Tag Archives: Time

An Adult Child’s Perspective on Christmas

As a kid, Christmas was always a big deal. In fact, everything was a big deal. A good report card, a promotion, birthdays, we celebrated it all. This celebratory style I grew up with followed me into adulthood.

As I’ve gotten older, buying Christmas gifts has become one of my favorite pastimes. It’s a fun feeling of both excitement and joy, when a loved one unveils the perfectly curated gift. Yet, finding the perfect gift for my parents and grandparents always feels like mission impossible. What do you buy for the people who have everything?! Year after year, I’d struggle with Christmas gifts and try so hard to keep up with my parents, who are supreme gift givers. This year, I rethought my approach.

My parents could care less what they opened on Christmas morning. Sure, I asked them and ended up with one bigger gift that was actually something they needed. They want things that money can’t buy – all of their kids in the same place, to cook together and for us kids to spend time with our grandparents. Looking back on this holiday season, that’s exactly what I gave, time.

Each year as I stepped further into adulthood, I tried to conjure up ways to give back what my parents gave to me. At the end of 2018, I can say I’ve stopped trying. There’s no way in the world that I could repay them for all they’ve given me. And are still giving as I sit on the beach in Florida at my mom’s house while my dad and stepmom diligently wait for the call to pick up my car for me. As they say, a parent’s work is never done.

So, my fellow adult children, stop worrying about the perfect gift for your parents. Instead, show up on holidays and birthdays as much as possible, take them to dinner and put your phone down during the meal. I think about my Nana and the many Saturdays I spent with her. Those were some of the best conversations I’ve had and she thoroughly enjoyed hearing my stories and watching me live my life. I sit with my other grandparents now and see the same joy fill their faces merely because I’m spending time with them. Highlight of the holiday season? Taking Grandma to see the Donna Summers musical on Broadway and dancing alongside her to ‘Last Dance.’

Don’t overthink it, my fellow 20’s somethings, who I’m sure are navigating this much like I am. Talk to your parents, grandparents, everyone in your life so you can co-create these memories together. They will sustain you during the longer, harder stretches of your life.

Don’t Talk About It, Be About It

Earlier this month, I was given the opportunity to attend an event called P3: People, Purpose and Possibilities. When I signed up, I wasn’t entirely sure what the day would bring. Let’s just say I haven’t felt this inspired in a while.

Throughout the day, we heard from numerous speakers who had a variety of experiences. Robert

Dear World Meaning

The guidelines for all Dear World pictures

Fogary, spoke to us about his Dear World project and humans’ desire to be heard. Aaron Hurst from Taproot, talked about aligning purpose with career, how all work should feel like pro bono work and that purpose is a choice we make daily. Kai Kight, a violinist, wowed us with his amazing rendition of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal. He talked about ignoring the standard and creating your own path, writing the songs of the future versus playing someone else’s songs of the past. Nadine Burke-Harris, founder of Center for Youth Wellness, spoke about adverse situations impact children’s’ health, that being in chronic fight or flight leads to major health problems. As you can see, we heard from a variety of people, too many to name, who each defined purpose differently.

I’ll admit, I left feeling inspired but not sure what to do with the wealth of information I just received. It took me time to process everything I heard and create an action plan or purpose statement. We will get to that but below are my biggest takeaways from the event.

  • One of the PwC directors reminded us that finding your purpose is a journey. It is okay to not be 100% certain about your purpose statement, especially if you are younger in your career. I’m glad she mentioned that because I’m not entirely sure but plan to be more self-conscious about my purpose across all aspects of my life.
  • I know my company invests in their employees but this event was the reminder I needed. Not many companies let you spend a day in reflection around what your purpose is and how it aligns to the company’s purpose.
  • Another PwC director put purpose in the context of “what do you want to be remembered for?” That’s a big question that could cause some to be overwhelmed. If you think of that question each morning and keep it in the back of your mind during the day, you’ll create a life driven by what you believe in versus just going through the motions.
  • Aaron Hurst gave us a few examples of where purpose could come from including relationships, something greater than yourself and personal growth/challenges. Again, I drilled this down to the daily interactions I have that align with what I believe my purpose to be. It’s also about stretching yourself to try new things that could inspire others. Andrew Yang from Venture for America also said there’s no courage or challenge without risk. For me, risk makes me a bit anxious so what he said really resonated. Without any risk or new experiences, you become complacent.
  • Another PwC director reminded us that our purpose, whatever it is, should be evident across all of life’s domains. So you should bring your purpose to work, to your community and to your personal relationships. If you feel like your work isn’t meaningful, talk to someone about how to change that.

After some reflection, here is my current purpose statement: I want to positively impact people and live an authentic life. I know this will evolve over time and plan to review it often. I’ve been trying to keep this in mind at the start of each day. Some days are easier than others. When I think about my job and how this is applicable, I think about each interaction I have: something as small as a thank you email or happily answering a question. Those small things matter and are a part of the bigger picture.

Dear World PicAs for the authentic piece, take a look at the picture to the left. That is my Dear World picture, which is intended to convey my story to the world. For me, I don’t want to just say I believe in something, I want my actions to speak volumes. Saying you believe in something is much different from actually going out there and living out your values. I want to show up as my authentic self, every day in every aspect of my life. Part of this is being more intentional with my time. If I say blogging or exercising is a priority, then I must intentionally dedicate my time to those activities. If at work, I say having an eye for detail is important, then I need to spend time reviewing each aspect of my projects.

Knowing your purpose and applying it to daily life isn’t easy. You won’t always get it right. But I challenge you to think more about it and your values. Please share your purpose statements in the comments section!

Motivation Mondays: Sweet Silver Lining

I will admit and completely own that I was a cranky pants this past week. Work is insanely busy which is awesome but also exhausting. I have a bunch of exciting events coming up with my family and friends that require planning, coordinating and purchasing things. I certainly felt like time escaped me this weeks, like running so fast in quick sand and getting no where.

As Friday came and I ended my work week, I thought about what felt like the longest five days of my life. Yes, it was busy. Yes, it was stressful and yes, I felt like there was zero time to get anything done. BUT looking back, there were some sweet silver lining moments:

– The sun shined really bright this week. Maybe not every day, but at least a few.

Layout 1– The girls on my team at work are exceptional and made me feel like a rockstar this week, even after a few learning curve mistakes.

– Someone took the time out of their day to give me constructive feedback that I found very helpful.

– I sat on my couch Saturday night and did absolutely nothing. Hello paradise.

– Nana was the happiest I’ve seen her in months yesterday, with her daughters, grandchildren and a home-cooked meal before her. She was beaming, despite being in a neck brace and having a broken arm.

When you look at these instances, they are truly little moments; no major life-changing events or celebrity sightings. While during the week it was hard to see these moments, looking back, it’s times like these that are the most special and most memorable. No matter how rough your week or how bad your life seems, there’s always a sweet silver lining hidden somewhere. Remember to look for and be grateful for them.

What’s The Normal Work Day?

Since starting my full-time job in November, I am constantly pondering all aspects of working in the real world. From outfit choices to commuting, I have an opinion on most everything. Within the last month, my friends and I were discussing our typical work day. Of course, the wheels in my head started turning about what the normal work day looks like. Points I’d like to bring up for discussion:

1. There’s No Such Thing As Normal: Yes, the “normal” workday used to be from 9am until 5pm. But that is a thing of the past. With telecommuting and more flexibility, people work around their schedules not the company’s. Honestly, that’s the best way to ensure productivity and success.

Work Life Balance signpost2. Define Your Limits: My goal is to be at my desk no later than 8:30am and to leave no later than 6pm. That’s what works best for me, not everyone. That time span changes if I work from home. Know yourself, when you’re most productive and when you have to shut it down.

3. Each Industry is Different: Teachers clearly work different hours than Accountants. PR professionals are typically “on-call” like doctors in case major news breaks. You must see the differences and respect them. Just because your friend’s day ends at 5pm doesn’t mean yours will. You’ll eventually figure out how to work with each other’s conflicting schedules.

4. Forget the Fear: You are allowed to leave at 5pm if your work is done. That was something I absolutely had to get over. Just because others are still working doesn’t mean you have to. Also, those other people might not have been at their desk at 8am like you were.

With new technology and workplace flexibility, the normal workday is a thing of the past. In reality, each day should and probably will be different. What does your typical day look like? Do you agree with the points above?

Does your week look like this?!

Does your week look like this?!

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