Motivation Station(ary).

How can someone who is typically so motivated become so…. Unmotivated? Confused? Well, SAME.

So here’s where I’m at: I’m in a funk (which I’ve talked about before) and it’s getting very frustrating. My last post talked about how I recently lost my job. It’s not the first time, and lately,  I’ve found myself comparing my last two jobs and how they ended. It’s taken me a couple of weeks but after coming home from a week of coastal bliss, I’m facing the reality that I knew was waiting. I think I inadvertently put off this feeling by going on vacation almost immediately after being let go from my last job. One of the first things I thought of as I walked out of that place was “how on earth am I going to afford this vacation coming up in a few weeks?!” During those nights in the spa and the mornings drinking coffee on the deck, I knew what was waiting for me when I got back home. Once I got back, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

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We got back on Friday and the weekend was full of recovery. On Monday, I found it a bit hard to get out of bed but figured that was normal post-vacation blues. Then Tuesday rolled around and I still felt sluggish, down and unmotivated. This was so strange to me. As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I knew I had to be even more self-aware now than ever before. I had to learn from my years of battling depression and face it head on whenever I sensed it creeping up. I would find myself struggling until 2:00 in the afternoon, then struggling more to even take a shower and face what was left of the day. My car sat stationary for more than a week because I couldn’t even bring myself to go to the coffee shop in town and just be out of the house.

How could I let it get this bad? I recognized the struggle to get out of bed and take basic care of myself as fundamental signs of depression and I refused to fall victim again. I made sure to set goals for myself every day: Prep dinner, complete two levels in my Spanish lessons, wash all of my blankets, finish three chapters in my book, go for a 30-minute walk in the field behind my house  - anything that I could strive for and feel a sense of accomplishment when I actually did it. It didn’t have to be something huge, but I tried to complete something each day and add another to the next.


Part of the pain I felt after losing my job at the law firm was the loss of my sense of purpose. I’d been going to an office every weekday from 8:30-5:30 and while I didn’t love what I was doing, I had a reason to get up and go someplace in the morning. Same is true this time around. Just last night, I was chatting with a co-worker from my last job (because they liked me enough to keep me in the group chat and at least some of them still like me) and I told him that I felt like I had been robbed of the same thing this time around.

“So here’s the thing: when I got fired, I wasn’t sad but I was angry. I was angry about what was unjustly being taken from me - my purpose, my income, the six co-workers I actually liked…”

Obviously the last part was a joke and I liked more than six people I worked with, but the rest was true as toast. Part of this feeling was the anger stage in the grief process. Once I recognized that I was basically experiencing grief and that’s where the flirting with depression was coming from, it became easier to manage.

I truly believe that I can overcome this and in the end, it will make me a better person. If I continue to make progress over the next week or so, I’ll see the changes and benefits and it will be so much easier to keep going.

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It happened. Again.

It happened again.

Again, I wasn’t ready for it.

A little less than a year ago, I was at the end of my unemployment benefits after being let go from a job I not only wasn’t happy at, I wasn’t meant for. Being let go from that job came as such as shock to me, as I had just been told how great of a job I was doing. My time being unemployed last spring and summer was filled with plenty of sadness and struggle.

I searched for hours on end each day for a job that would fit me, my skills and my personality. One job I applied for – through Facebook no less – ended up being the bright light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. The title was a bit misleading: “Active Entertainment Hostess” at a venue I would drive by every night on my way home from the law firm. Turns out it was also a restaurant. No big deal, right? I applied and got a phone call requesting for an interview within an hour. My interview was the next day and I was hired on the spot. The manager that interviewed me called me a “unicorn” since I had experience in making reservations, working in the restaurant industry and as a sports hostess/reporter. No one else in our department had that type of experience. I was asked if I would be okay acting as restaurant hostess/greeter on occasion. As I was so desperate for a job, I agreed to anything.

The first few months, I worked as both. It wasn’t terrible, I was happy to be back on my feet again and around people – it was entirely different from my last job. Over time, I got more and more comfortable with my co-workers and management trusted me more. I saw fewer shifts at the front of the restaurant and more in the active entertainment area.  By the holidays, I was second in seniority at the AE desk as we called it and the managers were referring to me as a leader. The servers, bartenders, coaches and floor managers all seemed to appreciate me.

Very quickly, and seemingly out of the blue, we had a turnover in management – especially our new General Manager. Within a few months, it was obvious to almost everyone out front that the situation had taken a bad turn. I cannot remember a day that my co-workers and I didn’t talk about finding a new job, some even applied for new ones while on the clock. Going in to work became less and less appealing. It went from a place where I couldn’t wait to clock in and have a fun night with everyone, making sure the customers got the same feeling, to absolutely dreading getting out of my car.

It soon became clear that the new management was set on making big changes and that most of us wouldn’t be around to see them. They had stopped taking our opinions and concerns seriously and we were starting to get treated more poorly with every shift. A lot of servers were putting in their two-weeks notices, a lot of bartenders and cooks had quit, and even some of our best floor managers had quit. Ask any one of them why they left, and they will tell you the same thing: management.

The tried and true notion that a bad manager can run off good employees was rearing its ugly head. Unfortunately, I was the first casualty to go against my will.

 I worked a holiday and had the next day off. That day, another employee was a no call, no show – which in this industry almost always results in said employee being fired. That same day, employees were messaging me with questions – questions that would normally go to the manager, but since none of us trusted more than a couple of managers, it made sense. These were the same employees that would come up to me at the end of a shift to see if they could go, as though I was their direct manager. While others may have treated me like a manager due to my seniority, I was certainly not a manager.

One of my co-workers said that the new GM had asked her to work a shift where I was already scheduled and had asked another employee to work another shift where I was already scheduled. I found it odd but thought maybe since an employee had a no call, no show, he was readjusting the week’s schedule to cover her shifts, and that she had been let go.

You would think I wouldn’t be so naive.

I got to work the next day about 15 minutes early, as is stated in our employee handbook but no one but me actually practiced. Just after I clocked in and had said a few words to our coaches, the GM asked to speak to me. In my heart, I knew it was coming but was hopeful I was wrong.

He told me he was terminating me immediately due to a complaint a guest had about me. However, he couldn’t specify when the complaint happened, what it was about, who was with me when it happened – anything at all. I demanded an explanation as an employee moving on so that I could make sure to learn from the experience, but he refused. I had never had so much as a warning/write up. I had never called in sick. I had never turned down a shift. In nine months, I had been late three times, and all were due to construction traffic or accidents. I was basically fired for no reason.

Did I make a scene? You bet. My co-workers and I had been talking for months about how we were trapped and couldn’t say anything about how bad management was – the inconsistency, the uncomfortable touching and closeness when talking to us, the new rules that came from seemingly nowhere. Well, now I can say it all. I was saying it for all my co-workers that still couldn’t speak up. I made sure the co-workers that were there, the manager and even the customers knew that HE was the sole reason we had lost over 50% of our staff in the last month. I was loud. I was told that he didn’t want me behind the desk, and I (politely…) let him know that I would be back there to get my property unless he would prefer the local police come and hand them to me in front of the customers – because that is such a good look for a Tuesday afternoon.

Let me be clear: I was not sad that I was fired. I was angry. If you want to fire me, you should give me a reason. I’ve been fired before. It sucked, but in the end, it was clear that job was not the one for me and I (eventually) accepted it. I was told why I was being fired. I thought it was crap and not the consensus of the office, but I was still told why. This time, I didn’t even get a why. I messaged the two managers I worked with the most often and had been there the longest. I never got a response back. I think their silence speaks volumes on the way the entire business is being ran.

 

Since then, the co-workers I truly care about have stayed true to me. Some were almost more upset than I was that I got fired. Some have since quit themselves. Every single person I’ve talked to has assured me that I did nothing wrong and that they should be ashamed for how they treated me. As heartwarming as that is, it doesn’t pay the bills. It had been a very, very long time since I worked with co-workers that I truly appreciated and looked forward to seeing. I’m so thankful for the beautiful souls I met over the last nine months and I’m happy to say that they’ll be in my life until I give them a reason to run away.

 

So, there it is. I’ve been through it before and I’m here again. The thing I noticed this time around is that I must be aware of the mental and emotional state I’m in. I must stop myself from staying in bed all day and eating pizza for two meals a day and not getting dressed. I must remember that the job was not the right job for me. I must remind myself that I have skills much higher than what I was doing there.

I’m looking forward to a great vacation with family in a couple of weeks and when I get home, I’ll be refreshed with a new outlook on everything.

 

Stay tuned. A(nother) new chapter is on the horizon.

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Annual Mid-Seasonal Depression Wake-Up Call

This time of year is always… strange for me. It’s not necessarily depressing or overly joyous. It’s not really anything but “blah” for me. The holidays are wrapping up and the new year is on the horizon and it makes you all… reflective and junk. I feel like I just did this kind of post a year ago (I totally did) but it always seems to rear its ugly head at the end of December/beginning of January. But this year, seems different for some reason. Maybe because last year, the beginning of January was such a dark and sad time for me.



The spring and most of summer was tough as well. It wasn’t until after my birthday and a vacation in July that things started to look up - and that’s a stretch. Looking back, I’m not exactly ecstatic about where I am, but it’s certainly better than where I was.



Like so many others, I had goals for 2018 and not all of them were fulfilled. This year, I again have goals but I am making them more attainable: Travel more & do yoga - but I don’t expect to see half of Europe or perfect my Lord of The Dance pose. Save money - something I am absolutely horrible at - to get my own place and feel like a successful adult for once. Move on to a job that I can see myself calling a career - not just a placeholder. You know, little things.



At the end of the year, I hope to be able to look back and be proud of at least five things I accomplished this year, instead of looking back on the failures things that didn’t work out the way I had planned. Instead of making specific goals for 2019 like “lose 25 pounds” or “become the social media correspondent for a major hockey team” but instead, setting goals such as “get back into kickboxing and tone up” and “get a job in media.”

It just seems healthier.

And that’s the main goal for 2019. I aim to be healthier physically as well as mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It won’t be an easy task, but I have a whole year to work on it.

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Hopefully one thing I’ll work on and see some success at is this blog.

My last post was 11 months ago! So if you’re reading this, please share/leave a comment - any feedback you may have, as long as it’s positive. No negative vibes will be entertained.


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The Oh-So-Cliché New Year Post {41 Days Later}

 

When did it become cliché to be anti-cliché? I’m asking for a friend, because this post will probably be pretty cliché.

Any time the calendar year comes to an end, you tend to reflect on things from the past 12 months. Maybe it’s all the “year in review” things we see on TV and the web, maybe it’s getting that end-of-the-year bonus at work and thinking back on all the hard work you did to earn that bonus.

Along with waves of reflection come new goals for the New Year. It’s easy to say that you want to be healthier and/or lose weight – two of the most common “New Year’s Resolutions” in America today. But putting those words to work is entirely different.

If your resolution is to lose weight/exercise more and you plan on hitting the gym this week, don’t expect to see a lot of the same faces come February. Most people quit their resolution by the middle of the second month of the year! Keep that in mind when you go, so that you don’t become a statistic.

But Krystle, it's the second week of February! Why didn't you post this a month ago?!

Why did I wait so long to post this? Because studies show that it actually takes 66 days on average to create a habit. The old theory of 21 days has been debunked by science. So with a little over one month down, I’m about halfway through that 66-day journey.

Below are my main seven goals for 2017:

Be more patient   I’m a lifetime sufferer of OCS (Only Child Syndrome) which has slightly impacted my everyday life. I’m used to instant results or answers. I’m trying to actively learn that not everything is instantaneous, and a lot of great things take time. My life is so rushed between a 9-5 job, the hour+ drive to and from the office, a hockey job on nights and weekends, a social life (or lack thereof) – I oftentimes forget to stop and enjoy the moment. That leads to the second goal….

Be more patient
I’m a lifetime sufferer of OCS (Only Child Syndrome) which has slightly impacted my everyday life. I’m used to instant results or answers. I’m trying to actively learn that not everything is instantaneous, and a lot of great things take time. My life is so rushed between a 9-5 job, the hour+ drive to and from the office, a hockey job on nights and weekends, a social life (or lack thereof) – I oftentimes forget to stop and enjoy the moment. That leads to the second goal….

Get back into yoga     I found yoga while in college at a quaint loft downtown, just a few blocks from campus. I loved that it both challenged and relaxed me at the same time. I often found it difficult to find a class that fit my schedule after graduation - it got even worse when I moved to Pennyslvania where I had to drive 90 minutes away to a studio - so I resorted to doing yoga at home with the help of YouTube videos for instruction. Since then, I’ve let my commitment fall to the wayside by claiming that I was too busy or too tired to do any sequences at home. No more. I know that even 10-15 minutes a day will be beneficial for the rest of the day.

Get back into yoga
I found yoga while in college at a quaint loft downtown, just a few blocks from campus. I loved that it both challenged and relaxed me at the same time. I often found it difficult to find a class that fit my schedule after graduation - it got even worse when I moved to Pennyslvania where I had to drive 90 minutes away to a studio - so I resorted to doing yoga at home with the help of YouTube videos for instruction. Since then, I’ve let my commitment fall to the wayside by claiming that I was too busy or too tired to do any sequences at home. No more. I know that even 10-15 minutes a day will be beneficial for the rest of the day.

Travel more   As we grow older, our friends move up and on. I now have college friends all across the nation and friends from my days with StatsStyleScore.com across the U.S. and Canada. Why not take a weekend to go see their amazing cities and branch out? I plan on going back to Toronto, Cincinnati, North Carolina and Florida along with new adventures to California, Colorado, Ottawa and New York in the next two years. A quick getaway can do wonders for the soul.

Travel more
As we grow older, our friends move up and on. I now have college friends all across the nation and friends from my days with StatsStyleScore.com across the U.S. and Canada. Why not take a weekend to go see their amazing cities and branch out? I plan on going back to Toronto, Cincinnati, North Carolina and Florida along with new adventures to California, Colorado, Ottawa and New York in the next two years. A quick getaway can do wonders for the soul.

Cook more   I’ve always felt at home in the kitchen. Cooking for others makes me happy – even when I’m making something that I’m not a particular fan of. Along with getting back in to yoga, eating better will in turn make me a happier person throughout the day. Being able to prepare healthy meals will benefit me in the long run, rather than depending on a swing through a fast food drive-thru after a late night game. All of this will lead to the next…

Cook more
I’ve always felt at home in the kitchen. Cooking for others makes me happy – even when I’m making something that I’m not a particular fan of. Along with getting back in to yoga, eating better will in turn make me a happier person throughout the day. Being able to prepare healthy meals will benefit me in the long run, rather than depending on a swing through a fast food drive-thru after a late night game. All of this will lead to the next…

Healthier = happier   Being overall healthier, not necessarily focusing on losing weight, will lead to a happier lifestyle. My goal isn't to see the number on the scale or the size of my jeans go down. It's to feel better both inside and out. It's so important to not worry about the number on the scale, but rather how much better you feel. I was highly discouraged in the fall of 2016 when my kickboxing trainer drastically cut his time at the gym I went to on a regular basis. It’s been a struggle to find the time in my hectic schedule for right combination of a self-motivated gym session and meal prepping.

Healthier = happier
Being overall healthier, not necessarily focusing on losing weight, will lead to a happier lifestyle. My goal isn't to see the number on the scale or the size of my jeans go down. It's to feel better both inside and out. It's so important to not worry about the number on the scale, but rather how much better you feel. I was highly discouraged in the fall of 2016 when my kickboxing trainer drastically cut his time at the gym I went to on a regular basis. It’s been a struggle to find the time in my hectic schedule for right combination of a self-motivated gym session and meal prepping.

Work in hockey more   It's my passion and it's a job that truly does not feel like work to me. Any time I'm working a game and see the fans excited about a win, I'm filled with joy. I have so many creative ideas floating around that I can't wait to put into play. Thankfully, I work for an amazing organization with a great group of guys on the ice - which makes it all so much easier.

Work in hockey more
It's my passion and it's a job that truly does not feel like work to me. Any time I'm working a game and see the fans excited about a win, I'm filled with joy. I have so many creative ideas floating around that I can't wait to put into play. Thankfully, I work for an amazing organization with a great group of guys on the ice - which makes it all so much easier.

$ave more money   I've always been terrible at this. Ask anyone I know and they will tell you that my money constantly burns a hole in my pocket. However, if I want to accomplish the six previous goals, it will require a nest egg of some sorts. I started a monthly budget spreadsheet that is accessable from my iPhone, iPad and desktop. Hopefully a monthly spreadsheet will help me to find where I can cut out some spending and save for more necessities.

$ave more money
I've always been terrible at this. Ask anyone I know and they will tell you that my money constantly burns a hole in my pocket. However, if I want to accomplish the six previous goals, it will require a nest egg of some sorts. I started a monthly budget spreadsheet that is accessable from my iPhone, iPad and desktop. Hopefully a monthly spreadsheet will help me to find where I can cut out some spending and save for more necessities.

What are your goals for 2017? What are you doing to make them a reality? Share and inspire others by commenting below!