Mom… Do We Have To Move?

I got a new job and have to uproot my life and move across the country. The thought of it is scary and I’m not sure what to do. So I took to the internet for help. Here’s what I found. Most people agree that moving is stressful. Some people argue that it’s the most stressful thing that anyone can do. While I agree, there are lots of ways to reduce the stress of moving so you can actually enjoy the moment, look forward to the change and know that this move is a positive and rewarding experience.

Give Yourself Time
Time is not always in your control. Sometimes a move sneaks up on us and we have to act fast. If you can plan ahead, try to allow yourself at least eight weeks. I highly recommend twelve, especially if you need to hire movers and/or if you’re planning a summer move. But everything can be done without too much stress within eight weeks.

Get Organized
Make a list of all the tasks you need to do, then divide them into weeks, allowing yourself enough days to complete everything on that week’s list. If you’re unsure where to start, check out an eight-week plan that will ensure you keep on track.

Clear Out The Clutter
I recommend you tackle this one first. Ridding your home of all the clutter will help you be, and feel, more organized. It will also ensure that when you begin packing, you’ll only be packing the things that you need to. There’s nothing more frustrating than packing items that you’re going to get rid of after the move.

De-cluttering also helps you unburden some of the old stuff that might have been holding you back. The process itself will help you make that transition between the past and the future; between one part of your life and the next. This will help you feel excited about the upcoming change.

Ask For Help
Sometimes it’s difficult to ask for help. But remember, most people have been through at least one move in their lives and understand how hard it can be. Reach out. Ask friends and family if they can spare a couple of hours. If you’re moving far away, this could be one of the last opportunities you have to spend time together.

Say Goodbye
Allow yourself the time to say goodbye. Throw a party. Invite friends out for dinner. Take an hour everyday to walk through your neighborhood. Visit one favorite spot every day. Feel the memories and allow yourself to relive them one more time. This will also help with the transition from the old to the new and give yourself some much needed time to enjoy the moment.

Treat Yourself
During a stressful time like a move, we often don’t feel that there’s enough time to get all the tasks done, and as such, we often neglect our own needs. I know that I often go without enough sleep, spend long days packing without taking breaks and end up eating junk food just to save myself cooking time. While it may seem like you’re be efficient with your time, you’re also neglecting the most important moving tool that you have: yourself.Make sure you take care of yourself. Add in some time to your task list for special treats like having dinner with friends, going to a movie, visiting a bookstore or having coffee at your sister’s place. It doesn’t need to be big, just something that ensures you’re taking time out from the hectic moving pace.

Get Enough Sleep and Eat Well
I’m adding this in since these two items are the first on my list to be ignored, yet, they are the most important factors in keeping us healthy and happy. So make sure you’re getting enough sleep and that you’re eating a balanced diet. Don’t skip meals and try not to live on coffee (although that can be difficult not to!).

Go With The Flow
Even if you’re the most organized mover ever, things will still go wrong. Unplanned events will happen, so you need to be flexible and allow yourself some extra breathing room to deal with these problems. Maybe return to your task list and timeline and work in some extra days if you can. Allowing for some wiggle room will ensure that you can adjust and feel calm even when chaos abounds.

Have a Back-up Plan
Now, I’m not talking about creating a full back-up plan, but rather that you have a list of options should some of the major pieces of your move fall out of place. For instance, I always keep a short list of back up movers and rental agencies, just in case. I also allow a few days on either end of our move out/move in day should our moving company cancel or not show up. This can happen even though it’s rare. Plan for alternatives. You’ll feel better knowing that your uncle and his two-ton truck is available should you need it.

Be Prepared to Feel Uprooted
You’re going to be living in chaos for a while, with boxes everywhere and things feeling out of control. It’s normal to be upset when you can’t find the spatula or the crockpot; just remember to consult your lists and know that you’re organized and on track for this move. You’ve done the work, and even though there’s still more to go, it will get done.

And when you move into your new home, also remember that it’ll take a while for this new space to feel like your own. Give it time. Give yourself time to settle in.

And remember to breathe…

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Advice For Going MIA

Before I start, I apologize to my professor who grades this blog. I’m kind of going off the assigned guidelines for this post. Please see future posts for the assignments.

Hello Wonderful Blog Readers!
I am very sorry I have been MIA for the last week or so. A few weeks ago, I had surgery to take care of some problems that I have been dealing with for the last few months and am now doing much better! While I was recovering, and even before the surgery, I fell extremely behind on my school work and couldn’t go to work. This got me thinking about all the other people out there that have had to go through this and how they got through it. I talked to a few of my friends and they really helped me come up with some ideas on how to catch up with life.

Like I said before, the two things I fell extremely behind on… and am currently still behind on… is school work and employment. With school work, I emailed all my professors letting them know about the surgery and how long I would probably be out for. While most of my professors were extremely understanding, there was that one that wasn’t. They didn’t understand how I couldn’t just do my work from home and email it in. I explained I was on massive pain killers before and after the procedure, but they still had issues. I had no idea what to do. That’s where my friends came in. They were absolutely amazing. A few of them would sit with me and help me do my work… even while I was in a Vicodin induced haze. Yes, an assignment that should have only taken 10 minutes took us 3 hours… but it got done. They helped me with everything from coming up with a topic… to actually typing it up for me as I relayed what I wanted written. The work was 100% mine, but I couldn’t have made it happen without them.

As far as the employment goes, hopefully you have a very understanding boss like I do at my two jobs at the university. My surgery was on a Thursday, but had to start my bed rest the Monday before. I knew about the surgery a little over a week before it happened, and so my boss let me add some extra hours to my schedule before my bed rest started. This really helped me out because with bed rest and recovery time, I was going to be missing about two weeks of work. That’s almost impossible to make work financially when you have rent and bills to pay.

Because of that one professor, there were days I had to be on campus for that class even when I was suppose to be at home recovering. To help me out, my boyfriend drove me to and from campus, but sometimes he would be late getting me. Not his fault, he had school too. When that happened, I would go to the office of the on campus TV studio I work at and hang out there. If I had the strength, I would set up some microphones or push the record button on the tape deck, and my boss would count it towards my hours. I technically was working. Those are things that get done at my job, he just let me do them instead of someone else. He also didn’t push me more than I could handle. It may have only been 15 minutes that would be put on my time sheet, but it was there. Every minute I worked helped me make up the hours I was missing. I am extremely grateful for that boss and what he did for me.

I guess the advice I have for all my readers out there who have been through something like this is to keep the lines of communication open. I was so worried about what my boss and professors would say about missing so much, but they were more understanding then I could have ever imagined… Well most of them. Also, ask your friends for help. Yes they have lives too. But if they are really your friends, they will find a way to help you out.

Some Photo Inspiration

So this link doesn’t exactly want to embed into this post so please bear with me. Take a few minutes out of your daily blog reading and check out this slide show I made. All the photos in it tell a story about how to just relax. All the photos in it are also one’s I personally took. Some are from past vacations I took, and others I took just for this assignment, but all make a point.
In past blog posts, I talk about different ways to just relax and enjoy life when you can. Well these photos help. Anytime I feel completely stressed, I just stop and look through my old photos. A lot of them are from back home in California, some from here in Pittsburgh, but all of them mean something to me and always know how to calm me down.
A few posts ago, I talked about taking vacations. Some of these photos help show that maybe a vacation is something you need to order to achieve your goals. All these places I have been to have helped lead me to where I am today. Whether it’s in a positive light or negative.
My advice for you is that when you are stressed out, do what I did and look through some old photos. Most of the time, they will take you to a time when you were extremely happy… and for just a few moments… it’s like nothing else in the world exists.

When Life Gives You…

A lot of people have been asking me about my little subtitle I have at the top of my blog site. It says, “When Life Gives You Lemons… Make Orange Juice“. I figured I should explain my reasonings for it because it does have a lot to do with the theme of this blog.

A lot of people know the phrase, “When life gives you lemons… make lemonade”. That to me is so predictable. Obviously, that’s what you’re going to do with them. My mom taught me that you should always take something and make it something else. When she ran an Ebay based business, she had the catch phrase, “When life gives you lemons… make lemon soup”. That’s where I got the orange juice idea. She took the expected, and made it unexpected.

Lemons

Like I mentioned in one of my early posts, I was an absolute stress ball because of my intense schedule. However, I now take that craziness and make something of it. I use it to find life lessons for not only myself, but for others… You my loyal readers. The lemons is the intense life… the lemonade is the stress. Screw that… Make orange juice!

So thank you Mom. Thank you for always teaching me to take life by the horns… and giving it a hug.

When life gives you something… why do what is expected? It’s the things that you do out of character that gets you noticed.

Orange Juice

Stuck at a Crossroad

work_life_balance_sign
I know this photo is nothing exciting, but it seemed interesting to me. I found this photo on a blog called Inspired Wellness, and when I saw it, I was like “this isn’t me because my life balances school”. The thing is though, life and home are things you need to balance as well. I live with my incredibly supportive boyfriend who knows first hand how crazy my schedule can get. But… as much as I hate to admit it… there are times I don’t think about how my lifestyle effects him. When I come home late at night, he will have dinner on the stove, the house will be cleaned, and our pet bunny (who I consider to be like my child) will be fed. I always say thank you… my parents taught me my manners… but sometimes it’s just a natural response. I don’t always say it from the heart because I am so focused on what else I have to do that day. I hate myself for that just thinking about it.

However, he says he understands because he knows I’m doing all of this for us. I want a life for us. We like having a roof over our head and food in our belly’s. But I can’t forget that he is something I need to balance in my life as well. I also need to remember that he works two jobs (one of which is the US Army) and goes to school as well… and still has time to make sure my life is easier. It’s hard to remember that when you’re stressing out, sometimes you need to stop, breath, and say thank you with meaning behind it. I realize now that a thank you with no meaning is like not getting one at all.

This photo shows the hardship of having to balance everything. Much like my banner photo, you’re standing at a crossroads and you’re not sure which one to go down. This situation reminds me of Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken. The final lines are:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Sometimes going down the road you forget about… in my case that’s my home life with my boyfriend… will surprise you. Every time he surprises me with anything, a big smile comes on my face and for even just a moment, I forget about how tough my life can get.

While I realize at the end of writing this post that now I have three things to balance… school, work, and my personal life… I’m not going to stress out. I am going to breath and make sure that my support system gets the support he deserves. Without him, my lifestyle would be impossible to manage. Maybe I can wake up early and make him breakfast one morning… just to show how much he means to me.

So I ask the other people out there that are going through the same things, what do you do to make sure your support system knows you care? I know everyone has different ideas and I would love to hear them.

Why This Blog?

Hello people of the world who think reading my blog is a good use of time!

Welcome to Employment For Education! My name is Donna. This is the blog where basically I get to vent about my life and how hard it is. Ok… it’s more than that. Let me explain. I am an over full time college student going to Point Park University in Pittsburgh. What does over full time mean? Full time at my school is when you take 15 to 18 credits per semester. I take 21 credits (7 classes) currently. Not only do I take all these classes, I also work 3 jobs that equal up to around 40 hours a week… aka… I am a full time employee as well.

To give you a rough idea of my weekly schedule, I am at school and 2 of my jobs Monday-Thursday 9am to 10pm. Then Friday-Sunday, I work my third job 5pm to 11:30pm.

Now I know I’m not the only one out there with this problem… which is the reason for this blog. I know for me, I have this lifestyle because I have to pay my way through school, on top of rent and everyday needs. Not everyone has the same reasoning’s, but I know people out there know what I am going through. I hope that those people will comment and give each other advice on how they deal with it.

So that does it for post #1. Just wanted to fill you in on what to expect and keep checking for posts about my advice for others and for advice I have found from others that I can’t wait to share.