14 11 / 2011
Is it just me or does everyone around seem awful grumpy lately? I’m not normally one to complain about this, but I have been affected by it! Spending time with people who are negative nancy’s and pajoritive pete’s seem to be my fate lately. I do not want to catch the band wagon this time! So, what am I doing, and what can you do to make this world a better place?
1. I smile. A lot. And often. Seriously, smiling helps!
2. I filter what I say. I try so hard to not let anything negative, hurtful or degrading come out of my lips.
3. I put Christmas music on. Yup, I do. I find that this will either make people happy or laugh at me enough to make them happy. I even do this if I find that I’m in a bad mood. It always helps. (okay, I know, not everyone is into the whole Christmas thing, you can do this with any type of cheery music).
4. I laugh a lot.
5. I give myself time outs. When I find that I’m being negative or having a bad attitude, I will literally give myself a time out. A lot of the time this means stepping into the bathroom at work.
6. I give myself peptalks. They really help.
7. I encourage those around me.
Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not perfect! Ask anyone who is in my close bubble. But I do know that having the right attitude, makes everyday life more enjoyable, and the workplace more affective.
09 11 / 2011
Why in the world did I choose to have a grad school interview the same week as the benefit I’ve been planning for work for the past 10 months??? I have no clue.
Why in the world am I applying to grad school? I have no clue, and 10 minutes before my interview, I still had no idea what I was going to tell the gentleman I interviewed with.
But here’s what I know:
I have a busy week, a very busy week. I also have one of the funnest (go ahead, argue whether or not that’s a word) weeks I will have in my job. This week we get to showcase our girls and let them stand in the spotlight as they release their first recorded CD on the red carpet. This week we get to honor, one of Grand Rapids finest philanthropists, Starr Meijer. This week we get to welcome in a jazz trio from New York City, The Biddies. This is going to be one fantastic week. And I’ve had some amazing people standing beside me helping me plan this event, my boss, our event committee, The Biddies, and some amazing sponsors who have poured their heart and soul into making this event successful. Thank you. Thursday, we celebrate.
So why am I applying to grad school, and why this week. Why not? I have always thought that there is no harm in furthering your education. In fact, the more you learn, the better you are for the people around you and society as a whole. I’m not saying that people who choose to ergo higher education aren’t of use, we are all called differently in this life. But what I am saying, is that in order to achieve my dreams, this is something I need to pursue. Who knows, I may not go through with it. But for now, I have an interviewer to impress.
Until next time.
17 10 / 2011
If you would have asked me a year ago where I would be working post-graduation, helping direct communications at a non-profit would have probably been at the very bottom of list. So no one was as shocked as I was, when I was offered a job at a small non-profit and accepted. 10 months later, I am still there, and loving every (almost-every job has it’s moments right?) second of it.
I have learned more in the past 10 months then I may have learned in 4 years of college. I have grown, been stretched, celebrated successes, and seen lives changed. Here are a few tips on how to work for a non-profit and make it a success:
1. Be ready to become passionate about what you do. If you don’t become passionate, then you’re not at the right place. You won’t believe in the mission and vision of the organization, and ultimately won’t fight for it’s success as much as someone who IS passionate about it would.
2. Have mentors. My boss is a great inspiration for this- she has run a NP for 15 years. She knows her stuff. I have placed key people in the NP world in my life to soak up their knowledge. They are the people I look to for direction, counseling and advice.
3. Soak up everything. Constantly have your ears and eyes open to leaders around you. Take in what they say, see how it can apply to your organization.
4. Know your donors. Make them feel on top of the world. A woman I work with always says- your most likely to get your next gift from the person who gave you your last gift. It’s all about relationship.
5. Don’t be afraid of social media or embracing the changes of the digital world. If as a NP you don’t embrace these changes, you won’t survive.
The work is hard, but the rewards are greater.
20 7 / 2011
While I think I may know everything there is to know about everything, I also know i’m wrong. But one thing I do know, is that things in life never go as planned. So what do you do when you encounter a bump in the road or life unexpectedly changes? Keep calm and carry on. And use the below tips in order to do so.
Keep your home life at home and work life at work. Sure, there will be times when the two interlap, but for the most part, when you change roles, leave that role until its time to play it again.
If at first you don’t succed, try, try again. Don’t become afraid of giving something a second chance.
If you fall down, pick yourself up and dust yourself off. If you can’t get up on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all fall at some point.
Failing is a part of life. Realize it, accept it, and embrace it.
Take time to mourn the loss of whatever it is you’re losing. Without proper grievence you won’t heal.
Remember that there is a season for everything. If this season isn’t so great, a new one is on its way. But remember to embrace what season it is that you’re in, there will never be another one like it.
Know that tomorrow is a new day.
06 3 / 2011
playing mom is one of my most favorite things in the entire world.
there is a family from my church that the parents entrust me with their amazing boys when the mom and dad go out of town. i end up being with these boys periodically throughout the year.
now these boys, who happen to all be teenagers, are some of my favorite in the world. and i happen to be with them this week… being with them is like going on vacation for me. i get to pretend to be mom, (but lets be honest- i treat them like my little brothers, i’m more of a substitute sister then anything). we watch movies, play games, and have water wars in the house.
i absolutely love being with them.
they teach me so much about serving others. they teach me what it’s like to be selfless. they teach me how to love unconditionally. i love to serve them. i love to wake up and make breakfast before school and pray with them at night. i love to have the realization that i do get to go home and back to my life of solitude when they frustrate me.
i love their mom and dad and the people they are raising their kids to be.
but here’s what i’m learning. i can’t live in a pretend world. my desires are known by the Lord, and He will direct my steps, and change my heart if it’s not in his will. i’m learning how to patiently wait for what seems to be hopeless. i’m learning to enjoy the life i live in the moment that i’m living it.
i’m learning not to rush timing.
and to take advantage of what i have now.
(BUT I’M SO EXCITED FOR THE FUTURE! and to love on children of my own…)
27 2 / 2011
in the past months life has changed completely. i’ve started two new jobs, as well as thrown around the idea of starting my own communications firm. so all-in-all, i’ve been busy!
i’m learning how to balance all the different aspects of my life… work, volunteer, new adventures and relationships. i’ve determined that i need to get better at balance.
8 tips to obtain better balance in your life
1. pursue your passion as your number one goal. if you don’t, then everything else is going to get in your way and effect the progress you make on achieving your passion.
2. limit internet and tv time. these things will eat your time, and soon you’ll find that you have less time for more important things.
3. make a list of priorities from 1-10, and determine how much of your time you can give to each of the items on your list.
4. get rid of life-suckers. these are people and things that suck the life out of you. trust me, although it may not be easy to rid yourself of life-suckers, it will be most beneficial.
5. build downtime into your schedule- everyday i have written into my calendar a time to go to the gym, and a half hour to an hour block of time for just me. it’s not easy at first, but becomes easier as you start implementing this alone time. i can’t go without it now!
6. when you’re doing something, be totally focused and dedicated to what you’re doing. work while at work, watch your kid when you’re at their soccer game, listen to your friend when you’re out for coffee instead of checking your work email on your phone…
7. if you’re overwhelmed- don’t be afraid to get rid of something! you can’t be the best you unless you’re taking care of yourself…
8. don’t be afraid to say no. okay, i’m still learning, and i think i will be learning the art of balance for the rest of my life.
as for now, i’m still going to do everything i do, just try to do it a little bit better :)
11 2 / 2011
02 1 / 2011
How do you go into something knowing that it will forever change your life?
I must admit, that I do believe that I am finally able to truly start living. My life thus far, has been compromised of parents making decisions for me, school, and somewhat meaningless jobs that I have made meaningful. I have thought that I knew what life was and that I have truly lived the past 23 years. Guess what, I haven’t. The past 23 years I have been going to school, being told what to do by others making decisions for me, and figuring out this whole life thing. The past 5 years I have been working 40-60 hour weeks while volunteering at church and being a full time student. All of that is over now. While i’m somewhat relieved- I don’t know life any other way.
Now is the time for me to truly start living my life. I have the world at my fingertips, so what am I going to do with it…
I’m going to laugh a lot
I’m going to love even more
I’m going to show the world Christ
I’m going to work hard, and play hard
I’m going to be the best I can be at what it is a do
I’m going to avidly communicate
I’m going to write a lot
I’m going to speak to thousands
I’m going to start a family
I’m going to travel
I’m going to lead, and be led
I’m going to make mistakes, and learn from them
I’m going to be passionate, purposed and poised
I’m going to grow
I’m going to let life take it where it wants to take me, and let the Lord direct my path
I have the rest of my life to live. And living is just what i’m going to do. I don’t want to sit back and take the easy road in life. I’m going to let others challenge me, learn from my experiences and the people around me. This is year is the start of a season that will forever change my life. And in the process, I hope and pray that my influence, mistakes and leadership will forever change the lives of other. For everything there is a season…. right?
I’m here, i’m ready, and i’m willing.
20 12 / 2010
"Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden said, ‘When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.’ If you want to be a successful leader, learn to lead before you have a leadership position."