Monday Musings: Return on Investment

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Good morning, and happy Monday! Hopefully everyone enjoyed their Mother’s Day. I snuggled the furbabies for most of the day after being treated to Doggy Mother’s Day Brunch, which has become a yearly tradition. Human children, fur children, no children – in my mind Mother’s Day is for all of the strong women in our lives, women that have touched our souls in one way or another. Bad ass mama jamas. The weekend and snuggles, as usual, went way too fast.

I’ve been thinking of everything in my life lately around this concept of “Return on Investment”. I’m sure you’re familiar with the term when it comes to your finances or perhaps at work where ROI studies are constantly being conducted on various topics related to business ventures. But the term, in my mind, isn’t just for business or money; it can relate to all aspects of your life. I made a decision last week that in everything I do, in every way I choose to spend my valuable time, I better be receiving a return on my investment. From spending time with friends to spending eight hours plus in the office, if the person or the work is taking more from me than I receive, I’m looking to make a change.

From a work standpoint, for some, a pay check is that ROI, that validation that I’ve put in the hard work and here is my return. For others it’s achieving success in some way, maybe receiving a promotion or receiving accolades from a boss. And then you have this small group of people that just want to spend their work day being happy and enjoying what they do.  I get it. Happy is sometimes just an attitude adjustment. I’ve been trying to follow the mantra of being happy at what I’m doing, no matter what that is, and I’m not doing too bad of a job. I’m looking at the few pros and trying to beat them into my head when that feeling of “opening the work inbox dread” hits.  But after twelve years in the same field, work is taking more from me than I’m getting, no matter how I try to twist the truth or tell myself otherwise. Facts are facts. I’m missing my yoga class that does wonders for my mental state. I’m missing the afternoon dog walks that I so look forward to. I’m missing being able to cook dinner with my husband. I’m missing my “happy place”.  And I’m missing these things that mean the most to me for very little return. Just. Not. Worth. It.

I’m not adverse to hard work, I’m really not. When something matters to me, I’ll be the first one in the office and the last one to leave so to speak. But it has to matter. I have to see how the fruits of my labor are making a difference. And it has to interest me. Let’s face it, there are things we enjoy and things we don’t. Do you want to spend the bulk of your life doing something you’re indifferent about? Or do you want to spend those valuable hours, minutes, seconds doing something you enjoy and even better, something you’re passionate about? I choose passion each and every time. Life can really suck, especially when things happen that you have no control over. But you do have control over how you choose to spend your time and who you choose to spend your time with day in and day out. Make sure you’re investing accordingly.

In the efforts to provide you a return on your reading investment this morning, your Monday reads, short and sweet.

Off to the Market: It’s Farmer’s Market time again! In Virginia, the first week of May typically kicks off the season that runs well into October. Visiting your local market and picking up in-season produce is one of the best ways to invest in yourself, especially when you’ve got some of the best local produce at your fingertips. This post is a few years old, but it’s my go-to for providing tips on shopping at your local farmer’s market and what produce to look for during Spring, Summer and Fall. There’s nothing like fresh from the farm, ruby red strawberries, am I right?

Written by an Actual Teen: This past Saturday I spent entirely way too much time updating my iPhone, moving an embarrassing amount of photos to the cloud, updating apps, backing up my laptop…I was in technology hell, but I survived. Now I’ve been inundated with changes to apps that haven’t seen updates for quite some time. As much as I like to think I’m still hanging with the tech saviest of the crowd, I felt old for the first time ever when it came to technology. Then I came across this in-depth article written by 19 year old college student discussing how teenagers view social media today, and I felt even older. It’s quite fascinating to read, and I think there’s something we all can learn from his analysis.

You’re Kind of Self Centered: I can totally relate to this article about anxiety, being nervous and focusing so much on the impression you are leaving you miss most of the conversation you’re having with someone else. “Nerves have a way of making you fold into yourself, obsessing over each awkward thing you’ve said or done in front of someone you’re trying to impress.” Yes, yes they do. I never thought about coming across as a jerk though. #getoutofyourhead

 

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