The Irreverent Professor

Unvarnished realities about life, teaching, learning, and change in this wild, wild world

Archive for the tag “life”

What’s the Big Hurry?

This post is going to seem contrary to my usual “Carpe everything!” and my personal motto “Now is better than later.”  But it’s been on my mind for a while.  What’s the big, honking hurry everyone seems to be in these days?  Why are so many people (including me sometimes) so focused on getting to the next thing that they forget about the now things?

I have had several college students who got engaged during their senior year of college…or so soon afterwards, they still had awkward hair from wearing those ridiculous mortarboards.  Many got married to high school or college sweethearts.  They had been together a long time, so they were “soulmates” or such.  As soon as they graduated (and sometimes before), they got married.  Although I suspect some of them are in college to get their M.R.S. degree (yes, that phenomenon is alive and well, at least here in the South), some of them surprise me.

Really, no one looks good in mortarboard. But I was still happy to be getting my Ph.D.

Really, no one looks good in mortarboard. But I was still happy to be getting my Ph.D.

I’m not saying getting married straight out of college is necessarily a bad thing (and I will again catch all kinds of flak from my friends who did this and are still happily married).  But these kids (and yes, I think of them as kids) are missing out on experiences that come with being single in your 20’s: having your own apartment and never having to fight over the remote with anyone or eating the last of the chocolate peanut butter ice cream in the freezer.  Life-shaping stuff.

Without my single years in my 20’s, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  Maybe I’m just a late bloomer, but I needed that time to feel lonely, to learn to be alone happily, and to make some moves I could never have done as part of a couple or family.  I am not at all the person I was in college.  Or in my 20’s, for that matter.

This “what’s the big hurry?” also applies to the career types who are in so much of a hurry to climb the corporate ladder that they forget there are a lot of great things to experience (and learn) where they are–and more importantly, outside of work.

And to the students who are in such a hurry to graduate that they forget why they are in college in the first place–to learn, to experience “college life” which is a unique once-in-a-lifetime free-for-all the likes of which we long for the rest of our lives.  Don’t get me wrong, the Real World is great.  But there’s something about college…

And to the dreamers who are always thinking about the future (this is where I’m guilty) instead of relishing the present.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”  –Kung Fu Panda

I read a blog post by Rachel Macy Stafford “The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up.”  It struck me right in the gut.  How many times have I said that to my son as he watches the ants scurry around on the anthill or searches for the perfect rock?  Because wherever I need to go or whatever I need to do, I need to do it now.  Because now is better than later.  Only sometimes the now thing is the anthill and it’s really not going to make a big difference if I get to the office 10 minutes later.

When's the last time you took the time to climb a tree?

When’s the last time you took the time to climb a tree?

My life could have been very different.  I could have gotten married right after college except that He Who Shall Be Known as The One That Got Away and I couldn’t seem to get our acts together and ultimately married other people–all for the better I’m sure.  Instead I spent some time alone, learned to move around to different cities, eat out by myself, enjoy business travel, and accept the torture know as dating.  Ultimately I married Mr. Perfect when I was 32 and he was 35 (yep, late bloomers).

Lately I find myself in less of a hurry (my husband, one-speed Phil might disagree)…sometimes.  I’m a work in progress.  But after seeing so many friends and family struck down with serious illnesses, I realize hurrying past today toward tomorrow and next week and the next experience causes me to miss a lot of things and leaves me empty.  Now it’s time to stop and smell the roses.

Carpe now.

A Bibliography for Job Hoppers Like Me

I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life.  A LOT.  And I recently gave notice at my current J-O-B (a year’s notice – academia is kind of weird).  I love my J-O-B, but I love flexibility, freedom, variety, and the beach more (we’re finally moving back “home” to the coastal town where I grew up and my husband went to high school.  I’ve been trying to do that for 20 years).

Among other things, I’ve been a:

  • Travel agent
  • Cruise ship purser
  • Hotel front desk clerk
  • Concierge
  • Meeting planner
  • Catering sales manager
  • Tourism bureau sales manager
  • Association executive
  • Lawyer
  • Professor
  • Professional speaker

    Kind of makes me dizzy to look at it visually.

    Kind of makes me dizzy to look at it visually.

And that’s just since I’ve been an “adult,” so the list doesn’t include various restaurant and retail jobs I had in high school and college.  Here is my career path visually (including various periods of unemployment…which were actually great fun, but that’s another story for another day).  I worked my way through school (all of it), so those aren’t “breaks,” btw.

My life span in a J-O-B (by that I mean conventional employment) is about 3 years.  I’m going on Year 4 in my current J-O-B.  I must be growing up.  HA.  Just kidding (SO just kidding).   A lot of people think I’m crazy.  Or flaky.  I have a great J-O-B at a great university in a lovely small city, I love my students, I get summers off, and it’s as close to entrepreneuring-with-a-regular-paycheck as you can get.  I’m not crazy (well I am, but not because of this).  I’m not flaky.  I just know I’m meant to live a different way–and a different where.  Even though I’ve done a lot of things, there many more things I still want to do.  After all, I’m only in my 40’s and have many more working years ahead of me.

So I recently made a big decision: never to have a J-O-B again.  I don’t mean that I get to retire early.  I’m not wealthy.  And for better or worse, I married for love, not money.  (Just kidding, honey, it’s better!)  I have just realized that a J-O-B is simply not my style.  Instead I’m going back to “multipreneuring,” which is like “entrepreneuring” but doing several things at once.  For example, my last multipreneur gig had me speaking, teaching, and lawyering…in various proportions that fluctuated by day, week, month, year.  And doing other cool stuff when it came along like consulting and writing.

This idea is not mine.  I’ve been collecting books for years that talk about living this life style…er, work style.  And it fits me better than any J-O-B ever will.  I’ve shared this with various people in presentations and I recognize the kindred spirits when I see their eyes light up like lightning bugs on a summer night.  So I thought I would share a short bibliography of books to read if this idea interests you.  Enjoy.

Carpe your J-O-B, job, or whatever works for you!

Tom Gorman. (1996) Multipreneuring. (This one may be out of print).

Richard J. Leider & David A. Shapiro. (2002). Repacking Your Bag: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life.

Barbara Sher. (2006) Refuse to Choose: A Revolutionary Program for Doing Everything You Love. 

Barbara J. Winter. (1993). Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love.

Cali Williams Yost. (2004). Work + Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You.

The Mad Crushes I Have and How They Are Changing My Life

It’s time I just confess to some mad crushes I have…on people I’ve never met.  But I hang on their every word.  And they don’t even know it.  But maybe they will someday.  And maybe you’ll crush on them, too, if I tell you about them.

1. Marcus Buckingham – I have had a crush on Marcus since I first read “Now, Discover Your Strengths” which he wrote with Donald Clifton (may he rest in peace).  I sooooooo believe in the Strengths movement.  So much so that I foist it upon my students (and anyone else who will listen).  My students tend to look very confused because it conflicts with what they’ve been told most of their life, which is “find your weaknesses and focus on improving them.”

Handsome devil, isn't he?

It’s really his brain I crush on…well, mostly

Which, by the way, is a bunch of crap.  There are a number of things in life that I am not good at and never will be better than mediocre (or “middlin'” as my Granny would say) at.  There are a few things I consider strengths and I enjoy using those and find it fairly effortless to use them.  More about them in another post, perhaps.

He changes the way I think about my life.  Every single time I read another one of his books or watch one his videos.  Even if I’ve read or seen it before.

And his tall, dark handsome good looks, U.K. accent, and the wonderful fatherly way he incorporates stories about his son Jack into his work don’t hurt either.  *swoon*

2. Hugh MacLeod (a/k/a @gapingvoid), the cartoonist.  I have no idea what he looks like, but he’s irreverent, sometimes crude, and incredibly thought-provoking.  And he has made a living drawing cartoons.  Gotta love that.  Although I’m not a particularly visual person, I rather dig his scary little monster figures.

From @gapingvoid's blog.  This particular cartoon resonates.

From @gapingvoid’s blog. This particular cartoon resonates.

But it’s more the very, very irreverent words that are attached to his cartoons that make him one of my crushes.  There was a short time there that I understand he was in a relationship (he may still be for all I know) and he lost a bit of his snarky “edge,” imho.  But it is back in full force in his latest genius piece, “The Art of Not Sucking.”  A must read–for college students or anyone who is trying to figure out this thing called Life.  (Not the game or the cereal, though.  It won’t help with those.)

3. Josh Groban – this one will be of no surprise to my husband.  Why this kid?  Have you heard him sing?  Voice of an angel.  And he’s pretty darn funny, too (on Twitter, I mean…it’s not like he calls me to chat).  So I confess to being a music cougar.  Love his music, have seen him in concerts(and this introvert doesn’t GO to concerts…but I went to his), watched him on Ally McBeal way back when, on Kelly & Whomever more recently when he was a guest co-host.

Handsome young man, isn't he?

Handsome young man, isn’t he?  Geez, I sound old.

As with the visual thing, I don’t have much of an “ear” for music.  Music’s music to me.  I turn on the radio and I’m done with it.  But Josh’s music reached me when no one else’s did.  So much so that I went out and bought the CD (ok, it was a few years ago – when he was 12 or something).  It was my first music purchase in about a bazillion years.  I own them all now (yes, as downloads…I’m not THAT old).

So there you go.  Strengths, irreverent cartoons, wonderful music.  And for my sweet husband of 13 years…thanks for understanding, honey.  You’re still my biggest crush.

Carpe people who change your life for the better.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: