Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Can't Enjoy This Sunset Because I'm Too Busy Trying to Take a Photo...

I recently saw this quote online: "I can't enjoy this sunset because I am too busy trying to take a great picture of it to put on Facebook".

I think of this often in my generation. We are so connected and have our lives so intertwined with social media and acceptance that this line becomes a blur.

I've gone to concerts and desperately tried to take a good photo or video. Will I look at these photos or videos again after uploading them to Facebook? Will other people take the time to watch the whole video or view all of the blurry photos? Most likely, no.

So why do we reject the real world because we are trying to put it in our digital one? Why are we so obsessed with preserving our memories digitally that we don't actually enjoy making these memories?

We crave approval from others and the digital medium makes it very easy to want and get approval. Don't you feel happier when you get comments or likes on things you share on Facebook? Do you ever get disappointed when no one comments or likes your newest photo? This doesn't make the photo any less beautiful or the status any less clever, but you feel that way.

So I am trying to take a step back and enjoy the moments I have and remember I don't need to preserve everything. My brain will do that for me. It is very nice to look back at Facebook photos and remember certain things from birthday parties or events, but it is also nice to talk with friends and be nostalgic about the same events.

The next time you are enjoying a concert or a sunset or anything... remember that you don't need to struggle to capture it. Simply sit and enjoy it and be in the moment. Remember that your digital life isn't everything; your real life is.

What do you think about this topic?

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Real Scoop on Working From Home

A lot of people ask me exactly what I do for work and sometimes it is hard to explain. I am a marketing coordinator and freelance writer. I have about eight clients, ranging from a non-profit organization to a women's online magazine to a tool and die shop, but not all are active at the same time. Any given day I have ongoing projects that require more than one day of work, such as helping create a new website for a non-profit organization and new projects, such as creating an email newsletter for a client to send out for that month. Here are some common misconceptions and truths about working from home...

Yes, I regularly work in my pajamas. Most days I wake up without an alarm, unless I have something scheduled like a phone call or meeting. I get up and check my emails and to-do lists for the day, grab some breakfast and get working. Some days I stay in my pajamas for a short time and sometimes I stay in them until the afternoon when I realize, well, I should probably change. :)

Just because I work at home, doesn't mean I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Yes, it is great because it allows me to grab lunch with a friend or take a few hours off for a haircut or appointment and finish my work later that night, but it doesn't mean I can do whatever I want. I regularly have phone or in person meetings and I am now up to a full-time load of work. Things have got to get done so I can't just skip out whenever I feel like it, just like a normal job.

Just like any job, there are upsides and downsides. The upsides are working in my pjs, being able to have more freedom over my schedule than a 9-5 job, the flexibility and change of pace of working with different companies from my home office, etc. The downsides are that often clients expect you to work more than 9-5. I sometimes get "urgent requests" late at night or on weekends, no matter how much I try to put those time periods off limits for working.

I am considered a contract worker. I am not a full-time or part-time worker with any company. I am a contract worker that gets paid by the hour with no benefits or taxes taken out. Right now this isn't too much of a problem. I pay my taxes quarterly. I can still be under my parent's health care benefits, so that works out. Eventually I will have to get my own benefits and hopefully I will be making enough profits so that benefits and taxes won't be too much to handle.

Still, no matter what annoyances come up, I have to realize how much I love working from home and having a flexible schedule.

Anyone have any questions about working from home or what I do on a daily basis?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Are you a Hoarder?

Every once in a while, I find myself wanting to get rid of things. I tend to collect way too much makeup, clothes and accessories and sometimes I just wish I could have a minimalist wardrobe. Yet, when I should actually be paring down such collections, I pause.

You know... that foundation I haven't used in a year, what if I suddenly want to use it and I got rid of it? What if I need it? I think back to times such as this one: the time I got rid of a camouflage shirt I never wore, only to find myself needing a camo shirt for spirit week in high school. My head thinks back to these times and wonders, well what if I will need that one day?

I read a minimalist blog now and then and they discuss these same feelings. When they were purging their stuff, they had the same urge to keep things. I think we all do. Do I really need 10 tubes of lip gloss when I rarely ever wear it at all? Definitely not. Do I think twice before throwing it away or giving it to a friend? Definitely. WHY?

We get attached to the things we own. Hoarders have this philosophy: well I might need it one day. But really, will you? Will you need the things you hold on to for years, never touching? Probably not. Even if you find yourself needed that camo shirt, chances are you can borrow one from someone else or just buy a new one for cheap.

I definitely admire those that dive head first into minimalism and have very little clutter. My new goal is to get rid of items I never use such as clothes that don't fit well and I never wear, makeup I never use, etc. I want to look at the things I own very carefully and ask myself a few questions.

Have I used this in the past year?
For clothes, does it have stains or holes that suggest I should toss it?
Do I really need it or like it anymore?
Can someone else use it on a regular basis instead of just sitting at my house collecting dust?

What do you think? Do you need to organize and get rid of things in your home? Any suggestions for me?