Tag Archives: Work

Swellyroo Clothing Goes Live

Finally after months and months of sewing, then taking and editing over a 1000 photos, and basically learning CSS to get online, Swellyroo Clothing finally went live August 25th, 2013.

Swellyroo.com officially goes live!

Swellyroo.com officially goes live!

After moving to Texas last November 2012, The Texan and I decided that I would officially start to look for work right after the holidays. Since we were financially stable, we could afford this. Between getting all of my stuff here, unpacked, and getting emotionally settled in to a whole new life, looking for a new job was a little daunting. Okay, really though, looking for a new job is probably always daunting. For the next few months, I started sewing anytime I wasn’t applying for mental health jobs.

[I will discuss the state that Texas “mental health” is in at a later time…please view this video in the meantime that talks about how Texas is LAST in Mental Health Funding.]

To make a long story shorter, I received so much positive feedback about the items I had sewn for my niece Esmé, I decided that I would try my hand at sewing a line of creative and unique baby clothes. Designed to be colorful, unique, and different-than-what-comes-in-a-three-pack at the store, Swellyroo clothing provides the basics in a beautiful way. If all you pair the items with is a white tee, or some moccasins, your baby will still be fashion forward in a fun way.

Swellyroo Pinafore and matching Diaper Cover

Swellyroo Pinafore and matching Diaper Cover

I am hopeful about the launch of Swellyroo.com, and I am excited to see what happens next!

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je t’aime plus qu’hier moins que demain

“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.”
Viktor E. Frankl

During the several years I worked as an inpatient mental health therapist, I completed somewhere around 900 mental status exams on children (5-17) admitted for severe psychiatric concerns. Entering the program for stabilization, many of them were experiencing severe symptoms of depression and had attempted suicide. During my work with these kids–when they were ultimately able to identify a “reason” to continue living–9 times out of 10, their reason was a connection with another being.

More and more I am discovering and re-discovering that people aren’t meant to be alone. The soul searches and longs for companionship and connection. Love connects us. Psychologists and researchers have proposed a number of different theories of love. Love is a basic human emotion, but understanding how and why it happens is not necessarily easy. In fact, for a long time, many people suggested that love was simply something that science couldn’t understand.

Psychologist Zick Rubin proposed that romantic love is made up of three elements: attachment, caring, and intimacy. Attachment is the need to receive care, approval, and physical contact with the other person. Caring involves valuing the other persons needs and happiness as much as your own. Intimacy refers to the sharing of thoughts, desires, and feelings with the other person.

According to psychologist Elaine Hatfield and her colleagues, there are two basic types of love: compassionate love and passionate love. Compassionate love is characterized by mutual respect, attachment, affection, and trust. Compassionate love usually develops out of feelings of mutual understanding and shared respect for one another. Passionate love is characterized by intense emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety, and affection. When these intense emotions are reciprocated, people feel elated and fulfilled. Unreciprocated love leads to feelings of despondence and despair. Hatfield suggests that passionate love is transitory, usually lasting between 6 and 30 months. Hatfield also suggests that passionate love arises when cultural expectations encourage falling in love, when the person meets your preconceived ideas of an ideal love, and when you experience heightened physiological arousal in the presence of the other person.

Ideally, passionate love then leads to compassionate love, which is far more enduring, and what long-term relationships are based on. While most people desire relationships that combine the security and stability of compassionate with the intensity of passionate love, most researchers believe that this is rare.

So what is the point? What happens when you have a broken heart? The term is used to describe those terrible feelings of unreciprocated love, damage to our ego, and ultimately disappointment. But I would suggest that it is not only humans who break our hearts, but society as well. We become disillusioned and jaded when injustice occurs, when we suffer despite our best efforts, and when there is no end to this suffering in sight.

However, I would argue that love is bigger than a broken heart. In all of its complexity, love remains capable and present, despite being bruised and battered. When I look at the ways in which a person can love and be loved, my spirits are lifted. We form attachments that include caring for others and their needs. We value other peoples needs and happiness as much as our own. We share, respect, and trust. All of these are choices that we are capable of making as human beings, time and time again. We have freedom to choose our attitude, despite our circumstances.

There is no way to describe the feeling of caring for another person, such that it enables them to identify their own reason to live.

I hope that I will always choose to love and serve others.

What meaning do you live for?

Panning For Gold?

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If this were me, I don’t think I would be satisfied with my husband’s professional goal either…unless he was really really good at it.

Bills aka Looming Cloud of Annoyance

For several months now I have been ruminating over moving back in with my parents. This has been one of those “mylifehascompletelychangedandnowIneedtofindadirection” things. This started when I was attempting to brainstorm with friends what amazing opportunity I should pursue. Buy a boat, move to another country, move across the country, etc. All of the things that “older” people tell me they would have/should have done, if they knew then what they know now. You know, that conversation that goes something like this: “You’re free now. You just got out of a shitty relationship and there is nothing to hold you back from doing what you want! If I were you, I would just travel and do lots of crazy stuff. “And then they ask “What’s stopping you?” And I say “Well, I guess I have these bills to pay, and my student loans you know.” And then I start to think about how I had done all of things that society told me I was supposed to do i.e. go to college, get married, go to graduate school, get a nice paying job, think about having some babies, buy a newer car, decorate a beautiful home. Check, Check, Check. And now I’ve done those things, but now I look at where I am and I’m still starved for adventure, love, and freedom.

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“What would you do if you won a billion dollars?”

“I’d pay off my debt and loans, travel, and buy a place in Europe, and make art.”

“What would you do if you won a million dollars?”

“I’d pay off my debt and loans, and travel to Europe, and make art for a couple months.”

“What would you do if you won 10,000 dollars?”

“I’d pay off my debt, and buy some Starbucks.”

And so I am faced with the question of moving in with my parents, rent free. If I did, I could pay off all of my debt in 3 years, 2 months, and 9 days (or 38.2 months, or 166.5 weeks, or 1,165.5 days). I would be 31 years old.

There’s only one thing to do.

Obviously go to New York for a week and then decide.

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Competentism

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like the rest of the professional world shares the view of work smarter not harder, or at least this mentality is not a widely rewarded (read compensated) one. My dad’s motto is “make things work better.” However, he and I have both had to figure out that sometimes people don’t want help or to hear from others how they might be able to make something happen in a more effective manner. Although I “get” this, it still seems like pure madness. I most certainly would want someone to share with me the best way of going about something. Why would I want to struggle along and continue to make things quite difficult for myself?! Especially if learning this new skill might allow one to improve other areas of their life. Arrogant, entitled, narcissistic, skilled, competent, bright, smart, organized, motivated. These are all adjectives that I’ve been described with—all being used to describe the same skill set. So what’s the deal? The skill that is usually being described is my excellent ability to help others identify and remove barriers that prevent them from reaching their goals. ( <– I asked my co-worker to craft this sentence so that it was an accurate and unbiased reflection.) Alas, this skill allows me to heed my own advice, and thus practice it through my daily routine. I remove barriers and accomplish my goals. Some take longer than others (like this whole debt thing), but eventually I can make it happen in an efficient and relatively painless manner.

Coming back to my main point, there appears to be a subtle form of discrimination when it comes to ability and competence—competentism (yes I just made this term). The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states “The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.” They outline the different types of discrimination by type (age, disability, equal pay/compensation, genetic information, national origin, pregnancy, race/color, religion, retaliation, sex, & sexual harassment) but this extensive list doesn’t really capture the whole picture. Take reverse ageism for example. Ashley states;

“So what does reverse ageism look like? Well that is probably different for everyone, but for me it typically involves being the catch-all for everything technology related yet being overlooked when it comes to other aspects of my job. You see, another stereotype of our generation is that we know a lot about technology…and that one is pretty universally true. We grew up with computers, iPods, text messaging and the internet. We don’t use the instruction manuals on our new electronics. We turn them on and teach ourselves. So when our employer switches our e- mail system to Outlook, or purchases a new web-based database to track customers, we adapt. And quicker than our older coworkers, it seems. Because of this uncanny ability to learn new technologies, we are often taken advantage of. We are the first (and sometimes only) people to learn how to do something so we are forever the “experts” on the subject. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to help. I will even teach someone how to do something if they are willing to learn. What I won’t do is their job for them every time they need to utilize this new technology but don’t know how. All too often our generation is expected to do this because we are the resident “technology gurus,” but when it comes to other areas of expertise, we are dismissed as young, naïve, or inexperienced.” (Read more at http://entrylevelobservations.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/reverse-ageism/)

Similar to reverse ageism (which definitely occurs), competentism is the act of assigning additional tasks, increasing workload, requiring a person to remain present for a full 8-hour work day etc., in spite (term used deliberately) of the fact that the employee has already finished their original job tasks (and probably some others as well) in an efficient and timely manner. Now, I’m not suggesting that a person do the bare minimum and just slide by in life or in the workplace, but I do think they should be compensated for their abilities accordingly. Let’s say it takes Jane Doe 1 hour to complete a task, and their co-worker 2 hours. Jane Doe should be able to complete the task and then leave early (and dare I say be praised) right? Wrong. Instead, she hears “you’re entitled, you really should help so and so finish,” or “well, can you work on this since you have extra time?” This is discrimination for competency. This culture promotes laziness and rewards a stagnant work environment.

Like Ashley said, I’m happy to help, and I’m willing to teach others these skills, but please don’t call me entitled when I ask for a little compensation here and there.

*Disclaimer-These are just thoughts that I’ve had over the years, which are only meant to be a commentary on general workplace cultures I’ve encountered, not a specific reflection on my current job (which I love 😉 )