Tag Archives: work

When I’m MIA – A Life Update

20 Jun

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Lovely readers,

I want to thank you for being patient with me. I’ve recently discovered that anytime I’m doing something exciting with my life, I want to post but I can’t bring myself to.

So…I haven’t posted in awhile, and I apologize! BUT…

It is because I started my own business, and will soon be revealing my other. Those of you who are friends with my on Facebook know of this already, but I wanted to put this out for the rest of the world, too.

Business numero uno is called Two Tails Behavior Consultation and it is a behavior and training business primarily for cats. Working in my field, I see so many cats with problems that have solutions, but people don’t know how to implement them. That is where I want to help. You can find my website here.

At this point, I am basically servicing all of Colorado East of the continental divide. If you have friends in Colorado, or you’re in Colorado, share, share, share! I want this business to take off, and I can’t do that without your help. You can also check me out on Facebook here.

Next, I’m beginning a business called Annie’s which is where I’m going to sell homemade costumes, jewelry, accessories, and a variety of other things. I’m hoping that this will help me find a good balance between the scientific and the creative process. I’vve had my first event (didn’t sell anything, unfortunately) and my official grand opening will be in early to mid-July. Neither Facebook nor the website are live yet, but stay tuned for updates.

One last thing…

I want to thank you all for being supportive of me in any of my endeavors. Even if you’re silently reading (you lurker, you!), you’re still reading, and I appreciate it!

I hope to get back to my usual posting soon. Probably something political, with the way the presidential race is happening!

Hi. My Name is Michelle. I’m Normal.

14 Sep

Hi. My name is Michelle. I’m normal.

And that is absolutely wonderful.

I had a moment today at work at which point I felt at home with this fact. I can’t say how many times I’m either fighting for others to respect me as a professional as well as a human being, or feeling like the expectation is there that I am some God among men who must know everything there is to know.

Neither side is accurate, and I think more people need to understand that about themselves.

I once told a friend never let someone make you question your worth. I think it goes without saying that I am a professional, and I do know what I’m talking about. If I don’t, I will not hesitate to ask questions. I am fully capable of acknowledging my shortcomings. Too many people, myself included, get caught in this place where you don’t feel respected, and instead of acknowledging that is the other persons problem, we internalize that and make it our own.

On the flip side, professionals also get caught up in this power trip that simply because you have an area of specialty, you know everything there is to know. You become that person that doesn’t respect anyone without your specialty. I’m guilty of this, too, but I try to keep it in check as much as possible. I like to do this by empowering those people around me to know the same things I know, and gain the knowledge I can provide. After all, there is no meaning to life without the ability to exchange, teach, and acquire knowledge.  I might liken this to the use of the Oxford comma. If I was to review a paper someone wrote, I would very much like to go through and make sure that every list had the Oxford comma. If I asked a senior staff member to do the same paper, he would undoubtedly want to go through and make sure that every Oxford comma was removed. I would never tell the writer of this paper that the Oxford comma was the right way and leave it at that. I would make sure that I told them the Oxford comma is correct, but the lack of one is also correct, and while my preference is the former, they have the ability to choose which they use.

So here I am. Normal. I have a lot to learn, but I also know a fair amount. I have no reason to expect that I am better or worse than anyone else. Respect me, and I’ll respect you. Show me, teach me, help me. And I’ll return the favor.

I’m quite happy with that.

What makes you normal?

How to Better Deal with Criticism

4 Oct

If there is one skill that you have in your arsenal for dealing with people both professionally and personally it should definitely be an ability to handle criticism with grace.

It’s human nature to get irritate, angry, mad, or even furious if someone is critical of you, albeit constructive or otherwise. We naturally think the way we do things is the best way, and when someone tells us we aren’t the best, well…it makes us mad.

The best way to handle criticism is to first calm yourself. By realizing you have become angry, you can better calm yourself down in order to think about the criticism itself – not that someone criticized you. Once you are calm, you should take a moment to understand that no one is perfect, and that this could be an opportunity to improve yourself.

Once you are calm, think about what the criticism was about. Did the other person have a point? Was it something you could actually improve? The likely answer to both of those questions is yes. If this is the case, it will ease both parties if you thank them for their criticism. They could have not said anything and seethed privately and you wouldn’t have had any opportunity to improve. Once you thank them and tell them they had a point, you might choose to elaborate on why you chose to do something the way you did, but be careful to not be defensive. If you think you will sound defensive, then it might be better to not say anything at all. Remember: stay calm and don’t be angry or respond in anger.

Once you have acknowledge the criticism at hand, make improvements. The person dealing out the criticism likely had a reason. But don’t dwell on the criticism…let it go. It’s more than likely that the other person didn’t mean any harm.

What do you do to handle criticism gracefully? I always try to, but often I fail and internalize it – any suggestions? 

When Life Gives You Lemons, Where Do You Find a Juicer?

25 Jan

You know…to make lemonade…

If you read my last post, you know that my life has been a little crazy lately. For whatever reason, my anxiety is seeming to peak today, and it’s driving me crazy. I haven’t been to a doctor about it, because I don’t think its a big enough issue to need medication, but it still happens from time to time.

Point being, I’m having a whole bunch of difficulty getting rid of the anxiety today. No one around to talk it out with and the only busy work I have to do is stressful and doesn’t require enough thought to take my mind off of anything. I want to go enjoy the great outdoors at the new place, but thinking about goofing around when I have so much to do causes me even more stress and anxiety.

Boo.

When I am this stressed out about everything, I try to find something to inspire me to move forward. Really, that’s my problem – not moving forward. My stress stops me dead in my tracks. You folks might think its weird, but in situations like this when I don’t know where to go or what to do or how to get my life together, I frequently look to astrology.

Do I completely believe that our lives are governed by the planets and the sun? Not necessarily, but maybe.

Is my horoscope often very close to how life is going for me? Usually eerily so, and I almost exclusively check it at the end of the day.

Do I find inspiration and guidance from my horoscope? Absolutely.

Now I don’t always read my horoscope, but I find myself doing it more when I feel neck deep and life is winning. Relationship issues, horoscope says that the love gods are on my side and I need to focus on [insert relationship something or other here]. Whether its communication or romance, or its echoing my frustration, it helps me stop and be more objective about the situation. The same goes with work. When I feel like its consuming my life, or I can’t even deal with my job anymore, I find inspiration to solve those problems.

And before you discredit me as crazy, I think this is the real use of religion, whatever religion that may be. I find that stories about awesomeness of some godly figure and how people used that to pull them through rough times to be incredibly inspiring. A lot of these stories have good rules to live your life by, whether you believe in an almighty being or not.

What inspires you when you are struggling with life? Do you ever turn to things like this? What’s your best method for dealing with anxiety?

My Decision to Postpone College

28 Aug


When I was in 3rd grade, I made a decision that affected the rest of my life. I decided, at the ripe old age of 9, that I was going to pursue veterinary medicine as my career. To this day, that has remained my goal.

I finally finished classes for my bachelors degree, but that isn’t even close to my goal. At this point, I still have 6 years of college ahead of me, as I am going to get my vet tech certificate before going to vet school.

Originally I planned on beginning at the local community college in the fall following the completion of my bachelors, but that ended up being pushed back to the spring. In retrospect, I think that was the better decision – after being in school for 18 years, a break is inviting and welcome.

And that brings me to the present. I’ve reached a point at my current job at which I find myself unable to advance or grow, and that is, in a word…unfortunate. The unfortunate part of it all is that I don’t feel as though I am done with my non-profit job. I like the work we do, but I can’t handle another year if scooping poop and scrubbing floors.

Call me conceited, but I think I’ve paid my dues.

But, because of my decision to go back to school, I can’t work any other position at my current company.

That is why I have decided to wait until next fall to continue my education.

First, if I get the position I am applying for, I will have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with a certified dog behaviorist. That isn’t an opportunity that comes around every day.

Second, I need a break. I need to want to study. I need to miss the knowledge.

And finally, I need to be a young adult for a while. All I have known is barely scraping by because I am going to school full time and working the rest of the time just to be able to pay bills. I want to enjoy being on my own, and being an adult, and being a 20-something while I am still a 20-something. When I finish college, I will be about 31. That’s too old to not have had some life me time.

What do you think of my decision? Are my reasons valid? What has your experience with school and your career been?

My Life With Hypothyroidism

5 Sep

 

Hypothyroidism isn’t something that people think a lot about. Even the medical and science community haven’t given it too much thought.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was somewhere around the age of 6 or 7. If you don’t know a lot about the disease, the quick and dirty is that the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the right hormone. This hormone controls pretty much everything metabolism in your body. Believe me when I say this: metabolism is huge. When I was a senior, I pulled out my photo albums from my childhood and looked through it with my boyfriend and his brother. His brothers first response was wow, you were so skinny! Yeah…that was before my thyroid crapped out and I wasn’t on medication.

When I was diagnosed, things weren’t terrible. I don’t remember it very vividly, but things really only went downhill. I was on medication for a little while for it, but not only did I have to have expensive blood work done every 3 months, but the medication wasn’t exactly cheap. Due to financial reasons, my mom decided to take me off the medication. Time went by, I gained weight, but life went on. Some time, I think around 5th or 6th grade, I went back on my medication. Once again, I had to have blood work done every three months, and when you have my veins, its a terrible experience. I remember one time was especially gruesome. They tried 8 separate times, on both arms, to get the veins. I looked like a heroine addict pretty much 100% of the time.

I was back on the medication. I didn’t feel different. I went through 5 different doctors from the time I was diagnosed to the time I graduated high school. Some times they would take me off the medication purposely for their tests, only for me to gain more weight. Most of the time I couldn’t remember to take my daily pill, and the biggest reason for that was I didn’t feel anything whether I was on the medication or off. There was no validation that it worked, so I wasn’t reinforced to take it. I was still at home then, so although I couldn’t remember, my mom did a pretty good job of reminding me to take it.

When I got to college it was a whole different story. I couldn’t ever remember to take my medication, and because of that, my hair started to fall out more than it ever had, and I could barely keep my eyes open. The fatigue was overwhelming, and I struggled with life itself until my junior year of college. I gained 50 lbs my freshman year, handfuls of hair came out every time I showered, and I couldn’t wake up for class. I was so extremely tired that I spent 12 hours a day sleeping and I still couldn’t function during the day. Mixed with outside stresses, I failed all but one class my fall semester of sophomore year.


As a junior, I started to make things better. I found a great doctor, who takes the time to make sure the medication is tailored to my specific need. She also put me on a different medication. It is the old school hormone that they get from pigs, but for some reason it actually works when the synthetic human hormone failed. For the first time in my life, I felt a difference when I took my medication. Pounds didn’t exactly fall off, but one sign that the medication is working is that you begin to lose small amounts of weight without trying. I was waking up after 8 1/2 hours of sleep feeling fantastic.

Today, I still struggle with taking the medication regularly, but only because I have a problem getting refills and scheduling appointments. I can’t afford blood work every three months (hello…college student here) or the doctors visits, but I’m making it work. After being off the medication for a few weeks and struggling with depression, fatigue, and weight gain, I’m back on it. We discovered, what is now a long time ago, that the only way to effectively get blood from me is with a butterfly needle (the one they use for babies) in the back of my hand.

I still have one problem. It is extremely frustrating that the only method of medicating is oral. I can’t accept that this is the only way it will work. Birth control is a once-a-day hormone pill, just like my medication. There are so many other methods for birth control, that I want some for my condition! Why can’t I use a patch? Or a subcutaneous implant (implanon-like)? Or a shot? Why must it be a daily pill?

Do you know anyone with hypothyroidism? What is something you’ve struggled with?

Appropriate Times to Yell at People

11 Aug

 

There are times and places for everything. Sometimes we forget this, simply because of the technology that keeps us in constant communication with one another. We especially throw these ideas aside when we are emotional. Its usually considered unacceptable to call your significant other at work to yell at them, simply because they are working.

If you are mad at your significant other, would you call to yell at them on their lunch hour?