IN MEMORIAM: MEMORIAL DAY

Remember Memorial Day? I hope so, it was only yesterday. Which means we are now officially in summer. Well, socially, at least. The calendar, and Mother Nature, per usual, have yet to catch up with what the people are doing. For example, when it snowed the other day. In mid-May. It’s both too late and too early for that nonsense. Also how we are technically a month from summer even though we are hitting the step outside and start sweating weather. Not the point, though, because we all know in our heads, and in our hearts, that it’s summer and with summer comes vacation season. Of course, we can’t forget grill season, swimsuit season, beach season, lake season, no school season, summer blend beer season, strawberry season, Bachelor / Bachelorette season, reality TV season in general, and more.

Summer is not the topic of this post, however. Today, we look back on another long weekend that has come and gone. On all the good times we had with our extra day of freedom. The chance it gave us to finally do one, or two, of the things we should have been doing every weekend, but simply can’t find the time around social-distancing activities. For some, it may have been another opportunity for an extra day of personal productivity washed away by alcohol, poor time management, and binge-watching. For others it may have been another opportunity to relax and get some personal projects started around the house – ideal hobby time. And for still others, it may have another opportunity to embrace Phase 2 and partake in gatherings like the good old times. Grilling, drinking, and playing games with friends. Maybe you don’t fall in any of those categories. Maybe you went to the beach, or the mountains, or shopping, or hiking, or anything that you can do in our newfound options. No matter where you fall on the opportunity spectrum, we all lived Memorial Day and are a day older because of it.

Yet here we are. With a new work week starting and admiring our great use of a gift by the universe and the business world. If you’re like me, you usually go into long weekends with high expectations for what you’re going to accomplish. True story (a brief synopsis from the past three years of my life):

  • 2018
    • Me, on Friday: I have so much time, I think I’ll teach myself how to be a professional cake decorator
    • Me, on Tuesday: Well, turns out sunscreen would have been a smart choice for spending three entire days on the lake, but at least my wakeboarding skills are still spot on #shred #lookinglikealobster
  • 2019
    • Me, on Friday: I have so much time, I think I’ll write a book
    • Me, on Tuesday: Well, the laundry got done late Monday night and my pantry is still empty, but I did attend 6 different cookouts and made so many new follower friends #popular #doitforthegram
  • 2020
    • Me, on Friday: I have so much time, I think I’ll chop down a tree and carve myself a canoe
    • Me, today: Well, I spent three times as much on alcohol as I did on food, but it turns out grapefruit hefeweizen are highly refreshing and my new favorite summer drink #refreshing #stayhydrated

As we say farewell to the last three day weekend until September, we know that we will enjoy the fun of Memorial Day once again. Next year. In 2021. Because that’s how life works. Also how a calendar works. If you simply can’t wait three and a half months, then use some of those precious vacation days and take a 9 day weekend. Another option, hear me out, take an indefinite vacation. Happening to a lot of us right now – embrace it, your weekend never ends! Until you find new gainful employment, obviously, because all good things must eventually come to an end.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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DID SOMEONE SAY THREE DAY WEEKEND?

Time is our most valuable resource. Everyone knows this by now thanks to the Internet and the exploding popularity of positive, encouraging, confidence building, hype starting, motivational sayings that are available everywhere. These quick hitters are the best. You can find one for literally anything you’re going through if you know how to harness the power of the search bar. Feeling a bit stressed out? Jump on that everything will be alright in the end, change your mindset, change your life train. Going through a breakup, or dealing with heartbreak? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of love to go around the you have to be good enough for yourself first, things happen for a reason, strength comes from getting knocked down carousel. Stuck in a cycle of failure and feeling left behind? Drink some of that you’ve got this, never give up, getting back up is the most powerful move smoothie. Just want a sudo hype man? Well, lucky you – who needs a person to hype you up when you could have infinite access to all the beast mode sayings people have ever said. Did your favorite pizza place shut down because of COVID? It’s, ok, take a bite out of the sometimes bad things happen to good people, there’s always a lesson if you choose to see it, the sun will come back out tomorrow pie.

So we are now properly motivated and bursting with eagerness to start every dream we’ve ever had. Enter the three day weekend. Or, as I like to remind all of my people on a daily basis when we get close to one: TDW FTW! You’re all smart, so I’ll let you figure that one out on your own. I’m feeling generous, though, because my time meter just tripled, so here’s a hint: TDW is in the latter part of the post title and FTW can be found immediately with a quick trip down GOOGLE LANE.

What is it that happens to us, exactly, when we know that Monday will be a holiday? Well, if you’ve read any other post on this blog you would know that I hate to generalize and assume things about people, so I’ll keep this to personal experience … at least I’ll try. First things first, Monday is not what one would consider the most popular day of the week. Unless you’re on vacation in which case it’s similar to when you run into an old acquaintance in public and have to pretend you were best friends at some point and genuinely care about each other. Yet, on a three day weekend, Monday gets a huge ranking upgrade. ‘Monday?! Is that you?! Gosh, it feels like forever since I haven’t dreaded waking up to you again. I’m sorry by the way – it’s just that I’m usually stressed out because Sunday ends too quick and I didn’t do my chores because they sounded boring and you know how it gets? Only two days to do things? What even, who can live like this? Anyways, great to see you, we should hang out more often.’ 

24 entire extra hours of leaving your commitments in the wind and saying adios to being responsible. It might as well be an extra year. So much time. Funny how the same amount of time on Saturday and Sunday never feel like enough, but increase that by 50% and all of a sudden you can do things you never thought possible. Like traveling someplace new. Or writing a book. Or starting and finishing an entire life crisis and coming out a brand new you. Or doing ALL of your chores for the week. Or watching all 8 seasons of GAME OF THRONES and feeling like you can now contribute to social conversations (although, I hate to break it to you, but Westworld is the hot topic now, along with Love is Blind, so I guess you’ll have to wait until September to be cool again).

However you choose to spend your extra day of freedom from things like work, and school, and parenting, ok, maybe not that last one since I don’t think it ever really turns off, enjoy it! Go to the beach, I hear those are open now for stationary activities like sitting. Go start that passion project. Go hiking with some friends and realize that the mountains aren’t so bad once you get past the snakes and the poison ivy. Go on a road trip (to a place that has lifted restrictions). Spend (even more) time with your family at home. You do you. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE THE GERBER BABY

Have you ever sat at your desk and just watched your co-workers be productive? You know, the days when you’ve been at work for 5 hours and still haven’t been able to close out of BuzzFeed (because that addiction is TOO REAL). Don’t get me wrong, the online content is much more entertaining than any of your upcoming deadlines, but it doesn’t provide the same sense of accomplishment on the drive home. That and it also doesn’t do you any favors when your manager asks for a status update and you have none…from the past two weeks.

Nothing makes you question your value to a company more than when you realize everyone else is working and you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing. Is it similar to sports where if the coach (i.e.: your manager) isn’t yelling at you and hovering over your shoulder like a leech all day that they don’t care about you? Because your future there is non-existent? Or they don’t think you’re capable of doing anything more than what you’re currently doing?

It’s a weird feeling – you’re slacking at work, but actually feel guilty and have some strong internal urge to seek out work. I know, I also can’t believe I just wrote that. I thought that playing the poster child role would be more exciting. Look at me! I get paid to do NOTHING! And yet, nothing is only fun for a few months. Actually, only a few weeks. Ok, fine! It’s really only fun for about a day and then the adult in me comes alive and decides that being productive in society is my purpose in life and where, oh where, can I find something to do?! Darn conscious.

Are you still with me? Do you also experience this mini-crisis? On one hand, what the hell are all my co-workers doing? Is it my work? Do they know something I don’t? Am I not on a key Slack channel where all these mysterious new projects are being broadcast to the team? Did I miss the majority of the brief? Honestly, I don’t understand how I have zero to do and everyone else has too much…am I supposed to “help” them? So many unknowns in this scenario. The adult in me says ‘ask your manager’ but the human in me says ‘that would get you more work and then you’d have to break up with BuzzFeed’.

On the other hand, though, my co-workers could just be faking it as well as me. Everyone’s always “busy” when someone is checking in or if someone asks who isn’t busy – because they’re looking to dump some of their crap on a poor, unsuspecting, soul. It’s basically a knee-jerk reaction and the first step to surviving adulthood 101: Are you busy? Yea, slammed, why?

I blame Gerber. Think about it, since we were literally born, we’ve been inundated with the image of an adorable, photogenic, joyful, little baby. And we’re not dumb…that baby is doing nothing for Gerber other than allowing them to post it’s cute face on baby food all over the world. Making all kinds of money. So how did they expect us not to take that example into our adult lives?! The mind is very moldable at that age – and they made it seem like a poster child was an acceptable thing to “do” for a living. Why would we think differently? Look at how happy that child is?! Who doesn’t want that in their life?!

I’m convinced that if the Gerber baby hadn’t already been selected by the time I was born, I would have had a good chance at that gig. Could be swimming in dolla, dolla bills right now. Instead, I was a few decades too late. Sure, it was a drawing, not a picture, but the point is unchanged (besides, I was an infant I didn’t know what art was). And now my internal dilemma: to be productive or not to be productive? Agh! These LIFE CRISES are getting a bit old.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you have ever felt like the only non-productive person at work, let’s both quit our jobs and form a company whose sole mission is unproductivity. How can we lose?! Thanks for reading!


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YOU’RE BEING SPIED ON ANYWAY – JUST EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

There’s an app for everything now. Want to learn a new language? There’s an app for that. Need someone to walk your dog? There’s an app for that. Looking for (incorrect) weather information (more on my thoughts about weather forecasts in THIS POST)? There’s definitely an app for that. Want a virtual shave? Yes, there’s an app for that. Wonder what it’s like to count a million dollars? You bet there’s an app for that. Have you always wanted to milk a cow? Well, you’re in luck, because there’s even an app for that!

Apps, apps, apps – Oprah would be in heaven. If you think about the apps on your phone, tablet, watch, computer, etc. right now most of them are probably a bit more productive than the cow milking one (maybe not though, I don’t know you). You probably have a navigation app, a weather app, some “work” apps to keep track of your calendar, expenses, documents, emails, and other adult nonsense, a social media app (or two, or three, or twelve), a “live-your-best-life” app, an app with no purpose other than to waste time, a game app, and maybe a travel app or a sports app. Sound about right? Of course it does! I’m a millennial after all – that basically makes me an app guru.

Which, for the record, being a millennial does not mean that I can troubleshoot your technological problems for you. I didn’t create or build these apps. If I did, I wouldn’t still be working my 8-8 that’s for freaking sure – I’d be living off of all the ad revenue from addicted users like yourself. So please stop asking me how to fix it. Those apps have a customer support team for a reason…ask them, it’s literally their job to help you. Someone PAYS them to help you. No one is paying me to help you.

Ironically, usually the app isn’t working correctly because you thought you could maintain some semblance of privacy in your life and decided not to let the app access your location, or your microphone, or your camera, etc. Funny thing about apps though, in my experience, they only ask to access things that are required for them to work properly. Oh, you need directions somewhere? Well it’s hard to give someone directions without knowing where they are starting from. So you want to go hands-free? Kind of hard for the phone to hear you if it can’t listen through your microphone. Are you in a foreign country and need to translate a sign? This app would do that if only it could see the sign through your camera.

Are you following me? Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Are you riding my wave? Catching my drift? Snacking what I’m packing (wow the phrases that come out of a Google Search are fantastic)? Do you really think that telling an app it can’t use your location means you’ve gone off the grid and no one can see your location EVER?! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are sadly mistaken. Your technology is tracking your location, listening to everything you say, and (if it has a camera) it’s also watching you. Just not through the apps, but through the actual device. So all of your careful preparation to not allow your apps to work properly is really just a waste of time. You’ve only made your life more difficult. 

Embrace the technology! If it’s spying on you anyways, you might as well let it control the temperature in your house, automatically dim the lights, handle your grocery shopping, find a dog sitter, set a sleep schedule so you get the maximum REM cycles and feel amazing in the morning, etc. Otherwise it’s like buying a Tesla and deciding to always drive it manually…just a waste of potential and money.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is avoiding the full realm of possibilities with technology, share this post, freak them out, and get them to finally embrace all the available app power. 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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