My idea of an easy weekend is…

We thought this weekend it was best to stay in town and take it easy by finally starting our pergola project. We’ve had the supplies in our garage — we just haven’t gotten around to building it because it been too hot to work outside…maybe if we did work on our project in the summer, we would have waited until the sun went down to do the work.

For my trip with my friends next month, we decided to on Austin, Texas. We are still deciding on a second city — namely between Dallas or Houston. We cannot fit all three major cities since we are only in Texas for one week. I did not make a vision board for Texas since it was not in my top three places (sorry in advanced). In fact, our #1 choice was to travel to the Mid-Atlantic, but the ticket prices were too high. Plus all the things we wanted to do there did not fit in our one-week itinerary. There was also traveling to New Mexico and Arizona with a lot of parks in between, but that would have required A LOT of driving. We would have been on the road every single day. In the end, we settled on Texas where flying into Austin had the cheapest tickets out of all the major cities.

Last week on “35 life lessons” I have ended on #15. So I’ll continue on…

16. Take care of yourself. I have been really bad at taking care of myself lately. A visit to urgent care due to a throbbing headache gave me that reminder. Something simple as exercise has helped me deal with managing stress. I think my word of the year for next year will have to be “First.”

17. Talk, read, sing to your baby. It literally changes everything. First 5 California has a pretty effective jingle. Prior to my first kid, I have very limited experience with kids. I babysat for my neighbor’s kid less than five times at 16. When I was 24, I babysat for my friend’s two kids that one time. So when Lana was first born, I did not know how to interact with her so I spent her first year telling her the mundane things about my day, reading books, and singing children’s songs even though she did not comprehend any of it. Guess what? Talking, reading, and singing did not cost me a thing except for my time (and my husband’s). I know some people would put their hands up and say, “no thank you! I’d rather wait until my kid is more interactive.” I am no child development expert, but I believe waiting becomes a lost opportunity.

18. Using a paper planner. It’s been six years since I started using a paper planner. I like to think of it as an extension of my brain. I also feel freer when I write on paper where I’ll see my thoughts mapped out. If I wrote my thoughts and reminders on my Notes app it gets obscured by more notes.

19. Read daily. I am surprise I still read 20 minutes per day. It’s the part I look forward to at the end of my day.

20. Try to negotiate for what you want. Even if you don’t get what you want after, you’ll learn it is time to move on. I was in my first full-time job and it was approaching my third year there. My lab received this new equipment that was supposed to increase production but it required some of us to work on the weekends. Hint: “some of us” pointed to me working on a weekend. It was incredibly unfavorable because I worked a small salary and I was not getting overtime for working on the weekends. I spoke with my direct supervisor to go from salary to hourly so I could get the overtime. He said he’ll speak to the manufacturing director to make those arrangements. Nothing came out of it — did he try e-mailing? He doesn’t have to wait for the manufacturing director to stop by the office. I just wanted a “yes” or “no” answer. So I decided to take matters into my hands by approaching the manufacturing director myself. His short reply was that I wasn’t going to get paid overtime or a salary raise. From there I knew it was time to get a new job.

21 I am glad to have a second act. I was laid off from my second full-time job. There I was a contract worker for a large biotech company. Initially, I was so excited to get my foot in a large biotech company but that honeymoon phase quickly disappeared. I realized I did not want to have a career in biotech and I spent that short tenure figuring out where to go from there. That was when I discovered working in public health and I have been working there since then. In retrospect, changing career directions at 25 is still pretty early. I’ve met people who’ve had long careers from entertainment to hospitality and are now pursuing medicine. I’ve met a person who worked in biotech for many decades. She was approaching 50 and was working on applying to medical school.

22. Doing a “buy nothing.” It’s good for the neighborhood and the environment. I posted a set of cardboard boxes on the Buy Nothing group and I got responses and people came to my house to pick it up. I think it’s more convenient than dropping unwanted items off to Goodwill or a Salvation Army truck. I have talked about getting things from the Buy Nothing group such as work clothes and baby items and a lot of the items I’ve received are in great condition. It would have been a shame if those items went to the waste.

23. Stand up at least once every hour. I’ve been working in an office setting for a long time.

24. Keeping up with a blog has been good for me. This explains itself. I think without a blog, I would have imploded.

25. Secret family money: Adult children, please don’t pretend you worked hard for everything in your life! When I was in college, I had a boyfriend who loved going out to bars and parties and traveling. There was nothing wrong with what he enjoyed, these are typical interests of anyone in their early 20s. The thing I did find questionable was how he was able to afford any of these things. He even had a car even though the college neighborhood we lived in was very public transit-friendly and walkable. On school breaks, he traveled to Europe. Honestly, I found it a little annoying that I had to work a restaurant job at 20 hours per week and pick up catering gigs whenever I can to pay rent and food and catch up with the lifestyle he had (minus the international travel). For him, he worked less than 10 hours per week at a cafe and had a lower wage. Plus he had an unpaid internship so something wasn’t adding up. One day I asked him how he was able to afford the lifestyle he had. He was very defensive and said I had the nerve to suggest that he lived the lifestyle he couldn’t afford and he worked for everything he earned. Well fast forward several months, I met his family and they live in a gated community so that explained his financial situation. You should hear how much money he was gifted when he graduated from college. I am not poo-pooing on financial support from family, if they can afford to support their adult children good for them. Adult children, please don’t pretend you worked hard for everything in your life.

26. Do not feel shame if you can’t afford something. I wish I told myself this when I was younger. It would have saved me a lot of trouble.

27. Who you surround yourself with matters.

27. Pomodoro time management. This is a method where you work on a task for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, you give yourself a 5-minute break. From there you repeat the cycle. After the fourth cycle, you give yourself a 15-minute break. I like this method because there are times I am stuck on one task and it takes up the majority of my day and I have other tasks piling up NOT being done. Pomodoro helps me keep time so I am not stuck on that one thing.

Tags: Weekend Coffee Share

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Eat, Play, Live - my personal blog Buoyancy Blog Project - a blog about resilience

4 thoughts on “My idea of an easy weekend is…”

  1. Hi Julie, I’m still loving thinking through your life lessons. this time I think I want to identify one of these buy nothing services. We have to reduce our baggage and I hate the idea of carting it off to the dump or most of the thrift places. I used to like the salvation army, but they’ve become hard to work with for some reason.
    Good stuff again – thanks for the visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you! For me when it comes to donation and dropping off to a Goodwill or a Salvation Army we have to plan it around our day. Sometimes after an afternoon of running errands, we forget to stop by the Salvation Army to drop off the items. Unfortunately the only day that works for us is the weekends. I understand Salvation Army no longer does donation pick-ups?


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