Archive for category Relationships

When is enough, enough?

I have a confession to make: a lot of times I feel like I am just standing back and letting life happen to me. I don’t feel as if I am being proactive about making choices that directly impact my future.

In the last three years I have spent a lot of time turning inward to ask myself what should be the next things on my agenda. For the most part these thoughts apply to my career, but sometimes I open my train of thought up to other areas of my life (relationships, primarily).

I’m bringing all of this up because in the past couple of days I have had conversations with people who have had brushes with soul-crushing jobs. Perhaps you don’t know what a soul-crushing job is (lucky you!), or you know all too well. Either way, it is a phenomenon that sometimes happens to the best of us.

So, a lot of our peers (Gen Y’ers) are unemployed, and underemployed right now. It sucks. I know there are a lot of peeps out there hustling to make ends meet. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and you have to pay your dues and all that jazz. I get that. But my question to you all, and the universe at large, is at what point is enough, enough? When does a “dues paying” position become a soul crusher? At what point do you move on to really kick-start your career?  At one point do you feel like you are settling or becoming complacent?

Part of my mission with this blog (or my little writing space on the web as I prefer to call it) is encouraging others to think and discuss some of the questions I know we all have circling around in our heads.

So, what do you think?

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When being dependable is a fabulous thing

I rarely check my Facebook account on the weekends, but I did this Saturday and I’m glad I did.

One of my friends posted a link to a story in the St. Petersburg Times about a man killed in an hit-and-run bicycle accident. This article, the second the Times has written about this guy, was created in response to a nasty comment written online in response to the first piece.

A car hit Neil Alan Smith, 48, as he was biking home from his job as a dishwasher at the Crab Shack in St. Petersburg, Fla. He remained unconscious for six days before succumbing to his injuries.  What did the poster write that was so foul it spawned another article in a time when print resources are so scarce?  From the St. Pete Times:

“Shortly after the St. Petersburg Times announced Mr. Smith’s death on its website, a reader posted a comment stating the following: A man who is working as a dishwasher at the Crab Shack at the age of 48 is surely better off dead. ”

Woah.

SPT deleted the comment, promptly. Then they responded to such meanness in the only way a journalist can really reply back: by writing the story of a man who was known by few, but important to those who knew him. It was their way of showing that every life is meaningful.

On the quest to build a fabulous life, I think it can be easy to get caught up in letting the status quo define what you deem as fab.  The reader who posted that it is better to be dead than be a dishwasher certainly seems to have it twisted.

I pondered so many things after I finished the piece. Truthfully, I almost cried (I’m pretty sensitive at times).  In the quest of thinking about how all of my thoughts should translate into this post, one theme kept popping into my mind: relationships.

Not necessarily the relationship between you and your boo, but the way we relate to one another, the ways in which we, citizens of the world, connect with each other.

For so long we have been told that success equals bigger, better, faster, stronger-all in the form of material goods. But what about the thing that makes your life really fabulous: the people you touch.

Being a dishwasher may not be the most glamorous job, but the people who knew Mr. Smith described him as dependable.  How many dependable people do you know?

I write this today in tribute to those people, like Mr. Smith, who go often go unnoticed.  Being fabulous is not about what you have, it’s about who you are as a person.

Did this post make you think?  Feel free to pass it a long to all of the fabulous, dependable people in your life.

AJ

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Amber J. Unplugged

For the last month, I haven’t had an Internet connection at my house. Basically, I have been living in a bubble. I never watch T.V. (we don’t have cable), and my Internet access is restricted to weekdays at work.

I’ve read  a lot of articles about the value of unplugging  technologically on several of my fav lifestyle design blogs.  I made the decision to unplug when my former roomate moved, taking the modem with her. I decided to try life offline. After all, I spend 7 hours of my day in front of a computer screen for five days straight.  I figured I could hack it.

Most people react with horror when I tell them I am net-less right now. We generally acknowledge that T.V. can be lived without, but the Internet, no way!  What if I miss a party invite on Facebook? Because who doesn’t spend a good chunk of time on FB daily?

Honestly, living without Internet access in my off hours hasn’t been half-bad. I’ve gotten caught up on a lot of books, spent more time with friends after work, and focused on getting in touch with my feelings the way I used to do before the way of the status update: by writing my thoughts down in my journal.

Without the ability to update the world on my current mood, I became forced to actually work through my emotions to the point of thinking about the problem in a logical manner.  It’s been a little revolutionary.

I think that was the most surprising part of this no-net experiment: being forced to get in touch with my inner emotions.  Previously, I’ve used the Internet as a well-meaning, sophisticated procrastination tool.  Anytime I was anxious about career stuff, I’d jump online to do “research” that usually lead me to clicking through the pictures of some random friend from high school’s bday party pics.

Now, I am forced to define exactly what I want to achieve during my online time. I get on and pretty much get it done. I still take the time to randomly surf a little, but it’s usually articles that sound interesting, versus spending too much time on social networking sites.  I’d rather spend my time being social with the people I care about.

Do you want to try an unplugging experiment?  Here are my random tips for moving forward with your life without stalling it online.

1. Check e-mail less frequently. A lot less frequently.
What do you think will happen if you only check your e-mail twice a day? Nothing, that’s what. The world won’t explode. You really won’t miss much (as anything you need to know will still be relevant when you do check your mail.) If you know something is time sensitive, you would be on the look out for it anyway, right?

2.  Set an agenda for what you want to accomplish. Including time for random surfing.
These days when I cut on my comp at work, I have a list of things I want to research online. During my offline time, I write down the things I am curious about, so I’m all set with an agenda.

3.  Relish in life outside of the world wide web.
Dinner and drinks with friends, long chats with my friends back home. No amount of checking my e-mail can replace these experiences and the joy I derive from them.

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