TIMELINES ARE OVERRATED

Everyone loves a good deadline. An estimated time of arrival. Tracking information. A saved date. Any sort of deadline that helps you understand when you will get what you want. Because then if it’s late, you have a justified reason to be annoyed. Or frustrated. Or sad. Or any sort of feeling you need to feel. Maybe you’re excited – there are probably deadlines that would be appropriate to celebrate a swing and a miss on. How long a loved one is expected to live? That feels like a good one to exceed.

My favorite kinds of deadlines involve food. Uber Eats. Doordash. Any sort of pizza delivery service. Wait time to get a table at a restaurant. Wait time to get into a restaurant. The amount of baking time left on pretty much any sort of dessert item. The amount of cooking time left on pretty much any food item, really. Be it 30 seconds in the microwave or 75 minutes in the oven. I. Am. Ready. For the food. To eat the food. I love the food. The food doesn’t always love me, but that’s how it goes with humans too so I might as well get to eat something delicious before the storm.

Speaking of 75 minutes in the oven, hello Stouffer’s reps … what is happening with your frozen meal options? I opt for frozen meals when I want to eat quickly. Why are most of your products 45+ minutes of bake time? For that, I could make something from scratch. And the whole point of submitting myself to who knows what chemicals and an ungodly amount of sodium in the frozen meal is to not have to put in any effort. And yet, here you are with a cruel mindgame of a grocery option.

Regardless of my newfound annoyance with my previously favorite macaroni and cheese brand, we all want to know when things are happening. Clearly my need for a timeline leans towards the digestive system, but another fun option is shopping. Right? Especially today when online shopping is basically the cornerstone of our economy now. Who needs to put in effort to drive to a store that may, or may not, have what you want when the Internet for sure does. All the sizes, in all the colors, and in all the styles. What’s not to love? Other than the waiting part for your box to arrive, obviously.

As much as I also enjoy a solid delivery date, I find most timelines for life to be overrated. You know the ones I’m talking about. The non-tangible deadlines. When you should start dating, when you should graduate college, when you should find a career path, when you should get engaged, when you should get married, when you should have kids, when you should get a house, when you should have a LIFE CRISIS, when you should retire, when you should move into a retirement home, etc.

Aren’t those fun? Feeling the unspoken judgement of people. I’ve never been good at following the timelines, because I think they can end up leading to settling. If you feel like you have to find your soulmate by a certain age, you’ll find someone by that age. Soulmate, or not. You will find them. I personally think life tends to work out better when you just go with the flow. Maybe that means you are your last single friend for … a while. Maybe that means you take a few victory laps to get your degree. Maybe that means you bounce around to different jobs because you like learning new things. Maybe it’s deciding that you want to rent forever. Maybe that’s deciding to retire in your 20s and travel the world working odd jobs. 

You do you. Don’t let other people dictate your actions. Don’t let societal pressure make you settle because you feel like if you don’t, no one will take you seriously. Don’t care what other people think. It’ll work out when the time is right. The universe can’t be rushed no matter how bad you want it to speed up. Just breathe. Relax. Kick up your feet, crack open a cold one, and chill.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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ALL OF MY THOUGHTS WHILE UPDATING MY COMPUTER

Technology is kind of the sh*t. We all use it, but we all have a strong love / hate relationship with it. Some days bring more love and most other days bring the hate on strong. Think about it, when was the last time you went an entire day without using some sort of technology? If you’re reading this right now, you need to think further back because this wonderful thought exercise of mine is powered by le technologie. How fun for both of us, am I right? Living the dream through other people. 

What went wrong for us as a species? How did we end up so consumed in stuff from the magical world wide web? Obviously, that’s a rhetorical question and you should subscribe to this blog for the ultimate entertainment (sent straight to your favorite inbox twice a week). While our endless black hole into living vicariously through highly curated content is an exhilarating ride in the moment, it’s not as exciting when it ends. Yet we keep going back. Ergo, technology is one of the most addictive drugs on Earth. Not as deadly as others, but addictive nonetheless.

One of my, it’s hard to say favorite because like with children (I’m assuming), that title gets bounced around to different techy devices on an almost hourly basis. But … typically that distinguished privilege falls on my laptop. Depending on pending updates. Because if there’s one thing I hate more than a SOUR PATCH KIDS, it’s operating system updates. Why are there so many of them? It’s always a super exciting emotional game to play when you take the leap of faith into going through with an update. On that note, here is a mostly comprehensive list of my thoughts (and probably yours, as well) while enduring the pain that is an operating system update:

  • What exactly is the reason for this update?
  • What new features will I be able to use?
  • What existing features will be broken?
  • How many times will I need to supplement this with additional updates until it’s stable?
  • How long is this going to take?
  • If I don’t restart now, will I remember to restart later?
  • What are the consequences for forgetting the restart?
  • Why is my storage always full?
  • Why are the updates always massive?
  • When will Apple finally get their estimated remaining time game right?
  • If it says I have 15 minutes left, do I need to plan for 1 hour or 5?
  • Why did the screen randomly go black in the middle of this?
  • Why is the screen continuing to stay black?
  • Will the screen ever recover from this unknown state?
  • If the screen doesn’t ever turn back on, should I hit the power button?
  • What will hitting the power button do to the update?
  • Still no movement, when do I call for help?
  • Ah, there it is! What was it doing in the background all that time?
  • Why did the progress bar start over?
  • How is my estimated remaining time now at 53 minutes? We were halfway through 15 before
  • Is that a real 53 min, or not?
  • No – apparently we’ve jumped down to 8 minutes. Is that a real 8 minutes?
  • It’s been at 2 minutes remaining for 45 minutes, should I call someone? 
  • Did it freeze?
  • Are we 100% sure this wasn’t actually a hacker attack?
  • Will my computer still work?
  • Will I ever move past 2 minutes remaining?
  • Oh! Look! A login screen. Why does that initialize a loading spinner?
  • What happened to the standard progress bars?
  • Why do I have to log in twice?
  • Why do I have to log in a third time?
  • Why is the progress bar back? 
  • How have we not already completed this update?
  • It appears to be loading my settings – will it work?
  • When was the last time I backed up my computer?

And that about rounds up the ride from excited to terrified as one does when making big decisions in life. Clearly, software updates are one of those. Heaven forbid your hard drive can’t handle the newest OS and it just breaks in the middle of it. Then you have to get support involved and that’s a whole different adventure in troubleshooting. On the bright side, you usually get to see the not as beautifully styled screens and functionality of your laptop. For better or for worse.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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HOW PRODUCTIVE WOULD I BE IF BUZZFEED DIDN’T EXIST?

You know all those times when you’re at work and you’ve been there all day, but that lying SOB the clock says you’ve only been there for 15 minutes. You know, like every Monday through Friday. Maybe the clock is broken? It is on the wall after all – didn’t they stop making those about 20 years ago? Must just be outdated technology…those times are the literal WORST though! Because you’ve already done an entire’s day work – much too efficiently apparently. So what’s going to fill the remaining 7 hours and 45 minutes of your time until you can leave the office without having to sneak out the bathroom window so your boss doesn’t catch you and lecture you about being committed and earning your salary and we don’t pay you to play and blah, blah, blah.

Well, naturally, since you’ve finished your work for your day, you turn to the Internet’s black hole of written context – BuzzFeed. Why not YouTube, you may be wondering? Ah, yes, the best way to waste an entire day and not even realize it. It’s simple really: have you ever gotten caught browsing a mind-numbing, unproductive site? Specifically, have you ever gotten caught by your boss on one of these sites during work hours? Clearly not if you’re asking why I’m not wasting my time on YouTube.

Let’s take a ride on the imagination rainbow then (for all you rule following, productive employees)

Scenario 1

You’re at work (hip hip hooray) and are just not feeling it – your brain has hit a wall and simply refuses to go around it in any way so nothing is getting done. You’re becoming frustrated because the deadline is approaching and you’re just now starting the project, like a true procrastinator, but you know that continuing to format and reformat and reformat and reformat the project title is not going to magically open your thoughts again, unfortunately. So you decide to do the professional thing and step away for a second and reset. Up comes YouTube and before you know it you’ve gone from cute puppy videos to watching people drop their ice cream on the ground (not by choice, though, because that would be a crime). You, all caught up in the YouTube space, have lost sense of time and (more importantly) your immediate surroundings. Your boss taps you on the shoulder and brings you back to reality in a giant state of panic. They want to know what a video about an alligator living on a golf course and eating golf clubs has to do with the market analysis on your key demographic…mmhmm I’d like to see you turn that one around without walking out of the office jobless.

Scenario 2

Once again, you’re at work (yay) and got all your tasks for the day done in under an hour. Now, to kill time until, at least, lunch you need some sort of mindless distraction. Enter BuzzFeed and it’s never ending options of articles. Before you know it, you’ve read about all of the best band reunions, the phases of Miley’s life, new and creative ways to use pumpkin in recipes, how fish may be smarter than they let on, etc. Up comes your ninja boss and gives you that ‘What the hell are you doing right now?! That doesn’t look like a roadmap presentation for leadership’ look. (Get ready for it, here’s the difference) So you return his skepticism with a logical explanation: ‘Listen, bossy boss, in order to effectively make a case for where we want the product to go, we need to understand how different trends across similar industries have impacted customers. Band reunions have gotten mixed reactions depending on how heavily publicized it is. Miley’s different stages in life have all been talked about (either in a positive or negative way), but talked about nonetheless so she was always on people’s minds. Pumpkin has long been associated with sweet things, but they’ve been able to uniquely identify and target a whole new demographic by rebranding, etc.’

MIC DROP. Two very important lessons to learn here. First, being that it’s much easier to explain away text than a video because the boss can’t really see what’s happening, so BuzzFeed has you covered there. Second, you just had a breakthrough and are about to crush that project…after lunch of course, though, because, even though it only felt like 15 minutes, 3 hours have passed.

What’s my point with all of this? Sometimes I wonder how much I could actually, not in theory, accomplish at work if BuzzFeed didn’t exist. If we’re being honest, after lunch you’re full and a little sleepy and it’s been an hour since your breakthrough and you didn’t write it down so you pretty much forgot the progress you made there and on and on and on. And so naturally, you turn back to what comforts you – the BuzzFeed black hole. It’s truly a miracle that someone pays me to come to “work” everyday, I swear.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who tends to be super unproductive and can waste time for days online, give them a tight lipped smile and sh*t talk them behind their back because they are making your job 100x harder. On the flip side, if you are that person, then kudos to you – you know how to play the system. Thanks for reading!


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