Simple Ways to Support Each Other Throughout the Workweek.

At the top of each workweek, we have the best intentions to be organized, responsible, and productive human beings. We do our best to fend off piles of dirty dishes, dust bunnies, thoughts of skipping that workout, and the large wave of exhaustion that comes with working a full-time job. Here’s a snapshot of my week:

  • Work – 40+ hours 
  • Podcast/Blog tasks  – 3-5 hours
  • Realty school – 10+ hours 
  • Work out at least 3-4 days

If you’re anything like me – and you’re a crazy person – you enjoy being creative and thrive having multiple projects to work on. I love the feeling of being creative and putting out content I’m proud of, but come on, I know you can tell my posts have slowed down this past year.

It can be tough to manage passions and life schedules, especially if you throw kids or pets into the mix, so how do we thrive without driving ourselves crazy? Well, all we can  do is our best, and having a little help never hurts. 

If  you’re currently living with your partner or have roommates with similar schedules as you, it’s not a bad idea to sit down and figure out how you can help each other have the most successful week. If you’ve got the game mastered and slay life week to week, this post  probably isn’t for you, and as Queen Gia Gunn would say: “YAAAS, bitch, werk.” You did that. Here are some simple ways my husband and I plan to support each other throughout the workweek:

CHORE-LOADING. Maybe one of you is having a much busier week than the other, and the impending doom and feeling of giving up is tapping you on the shoulder. The person with the lighter load can easily take on a couple extra chores and errands. Not only does this relieve your partner of the added stress they put on themselves, it adds to the bond and promotes deeper connection and love. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re being thought of and supported?! Taking care of the person you love and the household you share is sexy, and most of the time, doesn’t take much.

CHECK-INS. We talk about this all the time here on Gays in the Life. Ask your partner how they’re doing. Go beyond the typical work-bitch-session and get into how they’re doing and how their week is going. If one of you is having a down week, this is a great idea to help break the ice and  let the other know you’re here for them and that they have support. It’s amazing what this does. It’s very easy to get stuck in your head and go inward. On the brighter side of the check-in spectrum, ask how their personal project or goals are developing. It’s so nice to talk about passion projects or other interests. Keep things light and keep work at work. Connect!

ACTIVITY DATES. Schedule at least a couple workouts, walks, or quick home improvement projects to do as unit; a team. My husband and I go on evening walks on a nearby trail. Outside of walking on the trails of  Eagle Creek, we try to attend two workout classes together each week. Working out is proven to improve mental health and is a good way to bond with your partner and to have shared goals. Another fun and easy way to keep the pressure of the workweek and household responsibilities at a low level, is to work on quick  home improvement projects together. Take an evening to put some music on and organize that garage together. Pour some wine and finally hang up that artwork that’s been collecting dust over the months. Get crazy and reorganize your living space. Keeping environments clean, fresh, and feeling like it’s yours does wonders for the mood. 

Give these few tidbits a go, and please feel free to share your  experience in the comments. Find me @gaysinthelife on Instagram and Twitter to continue the conversation there.  

Have a good week! J,

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Weekly Goals 7/16/18

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I’m not going to lie – it’s been tough getting back into a productive groove outside of the 9-to-5. I’ve started making simple goals to help keep me on track during the week.
This method has been helpful because it reminds me to slow down and maintains balance. I tend to take on too much at once, and if any of you are the same, you know the pressure that comes along with that.
We’re all our own worst enemies! Keeping a small, low-pressure list of goals keeps me feeling accomplished and reinforces purpose.
This tool helps build up the strength and momentum required to take on more during those really tough weeks.
So… What’s on your list this week? Let me know in the comments. Is this a tool you use in your weekly routine?

Reflect, Recharge, Repeat.

Work is just something we all have to do, and we’ve stopped fighting that fact. No one has to settle by any means, but it doesn’t have to feel like a death sentence. I’ve realized this recently whilst dealing with a mess of a scheduling issues and curveballs at the 9-to-5.

Before last week, I would come home in a drained state of mind. No activity sounded interesting and my drive to work on side projects suffered. S has always been better at managing this kind of energy. I’m so used to being upbeat that when any hint of darkness presents itself, it flourishes in no time at all. 

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I’ve been letting work consume my spirit. Good days fly by and the bad ones linger; why is that? Because in my mind there is always another version of the way a scenario could have played out. At the end of the day, if some customer is pissed or you aren’t seeing eye to eye with the boss, don’t bring that home. Who wants that under their roof? Keep the clouds outside.

I’ve been really into the following quote from RuPaul lately:

“Don’t take life too seriously and have fun. Don’t waste your time on things that your ego will try and convince you are important.”

Over the past handful of weeks I’ve dug deep into myself to work through this uncertainty. Uncertainty about whether to stay or go. Uncertainty about the person I’m morphing into in this role. Uncertainty about if I can do this and chase my dreams. Queen Uncertainty seemed to be stirring the pot and mixing a fierce trouble stew.

 

You’ve all heard me go on about work life and balancing life outside of the office. It’s taken some time – even after those previous posts – and self-reflection to really get to the bottom of that. When I come home now, I’m only focused on the positive. My focus and energy after 4:30 PM go toward my goals that need a little more nurturing, S, and our pup.

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It’s been nice not worrying about mediocre days at the office or dwelling on nonsense that I can’t truly impact in the moment. I’m in control and in the end, I know what’s next for me and that’s exciting. Banking this focus and energy has provided me the ability to laugh at a not-so-stellar day at work or elsewhere. Did I mention S thinks my moods at home have improved greatly? (laughs out loud)

So, everyone, “don’t waste your time on things that your ego will try and convince you are important.” Because wasted energy is wasted life. I know I do a great job at work, so I’m not going to sweat the little things. Passion haunts anything I’m a part of, including work, but I finally see how I need to manage that moving forward. This was a long one! Thanks for reading.

J.

30

A great work friend of mine asked me if I had any anxiety about turning thirty. The answer is no. I’ve always been okay with aging – look forward to it most of the time – but I’m sure there will be moments when I’m not. Today is my thirtieth birthday.

I see making it to thirty as a cue to begin the next phase of my evolution. My student loans are almost completely gone – my closest friends know how much of a nightmare that has been over the years – I have a solid life and marriage with S, my work life and creative projects are going extremely well, and my closet is growing into the GQ dream I’ve always wanted.

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I foresee a good amount of travel for S and I. We’ve earned some vacations beyond just a week off at home. Through my twenties I’ve learned a great deal about finances. Because we’ve been so smart and plan realistically, I know travel around the world is something we could easily do; sooner rather than later and before kids enter the picture.  

<ponder> We never did have a reception for our marriage and plan on having a big anniversary party at this point. I will have a french bulldog, named Biscuit Habanero. I will find a way to become my own boss and escape the corporate world, but in the meantime, I’ll gladly collect the experience. I will add a Burberry blanket to my list of favorite personal items and brew my own kombucha. </ponder>

All of those facts, wants, and wishes? I believe them to be possible because I’ve grown into someone who puts in the work and gets what they want. Earlier this week, I was journaling in my notes app when this life breakdown came to mind:

  • I always did really well in school – K through 12, taking advanced placement classes early in high school and performing with an award-winning band (shoutout to BARTLETT HIGH SCHOOL!)
  • In college I realized I didn’t know how to study and began to learn – the hard way – about hardship and the struggle to pay out-of-state tuition for college. I also made some of the best friends I could ever ask for and traveled with some of the best groups and people I share the honor of being called an Indiana University Alumni with.
  • Living a low-carb, ketogenic lifestyle has helped me feel what living a healthy life should be. I’m sharp, never sluggish, and want to be active most days – lifting or yoga. I was over 300 lbs at one point. Battling weight-loss has without a doubt conditioned my perseverance in life.
  • As I leave my twenties, I’ve discovered balance. All of my past experiences have pushed me and helped me flourish as a human being. So thank you all for helping me get here.

I’m excited to be thirty and ready to see what levels I can reach before forty. Now, back to listening to Beyonce, watching S play video games, and chilling with my friend Mary Jane. I have a birthday to get ready for!

Have fabulously zen day, everyone.

The Balancing Act

We’ve been living in a constant state of battle with our personal lives and work lives. There seems to be somewhat of a balance, but maybe I’m saying “somewhat of a balance” because we just get it done. Whatever the task – be it at work or home – we just get it done. Looking back at 2016 so far, I’ve learned that accomplishments don’t necessarily represent balance.

 

I will be turning thirty years old this November. Most of us by now have learned that life generally has its own path laid out, regardless of what plans we’ve made. We’re at the age now where many of our friends have children or are currently expecting their first bundles of joy. Sure, S and I have talked about having children – how many, names, what kind of parents we think we’d be… all of it. We truly appreciate everyone’s excitement at the prospect of S and I becoming dads, but that will not be happening for a long while (lol).

 

First of all, I’m married to a CPA. Do you really think we’re making any major moves before making sure our pennies are in order? We own our loft condo in Indianapolis and plan on upgrading the hell out of it before having a home built; hopefully in Bloomington. We were forced to upgrade the majority of the whole downstairs last fall when we discovered an internal leak. THAT was not fun, but we survived. Kids will be lovely down the road, but for now we’re good with our one-year-old pup, Reynold.

 

Both of our careers are at explosive levels right now. By explosive, I mean we’re both making major moves and are both being looked at for possible manager roles at our respective workplaces. We were both just promoted a handful of months ago, so work for both of us has been a whirlwind of sorts. “New levels, new devils.” I heard that bit of wisdom on a podcast I listen to called The Friend Zone. It’s so true. With any type of growth comes new challenges, especially in the work world. S has been going through this all while working on his Masters of Accounting degree. Thankfully, he’s just started his last couple courses and will be done in December. He pretty much went full-time school and full-time work this summer so he could finish early. What a beast, that hussssband of mine.

 

Success at work, with a heavy dash of continued education, has lead to a serious lack of us time and time spent on our personal projects. I laid out a plan to write more regularly months ago and develop the blog more, and it’s been a struggle to get any of that work done. I try to write for the blog and for my book whenever I can, but most days we’re too tired to do anything but Netflix and chill with the dog. We know that in order to be happy we have to keep things like a personal projects on track to have some fun. We both actually don’t mind our jobs so much, but we’re fighting for a balance – that happy medium of success in all areas of life, all while managing to relax on regular basis and do what we want. We’ll get there one day, but for now, we realize we are entering the next phase of our professional lives and that there is still a light at the end of our tunnel.

 

You can only plan so much in life and that’s a fact we both know to be true. Security isn’t so much a worry as it is a responsibility. If we’re going to do most of what we want, and in a timely manner, financial responsibility is a major key. Before we bring children – and my future French bulldog – into the picture, we’d like to have accomplished some personal goals; maybe travel the world a couple times. I’ve said a number of times now “this is the year I figure out how to work for myself.” Keeping this blog, pitching to local publications, and working on a book is all part of that plan. S has his own plans and doesn’t plan on letting those slip away by any means.

 

There’s so much we’d like to accomplish and in realistic time. Balance is a requirement if we’re going to maintain our sanity while growing into a couple power queens and planning for a fun, full life. We love the one-step-at-a-time approach. Right now our jobs are the main focus, only until things calm down. Once S is done with his studies, he’ll be able to re-center his zen and work a little less. Without losing site of our hopes and wishes, we’ll figure out the balance and continue to move forward. One day at a time.

 

Oh? The kids question? Before we’re 40. There ya go 😉