Day 1 #AugustDeskEscape

Sometimes the “DeskEscape” is about being present with family.

Last night Mother Nature had her way with me- stopping me from trying to work more than 8 hours by blasting through our new hometown with a great big storm that took down trees and power lines. No way to work. No internet. Good going, Mother Nature! So much for doing a kickoff video for #AugustDeskEscape. So the photo above is of me, my husband and wonderful daughter walking the beach late today. I didn’t get in my usual number of steps but that’s okay.

Today turned into a beautiful day. Our power was restored about 3am this morning, and the town public works, fire department, police department and many other city employees spent most of last evening well into the morning cleaning up the debris. I drove to Boston to pick up our daughter. She’s not seen our new home. She’s entering her last year of university and before we know it she will be out on her own for reals.

What does this have to do with #AugustDeskEscape? This challenge isn’t just about the physical get up and get out, though that’s the major focus. It’s also about taking time for oneself. Taking time to sit in the quiet of a darkened home due to power outage. Taking time to be present with our loved ones instead of being on our computer or our phones. It can also mean ‘Escape’ from the work you bring with you in your head.

So be sure to travel over to the photos page to see posts from our colleagues from Day 1.

A Hidden Addiction Among Admins – and No, It’s Not Coffee.

At the request of many admin pals.. I’m re-posting this blog from August 2010… Enjoy.  And remember.. admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery..~kemetia
 

It’s been said that the first step to recovering from an addiction is to admit it.  But what to do when it is so socially and culturally ingrained as acceptable, nay even encouraged, in your daily life — that it is shameful and humiliating to admit it.

You know who you are.  You start out with a few cool items that no one else in your office has seen.  You were the first with lined post-it notes with the cool pop-up feature.  You know every brand of high-lighter and white-out made and which one works best with different inks.  Some of you even know settings on laminators or know some of the tools of the trade that aren’t even in most stores.
Last week, you broke into a cool sweat when the Sunday papers arrived and had all the back-to-school advertisements for Staples, Office Depot, Target. Frantically, you began cutting coupons.  You had hoarded the other coupons  you gathered at #EFAM in Boston in July. Then, when your kid’s or grandkid’s school supply list was provided.. all it did was provide cover for you to indulge in your nasty, scary habit — all in the public eye!  You woke up early Saturday morning and ditched your family- ignored your bank account balance, and showed the world how to really warm up a debit card
That’s right.  Admit it.  You are addicted. to. office supplies!  You’d loll around the aisles at Staples during back-to-school week like Madonna in her “Like a Virgin” video if they’d let you.  You can detail the pros & cons of paper vs. electronic planners like a lawyer presenting at the United States Supreme Court.  You’d shame Alex Trebek on Jeopardy! if they had an Avery label number category.  You know all the brands and had to be restrained from becoming violent when the clerk at the local retailer said that gel ink  and roller ball pens were the same product.
It’s okay.. forgive yourself. It’s an illness prevalent in our administrative culture..You’re an administrative professional.  Our culture expects us to geek out about fonts, grammar and expense reports.  We just can’t stop at one type of Post-it® flag or divider.  We’ll never be able to go completely paper-free without some kind of electroshock therapy. It’s an insidious illness.
Just last year, I had my own sad and eye-opening self realization at just how bad my addiction to office supplies had grown.  It involved a desk calendar.  Not just any desk calendar, mind you. But an 17 x 24 tabbed desk calendar with holder that was faux leather by Day-Timer® .  Oooh!  I just wanted to share my joy with everyone when it arrived via UPS.   And then, in my office supply drunken stupor – I forced the CEO to admire the new addition to my desktop… Gracefully raising the pages of the calendar to reveal the colored tabs like Vanna White turning over the vowels on Wheel of Fortune..Pointing to the  hidden compartments for business cards and stamps, the surprise pullout hidden sheet protectors to pull out the staff calendar.  Taken aback, he managed a polite glance full of sympathy at my state of being and rushed out the office door.   
I realized what an ass I’d made of myself, but it was too late.  My life was being dictated by addiction to office supplies. NO one understood my suffering. I immediately entered an underground group therapy center for those of us suffering from this terrible addiction– an IAAP meeting.  There, I was welcome to discuss my problem openly.  My built-in group of understanding peers!  They, too, nodded when I shared my excitement about finding a jewelry maker that made bracelets and necklaces from old typewriter keys.  I was no longer alone!
So, my friends, beware the back-to-school shopping season- for you know that there are the addicted among us- pretending to shop for others but instead have slipped back into our demanding love affair with office supplies.  
Don’t judge us, hater.  Just tell yourself that we’re helping the economy.
 

What a long, strange trip it’s been…

South Boston

Well, folks! It’s been a long, strange trip. What I love (and sometimes don’t love) about life is that there are plenty of twists, turns, trap doors and of course, lessons to learn.

About seven months ago my husband and I embarked on a journey to change the life we were living. I began by pursuing a new position. Something that would allow me to be me, 100%. During the process, we decided to try and move to our dream location in Maine. We want to enjoy life, enjoy the things that bring smiles to our face. We wanted to have more time together and more energy when we got home from work.

Although I hated to leave DC because of my life, my friends, my career peers were all in the region- we knew it was time to go. We embarked upon the sale of our home of 16+ years. My husband’s company approved for him to work remotely. Though the position I had been pursuing didn’t come through, we managed on his income and the money we worked to save.

The ensuing months were super messy and unpredictable. My husband and I managed by focusing on love. You know that bumpy and unpredictable force that flows through a longtime marriage?

Now, as I prepare for #ExecSecLIVE Wellington and Sydney, and IAAP Summit- I’ll be embarking on three and a half weeks of travel, and we are half-unpacked in our new home in Maine. Far away from DC life. Get away from the DC hustle and horrific commutes. Get away from the very real culture of constantly having to prove worth and value as an employee, and where many people upon meeting you, just want to know who you work for to determine if you have any leveraging value as an EA. DC is in the top five metropolitan areas of employment for Executive Assistants. It was hard to leave a city that offered me better odds for full-time employment.

Yep, it’s been a long, strange trip. Nothing in our life right now is organized, scheduled, nor tidy…which drives me NUTS! But, this too shall pass. I will gladly take the beach time with my husband and trust that the universe will keep us on this winding journey.

Thanks for being a part of the journey with me. I hope to see you soon at #ExecSecLIVE Wellington, Sydney or Atlanta or at my old stomping grounds, #IAAP Summit 2019 at National Harbor.

As always, #KeepLearningKeepGrowing ~ K.

Get up. Get out. Get going.

April is know for the Cherry Blossoms and Dogwood tree in DC Metro.

April is a BIG month for me personally. Lots going on.

Administrative Professionals Week. Religious holidays. Birthdays galore.
And, work is also usually just kicking into conference gear around this same time.

Over the last few years I was running regularly,almost 5k a week. Something changed, and I had no desire to do that any longer though I knew I felt better all around when I did.

A year ago, March 2018, my family doctor had a long chat with me about my general health, physical and mental. Age, family health history, lack of decent amounts of sleep, and challenges within the workplace and home had taken a toll. The prescription: exercise. He said, you don’t have to be a gym freak– just get at least 30 minutes in, 3 times a week. It will do you wonders. Oh, and he mentioned I should probably eat more veggies. Don’t they always say that?

In April 2018, I decided to get out and take a walk during my lunch break. (See? Heeding that advice from the doc already!) When the thought came rolling through mind that I had ‘escaped’ my desk. #AprilDeskEscape was born. Who wants to make life changes alone? We need others. We need our friends, our family members, our colleagues to go in on it with us! Even Diana Brandl, The Socialista Projects knows, #WeAreInThisTogether.

The #AprilDeskEscape challenge photos show that we are, in fact, in this together. Take your photo. Post up. Let other admins and office professionals see the beauty and value of getting up, getting out, and getting going.

Thanks for coming along on this journey. ~ K.

Spring forward?

This year’s #AprilDeskEscape challenge kicked off with great enthusiasm.

April 1

If you haven’t heard about it, let me fill you in!

The goal of the #AprilDeskEscape challenge is to encourage office professionals to get up, get out, and get walking during the workday, ideally getting three walks of 30 minutes in over the course of the work week.

Use the #AprilDeskEscape tag in your Twitter or Insta post and I’ll add your post into the 2019 photo gallery. You could win a custom ‘I’ve escaped!’ t-shirt courtesy of yours truly. Be sure to invite your colleagues, family, and friends to participate. The more, the merrier.