Joy: Creativity

Creative. Its not always a word I would use to describe myself. I’m terrible at crafts. However, I find myself wishing for more creativity. I don’t do much within the space other than basic posts, there are plenty of things I know should do, but haven’t made the time/energy to do.

I am starting to wonder if you either have to be boring grey matter, or an explosion of crazy color. While grey was cool for a while, now everyone is all over Millennial Pink, and my favorite color is still blue. Always will be.

There has to be a way to drip some subtle color into that grey world. Without it turning into a blood red explosion. Some yellow happiness, some green prosperity, some true blue.

Or do all those colors end up mixing into a grey mess? I guess I’m trying to creatively explain the questions that are always circling me. What do I want to do when I grow up? Do I want to stay in the financial area of the world? Do I want to go knocking on the marketing door?

I’m glad I had a networking break before going to Duluth for the Zenith Conference. I’m excited to meet new people, but more importantly have some time in my favorite city. Here’s hoping for good weather, although I know I’ll still have a great time even if it rains.

Whats your favorite color? Favorite Duluth activity?

Finding the Sweet Stuff

I’ve been a broken record on stress. Its not a fun story, yet I keep retelling it. So I’m trying to yolo. (Do we still say “you only live once”?) Thursday night I went out for dinner with my aunt and uncle, and then took myself out for ice cream.

I strolled the neighborhood and listened to a podcast. Last week and this week I have had events scheduled each night. Its not my preferred setup. I like 2 events per week, class doesn’t count, but I need at least two nights free to stay organized.

I’m really starting to dream of the fall when I have completed my MBA. Until then, I’m doing what I can with what I have. And when I don’t have ice cream, I probably need to go for a walk and get some.


Joy. Sunrise.

Two weekends in a row up north, bliss. I specifically sleep with my window shades open so that I can see the sunrise. Saturday morning I stumbled out of bed, took the photo, and then cuddled back up with Johnny.

After another hour then I made my way over to Gull Lake. 4 wonderful miles of running with a friend. Sharing what is new with our lives and what we try to do to stay healthy. The great part about running in the Gull Lake area is the proximity to Zorbaz. The group specifically chose to end the run there so we could chat about summer plans and races.

It was exactly the Saturday I needed. I did 1 chapter of homework before heading to an early dinner with my family. And as small town dining tends to go, I saw a lot of friends, and ended up going out after dinner as well. I didn’t plan on a late night, but it was worth it to go out and have some laughs.

Sunday is already bringing some blues. I don’t want to go back to the cities this afternoon. I’m contemplating staying up north and making the 4:30 am drive down to the cities. I doubt I will take that option this weekend. Sunday nights in my own apartment are good for getting settled, preparing for the week ahead. So I’ll have to make the most of my next 6 or so hours of northern living before making the drive south.

When is the weekend over for you?

Sunday night? Sunday afternoon? Or Monday morning?

Backing Off.

I spent most of the weekend checking in with myself. Stress level, happiness, energy, muscle soreness. I do these checkins all the time, but I’m not quite pleased with the result. It is because I’m placing too high of demands of myself? Or because I’m not making good choices and therefore am feeling worn down?

I’m running 2 miles at a time until my body can get through that without hurting. Then I plan to increase it to 3 miles. Running helps the mental health, provided my schedule allows the time to get out on the road.

I retold my latest dating stories on Saturday, which prompted someone to ask if I’ve shared them. Not much has changed since that post, but my horoscope decided to give me quite the wake up call yesterday.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). At any point in a relationship, someone loves harder. Which one is loving harder? You. You seem to be always loving harder. What is going on with this? Back off. Receive.

Backing off is not my strength, receiving is definitely not something I am used to. There are so many things that I want to accomplish, and it feels like if I back off I will never reach my goals.

Are you a giver? Do you find a balance with receiving?

Joy: Independence

The weekends I go up north, to an empty home, might be my favorite. Its quiet, I can do what I want, when I want, and I can’t hear my neighbors, or traffic, other than the occasional train. It could be lonely.

I could be disappointed that there isn’t someone to share meals with but the time is what I make it. I typically have at least one event planned if I’m coming up for the weekend. Occasionally I’ll schedule two things in one day, but with needing to complete homework, I try not to over schedule.

Saturday afternoon I debated what to do. I knew homework needed to be done, but the weather was begging for some patio/brewery time. I wasn’t able to snag an outdoor seat at Big Axe Brewing in Nisswa, but I was able to get a table near the window. I completed half of my homework, I enjoyed some delicious beer. The other half of the homework will be completed this morning.

As I sat studying and sipping, I tried to block out the noise of friends chatting, families visiting, and workers getting used to the crowds. I felt moments of loneliness, but they were brief. I’m lucky to be able to do pretty much what I want, when I want. I hope it won’t always be this way. I would like a partner to share life with, and build a life with. But until then, I’m not going to shut myself in a house.

I’m going to go out, have fun, even if fun looks like homework and a beer. The definition of fun will hopefully change over the years. And what is fun now may not be fun in the future, but that is okay. I’ll find joy either way.

What is fun for you?


Finding Peace

This week has been full of ups and downs. I’m very ready for a quiet Saturday night in Aitkin. I have had to rearrange and reschedule and put off scheduling some things.

Surprisingly my overall attitude this week has been better than usual. The disappointments of the week have still been replayed in my head, but I’m accepting them. What has happened is in the past, all i can do is look forward.

This blog has always been about me. It isn’t about gaining followers or showing my marketing skills. Its a place for me to share what I’m going through. I have no idea where life is going to take me. This time next year I could be in an entirely different place. Or I could be living a very similar life. I don’t know. Instead of being scared of this, I’m going to trust that I’ve gotten through the last 28 years, I can probably get through the next 28.

When things are confusing, do you replay them in your head?

Or do you push past the confusion?

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?