Joy: Networking

Saturdays are usual for workouts, cleaning the apartment, maybe homework, and seeing friends. Instead I left the house at 7:30 as if it was a work day, drove to Best Buy corporate, and spent a full 9 hours learning new things and talking to mostly new people.

I have a pretty solid tradition with conferences, bring my own coffee mug (which I fill with water half way through the day), wear layers, and get ready to talk a lot. I’m naturally pretty chatty which helps, but even I need downtime. I assumed I would go home eat a quiet dinner and go to bed early. Instead I ended up going to downtown Minneapolis and meeting a friend and didn’t get home until midnight. It was a long day. But I regret nothing.

I have no idea how the events of yesterday could change things moving forward. I don’t know if I met people who will alter my path. All I know is that if I spend every weekend doing the exact same thing, I’m probably going to stay in the exact same place. And while things are pretty good, I think different could be good as well, maybe even better.

A coworker reminded me that the grass isn’t always greener. And he’s right, but I don’t plan on moving to the next pasture over. I think I’m gearing up for a big change. And when the time and situation is right, I will know for sure.

Do you follow routine? When do you feel like you are in a rut?

Every winter? Every few years?

Relax and Renew

I’m half way through my “spring break” aka I didn’t have class tonight. The next one starts next week, and I’m still waiting for my final grade from the last class. I could take this week to get stuff done. Instead I’ve been mainly resting, cooking some meals, and doing a little spring online shopping. On Sunday I attended What She Said, an event for female entrepreneurs, Saturday I’ll be at Minnebar, a technology/startup event.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). After periods of high exertion you need time to relax and recover. If you don’t consciously and regularly schedule this, you’ll miss it and burn out later. Take care of your health and happiness now by making a plan.

I feel like I’ve been in an extended period of high exertion. Here’s hoping a week off is enough to recharge and prepare for the next crazy MBA class, and whatever else may be in my future. For now I’m just enjoying being in bed before 9 pm for the last 5 days in a row. I haven’t necessarily been asleep that early, but I’ve been in bed. Party animal. This is not an undergraduate spring break.

Did you party hard during spring break? Or work? Or just go home and relax?

Joy: Brewery Visits

After a very long week I needed the weekend. I was super lame on Friday night and went to sleep early after a glass of wine. I woke up early and debated places to go solo brunch and work on my computer…but instead got an invite to join friends at Hi Lo! From there I visited my grandparents and then headed out to a few breweries.

1st Stop: Utepils – I’m not sure when it opened, but I loved the space! The parking couldn’t really support the crowd, but I didn’t get towed from what I thought was an okay spot. They were out of the IPA when we got there at 3, and they ran out of another beer after we had ordered our flight. But they seem to have plenty of capacity for brewing, so I’m sure they’ll get the quantities figured out.

2nd Stop: Sisyphus – This brewery is a small space, They don’t have a “flight” on the menu, but they do offer $2 pours, so you can get as many as you like. We opted to get one of each and split the flight. The maple stout was delicious, and the IPA on first sip was awesome, but when going back to it mid flight I wasn’t as much of a fan. I surprisingly liked their light beers.

3rd Stop: Tin Whiskers – The only St. Paul based one as I visited on my way home. I had their Dynamo Stout which is the Chocolate Orange Imperial Stout that I love. I was given a sample of a Mole Stout that was delicious, and when I went to order it…they had sold out. Hopefully they brew it again, I’m assuming it wouldn’t be until next winter, but I’m sure I’ll still be a St. Paul resident then!

I still went to bed early Saturday night and woke up feeling rested. I don’t have homework this week as I’m on “spring break” so here’s hoping I can lower my stress levels.

Do you like to stay out late and pack a ton of fun things into the weekend? Or do you like to rest and recharge for the week ahead?

Chopped – Hair Donation

Over the weekend I made a change. A change that has been two years coming. I finally donated my hair! This is not my first donation, its either my 3rd or 4th. I can clearly remember 3 of the donations, and I’m fairly certain there was one in college, but I can’t remember for sure. (I also assumed I had blogged about it previously, but can’t seem to find a specific post).

beautiful lengths

My hair takes about 2 years to go from donated, to long enough to donate again. I get a few hair cuts each year, typically taking an inch or so off at a time. Since I don’t dye my hair at this point in my life, its something I can easily do and give back to others. It takes multiple donations to make one wig, and I chose to donate to Beautiful Lengths, which is sponsored by Panteen.

Will I donate again? Probably. I have no idea what life will look like in two years, but I doubt I”ll go any shorter than my hair is now.

Have you ever grow out your hair to donate?

Joy: “Irish” fun and Italian “fries”

Somehow I celebrated St. Patrick’s day yesterday? I assumed next weekend would be the time to go out and about. I had friends who planned appropriately and explored the West 7th area of St. Paul on Saturday afternoon. I joined them later and was happy that they were able to score a table at The Liffy.

Our age started to show when we entered one of the many tents, and prompt exited the tent. It was so crowded we decided to head up to Grand Ave where the crowd hadn’t migrated to…yet.

We went to Wild Onion since it is known for fun times and ordered more drinks and food. I ordered Italian fries assuming they were like chili fries, but Italian ingredients. Nope! I got a fast food tray of cheesy breadsticks. Which the majority of is now sitting in my fridge.

The weekend went nothing like I planned. I showed up and went with the flow, and had a good time. Now its snowing and a new week is starting. Unfortunately I’ve got quite a fews that are all pretty high priority, so I’m hoping my body adjusts to the day light savings time change well, because I don’t have time to be operating at less than my best.

Did you start your St. Patrick’s day celebrations? Or are you a strictly the 17th celebrator? Or does the holiday not really affect your calendar?

Still Kickin, a bonus post.

Just when I thought all hope was lost. Things are starting to look up! I happened to score a ticket to Minnebar a conference located at Best Buy coming up in the next few weeks. I led a deal review at work today and received a compliment from someone I thought didn’t like me. And the weekend is almost here!

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed. You have been a part of many transformations that you are conscious of and many more that you are not. Today, change will occur around you, through you and because of you.

I bought this beer back in October. I think it sincerely was lost in the back of the liquor store because it was released in the summer. I was never lucky enough to find it, until it was supposedly gone.

I promptly bought what the store had in stock, gave some to a friend, and kept the rest for myself. But it never felt right to open. And today I decided not to wait any longer. And its delicious. And I should have never waited. But I like delayed gratification. I like to be sure of something before I commit. Maybe that holds me back from some experiences, but its me. And it works for now.

Homework, with a side of life.

It’s international women’s day. And in the idea of supporting women I hope you’ll allow me to share what’s going on in my life. Its been a tough week or so, month or so, year or so? There have been many good things, but I frequently feel as if I’m trying and fighting and doing my best, and I don’t see the payoff.

The light is almost at the end of the tunnel for my MBA program. My hope is that once it is completed my stress level will reduce. My most recent class has pushed me. To work through muddy waters, and slowly move towards understanding.

I am simultaneously trying to figure out what my next development/work goal should be. I keep reading articles about sharing what you want, naming it, claiming it, and working towards it. The problem is, I’m not sure what that should be. With my limited free time I haven’t been able to research, I can’t necessarily take days/afternoons off to meet for coffee and network. So in the spare moments I do get, I feel as if I’m constantly apologizing or appearing as if I’m unorganized. I think those who truly know me understand that I’m doing my best. But how do I convince strangers?

If anyone knows of a good buzzfeed quiz for discovering your true passion, feel free to send it my way. Also, I’m an ESFJ with strengths of Individualization, Communication, Discipline, Focus, and Significance. (if you want to be reassured that I believe in quizzes beyond buzzfeed’s capabilities).

Joy: home and friends

Happy Sunday. I’m feeling content in a way that I haven’t in a while. It makes me want to move back home. For whatever reason it was a tough week. Nothing significant happened to me, yet I was struggling to find the good. Things started to turn around on Thursday when I had dinner with a friend.

Friday I was in what is usually my element, a conference, where I volunteered as table host and room host. It was a lot of smiling, greeting, facilitating, and hearing inspiring stories from women in leadership. Although instead of inspiring me to move forward, it made me question what I’m doing. I haven’t picked a major business goal to work towards. I’m hoping that the experiences I have, the people I meet, and the education I’ve received will eventually come together in the correct company/job.

traveling art pub

Until then. I go home. To see friends, to run, to feel comfortable. To know that no matter what, these people have my back. They’ve known me for years. We know each other’s parents, partners, extended families. I have no idea what the future holds. But I know that when I need it, home is here for me.

Where do you go when you need to be picked up?

Finding that perfect man.

After multiple requests I am finally going to share a few of the dating stories that my friends have been able to hear in person. Of course names will be changed to protect the innocent (or guilty), and stories go back to last year.

can can wonderland

Fred: We met for a drink, which turned into dinner, which turned into a walk. A great first date. He travels for work, which meant that our next interactions were phone calls on week nights. We finally had our schedules align for a second date, and he wanted to go to Revival. (For those that don’t know, Revival is a restaurant that doesn’t take reservations, and can easily have a 3 hour wait). I would have loved to go, but we arrived at 6:30 pm on a Sunday night, there was no way we were getting seated in the next 3 hours. So we went with plan B and had a nice evening at another restaurant down the road. At the end of the date there was discussions of getting together again…there were a few more phone calls with debating a time that would work, and then nothing was planned.

Mr. Movie: Plans a date for 6 pm, arrives at 6:20. Mentions on the date that he is really just looking to hook up. If only he had told me prior to meeting, we could have both saved the time and energy. I tell him “thanks no thanks” and move on with life. This was in July. In January I receive a text from a number I don’t recognize…guess who. I have to remind him that I still don’t want a “buddy”. He asks to meet for a beer anyways, I’m curious as to what he wants to say. He apologizes for his actions, we chat, and reiterate that I am looking for a relationship, and he is not. We are still talking, but still want different things.

Peter Picture: After 1 date, which was wonderful,  (dinner, post dinner drink, very nice guy) I receive a text the next day. Everyone likes to have contact the next day. Unless its in the form of an unsolicited photo. (I’ll let you imagine what was in that photo). Despite discussion of another date, nothing has materialized. I could look up past the photo, but I won’t look past the claiming to want to meet again, without actually following through.

Mr. Perfect: I haven’t met him yet, I don’t think. Hopefully he’s out doing fun things, spending time with friends and family. I don’t have an exact description of him. But I have hope that he is out there.

Any dating stories to share with me?

Please save me from the “you’ll find him speeches” I’ve heard them. Unless you have an option to suggest, in which case I’m all ears!

Joy: Running Again

Last week I ran 5 times and 1 morning I just was not in the mood, so I went for a 4 mile walk with my mom instead. I wasn’t particularly fast, but I had moments of finding my pace again. I have one week before Garry Bjorklund Half (aka Grandma’s Half) training starts.

Finding the time to add running into my schedule won’t be easy. But its doable. I’m hoping to utilize the gym at work, by running as soon as I’m done with work before I drive home. I think part of why my adjustment back to real life was tough this week was not getting the endorphins I was feeding my body every morning. As much as I would like to run in the morning, I’m not quite ready to get up and run at 5:30 am.

Does your workout routine change depending on the seasons?

With the warmer weather have you been outside more often?

(Or do you live in the area of Minnesota/Wisconsin that ended up getting a snow day on Friday?)