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Nicole Martin
New Jersey
Remixing my wardrobe to create buzz-worthy, office-approved outfits! Find out more at: Creating Panache.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Reality Check

Hey guys, remember me? My name is Nicole and I used run Employed Panache on a regular basis. If you’re a regular reader, you've probably noticed that my posts have been lacking lately… as in I have not posted anything in a full month. And for a couple months prior, posts were spotty at best. You might be asking yourself what happened… well guys, real life happened, and it happened hard and unexpectedly.

I have been avoiding a post like this because I work hard to stick to the Employed Panache brand of office appropriate work wear with a smattering of posts on professional topics. I felt that writing about anything outside of the 9-5 would not be appropriate. I also thought that it would be a short blip, and that I’d be up and blogging again quickly. Well, that was clearly not the case… and then I read several “transparency and credibility” posts by Ashley of Consciously Corporate. Ashley put herself out there for all of the internet to read, knowing that her friends, family, and maybe co-workers will be reading her thoughts. The first post must have gone over well, because Ashley wrote at least 2-3 more transparent posts afterwards!

While what I am about to discuss/vent may not be directly related to outfits to wear to work, HR, careers, or any other office or professional matters, this is all about work-life balance and knowing what your healthy limits are. So here it goes… in-your-face real life that I’ve been dealing with over the past 4 or so months:

Reality Check #1
In April, I moved into a different role at The Day Job. This was a very good thing… it wasn’t a promotion, but I needed a change. New projects, new characters, new challenges. As they say, beware what you wish for… when I started the role, my new team was in the middle of transitioning a newly acquired company into the function while at the same time reorganizing the current structure. Oh, and interns had to be recruited and on-boarded within the following 2 months – tasks that were 100% my responsibility. Let’s just say that ratio of work-life balance quickly shifted so that work was winning out most days. During this time, I was still kinda blogging… taking pictures in the morning was still an easy part of my routine, but my free time in the evening was less. And whatever time outside of The Day Job I did have went right to…….

Reality Check #2
House hunting! The Husband and I decided it was the right time to make a move into a house, so we began extensive research when we got home from work. On top of that, a couple nights a week plus a full weekend day went towards looking at houses. Sounds time consuming but fun, right? Well, let’s just say that the fun wore out real quick. Because it’s a “buyer’s market,” we have a lot of competition and in 4 months we’ve lost 4 deals. Also, I never expected house hunting to be so damn emotional. But we are looking for our forever home, the place where we’ll raise kids one day… so yes, tears were shed on multiple occasions. Despite this, we are still looking and going strong. If anything, we’re becoming very efficient at knowing immediately whether a house will work for us. And in the end, I am a bit tougher as a result.

Reality Check #3
I've realized that I have to stick by the grown-up decisions I make. I won’t go into a ton of details, but essentially The Hubby and I subletted our condo before finding a house. Don’t ask, it does make sense (to some degree) given our situation and who we have as a tenant. But this all adds up to moving our stuff into storage and living with friends and family for several months on top of everything else. This reality, among all of them, is probably what has gotten me closest to a major meltdown.

Reality Check #4
Throughout all this, I quickly learned that my energy is not unlimited. Gone are the days I can abuse my body with junk food, tons of coffee, little sleep, and no exercise. I don’t know if my body is just used to me taking better care of it (vs. the college years) or if I’m *gasp!* getting older. Either way, I am often tired and unmotivated once I get home. And instead of pushing myself to exhaustion and the brink of my sanity, I give in when I need to take a run, watch tv, read a book, see friends, hike with my dog, etc. instead of blogging.

Soo this is my life currently. I hope this post didn’t come off as me whining, because I recognize that I have a TON to be grateful for! But dear readers, you deserve to know what’s going on. I’m slightly more settled now that I’m out of my condo and staying in one place for the next month or so, so I do hope to blog a bit during this time! Please hang in there with me for the time being :)

PS: I honestly wasn’t sure if anyone would notice my absence. Well, you did notice, thank you for the kind notes! Its awesome readers like YOU that motivate me to get back on the horse (as they say :)

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