Tag Archives: getting a grip

Back to School

17 Jul

classroom-hands-up_thumbI spent today in a training class for work, and if there was any doubt that I am done with school and lecturing and endless power-point presentations, today killed them off. I like learning new things, but seven solid hours of verboten manual reading had me crawling out of my skin! I was already getting jittery twenty minutes in, and by hour four, had covered  my notebook with middle-school scrawls and “Mrs. Dicaprio” signatures.

Needless to say, I’m definitely more of an active learner, or I’ve just gained a case of ADD since the last time I was in school.  Any time a meeting creeps past the 45-minute mark, I’m ready to jump through the roof, and the thought of training camp part 2 is giving me hives! Of course, this could simply be an example of how tightly strung I truly am. It’s not like I have a mountain of more important things to do, and I am actually gaining useful skills. But does it have to take so long???

How quickly you forget the structure of class schedules and lecture times when released into the real world. Sure, I don’t have free rein on my schedule now, but for the most part, I’m not chained to my desk or glued to a screen for hours at a time! I think it’s time to go back to yoga or practice the art of circular breathing…perhaps take a trip to a monastery to find my inner peace. But for now I’m going to reward myself for sitting still all day with an ice cream cone after work. Hey, those preschool lessons do come in handy after all!

A Balancing Act

10 Jan

lottie1Eeee, this week has been BUSY! All of a sudden, I’m head-over-heels in work, training new people, delegating, making calls…wait. Did I just say I was delegating? Am I actually taking a look at my to-do list, and admitting it may not be possible to do it all by myself?! Am I actually letting go of my control-freak tendencies just a tad and letting others step in?! IT APPEARS SO. A NEW YEARS MIRACLE HAS OCCURRED. ALERT THE PRESS!

Yea, I’m not usually one to do stuff like that. I have always preferred working alone than in a group–high school was four solid years of groaning and bitching about “group work” that in the end always fell to me anyway. It’s not that I don’t work well with other people, it’s just that I prefer to do everything myself! If it’s going to get done right, I might as well just do it, the thought process of a type-A crazy person goes! Of course, over the years since high school and working with slackers who wouldn’t know how to assemble a proper power-point presentation on the periodic table if it hit them in the face, the quality and work ethic of the people I’m paired with now has risen exponentially. Still, I like things done the way I like them done! It’s deep-seeded and hereditary. My mother is exactly the same way and it’s ruining both of us!
The number of church dinners she has single-handedly planned is something I both look forward to and dread for myself!

But I’m slowly learning to let go, and this week in particular have gotten into the hang of saying, “You know what, YOU DO IT.” It’s been surprisingly refreshing! Plus, I feel more focused and organized when all is said and done. Next step is work-team t-shirts and secret handshakes to celebrate this working bond!

Victory At Last!

7 Jan

tumblr_lgf85p5NQq1qa70eyo1_500Happy New Year! After a week of holiday festivities, working on and off, shuttling between the city and New Jersey, then the city and the Catskills, plodding through a few days of doing nothing, and then a few of having too much to do, the new year is officially in full swing! And what better way to kick it off than with a crown perched atop my head, a sparkling diadem bearing a win in the cube decorating contest!!!

Yes, victory was mine at last! My stunning display of office regalia was finally recognized in the over-the-top spectacle I had been dreaming about! A parade was thrown, trumpets were sounded…well, it didn’t exactly happen that way. In fact, it almost didn’t happen at all! Unlike last year, where the contest was a heated and contested battle among colleagues, this year, only three people participated! I guess it’s easy to shine when you’re literally the only diamond in the rough! I begged my cube mate to decorate, not for the sake of competition, but to make it seem like I wasn’t the only person with enough time on their hands to participate! In the end, I was happy with how my cube turned out, and while I wasn’t lauded at the Christmas party like I had hoped (and I still haven’t received MY PRIZE), the boss sent out an email, officially carving my name in the stones of office history.

Yes, this probably means a little more to me than it should. But I am a participator! I love these kitschy little office things…plus, it was a perfect opportunity to display my crafty spirit, and show all my colleagues what a vibrant social life I have…

Mirror, Mirror

7 Dec

vintage-photo-of-woman-applying-makeup-240bes102710I have officially changed lives! Ah, such modesty…but the dinner I attended the other night was great! I was a little apprehensive both to give advice and sit at the table I was assigned to–a few reporters from the New York Times and a 60 Minutes producer were within arms reach! Fortunately I resisted fawning too shamelessly, and as much as I wanted to, did not ask the New York Times reporters how it felt to even walk into that building everyday and breathe air filled with excellent journalism! So all in all, I kept myself under control!

That’s the thing though: here I was, admiring my colleagues and fantasizing about what it would be like to have their careers, when all around me were students thinking the same thing about me! It was pretty illuminating on a personal level to see myself in these students, and then to recognize how much I’ve grown and the confidence I’ve gained since graduating. It was such a relief to know that I would never again feel so lost and terrified by the unknown. Of course, not every student was as over-dramatic as me, but the general consensus of really really wanting to be successful and not really knowing how/if/when it would be happening was something I could certainly relate to!

So all-in-all, it was a really cool night. Of course, not everything could go so smoothly, and I ended up choking on a forkful of Basmati rice right in the middle of reassuring a student that jobs do exist and she wouldn’t have to work at a Forever 21 for the rest of her life. It got pretty emotional–she thought I was crying, I thought I was dying…you know, just the usual dinnertime conundrum. But with a sharp rap on the back from her and some career advice from me, things ended pretty well and we formed an unbreakable bond! Whatever it takes to make a difference, right?!

Snip Snip

20 Nov

I’ve always had a rather complicated relationship with my hair, as has been documented many times over in this blog and elsewhere. In the entirety of my life, between the many haircuts I’ve had, products I’ve tested, headbands and fancy hair clips and baseball hats I’ve donned, I’ve rarely looked at my hair and said “Wow, that’s nice.” Lately, I’ve been on a bit of an upswing, because I discovered the joys of a hairdryer, and seem to have finally figured out the virtues of a round brush! But as always, said virtues only last so long, until there’s that horrible week when you realize the inevitable has arrived: you need a haircut.

There are few things in life I both abhor and look forward to with the same fervor as getting my haircut. On the one hand, I usually wait so long to get it done that my hair has worked itself into a frizzy, flat mess I can’t wait to chop off. On the other, there is the 100% certainty I will look at myself after and feel an overwhelming sense of regret. And this is because I can never just get my hair trimmed. I always feel like I need to get my money’s worth, so instead ask for “a new look.” And there is a 100% certainty this “new look” will look hideous and I will cry.

So yesterday, I mustered up every ounce of self-control I could find, stared myself down in the mirror and repeated my mantra over and over: No bangs. No bangs. DO NOT GET BANGS. So when the hairdresser sat me down and asked what I wanted done, and the first thing out of my mouth was “I think I want to try some blunt bangs,” I knew I was in for trouble. But as she came closer, the gleaming tips of her scissors poised right above my eyebrows, a shred of sense crept back into my brain. “Wait!” I said, mild hysteria lodged in the back of my throat. “No. Bangs.” I forced out. “I don’t want bangs! They will not look the way I am envisioning them in my head! STAY STRONG AND BACK AWAY WITH THE SCISSORS.”

Well obviously the hairdresser was a bit flummoxed and did in fact back away. Then we worked through it and I now have a sassy little cut that has yet to move me to despair! Yes, it’s a little shorter than I may have wanted, but it’s flipping out just so and looks quite lovely! Could this be a first?!?! …Check in with me tomorrow.

A Divine Intervention

3 Oct

This day has been cray-zeeeee! Everything seemed to be coming to a head all at once today: travel needed to be booked, interviews needed to be discovered, AstroTurf needed to be purchased….yea, it’s been that kind of day. This morning, it felt like I was going around in circles without getting much done! But after a late lunch and a brisk walk around the building to clear my head, the stars began to align and things started coming together!

I’m an ace when it comes to the more organizational aspects of my job, but one of the most nerve-wracking things is trying to book someone for an interview. My own nerves paired with the pressure of deadlines make me approach every phone call with a combination of desperation to get it done, and the fear that I won’t.  Today, I was getting dangerously close to throwing in the towel and throwing myself weeping onto the feet of the producer I was working with, but thankfully a divine intervention occurred, saving me from a hellish level of embarrassment!

Yes, like the heavens parting with a ray of sunshine slicing through the clouds, my office phone rang with an unexpected phone call!  Magically, this person had all the elements for my missing interview! I quickly shared the news while genuflecting down the hallway…it was a religious experience. But all joking aside, it’s amazing what happens in the moments when you feel like you’re up against a wall! My sigh of relief has propelled me through the rest of my day, as I’ve attempted to find places that rent director’s chairs in the middle-of-no-where Georgia! Jesus…take it away!

GO TO SLEEP, ME!

18 Sep

Ugh, I have had the worst time falling asleep lately! It’s getting to the point where I’m starting to dread bedtime, knowing that instead of sweet dreams, I’ll be spending hours staring at the ceiling before my lids decide to cooperate! I thought I had solved this problem during my vacation, where I effectively wiped my brain clean from any and all over-thinking, and even the first week or so after I got back was filled with delightful REM slumber. However, my overactive brain has revved itself back into nocturnal brain-dump mode, and I haven’t been able to fall asleep until 3 am in a week!

The most annoying thing about it is that I spend the entire day dragging and feeling groggy. Then I go home and sit around some more because I’m too tired to do anything! You’d think this compounded exhaustion would send me to bed at 9pm, but once I brush my teeth and hit the sack, that’s when my mind decides to explode. “What could you possibly be thinking about for four hours before you fall asleep?” you may ask. Well, wouldn’t you like to know! Basically, in the dark of night, my mind flits from one thing to the next, a paper-thin connection the only segue. Observe, an excerpt from my mind, at 1 am:

“This was a busy day–of course I could’ve been more productive, so I should really start formulating my to-do list right now, and then repeat it ten times over so I don’t forget it in the morning. Specifically, don’t forget that you have to send those emails! Also don’t forget it’s your grandpa’s birthday and you should call him. Speaking of…your phone. It sucks. Why don’t you get an iPhone? I guess it’s kind of expensive and I should be saving money. Which reminds me, I need to pay my electric bill. That was kind of a lot this month, thank goodness I don’t have to use my fan anymore now that it’s cooler! Fall! I love fall so much! What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? What am I going to wear? I should break out that blue blazer…o wait, it has red on it, I should really get just a plain blue blazer. I should run to the Gap during lunch! Good point…I should try to get up earlier and make my lunch tomorrow. I think it would be cool if I was a chef. Maybe I’ll go to culinary school someday! Oh my God, remember that time in college when I made huevos rancheros and put an entire can of jalapenos in it? I really like Mexican food. Maybe I’ll take my next vacation to Mexico! How cool would that be? Travelling is so much fun, I loved living abroad. Studying abroad was really great, I should just rehash every trip I went on during those four months right at this very moment, because what else is there to do, you know?”

Uh, maybe I should add “Get a prescription for Ambien” to my list of nightly musings….