Tomorrow’s Kickoff – #2020AprilDeskEscape


Well, this is different.


I mean, I never thought we’d be doing #AprilDeskEscape from our homes. And, some of us are not supposed to leave our homes at all!

That’s okay. We’re going to look at how we can do a different kind of #AprilDeskEscape which begins tomorrow, April 1.

Remember, the purpose of #AprilDeskEscape was to get us away from our desks and out into the fresh air for at least 30 minutes, three times a work week. Why? Because our minds and bodies need time away from our monitors, our desks, and now.. most likely, our families.

So here are the three ways I suggest to approach 2020 #AprilDeskEscape for us all. And, yes!!!! please do send pictures with the tag #2020AprilDeskEscape or #2020CoronaVirusEscape where it is appropriate. I’ll be posting up a summary of photos from our peers from across the globe.

  1. If you can leave your home, please take a walk and post up your photo with location, info and #2020AprilDeskEscape on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can tag @officerenegade for Twitter or or Instagram, or @KemFoley on Facebook
  2. If you cannot leave your home, what is an object or view that helps settle you? Cat? Dog? A painting? Is it a closed-door keeping everyone out? Be real. Be you. Just no nudity, please! Take a picture and send it along. I’ll probably be posting pictures of my coloring.
  3. If you cannot leave home, what is a website, Instagram account, or YouTube channel that brings you joy, laughter or a moment of respite? Share the link, the account name and I’ll re-share it on this blog site.

Remember there are several hashtags dedicated to our administrative community related to health and wellness. You can use what works for you, but please include #2020AprilDeskEscape.

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.

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.

Day 8 Countdown- Executive Secretary Live – The Balance We Seek

Good morning from Commonwealth of Virginia.

Like many other working women, I have responsibilities and obligations outside work. Over the last five years, I have focused on adding myself into that list of responsibilities and obligations.

This week leading up to #ExecSecLive is a great opportunity for me to put those practices into place.

I looked at the calendar last Friday and saw what I had coming up.

Saturday- myriad of banking errands and driving our daughter to/from places

Sunday- family obligations and my meetup with my coffee girls

Monday- Auditors at our office for our annual audit & at night, a parent meeting the high school 7-8pm

Tuesday Work 9-5 then-7-8:30 Daughters chorus concert  at the high school. Rehearse presentation

Wednesday night – Daughter gets her driver’s license and we have another parent meeting at the high school. Run errands w/hubby.

So… knowing what was coming- I scheduled some time (this past Saturday) to get an hour long massage. [Boy! Am I glad I did that!] I made certain to make my coffee time with my long time girl friends on Sunday morning.

I’ve limited my caffeine intake (no, it’s true!) and tried to spend lots of time being quiet and NOT working myself into a frenzy of to-do’s before the weekend.

It’s common to talk about work-life balance but one of my best friends puts the issue into a different context. She likens it to starting out the week with a full tank of gas in the car over the weekend, and by Thursday, I’m down to a quarter of a tank. What do I need to do to re-fuel my body? My spirit? What do I have to look forward to that will bring me joy? What do I already have– and can I take a moment or two to acknowledge those items and be grateful for them? I’m a big fan of  writing daily gratitude lists which I try to do at the end of each evening before heading to bed.

If I do these things regularly, I may not find perfect balance but I certainly keep more on an even keel.

One book I love, love, love is– Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. I’ve had my copy since 1997 and it is a well-loved and treasured resource for me.

Work- Life Balance? More like ..ride the pendulum!

Here’s to all the families recovering from the holiday and those who got up and went to work today.

I’m writing this from my heart and gratefully.. from my home today. Our office earned the rest of the week off for the holiday due to the actions of one very courageous co-worker… who won a bet with the boss.

This holiday I’ve struggled with back 2- back weeks of travel for my husband (Chicago) and me (Las Vegas) .. during which we had a winter school orchestra concert, the breakdown of our brand new refrigerator and the hospitalization of my seriously ill and frail father -in-law. It all started on December 8th and it is still in progress.

So, what does work-life balance really mean? It’s defined individually. For me, the balance would be defined as not yelling at my husband or kid, nor coming down with either a sinus infection or some other flu-type ailment while trying to keep focus on having a traditional Christmas holiday. Almost made it.. until yesterday. When, somehow .. someway.. I managed to throw my back out. Today, with a heatpatch and some ibuprofen.. I’m functioning.

Work-life balance– it implies being able to do it/handle it all? but for me, it means getting the most important things accomplished, without trying to do it all and without becoming so exhausted that my fatigue leads me to yell at my loved ones.

So.. today, I’ll take it easy. Tomorrow..I’ll try to get back at getting stuff done..!