2017 Mantra: Trust the Process

December 29, 2016

My 2016 Mantra was "Bet on Yourself." Bet on yourself. Three simple words, that held so much weight. They carried me through some highs and lows, but more importantly... they carried me forward. And that, above all, is the beauty of it: forward. 

I got a new job. And another new job. And then finally, the job. The job where I could sit in my chair and think "I earned this," and "I can grow here." And after 4 years of undergraduate and 2 years of master's... that was a good thing indeed.

My 2017 Mantra is "Trust the Process." Admittedly, my first thought was that this isn't action-y enough. It's not wild and free and ballsy like 2016. It's not future-defying leaps and bounds and close-your-eyes-you'll-land-on-your-feet. But.... it's truthful. 

It's where I'm at. It's what I need. I took the risks and the bets, and I landed somewhere I am happy at. And now what's left is to cultivate that spot. Life is not a constant jump from here to there to somewhere wildly new. Now is a season for purposeful cultivation. For trusting the process, and reaping the rewards. I got myself here by betting, and I'm going to grow myself here by trusting the process.

Trusting the process of:
*Self-development that will lead to wisdom
*Learning from other who have gone before me
*30-minute workouts, day in and day out
*Daily, habitual practices of wellness: learning, seeking, self-care, self-love and more

Trust the Process. 

Because ultimately, it's all about forward.

26 Going on 96 (Or, How to Be Hot & Old and Stop the Rat Race)

December 1, 2016

It has come to my attention that I am 26 going on 96. Perhaps it was as I stood in line at the hostess stand, waiting for a table at my once-upon-a-time favorite bar that I realized this. I was yawning, and simultaneously complaining to the ol' man friend (PFP), that it was so late. To my dismay, it was only 8pm.

Or perhaps it was when I realized that one of the true, genuine happy moments of my week is when I realize that I actually ate all the meals I planned and the tupperware stack in my fridge has systematically gone down. 

Like I said, 26 going on 96. 

Last night, I grabbed drinks with two friends. And I couldn't help but notice that for all the similarities of age, education & life 'spot', we are so damned different. My one friend is a constant job seeker. The type that always has their eye out, is always self-promoting, looking five steps ahead for a challenge to add to his existing 10. 

And as he was talking about fellowships and boards and nonsense, it just kind of... hit me. All around me, from friends and bloggers and social media, I hear the message screamed "more." If you look at society, it's pushing 20-somethings to always be craving "more." Not just material goods... but More. Your self-care should be More. Your workout should be More. Your vacation should not just be vacation, but a Wellness Vacation. Your hobby should be a Side-Hustle. Your interest should be a Passion. More more more more. Everything needs to be More.

Our generation does not now when More is Enough. I feel genuinely bad for this friend, and others I see in a similar spot, because there is no contentment. I think it's great to want to push your career and set goals and accomplish All The Things, but not a the risk where you're never satisfied with Now. More, More, More... but also, Now. Now is good too. And Now is part of the process.

So here I am. I do not want More. Genuinely. For the first time, I am happy to take a deep ol' breath and have a job where I can learn from a woman who has a lot to teach, and I can grow within time. But that time is not now, and I am absolutely content with that. 

Several months ago, I made the choice to take myself out of the Rat Race. I cut down on volunteer obligations, networking "must-do" events, self-promotion of career moves, and even "friends." I cut it all out because I was burning out. 

And if last night was anything, it was a reminder that I'm not ready to enter it back in yet. All of those things -- volunteering, connecting, friendships, personal development -- should be good things, and not another check-list. I'm happy to welcome them back into my life in a manner that accomplishes that. 

But until I open the door to More's constant knocking and see it wrapped in a scarf of genuine Joy, I'm happy to sit on the couch and enjoy some quiet. Because if it's real Joy, it's not going anywhere. 

'More' is not always more.

How to Make the Most of #GivingTuesday & Charitable Giving

November 28, 2016

How do you know which nonprofit to give to? Or even worse, how do you possibly narrow it down to pick a few out of the hundreds (if not thousands) in your own city? Since I work for a nonprofit, I hear questions like these frequently from friends and family. 

With 80% of nonprofit giving occurring during the month of December (that's right, we truly do wait all year round praying for this magical month), here are a few ideas on how you can make the most of your charitable giving.

1. Ask your nonprofit friends. Chances are, you know someone who works in a nonprofit. And nonprofit people know nonprofit people. So if there is a cause you are passionate about, ask your nonprofit-employed friends if they know of a local organization doing good work within that area. Plus, if there's one thing nonprofit professionals know, it's which organization uses their money well. So if you want your dollar to go to a nonprofit that will spend it wisely (who doesn't want that?), ask your nonprofit-employed friends for help. 

2. Keep it local. This is my personal suggestion. Especially in the light of the current political situation, it's easy to get overwhelmed by everything occurring on a national or international scale. Local nonprofits are a wonderful reminder to us all that there is active change occurring on the ground level. Donate local and create change local. Start small, and watch the ripple effect. You can create the community YOU want to live in. 

3. When in doubt, community foundation it out. If you do not have a specific cause or nonprofit in mind (or if you're too overwhelmed to narrow it down), I highly recommend donating to your local community foundation. Why? Community foundations go over & above to study local needs and work with nonprofits of all sizes to do the most good. They evaluate, they dig deep into the community & they foster true growth.  Donations are invested, so that each gift creates a legacy that lasts forever (no seriously, investments = growth = dividends each year). For good, for ever. 

4. What is #GivingTuesday? #GivingTuesday is an annual, international day of giving that occurs on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving. It is a philanthropic response to the sales-rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, encouraging individuals to reflect on what matters most to them & donate to a cause. 

If you have any questions about charitable giving or making the most of your donation,
 leave a comment below! 

On Hobbies (Part 2), and Other Friday Musings

November 11, 2016

What up Party People?! 

Ahh to blog for the second time in a month. What is this, you might say? Why it is a random compilation of things in my head! 

But first I want to talk about hobbies (again)...

This week, I thought I would soon be getting a new hobby. A time-consuming, all-intensive hobby filled with joy and fun and all that shtuff. But then, it didn't actually end up happening. And I was pissed. Like, super pissed. 

But most of all, my own reaction surprised me. 

So I thought and I thought... what is behind this reaction? I had been complaining to PFP all week that I didn't actually want it to happen, but then when it didn't happen I got outrageously angry. 

But what I actually wanted was a hobby. A hobby totally separate than my work life. I wanted to be good at something, that was not work. 

And thus, I come back to blogging. Because I really like writing. And I think I'm really funny. And I think if I push enough posts out into the world, I might find one other person who also thinks I'm funny and relatable. HOLLA. 

Those were my thoughts. They seemed a lot deeper and profound when I originally had them, but three days later they're coming out a little limp. C'est la vie, I'll get 'em next time. 

In other news, I'm concerned that the breakfast casserole I made for the week may still be ... raw. This is my fifth morning eating it. It's a little ... wiggly. But Bridget Jones says to embrace your wibbly wobbly bits so I will just keep eating. Right?


On Hobbies

October 24, 2016

Uggggh why am I so bad at hobbies? Someone tell me it's just this "stage of life" and that eventually, hobbies will become consistent. Here's the thing... I really want a hobby that is consistent and separated from my work/professional life. Not a hobby like "Oh I serve on a board." That's work. Like a "Hi I Blog" hobby. 

This is my relationship with hobbies...

Day .055... Oh, Man! I really want a hobby! That sounds fun!
Day 1... that was fun, love it!
Day 2.. nah, don't set yourself up for too much
Day 3... wait there was a hobby?
Day 7... well it's too late now
Day 9... I don't have time for that hobby
Day 12... But if I'm going to commit to something, I should commit to consistent exercise and eating healthy. Then add a hobby in. 
Day 15... I'd really just like a grilled cheese
Day 30... is anyone even blogging anymore? (said as reading blogs for the 5th time that day)
Day 42... should've taken up a hobby, I'm bored
Day 200... well it's definitely too late to take up that hobby again

And so it goes. But I know, I know... 'you make time for that which is important to you' etc etc. Unless you are a millennial and then you identify all the important-to-you things and you just stare at them, frozen, unwilling to make a choice on which to prioritize. 

And thus is my relationship with hobbies cemented. 

post signature

Life Lately

August 5, 2016

Oh hey, kids. 
Remember that day I started as an emotional wreck and ended with a new job and a zucchini bigger than my arm? I do. 

It also was the day I decided to start my blog again. 

So we'll see how this goes. 
I miss having somewhere to write, and I still read blogs like crazy... so hopefully some of you will still read this as well? I like the connection, but I also like having somewhere to document my life and look back. And as always, I promise no quality photos or graphics because hi this is a hobby. 

Life lately. 

Well, I start a new job in two weeks. Pretty crazy.
I really did not anticipate getting it, and it was a feeling I'll never forget. I was completely shocked. Shocked to get that phone call. 
And it was a pretty amazing reminder that you really can do anything.
You can get that impossible job. 
You can carry large, obtrusive objects all by yourself to any body of water
and paddle as far and as hard and as long as you need to get yourself anywhere you choose. 
If there's a theme: it's that I like being reminded that I really am capable. Like genuinely, capable. 
So that's work (and kayaking). 

I'm also dating a very nice boy with a dog named after a gay dating app.
Should I be worried?
It's a pretty big dog. He can have a whole post dedicated to himself later. 

Ok well let's not overdo this whole first-post-back, ok? Ok. 
Have a great weekend! 

post signature
Hayley Larue Design