My day at work is probably similar to many of you reading this.
I work at a desk with two screens; one is my laptop, the other is a secondary monitor. I'm sure the goal of this is enable higher productivity. What it often does for me is get my distracted. Often times I pride myself on my multitasking abilities, but these days I've found that I feel like my day has a long list of to-dos and little time to get that stuff done and do the things that I want to be doing.
Today, in one of my multitasking moments I watched a video about monotasking. The work is pretty self-explanatory. It's telling me I should focus on one thing at a time (by the way: even as I wrote this, I answered an IM and was snacking on food. This video couldn't have come at a better time). Part of the way through the video it shows a time-lapse video of someone at their desk during the day and shows the statistic that throughout the work day people can make around 400 different decisions by trying to multitask. And they're not life and death, dramatic decisions. It's people deciding that they're going to work on a document, and then switch to their browser, check their email, their phone buzzed, someone tweeted them, and other decisions like that over and over throughout the day.
(Again, I got distracted. My phone buzzed. Checked email, then Facebook. Now back to writing). All of this takes a toll on your brain. Ever get to the end of the day and someone asks you what you want for dinner and you literally do not have the capacity to provide a coherent answer? That's because you've, essentially, used all of your allotted decisions. Psychologists call this decision fatigue. Monotasking is looking to limit your decision fatigue.
Personally, I know I've been feeling this a lot lately (this may have something to do with recently getting married and wrapping up the final lose ends of that to-do lists). After seeing this video and forcing myself to think about the subject a bit, I've decided that I'm going to make a conscious effort to move towards monotasking.
My current thoughts on how to do this:
This self-reflection came at a pretty good time for me as Reese and I are spending the weekend relaxing. I can use some of that time to get my life sorted out into lists and hopefully have a crazy productive week next week.
Anyone else game for some monotasking?
A week ago today, I got to marry my best friend and we had our perfect wedding.
I was never one of those girls that started planning my wedding when I was 4 years old. My mom is convinced that I must have thought about it at some point after watching a Disney movie, but it's just not a memory I hold from my childhood. I remember playing race cars and Legos with my brother, or American Girl Dolls and with my Playschool dollhouse with my sister. Not which dress I would wear when I got married.
But what I did imagine when we started planning our wedding totally came true. We took a pretty relaxed approach to things, and honestly, the budget drove most of our decisions. We didn't have a specific date we had to get married or a designer that needed to make my dress. Our entire goal for the day was to be authentically us.
To be honest, I think both of us would've been ok getting married at the court house, but I wanted my grandparents to celebrate with us and when you start getting to about 15 people, you might as well throw a party.
And a party it was. The best party I could've imagine. We got married at Sole Repair in Seattle neighborhood Capitol Hill on May 7, 2016. With about 70 of our closest family and friends, Reese and I began one of the memorable nights of our lives. I am so thankful to everyone who was able to celebrate with us! We had people join us from Germany, Virginia, Minnesota, and Illinois as well as people from the Seattle area. It was so good to catch up with everyone that I haven't seen in a while and I'm so grateful that I got that time!
Truthfully, the food was probably one of the best parts of our wedding, you know, besides getting married. We had delicious passed appetizers (grilled cheese, deviled eggs, meats and cheeses) and hosted a bar with something for everyone. We decided to host a selection of beer, wine, cider and a Kentucky Mule as our signature drink, which was a huge hit. As the night went on, sliders and fries for dinner and followed those up with the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream truck and pies from A la Mode Pies.
Now that the wedding has come and passed, I have my tips & tricks and thinks I learned from our big day.
Tips & Tricks
Things I've learned
I'd love to hear about what you learned from your own wedding. Share your tips & tricks in the comments!
Share our style? Check out our vendors:
Venue: Sole Repair
Pie: A la Mode (Spiced Apple, Marionberry & Hazelnut, White Chocolate Banana Cream, Chocolate Caramel Pecan )
Ice cream: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream truck
Photographer: Tammy Dahlquist
Flowers: Alli Kolick and Co.
Hotel: Hotel Sorrento, Silver Cloud Inn Broadway
Get the bridal look
Dress: Nancy Frost
Skin: Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder - Blush Medium; 4-in-1 Liquid Foundation - Blush Medium
Eye shadow: Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio - Sepia
Eye primer: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer
Eye liner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil - Perversion
Mascara: Maybelline Volum' Express Colassal Waterproof Mascara - Classic Black
Lipstick: Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm - Red Dahlia
Rings: Joseph's Jewelry
Earrings: Joseph's Jewelry
Shoes: The Frye Company - Regina Ballet Flat
Get the grooms look
Suit: Brooks Brothers Regent Fit - Navy
Tie: Brooks Brothers
Rings: Joseph's Jewelers
Shoes: Allen Edmonds
I've taken photography classes since I was in high school. And I was interested in photography long before that. Let's say I've been shooting for 15 years, all of them amateur at best.
For a while, my high school courses were the only formal training I had. Easily, those were one of the more useful high school classes I took. I use that information on a daily basis. Whether I'm shooting or designing something at work, I use skills I gained from photography class every day.
One of the most important skills photography taught me often has nothing to do with photography at all. It taught me to look back. In the context of photography, they're specifically talking about the act of turning around to see the image that is behind you. There might be two sides to any story but there are many sides to any photograph.
This concept of looking back is one I try to apply to my entire life. It's a concept of self-reflection.
Thinking back now I, ironically, don't remember how they taught us to get in the habit of doing this. I just know it stuck and most of my best work has been done when I remember to look back. Whether I'm looking back at my writing and making my red pen do a lot of work or figuring out how I could've handled a particular situation better, I credit this photography habit.
Even if you're not trying to capture the perfect moment through the lens of your camera, take time each day to look back. I find this especially useful when it feels like I'm stuck in tunnel vision and not actually taking in what's going on around me.
When's the last time you looked back?
With the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, I feel even more compelled to write this post. It might be considered an open letter, but letters are supposed to be read. For all I know, this will go out to the interwebs and get passed up by everyone that needs to read it most.
Let's get started.
As you know there is an election happening this year. There are some things that I believe are getting lost in the ever growing divide between our nation. The passing of Justice Scalia is now adding to this increasing tension, though Justice Ginsburg is the perfect example of how we should all be acting.
UPHOLD YOUR OATH. It's upsetting to see the majority of Congress ignoring the oath they took in the name of petty grudges against the other party. To be clear, I'm not just picking on the Republicans here. I have full confidence that the Democrats would do the same thing if they were the majority in Congress. But they're not, so Republicans listen up. You swore to the American people that you would uphold our constitution and fulfill the responsibilities of the Senate or the House. So get it together and work with your Democratic counterparts.
COMPROMISE. I'm looking at you, Obama Administration. You're not going to get everything you want out of this SCOTUS nomination. Prioritize what's important and go from there.
KEEP AMERICANS IN MIND. The Rolling Stones say that "you can't always get what you want, but sometimes, you might find, you get what you need." My mother used to sing this to me as a child and it infuriated me, but now I'm passing this wisdom to you Congress. You need to give the American people what they need an put your own issues aside.
Voters - you have your own responsibilities to the American people.
VOTE. Previous generations gave blood, sweat, and tears to earn this right (unless they were white males) so please don't let this opportunity go to waste. If you choose not to vote, that's your choice. But then please don't complain when things didn't go the way you wanted them to. You had your chance.
EDUCATE YOURSELVES. Whether it's doing research on the internet or engaging in civil discussions and debates, learn about the different candidates and vote for what YOU believe in.
VOTE ON MORE THAN ONE ISSUE. I know, this is a big ask for many people. But there are too many important things going on in our nation right now that need attention and we, as a nation need to prioritize. People in Flint, Michigan do not have clean drinking water. In America. People all over are being deterred from voting. In America. People are not getting the education that our tax dollars supposedly pay for. In America.
Bridges are falling. Schools are underfunded. Drinking water is tainted. Medical services are not being provided to those who need it. Homelessness is rising. None of this is going to get solved if we keep placing blame and pointing fingers.
Let's stop acting like kids on a playground and get our shit together, America.
A disgruntled American
It appears that the world needs to be reminded what feminism means on a regular basis. So what is it? Feminism is an effort to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women.
Unfortunately, this week, it appears some of the biggest attacks against feminism came from self-proclaimed feminists. Madeline Albright, Gloria Steinem, and Hillary Clinton all stepped on more than a few toes this weekend when it came to discussing female voters.
To catch everyone up, this is what was said:
If you're wondering what this has to do with feminism, it's simple: feminism gives women the ability and right to choose when and how they would like to do something. If they'd like to be a working mom or stay-at-home mom. If they want to use birth control or not. If they'd like to vote for a man or a woman. The point of feminism is women get to choose, just like men. How dare these women try to shame other women for deciding to put their vote elsewhere.
If Clinton wants the young, female vote, she's got to earn it. She should be asking herself what she's doing wrong instead of telling these young women that they're wrong for wanting to vote for someone else. If she wants the young, female vote she shouldn't associate herself with people that are calling young females dumb and uninformed.
Furthermore, there's a special place in hell for people who follow blindly, Madeline Albright. You cannot lead if you have no followers. We should be encouraging voters to be informed voters. Without informed voters, you have no one to help you achieve your mission. Let's not encourage people to participate in an election based on one, non-political reason.
As for Steinem, she knows better, or at least she should. This is not her first rodeo and she would be naïve to think that women are voting solely on who their male friends are supporting. Steinem later apologized for misspeaking saying that she knows that "women are mad as hell" at what's happening and that she wants feminists to be vocal and active regardless of who they're supporting.
Steinem is right about one thing today, women are pissed. I won't speak for all the ladies, but I will speak for myself.
Pissed or not, we need to show up to the polls, ladies. Educate yourselves and vote. Don't stand for the bullshit that is Washington's political playground. Don't let people put you down and say you don't know what you're talking about. Speak with your vote. It counts more than ever.
A couple weeks ago I was getting a tattoo and the shop manager came back to talk to some of the artists about shop happenings. She was a bit annoyed, to say the least, that several times that day people had called referencing great Yelp reviews but they weren't sure what artist they should see and wanted a recommendation. The client, however, had not gone to the shop website to look at different artists' work or looked up what style of tattoo they wanted to get.
As a consumer at the shop, I know that they in fact have rave reviews on Yelp. But as a tattoo collector I know that's not how you do research. Personally, I always have an idea of what I want to get done and then look for the best person to do the job. Budget often is also a factor. You may know the saying that "cheap tattoos aren't good and good tattoos aren't cheap." So if you're not willing to wait until you have the money to get a solid tattoo done, don't expect the Sistine Chapel to be the outcome (this rule applies to SO MANY things).
Far too often, I meet fellow consumers that just don't do their research and then get mad at everyone else except themselves. It's not just consumers of tattoos that are having these problems. Restaurants, clothing, travel, technology. You name it, plenty of people haven't done their research.
In attempts to not be lumped into the naïve consumer stereotype, I've listed some standard questions and examples that can help guide your decision making process before you waste other people's time:
What style are you looking for?
Business owners, especially small business owners, work extremely hard. Many have perfected a craft over many years and produce quality work for others to enjoy. Please respect their time and expertise and do your research.
Recently, the Donald got a strategic endorsement from none other than Sarah Palin, who closed her speech by saying "Let's make America great again!"
Let me start by saying that I have several problems with that statement. But the one I want to address today is, do we the American people really think that Donald Trump is the man to do that?
No. I truly believe that there is only one right answer to that question.
As a nation that boasts about being the best, the greatest, the smartest, the freest, we should probably talk the talk AND walk the walk. Trump will not keep us in the lead.
This man's words (so far) have prompted British Parliament to consider banning him from the UK, Muslim children are living in fear of being kicked out of the country they call home, people in Mexico are making pinata's that look like him, and now he's being compared to Lord Voldemort, and even J.K. Rowling thinks Voldemort is a better guy.
If the US wants to be at the forefront of technology, innovation, education, etcetera, then we cannot ignore, neglect, chastise, and outcast half of our population. The world will not stand for it and the American people should not stand for it.
The US cannot have a leader that other nations cannot and will not follow. We cannot elect a leader that is more business man than he is historian. Should that happen, history will repeat itself.
With that, I would like to implore people to truly understand the people they're voting for. I am not telling people what side to pick, but simply asking them to educate themselves on the candidate they're backing. Do some research and cast your vote.
Recently I've begun editing my book for the third time. All 325 pages being critically looked at by me. This time it's different. When I edited my book the previous two time, I was reading for plot holes, grammar errors, consistent tone, character consistency. Not this time. No paragraph, no page is safe. Words are getting cut.
It's not that plot holes and character consistency isn't important. To the contrary, their crucial to the audience believing that I'm a for-reals writer. But I have a different goal in mind with this third edit. I want every word in this book to have a purpose. To move the plot forward.
I began writing this book in 2011 during NaNoWriMo. I love NaNoWriMo because it's a great forcing function and pushes me to write my thoughts on an actual page. But not everything thought is a good thought. In fact, maybe thoughts are like photos: only a third of them are worth sharing with the world.
What brought me to this new realm of editing?
Finishing (and eventually publishing) my book is one of my New Year's resolutions. I am putting more energy and thought into this than ever before. I want this book to be that one third. So here's to more frustrating but cathartic editing!
I've started the year by trying to sort my shit out. Cleaning out my email, organizing my office, getting rid of clothing I don't wear, making sense of ticket stubs I've saved (for some reason). I've been doing all of this in attempt to achieve one of my New Year's resolutions: sell, donate, or throw away things that I don't need or use.
While going through my favorites on Google Chrome (the cleaning is getting that detailed) I found an article that I saved last spring titled "Who wants to be CEO? Not Millennial Women." The article largely discusses why women don't want to be CEO in this day and age. I imagine that I saved this article because I am one of the 31% of women that do not want to be CEO.
In the article they chock the 31% statistic up to women not having enough role models, strong women in a C-suite level job, paving the way for us. To put it in perspective, "more big companies are run by men named John than are run by women sounds like it belongs in The Onion, it actually ran in the New York Times."
While that might be a logical conclusion, as someone that doesn't have any interest of being CEO I'd like to offer a different perspective: being CEO comes with a lot of responsibility, stress, and zero work/life balance. To that, I say no thank you.
What's the point of working so hard that you can't enjoy any of the spoils? I have a fiance, two dogs, the rest of my family, and my friends. If I'm working that hard at my job, do I get to spend time with the people that matter most to me?
There are so many strong female leaders that are stepping up and driving the modern feminist movement. But to be clear, feminism is by definition the ability for people to have equal rights regardless of gender. That being said, it is completely fine for women to not want to be CEO just as much as other men don't want to be CEO. Even if gender equality finally becomes an actuality there will always be fewer CEO positions than there are people, regardless of gender.
We need to support people (men and women) to prioritize things that are most important to them. If it's career success, maybe they'll be a CEO someday. If your number one priority is family, being CEO of a large corporation might not be the right role. Being the CEO of the household might be your dream job.
My dad always told me that I could do whatever I wanted to do, but I should always strive to do the best I could do. "If you want to be a bum, be the best bum you can be," he used to say (I'm pretty sure he didn't actually want me to be a bum, but you get the point). I won't be a CEO one day, but I hope to be a great writer one day and that is just as important.
I love traveling. For those that know me, this is not a secret. For those of you reading my writing for the first time, check out some of my travel photos.
Only recently I started traveling for business. Currently, I'm on business trip number two in my big girl career. It's ok if you do it right. I'm still learning what that means, but there are five things I've learned so far that can drastically improve your experience.