Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Gift of Experience

I've seen a bunch of articles and blog posts lately that talk about giving gifts that are experiences, rather than things. I love this idea, because over the past couple years I have become more and more overwhelmed by stuff. It's super easy for me to think of experiences that I would absolutely love to receive as gifts, but it's a little more difficult to think of things for other people. Just like material gifts, you need to fit the experience to the person, except now you really need to get it right because it's a lot more difficult to re-gift or return an experiential gift. I came up with a few ideas and mixed them in with experiences I would love to take part in.

1. Spa day
2. Seeing a professional ballet
3. Musical tickets
4. Going to see the symphony
5. Any sporting event
6. A gift card to a new restaurant in town
7. A day at an amusement park
8. Tickets to an exotic location
9. Tickets to anywhere, really
10. Aerial classes
11. Movie theater gift card
12. Liquor/wine/beer tasting (as long as the recipient and gift-giver are over the legal age of consumption)
13. Sight-seeing tours
14. Sky diving
15. Bungee jumping
16. Art lessons
17. Cooking lessons
18. A gym membership
19. Ceramics lessons
20. Sewing lessons
21. Baking lessons
22. Horseback riding (lessons or just for fun)
23. Go-karting
24. Hot air balloon ride
25. Plans for a road trip
26. Comedy club
27. Language classes
28. Local attractions (in Saskatoon I would definitely recommend the Prairie Lily riverboat cruise)
29. Local festivals (in Saskatoon: A Taste of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Folkfest, and the Festival of Trees, to name a few)
30. Music concert or festival (I want to go to as many performances at this year's Saskatchewan Jazz Fest as possible)

What would you add to this list? I'm sure if I were thinking of someone specific I would come up with more, but these are the generic ones/the ones I would love to experience. Another thing you could do is renew someone's subscription or membership fees to something they already participate in. You know they already like it, and you're alleviating the financial cost for them.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Twenty Four

Google kind of freaked me out last night when I opened up my browser. I saw the cakes and candles and hovered my cursor over the photo like I always do when there is a different landing page and I gasped when I saw "Happy Birthday Sarah."
Then I realized I was logged in, and it wasn't completely scary that Google knew it was (almost) my birthday. I felt better then.
Twenty three was a pretty great year, but I am excited to see what twenty four has to offer. There have been a lot of changes in the past year: a new relationship, moving out, and a new job, to name a few. I'm looking forward to seeing how all these changes progress and also to the new changes to come.
And now, we celebrate! (After work)
Any readers with birthdays coming up?!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Learning Curve

This past Monday marked the first day of a brand new job for me. I say "brand new" because I've had new jobs before, but prior to this I had essentially been moving around within the same organization. I started as a student in one department, came back the next summer and stayed for 2 years as a student in another, took off to Halifax for the summer after I convocated from university, and then got brought back into yet another department where I stayed for just over 2 years as a casual and then finally a term. I only ever had to get used to a new job, not really to new people and definitely not to a new atmosphere.

I've only been at this job for five days, so I have to keep reminding myself to be patient. I'm not used to not knowing what is going on, if I'm being completely honest. This is a completely new industry to me, so I'm not well-versed in the topic areas, nor am I familiar with the vernacular. I am not familiar with the company culture or the expectations, and even though I'm pretty technologically-savvy, I'm still not completely familiar with the updated versions of programs that this company has compared to where I was before. I'm in the middle of a learning curve, and it's taking a lot of my brain capacity to keep from curling into a ball in the corner while covering my eyes and wishing I was at home in my bed watching the seasons of Gilmore Girls (#grownup).

I know I can do it, and I know I will do well. I must admit that the first day left me feeling like a complete idiot for agreeing to do this, but after that initial shock I realized that it's not just the position that is new for me, it's having to learn at such a rapid pace again that's a shock as well.

It's not just the work that's new and challenging, it's all the other things too. Soon I will conquer the touchy water fountain that doesn't seem to like to flow into my water bottle and I will learn how to pull the door with a level of strength somewhere between my weak pull that leaves me caught in-between the door and the frame and my super-human strength maneuvers that knock the wall behind the door. I'll get used to driving the other way to work and parking downtown, and I'll get used to not being able to go home for lunch anymore. I'll learn everyone's names and I'll get to know them too. Over time all of these things will come, just like they have before.

Any tips on how to adjust to a new workplace? Do you have methods to assist in remembering people's names? I am so grateful for name plates on everyone's doors, but I'm not always in their office. Please help!
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