10 Things I am Grateful For

I was chatting with my mom last night and was complaining about something and mom said, instead of complaining about things that you don’t have or things that are going wrong, be thankful for things you have.

That really made me think. We get so caught up in things that we don’t have that we forget all the blessings bestowed upon us on a daily basis.
With that in mind, here is my list of 10 things I am grateful for. I’d love to see your list too 🙂

thankful

1. My family
Family is always first. Mom, dad, Hubster, Sisbug…I love you all more than I can ever express and I am extremely thankful to have you in my life.

2. Health – seriously health is everything

3. Good Friends
I am blessed with so many wonderful friends in my life.

4. Love of learning
My parents have instilled a love of learning in me that I am extremely grateful for!

5. Life experiences
I have lived quite the life in my 29 years on earth and I am thankful for every single experience, both good and bad.

6. Books
I mean for real though! Thank the lord for this!

7. The ability to feel
I am an extremely emotional person but I am beginning to realize that is a strength and I am embracing it fully!

8. Career
I have a great work fam and a career I love!

9. Food, Water, Safety

10. Love
I love therefore I am.

P.S: I am back from Vegas! So I will be getting back to my normal blogging schedule – all day errry day!
Should I do a Vegas recap post on here?

Away for Work till Thursday!

I haven’t blogged in the past few days because I am away for work in Vegas till end of week!

This is my first time here and they city is interesting to say the least. While we have mostly been at a conference, we have explored some eateries and went to a Penn and Teller show last night with the team which was pretty fun!

I will upload some pictures tonight on here and write a more detailed post. Hope everyone else has been keeping well.

To keep up with my reads, follow my instagram account —-> Link on the right side of the page!

P.S: I am super happy to report that I haven’t fallen behind on my bookstagram challenge and reading! Yay me!

The Importance of Setting Personal Boundaries

I am happy to report that my sleep schedule is back on track now! 8 hours of sleep looks so good and I have managed to get in to work before 9:30am all of this week except one day when I had a medical appointment.

setting boundaries

One important thing I am doing this year is setting personal boundaries for myself.

Given that my work is in the digital realm, I have to consciously disconnect for a few precious hours at night. I do a lot of volunteer work, which I love, and as a result sometimes I end up working into the wee hours of the night.

I have also noticed that in the past few years, I have gotten so involved with my work and volunteer activities that I have neglected my loved ones. On several occasions, people have pointed that out to me, and I’ve always just laughed it off and said, “yeah I love work!”

And while that is true, I think I really need to work on having time for myself and those I love. The world is not going to end if I don’t reply to an email at 11pm.
Even when I am at home with my husband, more often than not, I can be found working. May 2017 be the year of no more of that shit. Putting this here, so I am constantly reminded of it.

Some of the ways I am going to do that is by not answering emails, calls or messages that are either not scheduled in my calendar or don’t require my immediate attention.

I have also noticed that because I reply to stuff right away, I get really annoyed when other people don’t  and I don’t want to feel that way. People have lives and so do I!

When I die, and we all do, that’s just the reality of life, I don’t want to be remembered as the person who did a shit ton of work and then just dropped dead. I want to be remembered as a person who loved and lived a full life – both on a personal and professional level.

Hope your week was amazing!

How I worked and studied full time during Grad School and you can too

Today I am going to talk about something that has been an all too real thing for me throughout my academic life. If I wasn’t tutoring while studying then I was busting my ass being a barista or working full time while pursuing my Masters – full time as well. Here’s how I did it:

1. Extreme honesty with my employers

I am very very very lucky that while I was doing my masters I had a wonderful boss, namely Will Richman, who was extremely supportive and as long as I did my work, he had no issues with me sneaking in 30 minutes of revisions during the day.

Obviously this was not a daily occurrence.

2. Take evening classes 

I chose a program that offered much the same classes every semester but at different time slots so I was able to take them when they were offered in the evenings.

Full disclosure: Yup I did miss a bunch of classes, but as long as I caught up with my readings I was golden.
I have never chased grades, so I don’t really give a crap that I had all A+s. Though I did have plenty of those with dashes of A- and B+s thrown in here and there too. What is funny is that I scored 95% As in my second year of masters when I was working full time and I scored the worst in my first semester when a) I didn’t even take a full course load and b) I was searching for a job. LOL life.

3. Stay focused

This is almost laughable coming from me because I am like this on a good day

distracted-gif

aka extremely distracted but hear me out.

By being focused I don’t mean I set aside a bajillion hours for studying. HELL NO! But when I did study, even if just for an hour, that’s what I was all about. No technology.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop trying to fit in and STOP trying to find study groups. 

This is one of the biggest mistakes I made in undergrad. I tried so fucking hard to find study groups and to be accepted.
If you thrive on your own. DO IT! you don’t need a fucking study group.

Bottom-line: Figure out what works for YOU!

5. Use what you know, what you are passionate about or are working on

By the time you are in grad school, you pretty much know what you want to study or enjoy in life. At least I hope you do.

In my second year, I wrote all of my papers about what I was working on at work or was passionate about.

For instance I took a class on history of graphic novels and wrote all my papers on feminists and women in graphic novels. I am extremely passionate about women in STEM and although not directly related, it was a lot of fun for me to research and write on these topics because it is related to my passions.

6. Take a Masters program in which you are really interested 

Don’t pursue studies just for the heck of collecting degrees. Study something you are really passionate about.

7. Believe in Yourself

There will be a lot of naysayers, people who stress you out or try to get the better of you. Screw ’em all! You made this decision. You do you! Go pursue all of your fucking dreams!

The result of working while I was pursuing my Masters degree?

Simple: I feel like not only did I benefit as an individual from school but my work life benefitted too.
Oh and also no student loans…

student-loans

P.S: I get it, not all Masters programs offer evening classes and not all bosses are awesome. Sooooo yeah…

Thoughts for the moment – First day back at work, ESTA and Donald Trump

So yesterday felt like a Monday in more ways than one. I was so freaking exhausted, which is weird because I just had a 2 week long vacation. But at least I made it to work on time and didn’t switch off my alarms (yes, there are always multiple!)

Part of the reason behind the exhaustion is that I really didn’t stick to my bedtime routine during the holidays and that always screws things up. Here’s to hoping that I can set it back again.
Also, our noisy neighbours kept us up multiple nights in a row, so I blame some of the exhaustion on them. But I was really not alone in this general state of tiredness, I saw a few people yawning at work throughout the day too. I guess that makes it better?

monday-mornings-gif

This was me about 15 minutes into the work day

Oh and I applied for an ESTA because I am travelling for work this Saturday and OMFG! they ask you for so much freaking information. They even wanted my social media accounts but thankfully that is STILL optional.

Anyways, as far as I am concerned, privacy is an illusion. Too real? But seriously, this is nuts. I have never had to fill out this detailed an ESTA prior to this. Wonder why that is but I guess better safe than sorry?

online-privacy-advocate

There is so much due diligence around the visa waiver program but not enough around electing The Donald? The man doesn’t even pause to breathe, let alone think before he speaks or tweets for that matter.

Yesterday he tweeted some gems (read: random redundant non fact based nonsense) about GM and their stocks fell almost immediately. Most of his tweets are not fact checked or backed by data. He just tweets or says whatever his supreme orange heart desires 😀 but like MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN YOU GUYS! *insert eye roll*

Who needs stock market experts? just get The Donald to manage your social media. That’s all I have to say for now.

I hope your first day back at work was a lot more fruitful and less tiring than mine!

3 Things To Incorporate in Your Morning Routine This Year

Kickstarting your year!

I will be the first to admit that going back to work after Christmas break is one of the hardest things we are all made to do every year! Can we just have one more week please? But you know, you got to do what you got to do.

Mornings are hard as is, so having a daily ritual or routine really helps. Here are 3 things that I do to make my mornings a little easier & better –

1. Get some breakfast in you! 

A full belly is a happy belly! So don’t skip breakfast. Even if you grab breakfast outside, that’s totally fine… I am not judging!

2. Wake up a little earlier than usual and take a warm bath 

cozy bath

Take a bath in the morning. I am serious. It is the best thing you can do for yourself. You obviously don’t have to do it every single day!
Also is this bath tub goals or what?

3. Make a To Do List 

Work like a boss! make a list

Easier said than done. Make a To Do List the night before and prioritize your tasks, so you know what exactly you need to get done during the day! Be realistic with your goals and see wonders happen.

Alright everyone! Have a wonderful first week back at work!

6 Things I am Doing in 2017 for my Personal Well being

Each year I come up with some lofty goals that I don’t end up sticking to because well I get lazy or the goals take a back seat in my mind in light of all the life going on around me.

And they always, without fail, have to do with things I want to achieve in my career. Well, this year things are different… I am finally getting around to care for myself and my well being.

I am making a list of 6 things that I can easily incorporate in my daily routine for my person well being. They won’t take longer than 30 minutes each day and as long as I stick to it we should be golden! personal-well-being1. Getting some Headspace every single day

There is this app on the app store, called Headspace, that I have been using for 3 weeks or so and it is wonderful. With 10 minute guided meditations every day I feel like a brand new person! You can do these first thing in the morning or at the end of the day.
I usually alternate between morning and night meditation. I love doing meditations after a nice, warm bath. Makes me feel really pampered.

Go ahead and give yourself some headspace.

2. Taking a Novel Writing Course

I have been wanting to write a novel for as long as I can remember and this year I am taking my first step to learn more about novel writing with Don Gillmor at University of Toronto! Needless to say that I am pretty stoked!

3. Creating a Happiness Jar

I have set aside a mason jar in which I’ll be depositing one positive thing a day – something that made me happy or something I accomplished that day. And then read them all at the end of the year

4. Blogging Every Day 

Two of my goals for 2017 are to get more consistent at writing and expressing myself more. I can’t think of a better way to do it than blogging.

5. Managing my anxiety by not criticizing myself 

I have this sick need to be perfect in everything I do. I don’t compare myself to others, well not mostly, but I do compare my work to what I have accomplished in the past. It is extremely debilitating and leaves me feeling completely overwhelmed.
Though I am good at hiding my anxiety, I really need to stop beating myself over something just because I think it isn’t perfect.

This is also the first year ever that I am admitting that I do have anxiety.

6. Going for a walk every day 

Even if just for 10 minutes. Walking really calms my down and helps me clear my mind. Not to mention that exercise is really good for you. I am putting this in my calendar today so I get a reminder every single day.

What are you doing this year for your personal well being?