Tag Archives: Work

Attitude of Gratitude–Day 15–No Mud, No Lotus

It’s the worst days that make this gratitude practice the best.

You know, the days when you run your story of victimization and self-denigration over and over until you embolden your emotions and convince yourself of their truth? Yeah, those days. Today was that kind of day for me.

For a moment (or two..) I allowed myself to be overcome with frustration, to feel bad for myself and play the victim. A person can do this for a long time…hence the reason there is so much conflict in our world. However, I refuse to let my ego get the best of me by ruining my day with patterns of habitual negativity.

I knew that today, no matter what, I had to find something to be thankful for. I’ve committed to this practice, and so even on the toughest of days, I give thanks.

Today, in the midst of a very frustrating moment at work, I saw some payoff  from my gratitude practice. It was like a little reminder clicked in to tell me that out of the mud, a beautiful lotus could bloom — if I asked it to, of course.

And so this is what happened:

I took a breath.

I acknowledged my anger.

I went for a walk.

I had a quick cry.

And I then I asked what I could be grateful for.

It was then that I saw the support of my friends, my team, my boss. I saw the opportunity for me to practice patience and listening and communication. I saw how I would do things differently in the future. And I saw an opportunity to grow as both a manager and a human being.

So today I am grateful for the benefits of this practice and to be developing a reflex for gratitude. Gratitude always shows me that I am the one in control of my well-being. If I want to change something from negative to positive, all I need to do is accept my present state, honor it, give thanks and see the light.

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Attitude of Gratitude–Day 8–Opportunities

I caught the travel bug when I was 15 years old on my first international jaunt to Geneva, Switzerland. The experience was so exhilarating and magical that I vowed to myself I would make it my priority to appreciate the far flung corners of this beautiful earth as much as I possibly could. Since that trip I have managed to touch my feet on the soil of 16 different countries and 4 continents, and have called two of these countries my ” home away from home.”

Traveling provides priceless growth opportunities. Opportunities to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, meet new people, learn a new language, eat different foods and invites time for self-reflection.

When I chose to study International Relations in college it all boiled down to that feeling I felt the first I traveled–the exhilaration, curiosity, confusion, magic. Those who study the workings of the world can attest that the reason is due to a genuine desire to call it our home. We want to make it accessible. We want to break down the barriers of language, culture and geography. We want to impact the world and leave our marks on it.

And so when I would get the question, what do you want to do with your studies? my answer my answer was pretty generic. “I would like to find a job that would allow for me to travel.” (Unless I was talking to my dad..then, of course, it was because I wanted to be some high profile diplomat, yielding immunity to traffic tickets and paying off my student debt…)

Today, as I booked my first international work trip to Poland, I thought to myself, “ya done good, kid!” Not only am I doing a job that is fulfilling my need to learn and grow, but I get to travel too!

So today I am grateful for the feelings of excitement I get when I start to plan a new voyage. I am grateful for the opportunity to travel and explore a new part of the world, to my company, Education First Cultural Care Au Pair, for encouraging it, and I’m grateful for all the roads that lead me to my home.

“May your trails be crooked and dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” Edward Abbey

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Attitude of Gratitude–Day 7–Dream Team

Today I will be brief. Not due to a lack of time, due to a lack of words. I do not think there are possibly enough to describe how lucky I am to work with such an amazing group of women. Today I am most grateful to my team… my posse…my clique. I am grateful for their creative ideas, their support, their humor and most of all their commitment.

I have learned so much from them this past year, and I continue to learn from them each and every day.

We push each other. Why? Because we’re pushers.We push people.

Brittany has taught me how to be calm in the midst of chaos. Kristin has taught me to ask questions until the answer becomes clear. Maura has taught me care for the whole being.

Today I am grateful for my dream team of pushers and the lasting impact we are having on our au pairs and the future of the Training School.

Where ma dawgz at?


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Attitude of Gratitude–Day 3–Productivity

With all of the winter weather we’ve been experiencing these past few weeks, it has felt impossible to accomplish anything. This week was the first week we haven’t had a disruptive snowstorm to throw a wrench in my workweek since the end of January. It took me a week to catch my breath from the full throttle around the clock work schedule I have been working for nearly a month, but today was one of those days where I planted myself at my desk and got some actual work done.

There is nothing as satisfying for me than the feeling of being productive. The last few weeks have taken a toll on my emotional health, and I was about to throw my hands in the air, and say to hell with this. But things moved forward today in a manner that I can truly be grateful for, and I am glad to feel some relief from the emotional havoc and fatigue caused by the massive disruptions to my routine.

Today I am grateful to my laundry list of things I’ve been wanting to get around to, and even more grateful to say that I have made some good headway into them. I can thoroughly enjoy the weekend with a light heart!


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Working hard or hardly working?

The difference between my current life and the one I was living only a few months prior is vast. In San Francisco the pace of my life was fast; I was always busy with some activity and sleep was not something of which I was accustomed. Thinking back on this time, it is quite hard to imagine how I ever pushed myself as hard as I did. Since arriving here in Sete I’ve acclimated (a bit) to the idea of having very little to do.

Though my contract officially started October 1st, my job as an English assistant only started last Monday. That’s to say, I spent the first 17 days of October chillin’ like a villain. When I received my work schedule on my first day of school, I found out that out of the 12 hours a week I am contracted, I will split 9 hours between two different schools. 3 out of my 12 hours are being kept for “fun days.” What does that mean, you ask? Fun days are basically a glorified English-speaking field day in which multiple assistants from around the region go to a school to play games with the kids. Thus, I work only Monday/Thursdays in my schools. Not too shabby.

My first week of teaching consisted of introductions and repetitive vocabulary about Vermont’s four seasons. By the end of my last class I was about ready to throw all my stupid flash cards in the trash. However, my kiddies are adorable. I teach ages from CP to CM2 (ages 6-11). I’ve already got my eye on a few English speaking stars, and yes, as expected, there are also a few classes that are incredibly difficult to control. For the most part, however, I stand in front of a class of doe eyed elementary schoolers and I make a complete idiot out of myself as I pantomime everything I am saying…something I quite enjoy, and which comes naturally to me. With two (exhausting) days under my belt, I profit from the benefits of the French education system A.K.A. a completely unnecessary, but all the same, welcomed, 10 day paid vacation.

Though I’ve become a bit more lazy that usual with my 9 hour work week in the schools, it is part of my nature to fill some of my free time with things to do. I’ve picked up some work on the side working as a server/barista in a little café-bar called Bistro du Marché. I befriended the bar man, Adil, (who deserves his own post on here really soon) and I asked him if he needed help.  It turns out he admires the American work ethic more than the French and decided to hire me. I work some weekends, but mostly when he needs me. It’s been an excellent place to meet people, to practice my French in high stress situations, and it’s a few extra euros in my pocket. Plus, I’m learning a trade I’ve never done before. More on this soon.

I also picked up a language partnership. Like I discussed in a previous post, jumping at any opportunity to make friends can prove beneficial. Not only do I have a new friend, but I also have a new French tutor. Two days a week, my friend, Flavien, and I get together to practice speaking in English and French. Our levels are pretty similar, which is helpful. He is also easy on the eyes and has lots of friends. Two of the girls he introduced me to are also foreigners like myself. His girlfriend, Mariko, is a Japanese girl who works in Sete’s only sushi resto and Maman is a Chinese girl who promised to cook me dumplings…. Can you tell I’m missing some San Francisco classics? Another huge plus, Flavien has a car and works in the same town as me. Thus, he has volunteered to drive me to work on Thursdays saving me from having to take the train. Flavien has been a catch.

Travel is another things filling that will be filling up my free time. Tomorrow, my roommate, Ashley, and I are off to explore Bordeaux and Toulouse for a few days. As new members of couchsurfing.org, we’ve already hosted a lovely Québecoise at our appartment and will spend two nights being hosted in Bordeaux. I’ve been meeting great people from all over and I’m looking forward to making some new friends in some new places this vacation!

Okkk this was a long, not very well focused post, and I thank those of you who made it to the bottom. All is good. In fact, all is great, potentially even excellent.

Big kisses!

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