Life, Currently // Four

Date // January 10, 2017

Time //  Tuesday night, just finishing up revisions for a design project and ready to settle in with a good book before bedtime.

Reading // Sleeping Giants, a science fiction novel I picked for January book club.
(Also currently working my way through: Lab Girl, Girl Waits with Gun, and Before We Visit the Goddess. Not to mention a stack of graphic novels from the library!)

Watching // Sex and the City. Because I made it to 26 years without watching it—it was time.

Loving // Sex and the City.

Raving about // Getting enough sleep. Am I getting enough hours at work to make up for the Christmas over-spending? Not quite, but freelance work is decent for the moment, and there’s nothing quite like not worrying about new years resolutions and just getting enough rest to start the year off right!

Working on // Getting to the gym twice a week. I signed up in December and have proven my longstanding theory that I would like running better if I could just stay in one place. All my love for treadmills and earbuds.

Anticipating // A slow season. Fall + the beginning of winter had a lot going on, especially travel, and I’m happy to stay still and do some housecleaning, both literally and not-so-much. 

Considering // Blogging again. Next up, some recent reads including When the Moon Was Ours, The Young Elites, the Gotham Academy series, and My Name is Lucy Barton. See you then!

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7 Lessons from Temping

So I know that after six weeks of data entry temping, I’m probably not an expert on the temping world. But just like anyone else who knows just a little bit about something, I’m totally going to take full advantage and exploit my experience for a blog post.

Just kidding. I obviously mean I’m going to humbly share what little I’ve learned from temping.

Here it is.

7. Most people who temp in Chicago seem to be actors.

In fact, they’re probably all actors. I might even be an actor and just don’t know it.

6. Temps (obviously, I suppose) don’t get ergonomic workspace set ups.

This means your copy-and-paste-finger muscles will be sore for a while. Really, it’s just weird to be so aware of the muscles in your fingers at all.

5. No one tells the temps anything.

Good luck finding out about the food you can order for delivery, or even finding the bathroom, latte machine, or beer fridge. (Why is there a beer fridge in an office? Because apparently millenials + startups = beer fridge.)

4. The real employees may not ever bother to talk to you.

Why would they? You were only supposed to be there for two weeks, and your job has nothing to do with anyone else’s. Or, on the other hand, your supervisor might just give you all comp tickets for Disney on Ice. Be ok with both situations.

(Unless you’re temping in your chosen field, in which case, make people talk to you! Network! Invade! But if you’re at a startup in the car dealerships world typing in data? Maybe don’t worry about it.)

3. Sometimes, at the office, you’ll hear that there was poop on the men’s bathroom floor.

The lesson you learn: don’t ask questions about the men’s bathroom.

(I wish I didn’t have to mention that story, but at the same time, how could I not mention that story?)

2. There is a car dealership in the US called ‘Dick Says Yes.’

Also, posing with a lion, tiger, monkey, and whale is a surefire way to sell cars: http://www.calworthington.com/longbeach/

And finally, most importantly:

 1. Be nice and share your snacks.
Your fellow data-entry professionals can either become friends or people who tell you to shush every time you sneeze twice.
And if they are very strange, sometimes they become both.

Small Goals for Spring

Hey hey, it’s goals time! Granted, it’s been nearly six months since I made the last ones, but that means I should be able to mark every single one off, right?

Ha.

1. Go through all of my things and find order. For a while I honestly only poked at the junk I’ve carried between three apartments and occasionally threw a thing or two away. But in the past week I’ve been sorting through more boxes and baskets of random stuff, so I’m giving this a strikethrough on account of progress. It’s definitely not a done deal, and I won’t be a minimalist anytime soon, but progress!
2. Continue cooking, experimenting, and finding healthier eating habits. I’ve been buying produce, eating salad (sometimes), cooking a lot more, and generally choosing better things when I eat at home. We’ll see if it sticks.
3. Get out of this house more. I could have struck this out if I we were still in early February instead, because I was temping full time for six weeks at the beginning of the year. But I’m back to working from home again, and I could definitely stand to get out the house for at least a little while every day. Or at least almost every day.
4. Get used to reading more at home (instead of on public transit!) and finish some books. Despite the fact that in January and February I was either working full time or traveling, I can still see I’ve gotten better at this. Not completely, though: Hulu does have its siren call, after all. But I made 75 books in ’15 and so far have 18 for ’16!
5. Sew. This is nearly a 100% fail. I did hem one pair of pants when I wasn’t sure what the typical dress would be for my last temp job. Let’s just say I should have done them by hand, because my machine hemming on those… I’ll likely be redoing them. I’ll make this a goal again sometime, but I think I’ll ease up on my expectations for awhile.

So a blurry 3/5 isn’t bad, right? Now for the spring:

1. Do my taxes. Sadly, as a freelancer, I will not be getting a tax return, but will be paying instead. Still the sooner I do them, the sooner I can heal. ;)
2. Work out 5 days a week. This could very easily be considered a big goal at any other time–but I’ve actually done just that so far this month. I started using Daily Burn so that I can super easily chromecast workouts from my phone to the TV, and so far their Cardio Sculpt workouts have been pretty great. I’ve had some specific motivations to finally get healthier, so my (sort of) small goal is to keep that up for the rest of the month, and beyond.
3. Network more! I’m at a point in my career where, well, I need some new opportunities. So I recently became a board member of Chicago Women in Publishing and will be getting up the nerve to do lots of scary, scary networking!
4. Read my own books, specifically at least one of the potentially great nonfictions I have laying around. I have at least three that I’ve already started, so finishing one should probably happen.
5. Hang art on our walls. Most of our walls, including in my bedroom, are still sadly blank or tentatively decorated. It’s time!

We’ll see how I do on these between now and… well, anytime between two and six months from now!

Small Goals for Fall

Let’s start out by saying that this list will not include the words, “Get a job.” Obviously finding more work besides my current freelancing opportunities is something I would very much like to do, but it is also not a small goal.

I’m also comfortable that while some of these are easily quantifiable, some are not. In some areas, progress will be just as important as success, and in this transition time, progressive goals make more sense anyways.

  1. Go through all of my things and find order. I’ve just moved, and simultaneously have more and less space than before. By living with roommates again, I’ve gained more living space, more room to sort through my things, more chance to be organized. But at the same time, we have almost no linen-closet-type storage space, so it’s a sort of forced chance to declutter the possessions I’ve mindlessly carried with me since leaving schoolv.
  2. Continue cooking, experimenting, and finding healthier eating habits. Like breakfast, fruits and veggies, less snacking, the usual. I’m already eating at home almost completely, so that helps a ton, but I’m still working on being sure my cooking is actually healthy once in awhile. This is, in some ways, a big goal because it emcompasses so much. But I’m already moving towards it, and maintaining that momentum is the small goal.
  3. Get out of this house more. It’s been easy to become even worse of a homebody than I already am. I’m happy just being around the house, for the moment, and going out further than walking distance requires either a much longer transit option or planning ahead of time to borrow a car. And going places in walking distance means, well, walking. But I want to know Logan Square better, so I’m going to have to suck it up and get out.
  4. Get used to reading more at home (instead of on public transit!) and finish some books. Self explantory.
  5. Sew. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I decided to move in with roommates, knowing I would likely have more space to set up my machine. I have a mental list of clothes to alter that’s almost embarrassingly long.

Theoretically, I’ll post when we get into winter with some new goals and happy/shamefaced/both update on how I did on these. So, theoretically, see you then!