Weekly Rewind, Vol. 3

Photo credit:  Birdies100 , CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo credit: Birdies100, CC BY-SA 2.0

https://flic.kr/p/4bHbXN

We've survived another week! This week was very busy but good - it finally warmed up to above freezing, and it's kinda sad that I live in a place where that feels like an achievement. 

High of the week: I mentioned the weather already, but I'll mention it again - it's amazing how 35 degrees can feel balmy after two weeks of subzero temps! Also I'm addicted to watching Nollywood movies on Netflix! It all started when LM chose "The Wedding Party" for us to watch on a random Friday night, and from that point I was hooked! I really loved "Fifty", "When Love Happens", and "The Wedding Party".

Low of the week: Phi has had the sniffles for a few weeks now, and it's been a drag for all of us. She's also getting some new teeth :-( Also I'm working on something big (at least big for me) and I'm very worried about it working out - if you don't mind, send up a prayer for me, or just send me good thoughts and positivity.

Hobby/self-care update: 

  • I've gotten back into knitting over the last six months, and I'm REALLY into it again. I've set a goal of knitting at least 12 projects this year, each one different or a new technique for me to learn. I also finally got over my fear of doing hats! I bought 4 Craftsy courses last year and I'm currently working through the Steeking class and making a tablet case. I'm also doing a toddler scarf for Phi because I couldn't find one in the store. 
  • I also started reading again! I didn't do much reading in 2017 beyond news/blogs which is sad, so I've resolved to get back into fiction. First up is Ready Player One - I'm about 100 pages in and I love it! I love this view of the future, and how it looks back at the 1980s which such nostalgia. 
  • I'm still working on figuring out how to take more "me time". I know I can because LM is a supportive partner and amazing dad, I just struggle with saying "I need to take a few hours and write at the coffee shop" or "I'm going to go have a glass a wine at the wine bar down the street"

Stuff I read this week:

How'd I do on last week's goals: I failed on all of them :-( I submitted one piece and that was it. I have made progress on Phi's scarf but it's not finished, probably won't be done until next week.

This week's goals:

  • Finish Phi's scarf
  • Bring coffee and lunch at least 4 days next week

Enjoy your week everyone!

Weekly Rewind Vol. 2

Photo courtesy of Flicr user bigbirdz

Photo courtesy of Flicr user bigbirdz

Yes I'm really trying to make this a thing - what else should I talk about here?

This second week of January was super busy - shouldn't life be slowing down now? Or is my life gonna constantly be busy since I have a kid?

High of the week: My mom came to visit! In a twist of fate, it is the exact same weekend she was here last year, when Phi was first born. We've spent a lot of time hanging out, she met a few friends at a fun brunch, we went to the casino, and she's spent a lot of time being Grandma. It's always great to visit with my mom :-)

Low of the week: I had a crazy week at work and I wasn't as productive as I would have liked to have been. I also had to keep moving my status meeting with my boss...hopefully when we finally do meet in person, it will be a productive conversation

How'd I do on those goals from last week?

  1. I didn't journal at all, but I did buy some new colorful pens so that sorta counts right?
  2. I did get the financial paperwork taken care of - #win
  3. Totally figured out what I was gonna do with my mom, and we did about 25% of it due to weather.

Stuff I read/enjoyed this week:

Goals for next week:

  1. Complete my two outstanding (as in due, not as in awesome) pieces and submit them for edits.
  2. Complete the next section of the Craftsy Steeking class - I'm working on a tablet case
  3. Finish the toddler scarf for Phi
  4. Bring coffee & lunch at least 4 days this week
  5. Journal at least once.

Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Rewind Vol. 1

Courtesy of flickr user DaPuglet

Courtesy of flickr user DaPuglet

Hey all! I'm trying out something new, a quick recap of the previous week. Let's see how consistent I can be with this thing. 

High of the week: #BabyPi's birthday! We had a small party for her which was a lot of fun. As I expected, my child was NOT into the smash cake, or cake at all, but she enjoyed everything else. Thanks to all who celebrated with us, or just wished my baby girl a happy birthday.

I can't believe I have a one year old! Just when I got the hang of parenting a baby, now I have a toddler and it's a whole new world. Currently taking all your toddler parenting tips - thanks!

Low of the week: Unfortunately my mom wasn't able to make it for Phi's birthday. I did and do understand, but I was still slightly bummed. But on the plus side, she'll be here in a few days for a belated celebration!

Bae of the week: LM! Besides being a great dad, he was the party photographer and got some great shots. And last week was #J5 so he can get some extra love this week :-)

Best stuff I read this week:

Goals for next week:

  1. Journal at least 3x in the week - not a bullet journal but just getting my thoughts out
  2. Complete some financial paperwork 
  3. Figure out what fun stuff we're going to do during my mom's visit

I'm Giving Up My Career For "Just A Job"

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I had a revelation a few weeks ago: careers are a scam. My generation has been bamboozled into thinking that a career is the best thing since sliced bread, and that we should all pursue it at all costs. We spent our early years with a constant refrain: "go to college, get a degree and start your career. work hard and you'll be rewarded!"

Implied in that message about getting degrees and having a career was a message of what not to do: don't just settle for having a job, because a job isn't as prestigious or important as a career. Unlike most of our parents, who worked the same job for 30+years, we'd have a career and all the other shiny accompaniments - the salary, the retirement plan, the title, and the company car.

Yeah...I've realized that was all bullshit. And now, eleven years after I first started my career journey, I'm ready to just have a job. Yall can keep this "career" nonsense. It's all a swindle and I'm tapping out. 

For a lot of us, having a career means being invested in the work in a deep way. It was a motivation to get us to get a company phone (or access our work email on our personal devices), so we could always check in and answer questions. It drove us to work remotely on weekends or in the evenings, or even take a call or two while on vacation, because we knew we needed to get the work done. It led us to sign up for extra projects, or put in more face time in the office, in order to get that promotion to the next level.

But at what cost? What did working all those extra hours get us? How about logging on while we were on vacation? Maybe a promotion, but most likely all it got us was a brief "good job" if we were lucky. We did it cause it was expected of us, and because our peers were all doing the same thing. To do less than the extra was to be at a disadvantage, to be seen as less dedicated to the work. And so we fall in line with everyone else. 

I've never been one who enjoyed working a lot - work/life balance was important to me even when I was a single woman. But now, as a wife and mother, I value my time outside of work even more than ever. My daughter already spends so much time without me, I don't want to spend the limited I time with her working instead of playing. And while work is fulfilling, and I'm glad I'm a working mother, my priorities are to my family first and work second. Work allows me to have the lifestyle we have, but it does not define me. It's a means to an end. 

And so, I'm dropping out of the race. I will show up on time and complete my work. I will go to meetings and give suggestions. I'll even bring a store-bought item for the team potluck and a gag gift for the gift exchange. But I will not give my nights and weekends to the work. I will not grab my phone to check email. When I walk out the door at the end of the day, I will give work zero thought; instead I'll be focused on my family, and my personal pursuits. For me, it's a better use of my time, and much more valuable to me. 

Serena Williams Can't Believe She Has A Kid, And Neither Can I

 
Me and my girl...
 

A few weeks ago, Serena Williams, aka the world greatest athlete (don't debate me, debate your mom) had her first child, a baby girl. We all got a chance to see little Alexis via Instagram, and also the sweetest video chronicling the months until her debut. From the video, it's apparent that both Serena and her fiance are complete saps, which I appreciate because I am also a sappy mama. 

Wait, let me go back. First, let me tell you that I love me some Serena Williams. I remember my high school days, knowing exactly one thing about tennis, and still spending hours watching whenever Serena or Venus was on the screen. I've spent years rooting for Serena, even waking up at the crack of dawn to catch her win the Australian Open. Beyond her dominance on the tennis court, I admired her fierceness and her determination to not be "just" a tennis player. She's not just the best tennis player ever, male or female, she's probably the best athlete out here, male or female. We can have a debate about it if you want to, but you're disqualified if any of your arguments are rooted in sexism. 

Anyway, my kinship with Serena got a million times stronger when I saw she tweeted this:

Immediately I thought, "OMG IS SHE ME???? HOW DOES SHE KNOW MY LIFE?" Apparently I'm not the only mama surprised that she did indeed grow another human and is now responsible for them. 

It's such a strange feeling to be in a place that you never expected to be, and that's me when it comes to motherhood. I truly never pictured my life with a child in it, until I met my husband. Even during my pregnancy, as BabyPi kicked me constantly, I didn't have a good grasp of what it would be like to be someone's mama. Like pledging or marriage, you truly don't know what it's like until you're in it and experience it, I suppose. 

I've had so many moments of "oh shit, I'm someone's mama!" in the early months of my daughter's life. I'm still not used to it, and it's still kinda weird(?) to think of myself as a mother. When I think of who I am - who Jareesa is at the core - "mother" is not the first adjective that comes to mind. Not defining myself as a mother first, or solely as a mother, is extremely important to me and how I view myself.. but at the same time, I'm so amazed that I have that title at all. Is this what it's like when you win the Powerball or something? Like you assume something is unattainable and then it happens and you're just...in a constant state of "did that just happen?" 

At least once a day I have a moment where I'm amazed that I'm a mom, and usually it's because Phi giggled at me, or grabbed my face for a kiss, or did some other adorable thing. She's such a joy and even when she's fussing, I'm reminded that she's my joy, my baby girl, and I'm her mama. I know we'll have so many more moments in the future, that will make me equally proud and happy to be Phi's mama.