Back to the Grind?!

So I realized after building a website for our local dietetic organization that it had been quite some time since I updated my own personal website and post what has been going on this past year.

My husband and I were blessed with our first son this June and life has opened many opportunities for both of us. I began taking classes for a master’s in public health and went back to work part-time at the hospital and teach a nutrition lab at the local community college.  I also decided to serve as a secretary for a local dietetic organization.

The question remains…can a woman balance both career and family?  I can say through my personal experience that it takes time management, determination and support. There have been times where I felt somewhat overwhelmed but realized that it was my responsibility and my choice in pursuing these responsibilities in order to improve not only for myself but also for my family by trying to provide the best that I can.

In the end, I truly believe it is manageable and depends highly on the individual.  All I can say is what works for some women may not work for others. Is there a right or wrong way of doing things such as raising kids or feeling “guilty” going back to work?  From what I’ve observed and learned from all the advice that has been given to me (whether I asked for it or not), I know what works for myself and my family and I am completely supportive with the decisions we make.

With that being said, here’s to a learning and unpredictable semester!

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Defined by a number..

While driving to school today, I heard an interesting topic that I believed once pondering on has much significance and recognition.  Do we allow ourselves to be defined by a number?  Numbers in general is how we identify our age, salary, social security, credit score, weight, GPA and various other rankings that we are socially constructed and expected to adhere toward.

As we self reflect toward defining ourselves, some of us may find that we allow to let numbers categorize us instead of us defining who we are through our actions, accomplishments and personal branding.  We are responsible in how others perceive us and our personal reputation is arguably the most delicate factor that we can control.

Next time you find yourself being socially constructed into a category based on your so-called number..take a moment to reflect and realize that the number alone does not justify who you are, what you were and most importantly, who you will become.

 

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Change..do you embrace or refuse??

Change.  Defined as shifting from one to another or to give a different course, position or direction.  We are encountered with changes daily; yet for most of us are we able to embrace change with optimism or do we stumble when change occurs?

I’ve learned depending on the age generation and personal characteristics, change can be viewed as a positive and enlightening experience or it can lead to a complete disaster.  We are seeing a change in the workforce for example of baby boomers working longer and having to embrace the changes that are continuously occurring based on the newest technology and business practices.  For some, re-learning how to communicate more effectively, produce more efficiently in less time and adjusting to the constant workforce dynamics..it’s no wonder that some individuals hate the word change.

I am a firm believer that change is ALWAYS a positive experience based on how you perceive it.  When one becomes too complacent in their ways, production, motivation and satisfaction tend to become affected.  I’ve learned with the many changes that I have been faced with over the last few years have all happened for a reason. Reflecting back I have personally developed and acquired more skill sets than I had initially bargained for and continue to grow as an individual within my profession and the many  other roles that I am placed in daily.

My suggestion…how you embrace change will have a direct effect on the course given to you.  It is your personal responsibility to be the leader in your life.

 

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Leadership begins at home

While taking my dog out for a walk today, I began thinking of management and leadership both at work, school and at home.  It struck me that leadership begins first at home.  We are taught by society when individuals cohabit in a home like environment, there are expectations to fulfill certain roles and responsibilities.  So how does one manage the family dynamics and become the leader they want to be for their family?

I’ve learned in order to be an excellent leader in the work environment, you must already be an excellent leader at home.  Both have similar situations such as relationships that are built on trust, compassion, love and sacrifice, and chores such as finance, running errands, cooking, cleaning, etc.

Can you see how the two are a mirror image of each other?  As found in the work environment, certain employees have special skill sets for them to work in a particular area.  Having to build effective relationships at work is the same as with the household.  It requires sacrifice, trust, compassion and love for the purpose.  How we communicate in the household for example, children need to ask permission from parents is the same when an employee asks for permission from the boss.

I truly believe that leadership skills begins at home; however how the skills are sharpened depends on the person and how they carry these skills in the workforce.  Hopefully they will learn what leadership characteristics are most effective because unlike work, you are only required 40+ hours/wk compared to at home, it’s completely a different story.

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Passing the $$BUCK$$

All of us at one point  have either received someone passing the buck or else we have passed the buck on to someone else.  Sound familiar? It should since it happens all the time around us whether we are at work, with family, friends or at school.  By the time you realize the buck has been passed to you, you find yourself in a situation, circumstance or problem that you did not initially sign up for.  So why does it happen and how do we avoid it? Passing the buck means the person who is passing it to you doesn’t have enough time, has failed to fulfill their initial promise or else they don’t want to deal with the problems and pass it to you so its out their hands and now your problem.

How do we avoid being the one passing the buck to someone else? Here are a few tips that may help you and over time you will be able to identify and make more responsible choices in the future.

Tip#1 Learn to say “no”

Agreeing to be on every committee, working overtime or taking extra projects in school will eventually lead to burnout.  Trying to do EVERYTHING half-ass vs. doing a few things above and beyond is noticeable and people will usually remember the negative or poor job you did vs. the outstanding performance on one project.

Tip #2 Know your motives

Before taking on an extra load, know why you are doing it.  Is it because you purely want recognition in hope for a promotion or award?  Or is it because you are truly passionate about the particular cause and feel that it’s for a good cause? Most likely if your thinking what’s in it for you, the time and commitment will slowly wither away compared to if you stand for whatever the commitment may be, your more likely to put extra effort and feel good knowing you did something good.

Next time you find yourself in a situation where you may end up passing the buck to someone, remember how you feel when it is done to you and learn how to stop being the one always passing the buck.

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Eat to live or live to eat…

It’s been shown a strong correlation that food can encompass anything from energy to fuel our bodies to celebrating our birthday and wedding or our comfort food when times are tough.  However you view food, we are always surrounded by food as we drive pass the billboards and fast-food places or else remembered by the hunger pains we feel around noon.  I guess the question is do you live to eat or eat to live?

Our country produces the highest food commodity and yet we still have high poverty and food insecurity throughout the country.  How do we come up with a solution in order to fairly distribute food supplies to where no one is deprived? And how do we as a country who produce so much have an extreme paradigm to where we are the fattest country in the world yet the numbers continue to grow regarding food insecurity?

Have we become a country where we live to eat?  We view food more as a pleasurable activity rather than one of our basic human needs in order to survive.  The next time you have a celebration and/or at a social gathering, ask yourself as you see the food surrounding you if you live to eat or eat to live.

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Practice what you preach!!

While ordering dinner the other night with some friends, I realized they were waiting to see what I was going to order and then order after me.  At first I thought it was odd, but later realized that they were seeing if I was going to order something “healthy” or not.

Since working in the nutrition/didactic field I have realized more and more the importance that walking and talking  go hand in hand.  It’s common sense that people will listen to you as long as you are following the same motto….so it baffles me that many doctors/nurses and other health-care providers advise their patients to quit smoking, drink in moderation and make sure to eat healthy and exercise while half of them I see smoke, drink, rarely exercise and order out all the time. I’m not saying that I’m perfect; however I try to be somewhat consistent especially when I know there is someone ALWAYS watching.

I admit I love my Cheetos and chicken wings; however I’ve learned over the years that what I advise to people should be consistent to what I practice myself.  I sometimes think health care is all about persuasion and the only way to make a difference to someone else is by setting the example first.  So over the years, I’ve become more aware that if I tell people they should be exercising 5 plus days per week, increase fruits and vegetables and not smoke and drink in moderation..well I better be doing just that.  I must say trying to fit exercise in 5 days a week on top of work, school and soon-to-be family isn’t always accomplished; however I do try to squeeze in at least 4 days if I’m lucky.

In regards to increasing fruits/vegetables, not smoking and drinking in moderation, I’ve been able to keep this motto up for now however it has taken me some practice and changes throughout the years.

So any practices, advice or motto you stand by that sometimes you find yourself not living??

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