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Archive for the ‘Musings’ category

Let’s talk about July!  It seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye.  It was 4th of July one day and then the 31st the next.  It’s hard to believe that it’s August already.  Although the autumnal equinox is on September 22 I think that most people in the U.S. take Labor Day (always the 1st Monday in September) as the end of Summer.  Or, the start of  school–whatever day that may be for you, your kids, or the area where you live.

All of that to say that Summer is slipping away!  I’ve seen many people on social media bemoaning Summer and wishing for cooler temps and sweater weather.  Me?  Not so much.  I am still enjoying Summer weather and I know that Fall and Winter will be here soon enough– there is no reason to rush it.

Be present.

Here is a gallery of my outfits for July 2016:

Don’t worry– I did get dressed the other 26 days of the month.  I also have a pair of light denim shorts, dark denim shorts, and olive-green shorts that were in heavy rotation.  The olive-green shorts were recently added to my wardrobe along with the rust colored shorts.  I wouldn’t mind picking up a few more pairs of shorts that fit well for the last month of Summer, but I probably won’t.  (I have 4-5 pairs of shorts that don’t fit.  I’d rather get in to them than buy new shorts.)

And with that, let’s review my resolution progress.

Finances
  • Student loans

No real progress to report– just holding steady and paying the minimum payments until my income resumes and I can pay more.

  • Retirement/Savings

I am doing my best not to blow my entire savings account over the Summer, but I know that I will have to use about half of it to pay bills.  The goal is then to replenish it!

  • Professional Development

Announcement time!  I will not be returning to academia this Fall.  I am taking the semester off to explore another avenue.  Last month I accepted a full-time position as a customer care representative with a Fortune 500 company.  I am excited and nervous.  I have never had this type of job before and I am not sure if I will love it or hate it!  But, I am going to find out.  I begin a 6 week training program August 22— one week before I would have started back to teaching.  The dress code is casual— jeans are permitted and I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of this blog.  If you have any thoughts or comments, please share them in the comments.

Misc.
  • Skydive

Not sure if this is actually going to happen.

  • Travel

I think that we are back to this one being on the back burner for now because we are buying a house and I am starting a new job.  Priorities!

  • Read 12 books

I’ve hit this one and I am still going!  Right now I am reading book #14 for the year and I am about an hour away from finishing it!  I estimate that I will end this year with 19-20 books read.  That’s kinda crazy when you think about it.

Health/Well-Being
  • Lose Weight

I have dropped the ball, big time.  I stopped counting calories and I fell off the running wagon.  I only logged 5 activities for the month of July.  I did attend yoga 2 times, but that only brings me up to 7 work outs.  That’s not going to help me reach my goals.  My weight is almost exactly the same as it was on July 1 and my body composition hasn’t changed.  The last week of this month I did start weighing myself almost daily so that I could use that number to help me make solid choices for what I put in my mouth.  If it was high one day, I would use that as motivation to skip the sweets.

In a weird way, I am looking forward to going back to work and having a more rigid schedule to help keep me on track.  I’m also nervous because I will have a job where I am sedentary for 8 hours a day.  I haven’t been in that type of scenario since high school.

The plan for August is to log more than 7 workouts for the month.  That’s about 2 a week.  I also keep saying that I want to start lifting weights, but I haven’t followed through.  Perhaps that is what I should do today?

  • Brush/Floss nightly

I’ve got this one down as a solid habit, now.  It’s part of my nightly routine to go and floss and brush.  I flossed 29/31 days of the month, or a 93.5% and that was my goal.  I brushed 30/31 nights for a 96.7%.  I have also added another step to the routine and that is a fluoride mouth rinse to further help fend of plaque, tartar, and cavities.  My goal for August is to stay above 95% for brushing and flossing.

  • Beauty Routine

I have gotten in to a routine of washing my face any applying products every night when I brush my teeth.  But, I am still not tracking the products that I use.  The book about habits that I recently read talks about monitoring and how it can be beneficial.  That’s the reason why the silly app helps me keep up with my nightly brushing and flossing.

I wouldn’t say that I am doing amazingly well on all of my goals, but I would say that I am doing well at not slipping too far on the ones that I am having some trouble with.  I could just say the heck with it all and be much worse off than I am.  Summer is always a very difficult time for me.  As weird as it sounds, I hate not working during the Summer— you know what they say, “idle hand’s are the Devil’s workshop.”

How are you doing with your progress?  Have you met goals that you set in January?  Did you drop the ball and then re-commit at the half-way point for the year?  Are you bolstered by small wins?  Please let me know–share in the comments below.

-Carla

Quick Hello!

Hi!  I just wanted to take a moment to assure you that I am alive and I have not abandoned my blog.  However, I am not working over the Summer so I don’t have any blog worthy outfits to share with you.

To make up for it, here is a rundown of my week:

Monday: Got up early to do some online training to become an SAT Essay scorer. 🙂  About 6 hours of training.

Tuesday: Continued with my online training, and completed my certification.  I passed.  Went grocery shopping in the afternoon.

Wednesday: Volunteer at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens with my old pals and went to lunch with them after.  Then, made a short trip to the mall for my mother-in-laws birthday present.

Thursday: Slept in.  (9am) Ran 5 miles.  Hung out around the house.

Friday: Volunteered at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.

In the evenings, I spent time with my husband watching YouTube videos, tormenting the cat, and watching TV.

Exciting, huh?

That’s it for me.  I’ll try to have some outfit posts for you, soon.

-Carla

I have mentioned that school is out for the Summer and I am actively seeking work.  I am investigating all opportunities— part-time work for the Summer only, full-time work for the Summer, and full-time opportunities for the Summer and beyond (potentially to replace teaching).  I have written about the importance of interview attire, but let’s back up a step.

Before you can even land an interview you have to spend time looking for jobs.  I use word-of-mouth and look for “Help Wanted” or “We’re Hiring” signs at places I go— especially for part-time jobs in retail or restaurants.  I also use many of the different online job boards:

In addition to those job boards, I will periodically check all of the 2-year colleges and 4-year universities in my area.  This is a very time-consuming process.  When people say that looking for a job can be a full-time job in and of itself, they aren’t kidding!  While looking at the job boards I will either bookmark jobs that I am interested in or open them in another tab.  Once I have a handful, I start the application process.

I try to have two or three versions of my resume on hand that works well for different positions— my teaching resume lists all of my teaching positions, both of my degrees, information about the professional organizations that I belong to, and just one or two of my other work experience.  My restaurant or retail resume lists all of my restaurant and retail experience and only some of my teaching positions.  I don’t bother to take up space listing my professional organizations or my sub license because it’s not relevant.  After entering in all of that information into their form and attaching a resume you will most likely be asked to submit a cover letter.

Although you can have somewhat of a boilerplate cover letter, it is important to make sure that you are customizing it for the position.  If they are asking for someone with skills like multi-tasking, leadership, customer service, and computer programs you want to address which of those skills that you have.  If you don’t have all of them, it’s OK but you don’t want to spend time waxing poetic about your experience with implementing change if it is not applicable to the position.
The #1 Writing Tool

The other IMPERATIVE item is that your materials (cover letter & resume) be free of any spelling errors or grammar mistakes.  You might get a pass if you have one minute issue, but there’s no way of knowing!  Especially if there is a lot of competition for the job.  There is nothing worse than saying that you are detail-oriented and then having inconsistencies in the formatting of your materials or representing yourself poorly with silly mistakes.  Try to have as many people look over your resume as possible to help you get rid of any of those items.  If you don’t have anyone that you trust, check out a site like Grammarly.

-Carla

This post was proofread by Grammarly.