Hi friends! I can’t believe it has been since April that I have updated this blog. I am so sorry! Time in this crazy quarantine world has felt like some … Continue reading Quick Life Update
Hey guys! Sometimes I feel bad about this blog because I have so many posts I think about writing and then life gets in the way and before I know … Continue reading Life Update April-May
By most reasonable standards I lead a small life. As Nora Ephron said ‘valuable but small. And sometimes I wonder do I do it because I like it or because I haven’t been brave?’ That question kind of hangs over me and when I’m feeling up to it I ponder its implications.
How is my life small? Well, I’m single. I don’t date a lot or hang out with lots of friends. I used to but most of that has passed on to infrequent yet prized get-togethers with individuals. Swim season is a bit different because that tends to be a group activity and I do have book club. Still, there is something about having a marriage partner and children that stretches a person outside the circle of a single influence.
My life is also small because I have chosen to work from home and I am not currently going to school. I have had people tell me I should get a regular corporate job because I’d have a better chance of meeting someone than in my current situation. You might as well tell me to sign up for a stint in prison because I could meet someone there. My happiness is just too valuable to sacrifice for the small chance of widening my circle of friends/dates.
Nowhere do I feel smaller than at church. I am part of a family-based faith. People are friendly, even bending over backwards to include us single saints, but the difference is always there. They are living a huge part of the gospel that I am not. In that sense, it is a smaller life than they get to lead.
If my life is small how come I will post a video in a few minutes and it will get viewed by friends (yes friends) in London, UAE, Germany, Florida, DC, California etc? Same is true with my blog posts. This very post should have between 150-500 views this week alone.
I’ve been having terrible headaches lately and have received advice from people all over the world. Isn’t that such a weird thing?
So under a certain lens my life is very big. I’ve gotten to the point on my youtube channel (over 800 subs!) and movie blog that I post most days. Not only is it a blast going to the movies (and other reviews) but it satisfies such a creative longing I didn’t even know I had. Every day I write, film, edit, promote, design material for all of my content (and also for work of course). The creative energy is really quite remarkable.
Then of course you have all the social media that helps us connect with friends and make new friends. I am soooo grateful for this service in my life. I can’t tell you how many days I’ve started tweeting or following a post on facebook and it has brightened my day. Of course, there are the trolls and rude people but isn’t that the case in any group experience in real life or online? I think so!
At this point I have been blogging for 8 years (you longtimers- can you believe it?). I’ve been on facebook for 9. I’ve had times where I wonder- do I have anything left to say? But then an idea will come and my fingers will fly!
So, my life is very small and big at the same time. Perhaps this is just modern life for everyone?
Do you feel that way about your life at times? How do you deal with moments of loneliness that we all experience from time to time?
Continuing on with the Nora Ephron quote:
“So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void.
So good night, dear void…”
Oh, You’re That Type of Person Tag! Here are my answers to the questions:
1.Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner? If someone makes me breakfast it makes me so happy but on a day to day basis probably dinner.
2.After eating a bowl of cereal, do you drink the milk? Always! I especially like it if I have cocoa pebbles or cinnamon toast crunch.
Check out my top 10 favorite cereals post
3.When you drive, do you listen to CD’s, radio or phone? it depends on if I have internet access. Sometimes I listen to audiobook, podcasts, or music. Just depends on my mood.
4.Are you a window or an aisle person? Window because you can lean on the wall and rest
5.Fold or crumple paper? I tend to tear paper up into little bits and make little piles
6.Shampoo, then body wash or body wash and then shampoo? Never thought about it before, but I do tend to like soap over body wash
7.Are you typically stressed or relaxed? I have an anxious personality and so am more likely to be stressed than not
8.Patient or impatient? Patience is definitely not my greatest strength
9.Do you like to have a schedule or go with the flow? Definitely schedule
10.As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I can’t remember when I was a child but for a while when I was a teenager I wanted to be on broadway.
11.Prankster or not? Hate pranks. I feel like they usually come across as kind of mean than funny.
12.Dressed up or dressed down? I love dressing up and looking pretty but also like relaxing in my jams!
13.Favorite article of clothing? maxi dresses all the way!
14.If you could play musical instrument, what would you play? I wish I could play the piano
15.East Coast or West Coast? East Coast because was raised in Maryland
16.London or L.A.? London even though I’ve never been there. LA is fine but so crowded.
17.Favorite holiday? Older I get the more I feel like holidays are more for kids but Christmas is my favorite.
18.How big is your bed? Queen
19.Do you sleep with the doors opened or closed? Closed.
20.Do you sleep with your sheets in or out? I’m not sure what that means but I like having top and bottom sheets.
21.Have you ever stolen anything? Nope
22.Tattoos or piercings? No tattoos and one piercing in each ear
23.Do you smile in all pictures? For the most part I’m smiling in real life so in pictures as well but occasionally am not happy so the pictures will show it.
24.Ever peed in the woods? Not in my memory thank goodness
25.Concert or theme park? I’ve gotten to the point where amusement parks are so hard on my feet it isn’t as much fun as it used to be. So right now I’d say concert but I love Disneyland in small doses. All day is too much for me.
26.Music or books? Tough call. I love music but love books too. They both provide such different joys in my life.
27.Animated or reality? Animated of course!
28.Letters or email? I love getting a letter but it’s so rare these days.
29.What was the first concert you ever attended? When I was in high school I saw Michael W. Smith with a Christian friend. That was fun.
30.Do you own a record player? No
31.Do you speak any other languages? No I don’t have much of a knack with languages- sometimes I have a hard time speaking English!
32.Sweet or savory? I have a sweet tooth
33.Can you curl your tongue? Yep!
34.Can you put the tip of your tongue on your nose? No
35.Can you whistle? Not really very well but I guess technically I can. I wish I could do that loud whistle with my fingertips.
36.Did you ever win a spelling bee? Not that I remember but I have all the states memorized in alphabetic order and got a trophy for that in 6th grade. It always stays with you!
37.Do you believe in ghosts? I believe in spirits both good and evil
38.Do you believe in aliens? I think it seems hard to believe in all the galaxies that exist there isn’t another planet with life.
I’m not sure what kind of type that makes me but it was a fun tag to do. I’m always open to tags if anyone wants to tag me!
I feel like I’ve exhausted all of my people to tag but anyone can do this one if you want.
I was watching dancing with the stars and the theme for tonight was ‘the most memorable year of your life’. It made me think about my life. What is the most memorable year in my life? It’s very tough to answer, but 2 years came to mind first: 2001 and 2007.
Now this isn’t the best years that would be different because both 2001 and 2007 were rough. I’ve talked a lot about 2007 on this blog so let me tell you a little bit about 2001. It was quite the ride.
When 2001 started I was flying high.
I had just finished a dream trip with my Grandma and my dear cousin Lisa to New York City. We had enjoyed the Rockettes, museums and lots of Broadway shows. We were scolded by my Grandma for ordering too much pizza and we told her we’d eat it later but it smelled so we put it outside and the maids took it. Knowing she would ask about it we spent the night coming up with outlandish stories about what happened to the pizza and laughing. I saw my first New York at Christmas and saw the Rockefeller tree and the lights. It was magic.
I would never have been prepared for what would happen.
Here I am in 2001 with my roommate:
I made sure I signed up for 30 course hours a year while going to school, usually more and I had taken a lighter load in the fall so winter term I was taking 18 credits! They were also junior level rigorous courses. It was challenging but I pushed on through until the end of March.
Then I got the call and found out my beloved Grandpa had passed away. It still makes me cry to write it. In many ways it was a good thing but I still miss him so much. He’s my hero and I would visit him every Sunday and he would tell me how beautiful I looked. It meant a lot to me. And then he was gone and there isn’t a day 13 years later that I don’t wish I could talk to him and wonder what he’s thinking about my life. I hope he’s happy with me.
Then just 2 weeks later, my Dad gave me a call and he was crying. “Rachel” he said haltingly into the phone “Lisa passed away”. I was stunned. The bright spirit I’d been joking with over pizza months before and wizzing around New York was gone.
I can’t remember when it occurred during the week but I had a few days before the flight to California for the funeral. I was devastated and felt guilty spending any time on my 18 credits of classes but finals were coming up and I knew Lisa and Grandpa would want me to study. But my head was hanging low, just getting through the day.
At this same time there was a girl named Emily who was in my ward that I had met, and had met my sister in Nauvoo study abroad. She was an acquaintance but I knew she had been missing from church for a month or so.
As I walked up to campus the weight of my problems heavy on my shoulders Emily saw me and she stopped and said ‘are you ok?’. I’ll never forget that.
It will doubt be no surprise if you are a frequent blog reader to hear I immediately burst into tears and told her my sad story (I’m a bit of an open book…). I would learn she was grieving from her own deep loss of her father which is why she had been gone for so many weeks. (what a great example of looking to help others when you are the one hurting the most).
We talked and she helped me pack for the funeral. I quickly learned she was not living with kind people and so out of the blue I said
“I know. Why don’t you come live with Megan and me?”
I called Megan and she was like “Ok. Why not” probably a little caught off guard but she then added “Why don’t we ask Julia?” Julia is our cousin and Lisa’s sister who had come home from her mission to the funeral. Julia agreed and after the funeral I found an apartment for the 4 of us and it was all settled.
When I got home from the funeral I prayed Heavenly Father would help me with finals. That I would find a way to not suffer from the weeks of absences both emotional and physical. I tried my best and you know what I got my best grades of all of college. All As and Bs despite all that happened and taking the most credits. Miracles do happen.
In June 2001 I retook Poli Sci 201 because I had gotten a lazy C as a sophmore because the teacher bored me but for some reason I knew I needed to be a TA for that class. I was lucky to have Dr. Matthew Holland as my teacher in his first class of students as a BYU Professor.
At the end of the course I called him for about 2 weeks leaving messages, begging to be his TA. Finally he answered and said “so I hear you want to be one of my TA’s”. My best buddy Raelene was also a TA and we had such a wonderful experience . He had such faith in me and never changed a grade I gave. That did so much for my confidence.
This is Raelene and I in 2009 but we basically look the same…
And then the whole world had tragedy with 9-11. I’ll never forget driving up to campus and seeing everyone on their phones (which at the time seemed strange). The whole aura was nervous, sad and unsure.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
Brothers and sisters, that is our message this morning. Fortunately this is only the second act of a three-act play. Even when death comes to those we love, we know what lies ahead. We know they are fine. It is those of us who are left behind who are sad. We know we will see them again, and we know we will be with them. When death comes to someone who has the peace of the Holy Ghost inside, it can be sweet, not bitter.
Do you understand why you young people hold the power of peace for the world in your hands? The world depends on you.
Many of you have just returned from missions; many of you will go next year. The world’s peace is on your shoulders because you have the only message that gives hope for eternal peace”
Here’s the whole talk if you want to listen to it:
I took his admonition seriously. I was finishing up school and after the year I had it was all to clear ‘this is the second act in a three-act play’. I knew I would be responsible for making the world better. For bringing peace in my own little circle, and I’ve striven to do that. Even with anxiety, depression, frustration and disappointment I have tried my best to never forget the Lord and His goodness, to share His peace.
Because it is on our shoulders in 2001 and 2014. I’m certainly glad not all my years are 2001’s (my family couldn’t take it!) but it made me the person I am today. It was a refining time and a time for decisions on the type of person I was going to be.
And it certainly was memorable…
Friends, I feel sad.
I’m still in a lot of pain but that has become fairly normal. What makes me sad is missing my race. For the last 3 years the Deer Creek Open Water Swim has been one of my favorite things to do during the entire year. I looked forward to it like Christmas, maybe more so, and now it is out of the question.
I was able to sell my spot which is good but it is still a serious bummer. I was just reading a post on facebook and it all sounds like so much fun. I guess they have awesome finisher medals and are doing the kayak raffle again. I’m sure they will get a good turn out like last year.
If there was any way I could do it I would, but I can’t even stand straight right now. Moving my leg hurts let alone kicking in the water.
That’s it. I’m just sad.
But there is a lot to be grateful for. I’m grateful for good friends who have been so supportive. I’m grateful for all the prayers from family, friends, and my internet community. I’m grateful to anyone who has given me a ride or helped me out especially my friend Stacia and my roommate Regan.
What do you guys think I should do Saturday instead of just stewing on my missing the race? I don’t have many options and everyone seems to be busy. Any creative ideas?
I remember thinking in June that my life was going so well and wondering how long it could all last. Well, July threw me a curve ball I wasn’t expecting. Sometimes that’s the way life is. The Lord builds you up so you are ready for something hard (and I realize in the grand scheme of things my hard thing isn’t that hard but still it’s been tough for me).
I just wish I could swim in that race…Sigh.
On to next year!
I’ve sat down to write this blog several times but each time abandoned the attempt because the words I created felt unsatisfactory.
As you all know 3 weeks ago I started my dream job. After nearly 10 years of accounting I am now in marketing, which may seem like a nominal change but to me it is huge. It’s creative, interactive and something I am actually pretty confident in (I was competent in accounting but was always a little out of my league).
A few weeks ago I asked my facebook group (which if you aren’t a member of please like my page. It would really help me out https://www.facebook.com/smilingldsgirlreviews) what they would like me to blog about. One of my favorite followers asked me if I had any advice on how she could get her dream job and what I did in my interview/resume process that helped.
This seems like it should be a pretty easy question to answer. After all, it just happened so why not just say what happened. Here’s the rub about that, was it just luck and timing and if so how can I give advice on that?
Well, here’s my attempt at requested advice:
1. Timing and Paying Dues-
Perhaps this is a cop out to have as advice but in setting any worthy goal we must also be aware of God’s timing. Think about relationships. I can do everything right to meet someone and if it is not God’s time for me to have that experience it won’t happen.
The same holds true for your dream job. You can have the perfect interview and resume and if it is not the right timing it won’t work out. I know because I tried to get into marketing in 2008 and got nowhere. I ended up back in accounting until the time was right.
I also believe that in life rarely is anything handed to you on a silver platter. When we want something good typically God requires something of us in return. I call that paying dues.
For example, on my mission I went through a period of about 3 months that were hell. A companion who hated me and made my life miserable, new area, no contacts, extreme loneliness. It was intensely awful. One of the hardest experiences of my life.
However, I pushed through and after that time period I had the best companionships of my mission and helped 7 amazing people get baptized. I don’t think God would have blessed me with those experiences if I had not paid the dues in the tough months.
It’s the same in the work world or in our families. Some blessings come with a cost we must pay, with dues that must be met. So, if things don’t go your way put your head down and keep trying and working as hard as you can where you are and when it’s right it will happen. Took me nearly 10 years!
2. Take Risks-
I am not a high risk person. Just ask my investment broker, I get very nervous with the unknown (hence my anxiety issues…) and want to keep my money as safe as possible.
That said- any good thing in life will require some risk. If you decide to have kids, risk. If you decide to buy a home, risk. If you decide to change your job, risk. There was and is a lot of risk with this new job for me. There was risk in spending money on boxes and my channel. There was risk in devoting time and effort into making them as good as they could be. There was risk in putting myself out there for the world to see, being vulnerable and authentic.
Here’s the key to taking those risks- they were all risks I could stomach even if I hadn’t gotten the job. The fact I did makes the pay day extra sweet but any risk I’ve taken has been a great blessing in my life. I’ve been so grateful for this blog for 6 years , long before I thought it might lead to a new career. So, take risks, manageable risks, but take them!
It was also a risk to take the job. I was making a little more in my old job and it meant juggling 2 jobs instead of 1 and giving up my health insurance. It has all worked out but it was a risk- one I was glad to take. They could have told me it was an unpaid internship for the first 6 months and I would have taken it. I was looking for that door in and I took it!
Some people might have found it difficult going from a job where I was pretty important to a part time, contractor position, starting from scratch in new company. In truth, it can be kind of overwhelming but also exciting. I feel young with a new enthusiasm I haven’t felt for years. I am happy to be at the bottom clawing my way up but for some that would be risky prospect.
3. Resumes and Content Creation
Even for someone as open as myself, the self-promotion aspect of a job interview can be daunting. How do you make yourself unique and different but not too unique and different that it is off-putting.
I find if I can change it from self-promotion to simply ‘talking about my life’ it feels more natural and easy going. Even though I stayed in accounting for nearly 10 years I worked for different companies during that time (6 if you include my Dad’s rentals). So, I found myself looking at my resume every 6 months or so, sometimes more. Keeping it up to date and had correct reference phone numbers and that the information was still relevant.
I also started an online resume at http://about.me/smilingldsgirl which is free and looks very snazzy. Make sure on your resume you have listed your skills for the job you currently have and the job you want to have. And if you need those skills get them. Take courses, learn on your own time and then add that knowledge to your resume.
This job opportunity came out of nowhere so it was very helpful I had my resume ready to go. I had also given some thought into what content I was the most proud of. Even with open book living I have never produced content I was ashamed of. Every last post I stand behind and that includes twitter and youtube and everything else.
When given the chance I knew what posts were my best and emailed them to my future boss. I had one post I loved for it’s writing, another for the comments and discussion it encouraged, another for the hard worker it described. Have such content ready to go. Create a spreadsheet where you keep track of such things because after nearly 900 blog posts the good one’s can be tough to remember.
It is so easy nowdays to do so much on your own and I’d say why not? If you always wanted to get into movies than start a movie blog. It doesn’t have to be intense just every week or so write a post about movies you like. Keep it fun and control the tone of your comments section and content and do not do it to make money. Do it to become the person you want to be and the world may or may not pay you for that conversion but does that really matter? If you are who you want to be and having fun that is reward enough.
President Uchtdorf, an apostle for my church, gave a fabulous talk about the miracle of creation and how when we create things it is good for the soul. I believe that. I have felt that with every post I have done, even the silly one’s. I have created something out of nothing and that is empowering. So create!
There may have been an era where people opened the classifieds and contacted companies now hiring and got a job but that is few and far between. Even with the advent of internet job search engines like Monster, very few people get jobs based on ‘published ads’.
I found this NPR piece on networking to be helpful http://www.npr.org/2011/02/08/133474431/a-successful-job-search-its-all-about-networking
“At least 70 percent, if not 80 percent, of jobs are not published,” he says. “And yet most people — they are spending 70 or 80 percent of their time surfing the net versus getting out there, talking to employers, taking some chances [and] realizing that the vast majority of hiring is friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances.”
I think that is really true. Almost everyone I know has their job through networking not web searches or now hiring signs. And most of the people I know who get published jobs are not in the greatest jobs. It is perhaps easier to get a job at McDonalds without networking than say Goldman Sachs.
So how do you network? After all , you don’t want your friends to feel like you are using them for their connections. It needn’t be so obvious. Just talk with people about what you would like to do. My Dad was well aware of both my skills and work desires and a lot of people were because I talked about it on my blog, social media and in everyday conversation.
Once you are actively searching for a job just ask friends to keep their ears open for opportunities that might be a good fit. My Dad wasn’t planning on finding me an interview but was speaking with the head of the marketing department about needs and mentioned I could meet those needs. That’s the kind of networking that can even create a job out of a need, a job that may not even exist but you could fulfill.
It doesn’t even have to be a good friend. Let people at your church, civic group, book club, or kids playgroup know. They may know people, who know people, who need you.
5. The Interview
Let me start out this section by being very clear- I am not great at job interviews. My strabismus in my eyes can be a big part of the problem. If you have trouble with eye contact like I do that can make job interviews tough. I have also found some occasions where I felt my weight was a factor in not getting a job. They would never say it was but you can just tell when someone is judging you for appearance not abilities. This sucks but it is a reality.
I suppose if there is a way to improve that appearance than why not? You are presenting yourself in comparison to other people who probably have the same skill level as you do so an employer may be reduced to superficial gut feelings that may boil down to appearance. So, I’d say cover your tattoos, wear a nice suit, smile, treat the interview like a real person and talk as naturally as your nerves will allow.
In the case of this job I had a phone interview which was a great blessing as it took the personal elements out of the picture. I had sent him my resume and content links and he had spent considerable time reviewing them before the interview. I was ready to answer any questions he might have about what I had sent him.
I had also taken the job description and looked up any jargon words unique to the new job. I then prepared a ‘cheat sheet’ with those definitions and made sure I had something to say about said topics when asked. This proved to be the key reason I got the job. I had good concrete suggestions for our amazon and walmart listings- suggestions that I believe surprised the interviewer. You could also include on your cheat sheet information about the company, it’s history, leadership etc.
I also made it clear what the upsides were to picking me. That I work hard 24/7, have minimal obligations to distract me, could take little pay, didn’t need insurance, my working relationship with my Dad, and I’m a quick study when it comes to computer programs etc.
You may also have a chance to minimize the risks of selecting you. I told him my telecommuting would be an advantage not a downside because I was used to working all the time and creating content from home. I also made it clear I had much to learn but was confident I could do it.
Mostly I would say try to be a natural but professional version of yourself, and if it’s the right timing it will work out.
6. Be Patient
This is totally pot calling kettle black because I am completely impatient. I hate waiting but in this case I had to be patient. When my Dad initially told me about the position he said to wait for the job description before sending my resume (incidentally gave me some time to make it great).
I waited and waited for weeks and then the job description got posted. I was nervous because in some ways I was a great, perfect fit, and in others I was not. Again, I was prepared to overcome these issues and promote the benefits of me but I had to wait. Then finally I heard we were going to do the interview but it was delayed and delayed again. This whole time I couldn’t really talk about it with my online community because it was a digital media job so I wanted to lay low plus I didn’t want to ostracize myself from my job at Poler.
The interview came. I was prepared, notes in hand, we spoke for 1.5 hours and I thought things had gone well but you never know who else is interviewing. Than he asked me to do some ‘homework’ and I was patient and took the time I needed to make it good work. I felt particularly strong about my input concerning youtube…
But I didn’t hear anything and week 1 passed, than week 2 I was busy with my writing conference. No news was making me crazy and I couldn’t really talk about it much and there was nothing I could do but wait. I assumed at that point I didn’t get the job but I figured he would tell me if that was the case. So I waited and finally at the end of week 4 I got the job. He asked me if I needed to wait the weekend and think it through. “Nope” I said “I’m in!” I had already done all the thinking I needed! 🙂
And I wasn’t shy about expressing my eagerness and excitement. I don’t think there is anything wrong with such enthusiasm. If I was doing the hiring I’d want someone that was passionate about working for me.
7. You are More than Your Job
My last piece of advice is the greatest thing I learned from nearly 10 years of contently working in accounting. I felt like a sell-out. I felt like I had compromised my dreams to the cruel reality of what people would pay for me to do….
But that was a good thing in a way. It taught me that I am not my job. As a single woman I have always felt my career mattered more than my married counterparts (men and women). Aside from hobbies it seems the main contribution of a single American is their work. In fact, I was envious of my teacher and nurse friends because their contributions seemed more valuable than my career of spreadsheets and data entry and perhaps they are.
However, even my teacher friends would not want to be solely defined by their job. Our work is our work but it is not who we are. All of us have relationships, friendships, hobbies, family, church, clubs etc that define us just as much if not more so than our jobs.
My job in accounting may not have been my dream job but I was always grateful for it. I learned so much from doing something a little outside my comfort zone. It forced me to master skills I would never have learned otherwise. It gave me great relationships and life altering moments that I will never forget. So, if all you can get is a job at McDonalds then learn all you can from that job. And always have an attitude of ‘why does God need me here now?’
Be as interesting and dynamic a person as you can be. Try new things, have fun and maybe an opportunity will come out of the blue like it did for me. If it does I hope my little post will be of some help to you. My blogging may be small potatoes in the blog world but it is my greatest job and it has meant so much to me. I am a better person because of all of you and the words we’ve shared.
Good luck! And if you would like further advice comment below or email me at email@example.com.
I have a confession. I need help. I can’t do it all myself. Do what, you ask?
Cleaning. I am not the greatest cleaner in the world. I’ve never been very detail oriented and the task of cleaning an entire house is very overwhelming.
Here’s the secret- for the last 2-3 years I’ve had my house cleaned once a month and I am telling you it is the best decision I have made.
It all started because we work with cleaners for my Dad’s rentals and they offered me a deal to clean my place. It felt kind of silly for a single girl like me to need cleaners. After all, my friends dealt with cleaning up after kids and didn’t need help? But it was a good deal so I figured why not?
They came once before book club and I was hooked. Everything looked so wonderful- better than I could or would do on my own.
Additionally, they were able to get projects done that I would never have time for- edges on carpet, dusting, spare bathroom etc. It’s so fabulous!
I only have so much time and energy and with my fibro cleaning is actually very draining. My muscles will be so sore after an hour or so of cleaning.
I realize that not everyone is in the position to have cleaners come but even if it was just once a quarter it would be worth it.
There is some deep cleaning that is so hard to get done and honestly having the house cleaned keeps my roommate from wanting to kill me (I’m a little messy!), so that’s a win.
If you look on groupon and living social there are often deals on cleaners and if you work with someone regularly they will usually give you a better rate.
I don’t want this to seem like I am boasting because I’m not. I’m very fortunate to have the ability to have cleaners but it is also probably less outside others abilities than they think. That’s why I bring it up. It’s a major stress release and makes me very happy.
One time I went on vacation and had the cleaners come while I was gone, so I arrived to a clean house with a made bed. That was brilliant.
All I am saying is it makes me very happy and is a little luxury that if you can afford go for it. It’s well worth the money to me.
For my Utah friends, the girls I use are fabulous- Clean Green Bliss
They are very thorough, respectful and friendly. Plus it is the same 2 women every time which is unusual. Plus, they use all natural cleaning products which is great. They will give you a discount on your first cleaning so go for it.
Anyway, I highly recommend them to clean your house. If in the area give them a call.
My house is cleaned and fresh. It’s a Friday. Tomorrow is book club. I have a vacation coming and then a new job. Life is good!
I really am the smilingldsgirl today.
I must confess I have been keeping a secret from most of you. About 3 weeks ago I interviewed for a new position at the company I used to work for Kobayashi. I couldn’t mention it because my prospective boss was looking at all my social media and I didn’t want to appear over or under-confident about the job. Well, I have very exciting news after 3 weeks of waiting I found out that-
I Got the Job!
This is really a dream come true. To even have the chance to do something other than accounting is so thrilling I can’t even put it into words. Years ago I had resigned myself to a life as an accounting clerk. In 2008 I tried to make a change but nothing came through and I ended up back at accounting but working from home. It seemed like the compromise I would need to make.
In 2012 I said:
“But always in the back of my head is that nagging question of all the things I could have been and done? Do any of you struggle with unfulfilled dreams? With what you have settled for in your life? We all have to make compromises in order to live. At least most of us do. How do you reconcile your wishes with reality?”
I still agree with that. We all have to make sacrifices to live. Even if you get that dream job you still have to make sacrifices because nothing is free. I am continually fascinated by themes of work because it is such a tricky formula to master. If a happy life is made of work, family, and experience than how do we know when the work is taking things over, or family, or whatever. Balance is impossible but the hope is we come close.
So we make sacrifices. We do things we aren’t crazy about because we need money, or we like the people we work with, or get to work from home, whatever the compromise might be. And you are left hoping that the right sacrifices are made but never being 100% sure.
And then every once in a while an opportunity comes your way where maybe the slope of the compromise will not have to be so steep. A chance to do something new, a chance to live your dreams.
I got such an opportunity today. Basically I am going to be working 30 hours a week for Kobayashi in their marketing department. The main emphasis will be content creator management. I will also continue to work part time for Poler doing their accounts payable. I’ve worked for 2 companies before so it shouldn’t be a problem. Fortunately, both companies are eager to help me make things work. I am so blessed.
During the interview with the marketing manager we went over the brands placement on various retailers and I told him about my experience in youtube. He then asked me to do what I called ‘homework’.
The main question was ‘how do we engage with youtube content creators?’. Just a couple of months ago I wouldn’t have known how to answer this question. However, in January I was inspired to start taking my youtube videos more seriously. I invested time and money to improve them and saw immediate results. I learned a ton about google ad words, search engine optimization, making video and how to interact with content creators (I have a giveaway going on now on my facebook page).
This became a new layer to my skillset which included this blog and all I’ve learned from writing my silly thoughts for 7 years. I had mastered twitter, facebook, pinterest, blogging, youtube and instagram. I thought it was just for a hobby or to perhaps help me with my job at Poler. Never did I think I could do something else for my job. Never.
In fact, in December I was some of the sickest I’ve ever been and yet I worked the whole time. There was just so much to do but mere weeks after things began to change and a lot of my responsibilities became automated. It became clear I was going to have to find different full time work before too long (Poler is so amazing to work with me and keep me busy through all this).
After I had worked on my youtube page, gotten some semi-serious hits, my Dad took notice and mentioned my skills to the marketing director at Kobayashi. After giving the referral my Dad stepped aside and told him that this had to be a good fit. Definitely no nepotism for this job.
Then I had to be patient. I think I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog about waiting and that was what I was referring to. I waited to see the job description. Waited to set the interview, and then the interview came. I was very nervous but I tried to study hard on the lingo and be confident, and I felt good about my performance.
Then I turned in some homework about engaging with youtube content creators and I felt it was strong but waited another 3 weeks wondering if I would get the chance. It was really hard. I kept envisioning having to go back to corporate America and feeling nauseous at the thought of it.
The longer it took the more I figured I was out of the running. Preparing for the worst you might say. Finally today I talked with the marketing manager I had interviewed with and it turns out:
I got the job!
I know I said that before but I am so thrilled! I can’t believe it. It will be a little less pay but for the opportunity I would do just about anything.
I never thought I would get a chance to do something else. I feel so grateful I was inspired to take the risk on my videos. It was inspiration as I see it. Inspiration to go for it and learn as much as I could. Without that youtube experience I would not have gotten the job. My Dad said he didn’t talk to them at all after the initial recommendation. He said if I got the job it was on my own merits not his. Yes!
I am so excited and grateful. Overwhelmed really. I can’t believe it. It may be a simple little job but the chance to do something creative and still work from home- holy heck! Pretty amazing.
So I worked for 10 years in accounting and out of the blue a chance came. Lesson to all of you- don’t give up, keep trying new things, work hard at what God has given you now. Take all the inspiration you can from my experience! Good things can happen!
I was going to wait and post about my party tomorrow but yesterday’s post was such a downer that I didn’t want to leave that as the heading on the blog for long. Friendship has always been a highly important part of my life. Next to faith there is nothing more valuable to me than a loyal friend. I was reminiscing with my roommate about groups of friends we’ve had, parties thrown etc, and I had a minor epiphany about friendships. Friendship is essential to at least my function but it manifests itself differently in different times of life. Hanging on to the old manifestation can lead you to miss out on the current phase.
Let me explain…
When you are a child and especially a teen your friendships are chosen by you but fellow-shipped by others. For example, I may have chosen Meredith as my best friend in high school but it was our parents, teachers and other activities that facilitated that friendship and made it happen. At the very least people were driving us places, teaching us lessons and coaching us in choir/sports. We became friends through participating in these activities and even when we tested out our leadership skills it was under a controlled, monitored environment.
It is this structure in friendships that causes some teens to party and rebel- trying to make their own choices when really still relying on others to make those poor choices. Fortunately I had good friends who were supportive of my beliefs and I never steered too off course (I was also incredibly strong willed).
Your teen years are also the time when your friends center your life, which is why we worry about teens having or cultivating good friends. No other time in life will who your friends are (for most of us at least) be more influential.
Then your 20’s start and a new degree of independence is given to most people. You are free to go your own way, make decisions and make friends dictated less by others and more by common interests and personalities. Aside from classes and maybe an errant roommate nobody is really forced to be friends with someone in the 20’s the way they may be in your teens. However, you still have a lot of the structure of your teens facilitating activities and the meeting of new people (even dating).
Whether it be through a church group or college setting most people I know met their college friends through some type of organization, fraternity or class. The interesting thing is in college the friendships are often made in such activities but forged in something much more casual. This is partly due to lack of time a college student has but also a lack of funds. Most people I knew in those years didn’t have a ton of money to spend on friend experiences so you spent time together watching movies, TV, sports events and cooking/eating food together.
I have such warm memories of that time in my life. It really helped me become the person I am and was a very happy, simple time. Because things were so casual you do end up wasting a lot of time seeing bad movies, eating junk, and for lack of a better word hanging out but there’s a certain freedom in that. How do you know what movies you like if you don’t see a couple of turkeys? All part of the learning experience.
After my college experience I had my mission which was so separated from normal life I will skip over it for this entry. Then you get into my later 20s (I got home from my mission when I was 24 1/2). This was actually one of the most social times in my life but interestingly enough it mixed the casualness of my college life with a little bit more structure. At this point my friends and roommates had jobs which gave us a little bit more money but less free time. We would still see the occasional bad movie but most activities were researched and thought out.
There was also a lot of routine socialization that happened at that time. For a long time I had a daily dinner group (which I still think was brilliant) where a bunch of us singles were assigned a day of the week to make dinner for the group, so you got a social experience and only had to cook once every 12 days. So great. I also had groups that met regularly to watch a lot of tv shows like American Idol and The Office. For a while in my apartment in American Fork we had 3 or 4 nights a week that had some kind of TV viewing together. I watched Lost every night for 2 years with friends and then I moved and never watched it again. That certainly tells you the influence of friends!
This was actually a hard time in my life personally and it’s amazing I fit so much socializing in when I was working 60 hours, serving at the temple, had 2 other callings and going to grad school. I wouldn’t have done much of it if it wasn’t presented at my door with little to no effort. The house in American Fork was especially good for socializing because we were the only one’s with our own apartment in the ward. Everyone else lived at home so our place became something of an escape for our friends. It’s funny that time in my life is probably where I maintained the fewest of my friends. People got married, moved, and the friendships are mostly through facebook or gone and that’s ok, just interesting.
During my later 20’s is also the only time in my life where I through big parties with lots of people. Or I should say my roommate and I did. We had great Halloween and New Years parties, planned outings and group dates together, concerts (went to more concerts then than ever again), and seemed to find excuses to wear costumes on a number of occasions. Despite it being a challenging age, I have many warm memories. I often drive by the house in American Fork and feel a wave of nostalgia for the good times had just watching TV together with my friends.
Then my 30’s came and things started to change (really more at 28 but close enough). Seemingly overnight the big group TV sessions and parties stopped and everything became more one-on-one, highly planned, intimate interactions with friends. This may not seem like a big deal but I remember feeling so sad that I had no one to watch American Idol with any more or celebrate Halloween (our last ‘big’ party was 2009).
While still loving to entertain it takes a lot more effort now than it used to. No just casual ‘let’s go to the apartment and watch The Office every week’ kind of thing. It takes work but that work can be a joy. It took me a long time to realize that I really enjoyed gathering my friends together and coming up with fun activities. I did swimfests, book clubs, baby showers and dinner parties and loved every one of them. Occasionally I could still pull off the big party like last year for my open house (or tomorrow to celebrate 40 book club books!) but it’s just different.
In 2009 I wrote a post on this very blog about a book club I threw where nobody came and how discouraged I was. https://smilingldsgirl.com/2009/06/10/thoroughly-uncool/ I remember feeling so sad that nobody had come to my party: “I am merely puzzled by my recent inability to attract new friends. It isn’t just with Enrichment but the few times I have had parties the turnout is low. I used to be able to always attract a crowd. Weird, hah?”
The problem I was truly dealing with was looking at a new era of friend-shipping through old eyes. Like I said, sometimes I still feel nostalgic and a little sad for those times. It can feel like I make so much effort and in a selfish mood it can seem underappreciated when it really isn’t. People love it and it means a lot to them but it just takes a lot of work to make friendships in this era of my life function.
Truth is those friendships are better because I’ve had to work hard for them. Unlike the fun time in my late 20s where most of the people have come in and out of my life I have a feeling the friends I have made in the last 5 years will always be a part of my life. That’s what work tends to do. Plus, in a way it is kind of a circle of friendship. When I was a teen others allowed me to make friends, now I am facilitating that experience for others. That is a great gift not a burden.
Anyway, I don’t know if this will mean much to any of you out there but even my friends online (twitter, facebook, this blog) take work but I’ve learned so much from that process. I’ve learned to cook, decorate and entertain. Plus, I’ve learned to actually appreciate and discuss the arts, movies, theater, etc. It’s not casual like those days in my 20s but it’s very rewarding and great.
In the end, enjoy the season you have now. Look fondly on the past, remember the smiles and moments and then try to learn and serve as much as you can in the present.
It’s a good life and I’m grateful for my friends! To a fun day tomorrow!