Playing to My Strengths

When I wrote this post asking for advice, Laura commented, telling me to “play to your strengths.” I took it to heart, and it has been my motto for the past week.

What have I done differently?

Well, first of all, I’ve been staying up late, and resisting the temptation to feel guilty about it. Instead, I’m trying to utilize my late-night energy to get things done. It’s easy to veg in front of the computer in the evenings, so I’ve been setting a timer – 15 minutes housekeeping, 15 minutes online, repeat. I really do get a fair amount done this way, and I enjoy it.

Am I exhausted in the mornings? You bet! But I don’t think that the amount of exhaustion that I feel is as bad as the nighttime exhilaration is good, if that makes sense. Basically, it feels like a good trade-off. I’m groggy in the morning, but I enjoy the evenings so much that I think I am coming out ahead. And going to bed when I seriously, desperately want my pillow is so much more enjoyable that trying to force myself to go to bed when my mind is racing with things to do. It eliminates the sense that doing the “right” thing is no fun.

One thing that this experience has amplified, but that I already knew, is that I can’t stand my job. I work as a childcare provider for my church on Thursday mornings, which would seem ideal, since I get to bring my daughters along.

So, what’s the problem? Well, I don’t really like children (I mean, obviously, I like my own children, but I’m not a kid person), I don’t click with my coworker, I don’t get along well with one of my supervisors, my 2-year-old doesn’t play at all with the other kids, my 6-month-old can’t nap there, and it’s freezing cold in that room! Add the fact that I’m not a morning person, and you can see why I really shouldn’t be there.

So what am I gonna do about it? Well, I’m looking into writing work, and lining up some other side work, so that hopefully I can put myself in a position financially to give notice soon. Nothing is for sure yet – in fact, everything is up in the air for us financially right now, as we work on a series of transitions – but I’m hopeful. The important thing about any other work that I acquire is that it PLAYS TO MY STRENGTHS. I don’t want to do something that I hate or perform in a mediocre way. I want to be proud of my performance.

More on this later!

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7 Responses

  1. Good for you, Jenni! Yay! And a writing job would CERTAINLY be playing to your strengths! I really enjoy your article length posts. 🙂

    Have you looked into putting ads on your sites? Like maybe getting involved with the Blogher network? Certainly your Budget Hippies site could support ads – it’s a totally great concept.

    p.s. I hope none of your bosses or coworkers or anyone who knows them reads your blog. 😐

  2. ummm yeah

  3. Thanks, Laura! I need to look into putting ads up – I know it costs money to enable ads on WordPress, and I don’t know if I have enough readership to break even yet. But I really don’t know. Do you know anything about that?

    Yeah, a couple people from my church do read this blog, but I figured that I have several supervisors, and I don’t make it clear which one. My coworker doesn’t read it, and plus, I’m not saying she’s bad, I’m just saying we don’t click. She’s a nice person! In fact, everyone I work with there is nice, it’s just an issue of personalities that don’t work well together. I guess what I’m saying is, my personality doesn’t fit my supervisors, my peers, or my actual job. So it’s just not an ideal situation.

  4. That church is ALWAYS cold!!!! I always freeze if I am leaving the office and a lot of the time I plug in my heater in the office. It definitely helps. Sorry it is so cold, if you ever want to borrow my heater, let me know and I let you use it as the office is usually quite a bit warmer than any other room, especially that one.

  5. FWIW, I love my evenings, after my daughter has gone to bed. I spend that time scurrying around getting things done and relaxing with my husband. I’d like to get more sleep—who wouldn’t?—but I really cherish the time between 8:30 and 11:00 at night. So I can understand where you’re coming from! There’s nothing wrong with being a night person, IMHO.
    …and good luck with the job change! Sounds like a step in the right direction.

  6. Does Wordpess have any site stats meters for you? Is there a way to find out how many unique hits you are getting? That would be the place to start.

    If you want to make money with your site, you have to put time into it like a business. Have you noticed the influx of comments you get on WFMW? You’re getting more than that, too – lots of people don’t comment. Find more places to contribute online that will bring people to your site. Even just commenting does it, but if you can join community events – like “Carnivals” or contests – you’ll get more traffic. Having regularly scheduled posts is important for keeping readers coming back. Like you have your Tasty Tuesday posts here.

    I think you’ll get more leverage out of your Budget Hippies site, and i think you may have an easier time thinking of things to post there, too, because it’s less tied to your daily life.

    Those are some scattered ideas. Do look into Blogher, though. And find out exactly what WP’s rules for ads are.

  7. JEN is so right!
    It seems to me that the kiddos probably get cold too. Is there a way to move them to a smaller room and then use the big room more sparingly for large motor time? That’s what Jami and I did years ago…those little bodies heat up the smaller rooms much faster and they seem to enjoy the large motor stuff even more when it is kept to a certain time.

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