Monthly Archives: January 2012

Keeping a Journal

I am not a writer.  I think from a logical standpoint.  I prefer to do math and work with numbers than to write my feelings down.  I have tried to keep journals for many years.  They always start strong but end abruptly about a week later.  I have a multitude of them, sitting in a drawer, each about 95% blank.  After a while I stopped trying because it was not natural for me to maintain the process of writing to a book.  Then this whole blog epidemic started a few years back.  Remember livejournal?  Oh yes, I totally had one of those.  I think it mattered more to me because of the possible interactions it could incur from my friends.  I consider it a less advanced, old school twitter.

Anyways, keeping and maintaining a blog is a fun challenge for me.  I like my quiet reflection time, but the transition of pulling my quickly moving thoughts and putting them into words, on the screen, for the whole world to see isn’t always inspiring to me, sometimes it is even taxing.  But I know it is helping me become more articulate.   And I have set a goal to write my thoughts down more regularly.

Recently, a friend asked me to join a group of new Student Affairs Professionals on a joint blogging venture.  You may have heard of it?:  http://studentaffairsfirstyears.blogspot.com
We are each responsible for producing one blog post a week that will be featured on different days.  (I’m Wednesday!)

I have blogged before in the past.  Some weeks I would write two or three times, other times I would go two or three months without writing.  So this is a good challenge.  A challenge I must continue to meet and produce quality work.  (We had over 1000 hits in the first week!) With that being said I will post my entries on my personal site following their release on the official website.

There’s nothing like a swift kick in the patoosh, or at least a friend asking you to join something and then holding you accountable for it, to getcha moving!  I’m loving it!

Remember: http://studentaffairsfirstyears.blogspot.com  !

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So close, yet so far…

I attending our home women’s and men’s basketball games this evening, just with a few of my staff members.  For the record: it was a solid night for Mines: both women’s and men’s teams won!

The women’s game was well attended, but then the crowds started pouring in for the men’s game.  What started out as a mellow student section, became a sea of Mines football players.  As (probably) the ONLY staff member in that section, I felt super-duper awkward.  1.) Because they are all at least 2 times my size.  Legit.  2.) Also, I forget how far away from the student experience I am, even though I feel so engrossed in it everyday.  3 years ago, I knew the majority of the NAU football team (because I saw three generations of them live in my hall when they were first-year students) and was good friends with most.  I still know the ones who live in my halls (nothing changes…).

I think my experience of feeling both a part and far away from the student experience is a good thing.  It means I know my students, and it means there is a level of understanding about what they go through on a daily basis (albeit, the Mines world is way different than what I have been used to), but it also means that I have recognized my responsibilities of a staff member while still maintaining approachability.

I can say with honesty that I miss the good ‘ol days as a Lumberjack (jill).  College was awesome.  (And I think most SA professionals can attest that they enjoyed their college experience – it would be difficult to find many who did not – and that’s why we are here, doing what we do.)  And awesomeness lives wonderfully in my memories (and on Facebook’s timeline…).  But I can also honestly say I have been putting as much positive energy as possible into giving my students opportunities for exceptional experience for the past 2.5 years. And that’s awesome, too.

 

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#theKatiesHappinessProject

A few months ago I started reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin on my way to and from Arizona. I should really read more often. Anyways, I finished it a few weeks ago after re-picking it up, again, on my way to and from Arizona for the Holidays.

I was thinking about starting my own little Happiness Project (from now on to be referred to as HP) back in October. However, I wasn’t convinced. Until, a dear friend, also named Katie, asked if I had read it about a week ago. I was like, “Absolutely – I just finished July!” After some discussion we have determined to start our own. I will resolve to hashtag it: #thekatieshappinessproject on Twitter.

So we’re doing this. In this moment I feel a little overwhelmed by what this means for the next calendar year. I am still processing all that I read and have yet to select my foci. Foci, such a great plural word.

However, while I am still processing, I would like to provide my first few reactions:

1.) The Four Splendid Truths outlined by G-money. (Goodness, I hope Gretchen is alright with that nickname.)
– To be happy, you need to consider feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.
I think I do this. Maybe not outlined in this specific way or with such specific purpose, but it will be interesting to explore.
– One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
Legit. This is something I forget and remember many times a week. Another snippet: “Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?” Super cheese, but same concept.
– The days are long, but the years are short.
Oh do I know it.
– You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy.
Pondering this. Thinking about happiness was what got me questioning happiness. Maybe that’s just what happens when you grow up.

2.) The Commandments
I need to craft mine. Maybe not so much craft, but reflect, recall, and place into words what I know to be true.
I like the idea of “Be Katie.” More to come..

3.) Even though I am still working through my areas of focus for each month, I would like to start brainstorming a few:

Energy: Much like G-money, I like starting the year with energy. Workout, go to sleep earlier, eat foods that are mood boosting. I feel good about this one.
Be present: Enjoying the moments. The small things are often the things that give you happiness and what you’ll remember years down the road. I always feel hurried, so that is definitely an area for growth!
Clear clutter: I am 24 and I already have an excessive amount of stuff. And an excessive amount of stuff I surely do not need. I’ll be moving to a new apartment in April so I want to clear out before I move out. Less to move will be blissful!
Relationships: Maintain them, grow them, or eliminate them if they are creating bad stress. With friends, with family, maybe a lover (partner/dudefriend). I always wish I was better at staying in touch. May one month (and hopefully many more months after) be focused on this.

4.) Instead of the typical NYs resolutions, these will be my resolutions each month. 

5.) As a previously self-diagnosed perfectionist, I must continue to remind myself that I won’t be perfect.
And just because one day isn’t perfect, it isn’t a sign to jump off the bandwagon and throw my hands in the air in a gesture of defeat. No ma’am. I will not have it.

Seeing the clock strike 11:26 pm on my Mac means I need to wrap this puppy up so I can go to sleep earlier, as per energy.

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