On, Up, and Thanks For The Reality Checks

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5 days ago, I resigned from a job that I love.

It’s a job that has given me three years of excitement, experience, free champagne and some great friends, but for a while now I’ve known that it wasn’t where I wanted to be for the rest of my life.

But as ‘carpe diem’ as I can be when it comes to skydiving, going to Japan for a long weekend and drinking kava from a plastic drum in a ni-Vanuatu lady’s front yard, I can be an absolute wimp when it comes to life’s big decisions. So if we want to be specific, that “while” has been six months of stressing about loyalty to my boss and that uniquely millennial first world problem of wondering if I was living up to my full potential and following my passion (side note: I don’t believe that everyone has a “passion” in life. But that’s a whole other post on its own) and if it was going to be a case of the-grass-is-greener.

But after a lot of back and forth a brilliant opportunity finally slapped me in the face, and in two weeks I start a great new job! As much as I love my old one, I’d been there since I was 19 so this is basically the start of a whole new era – one with a lot of potential for growth and the handy bonus of a lot more spare time for getting my butt (and my blog) back into shape. And I’m ridiculously happy.

Extra bonus: the team at the old job are all very happy for me.

I hope anyone else sitting on the fence (and in my own 6 months up there, I found a few of you) finds this and realises it’s time to jump. But the real reason for this post is to give a massive THANK YOU to the six people it took to push me off. Without the reality checks they delivered in one way or another, I’d probably still be up there – hopefully they can give you a shove too.

1, 2 & 3 – My mum, Brandon, and an ex-colleague named Laura
for convincing me that it was time to put myself first for a change, and that I’m well and truly young enough for some trial-and-error in the career department.

4 – Stefania from The Something New
I still don’t really know how Stefania stumbled across my Instagram over a year ago, but I’m so glad that she did. Stefania and her blog manage to put into words so many of the things that I believe about life and getting the most out of it, so almost every quote she posts seems to strike a chord. The one which she has annoyingly (but only because it prompted a change I was too wimpy to act on at first) repeated that finally tipped the scales was the below – so thank you Stefania (and Robin Sharma).

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5 – Amber Hawken
Amber was one of my boot camp trainers years ago, and got me through a lot of tough times as a 19 year old fumbling my way through uni and a new city – usually by yelling at me to run faster up a hill (it worked), sometimes with coffee dates. I haven’t seen her in years, but thanks to her new ventures I still get the no-bullshit Amber brand of tough love, just through Youtube videos rather than boxing sessions. The below is the first one that I watched – it really ripped the rug out from under me and made me recognise my stimulus addiction (and why I had it), and I’m forever grateful.

6 – Phoebe from Little Grey Box
I’ve always loved Phoebe’s writing, and insane jealousy of her travels is probably the only reason I’m able to save any money at all. So a few months ago, just when I’d finally realised “maybe it’s time to move on,” I went along to her talk at the Apple Store in Brisbane. I can’t for the life of me remember what her words were exactly, but in speaking about leaving a desk job (admittedly not something I plan to do) she reinforced what I’d kinda-sorta-maybe started to think for myself – that even if you’re not 100% sure what the next step is and if it will work, that’s no reason to stay somewhere that isn’t the best place for you anymore. So thank you Phoebe! Now to just work out those braids…

Next step – try not to cry on my last day at the office, and to book myself back into boot camp!

If you’ve had any tough love reality checks lately, I’d love to hear about them xx

Jessi

 

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November Goals: Learning to Slow Down & Stop Multitasking

My multitasking burn out and learning to slow down in November

I know everyone says it on the first of every month, but seriously, I can’t believe it’s November. I feel like yesterday I was drinking sangria and freezing my ass off for my birthday, and now the jacarandas are almost finished blooming and I can start planning my Christmas baking!

It’s also the first time in a while that I’ve been excited about a new month. From September to mid-October I had a few weeks of serious burn out. I won’t go into it in detail, but I couldn’t sleep, my mind was fried, my skin was a mess and I imagine I was a fking nightmare to be around.  A lot of this came from my inability to switch off – whether at work, on public transport or at the gym, my habit of always doing five things at once had gotten out of control.

Eventually I snapped (shocker). So in a daze, I came home early, had a cup of tea, went to the gym, read on my Kindle and went to bed – and the next day I almost felt “normal” again. I’ve always kind of laughed about my short attention span and lack of interest in “relaxing,” incorporating it as part of my identity, which it still is. But when I felt so much better after just one evening of switching off, I’ve come to realise that it’s something I should be trying to work with (and sometimes against) rather than embracing.

Learning to switch off and single-task

SO my November goals largely come back to that burn-out – trying to make ongoing habits out of slowing the fuck down and paying attention to what’s going on around me, so that it doesn’t happen again! Being busy makes me happy, but I’m learning to be busy in ways that don’t involve doing several things (at least two involving screens) at once. Others are there just for fun.

NOVEMBER GOALS & CHALLENGES

1. Stick to my new evening routine
Now whenever I get home from work, before I do anything else I have to make a cup of tea, and write down five things that made me happy that day. I still feel a bit silly doing it, but it forces me to slow down and single-task – usually for the first time since waking up that day – in a way that makes me happy rather than resentful of slowing down 😛

2. Have a proper conversation with 3 new people every week
This was inspired by this article, which came along just when I needed it.

3. No more mindless TV-watching
There is nothing wrong with enjoying TV, but I wasn’t enjoying it. I got to the point where I thought I was “bored” if I didn’t also have the TV on in the background while I was blogging/emailing/cooking dinner. The reverse was also true – I couldn’t watch whichever show I had lined up unless I was also cleaning, stretching or playing a game on my phone. I’d then get to the end of 3 hours and have no idea what had happened. New rule – no more than two episodes at a time, and no other screens going.

4. Write at least one letter or postcard every weekend
I still have a massive pile of postcards left from my trip, and I also want to get back into #moreloveletters

5. Go to the drive in movies
I know this was on my 2015 bucket list already, but a new drive-in has just opened a little way down the road from me, so now’s the time!

6. ACTUALLY make a start on my Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain book
Because now it’s just getting ridiculous.

7. Use Pinterest more often
For Christmas baking to-do lists and general inspiration.

Do you have any goals for this month, or tips on overcoming multi-tasking addiction?

xx J

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#100happydays, Day 25: It’s Working

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Despite nearly pulling out when someone told me it was based on that song* by Pharrell, I’m now a quarter of the way through my #100happydays challenge.

And honestly? It’s working!

I actually do feel so much more positive. Even on days when I’ve felt pretty crappy, I’ve been on the lookout for things that make me smile –and it turns out there are a lot! Some days I find myself tossing up over which happy thing to post. When there are enough happy things and you don’t know which part makes you happiest, that can only mean life is pretty great.

Other things I noticed:

  • My Instagram profile isn’t as pretty as it was. Turns out the things that make me happy aren’t necessarily easy to make beautiful with a Samsung S3 and Valencia – e.g. the Turnitin Receipt from an assignment I hated. Stupidly this makes me a bit self-conscious – ridiculous right?
  • It can be very tempting to make every post an image of food or drink, but I think I’ve done alright in keeping the balance so far!

Quick stats:
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75 days to go! Get on board at www.100happydays.com

 

*I really don’t like that song. So click here for a surprise happy-song alternative.

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100 Days of Happiness

100 Happy Days

Day 1

Today, I’m starting “one of those Instagram challenges.”  You know the deal: every day, for a pre-determined amount of time, you post a picture related to the prescribed theme with the official hashtag. To be honest, I’d never thought I’d be doing one.

But the 100 Happy Days challenge is different to the others. Instead of being given a different, specific subject every day (e.g. “red” – and it becomes a pretentious hipster competition for the most creative, appropriately filtered shot), you simply share a photo of something that made you happy that day.

In doing this, the challenge claims you will:

  •          Start noticing what makes you happy every day;
  •          Be in a better mood every day;
  •          Start receiving more compliments from other people;
  •          Realize how lucky you are to have the life you do;
  •          Become more optimistic;
  •          And maybe even fall in love.

As if that isn’t enough to make you give it a shot, you’ll have incentive; unlike other challenges, 100 Happy Days keeps you accountable. Register online at 100happydays.com, give them your email address and username and they’ll monitor your activity – no dropping off the radar 17 days in! If you succeed, you can buy a book with your 100 happy images compiled into a positive little reminder of the things that make your life great.

Not into Instagram? You can also do the challenge through Facebook or Twitter, or if you’d rather keep it private you can upload your entries directly to the site.

I’ll be reporting back in a few days to let you know if it’s working, but in the meantime you can follow me through the challenge on Instagram (my handle is @jessimin) and sign up yourself at 100happydays.com!

My inspiration for doing this challenge came from Katie, a girl I used to train with at ABBBC in Kangaroo Point – she also works in marketing! I believe her Instagram is private so I can’t point you that way, but thanks Katie!

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I’m a Resolutionist.

It’s the beginning of a new year. Gyms and social diaries will be full, people will leave miserable jobs, and Facebook and Instagram feeds will temporarily resemble self-help books. Everybody’s happy and optimistic.

And then there are the people who post this:
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These people really bug me. Because do you know what? Yep, the 1st of January is just another day. You don’t actually need to wait for a new year to make changes and goals. Yes the gym will be quiet and the pubs full by March. But if there’s one day in the year that makes people want to be better, how do you justify complaining about that? Life is what you make it. Give it a try.

I’m proud to be a resolutionist. With varying degrees of success, I’ve set at least one new year resolution every year since I’ve know what they were.

So for accountability’s sake, here are my resolutions for 2014. Help me stick to them.

  1. Skip the country
    Not long term or anything, but this year I want to travel to somewhere I haven’t been. And as much as I love the country, a different Fijian island doesn’t count. Top priority is Japan – I’ve always wanted to go, and by July my aunty will have lived in Nagahama for 2 years and I’ll be the only family member who hasn’t been over yet – but will settle for something cheaper like Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia.
  2. Do the cap and gown thing.
    Yes, graduating is one of my goals this year. That probably sounds a little silly, but you have no idea how tempted I am to defer for a semester, mainly to get some money together for number 1. But I only have two semesters to go, so I’m opting to knuckle down so I can have my Bachelor’s degree in my hand by December.
  3. Focus on being happy
    In 2013 I worked my butt off and made a lot of good things happen, but also let myself get ridiculously stressed. This year I’m going to work on balance – I’ll (try to) worry less, have more fun, see my family more often and put more effort into my friendships while working towards the plan for once I’ve achieved number 2.
  4. Update this blog regularly.
    Let’s aim for weekly, but also be realistic and accept monthly.

Let’s make 2014 wonderful. What are your resolutions?

To start you off, here’s my “happy song” for 2014 (I choose one at the start of every year).
Perfect for when I’m winning at life and motivational for when things suck.

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The Happiest 5k on the Planet

Finally, after wayyyy too much anticipation, The Color Run™ has made it to Australia and I can tick off one more thing on my bucket list. I’ll be heading to the Gold Coast to participate on the 14th of April with some girls from boot camp.

Thousands of people dressed in white will be heading out along the 5km course to come out the other end wildly colourful. Branded as the happiest 5km on the planet, the event is open to all ages and abilities, so bring your friends, partner, family (even Nanna! Her hair will look incredible afterwards) and come out and be active. Exercise and an abundance of bright colour – it’ll be good for your body AND soul. Sign up on The Color™ Run Australia Official Page

While I’m super excited for the chance to dress all in white and go for a 5km run with my friends while volunteers throw coloured powder at me, there’s more to it than that. For the Gold Coast, the major beneficiary is The Ponting Foundation, a brilliant charity dedicated to young Australians with cancer. It contributes to a number of other cancer organisations, funds research and supports the families. 00000002-image

My friends and I (in our team dubbed “Colour for the Dollar”) will proudly be raising money for the Ponting Foundation. If you’d like to make a donation (no matter how small – it’s all much appreciated) please click the link below.

http://www.everydayhero.com.au/colour_for_the_dollar

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