expected something that looked like a 3rd grader made it, but fingers crossed that I will like my finished product!

12) Get back down to a size 12 (or less) this year!Well, I am happy to report that I am down about 14 pounds so far! I keep telling myself, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!" (Or, in my case, just keep going to Boot Camp!)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This weekend I attended a hand building pottery class with some new girls, and hopefully future friends! We had our choice of working with coils, or slabs of clay and a pretty wide range of vessels we could create. I decided to create a bowl, with coils. Below is the progression of my bowl.

First step, choose a mold and wrap it in plastic. (That was pretty easy!)

Second step, create the first layer of your bowl while remembering that this will be the inside of your bowl. I have to admit, it was a bit challenging to work not only upside down, but from the inside out!

After my first layer was completed, I started working on my second layer of coils. This will now be the outside/bottom of my basket.

Here, layer two is complete and I LOVE my bowl.

That was, until I had to rivet it together in order for the two layers to "stick". I really think the rivets take away from the fluidity of the coils and I am only hoping that a dark glaze will help hide some of the "dents". In this last picture, you can see I added a foot for the bowl to rest on as well. I figure, if I don't like the final product (as it now reminds me of a bicycle chain! Eww!), I might just take the class again and compress (flatten) the two layers to get them to stick together!

I won't get to glaze and fire the piece for another few weeks, but I'll be sure to post the final product then! Fingers crossed that I can live with the rivets!

Monday, February 6, 2012


Note to readers: I started this post in the midst of dealing with the changes written within, but now that I've got some hindsight and distance from the initial shock, I think I'm gonna love where I'm headed with the company! At this point, I thought about deleting this post, but decided to share it anyway.

While I'm trying to follow the positivity from my last post, I have to admit a current change up in my job is making it difficult to do so. What's going on you ask? (Even if you didn't, I'm gonna blog about it anyway.)

Recently the company I work for full-time conducted a round of lay-offs. While I am fortunate to be able to keep working, my role is indeed changing. I am going from a Supervisor role with a staff of three, to a slightly unknown entity. While I've been assured that this is not a demotion in any way, shape or form (and if I play my cards right, it may actually be a promotion!) I am having a very hard time with the idea that, I will now be reporting to a Supervisor who used to be my peer.

I'm in total control (as much as one person can be) of writing up the new job description for myself, giving myself a title (Rockstar Extraordinaire?) and pushing for a pay increase if I can prove the new work load warrants it (which I honestly think it will!). Of course, everything has to have upper management's approval, but I figure I'll shoot for the moon and even if I fail, I'll land amongst the stars, right?

So with all the "positives" mentioned above about the changes in my "career", you'd think I'd be able to focus on them, right? But instead, I'm stuck looking at what I consider a negative. The fact that I am reporting to someone who used to be my equal is just baffling to me and totally contradicts (in my mind, at least) that this is a possible promotion.

This change in leadership was not performance based, but rather due to downsizing and eliminating duplicity of Supervisor roles. While I am okay with not having staff members reporting to me (although, I do miss them already!), I am having trouble with the idea that my new manger hasn't met some of It's key goals over the past year, yet I did. The new manager admittedly knows very little about the business, but I do (and I have to train It's staff on my skill set!). Ultimately, I feel like I am setting the new manager up for success by training It's team, and telling It how to do It's job where my knowledge base is required, and that I'll be forgotten about once my knowledge is transferred.

Of course, the optimist in me tells me that this is my time to shine, create my own role, and hey, I might actually achieve some rewards and recognition along the way as this manager is more in tune with rewarding It's staff. But still, I'm human, and have to admit, I'm a little bitter about It. Here's to hoping I can set this all aside and "play ball" with the big dogs. Woof.