(Re)Invigorate

The last Weekend Coffee Share of the year! I have to say, I’m surprised I kept up this blog the whole year. If anything, this blog has helped me process through a lot of difficult moments. In addition to Weekend Coffee Share, I participate in the Photographing Public Art Challenge, the Lens-Artists Photography Challenge, and the monthly #whatsonyourbookshelf. I created a new series on my blog such as “Eat Around the World” where I explore and play with different food themes — I always wanted to incorporate more food posts on my blog. Once in a while, I like to play armchair sociologist where I write about being Asian-American and share some of my observations. I even created a separate blog called “Lana at the Library” where we document Lana’s library haul.

Here’s a photo of me in January 2021, not knowing what the year will bring. We went out to the snow and it was Lana’s first trip to the snow.

And here’s a photo of me on December 16th, 2021. Coincidentally, I’m wearing the same scarf. I just got home from work and I am waiting for dinner to finish cooking. Work has been busy as I am completing a few projects for this week.

I already decided my theme for 2022 would be “(Re)Invigorate.” 2021 has weighed me down and honestly I’ve been feeling low and less motivated. Last year I was pregnant with a newly remodeled living area and now I have not just a baby but two adults living in my house. Caring for the little one is great, but my two BILs are a little challenging. As long as my BILs are living here, I feel less inclined with goal-setting and goal-pursuing which has been detrimental to me. I spend my evening and weekends and cleaning after them and I feel too tired to plan my next project on most days. I also have to add, it’s been pretty expensive supporting them too. For example, just now, the whiskey I was planning to bring for tomorrow’s party is completely gone! I already decided I was going to look for work closer to home — or even transfer to a closer office. I’m not completely unhappy — I just know I can be happier. On most days I find myself going through the motions and rolling through the punches and taking it as is no matter how much it sucks.

Earlier this week, my coworkers suggested I apply for a certain position. This position would be a promotion for me. My coworkers told me, “Come on, you have a Master’s Degree you have to at least apply for this position” — and that’s what shook me…Suddenly I felt invigorated, emboldened, and out of my funk. I know, I know…cue the eye roll. I get it. I already hear the peanut gallery yelling at me “Just because you have a Master’s Degree it does not mean you have skills.” It was such a simple statement, but for me, it felt like validation. It was a reminder that I deserve better, not walked over and dragged around. Ever since I entered my 30s, I observed validation came in the form of how good you look, how well you defy aging, how well you “bounce back” after giving birth, or if you bought a Tesla or some luxury car (even if it’s out of your means) — not if you have a degree. I felt like I was wearing an invisible crown that whole day and I want to feel like that every day — even if people are rolling their eyes at me.

I need to be kinder to myself. I think (Re)Invigorate is an appropriate theme to explore from now and into next year. It’s important I explore and recognize what I’m worth. It was as though I woke up and realized I work, scrimp, and save money so hard in life to only have it taken away.

4 thoughts on “(Re)Invigorate”

  1. Hi Julie,

    I’ve enjoyed your contributions to the weekend coffee share and hope you keep joining us in 2022.
    My wife and I had home guests for extended periods and while we did not have the challenges you describe, we ended up asking each of them to move out for different reasons and now, really don’t ever want to do that again.

    I don’t know about your work situation, your readiness for a new role with more responsibility or even the value of your degree in the situation, but at your age, I do think it is a good idea to pursue higher goals as your life choices permit.

    I’ve been a hiring manager and learned the hard way how to do well in interviews. If you’d like to bounce idea off of someone so far away that objectivity is almost a given, feel free to ping me. I’m close to retirement now but have coached several as a way to thank those who coached me along.

    I can tell that you’re a thoughtful person and bright enough to see multiple sides of question like this, so, I offer two items that actually argue for the same point.

    1) My wife has an advanced degree, but did not like the practice that came with it and when the children arrived, we choose for her to stay home and home school them 20 some-odd years ago. We have never regretted that decision and quite the contrary have many times been thankful that we went with it.

    2) I know of a woman who decided otherwise and reached the top of our industry but paid a price for it. I learned something from her about reading into situations and about keeping my mouth shut because I rarely know the whole story behind things. I captured her story (names left out) at this link if you’d be interested. https://garyawilsonstories.wordpress.com/the-eddies-of-work-the-taste-of-words/

    Finally, I hope you find a better way to manage your family environment. It sounds draining.

    I hope you and your family have a great holiday season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Gary. A while back I turned down an opportunity to interview for a higher position at a different location (same employer) because it was too far. I know many people who have far commutes and have school-age children. I know some of my coworkers enroll their kids to schools nearby work and they carpool back home. I’m not sure if it would be a viable option. As of two weeks ago, I received another opportunity to interview for a higher position at an office that is closer to my house but I would have to work some Saturdays. I’ve been doing a pros and cons list with each opportunity to determine if it’s compatible with my life choices for both the short- and long-term.

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      1. Well thought out Julie, “Some Saturdays” might be attractive depending on how that might work out for your family. Be thankful that your skills are being noticed and if this new opportunity does not earn your nod, perhaps the one that will is not far off.

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